I thought that would get your attention! My husband and I are restoring an 1895 Victorian home and as part of our research we picked up some books on turn of the century house designs. These books are wonderful and include house plans and "how to" instructions on how to plumb your new home. The cost breakdown is:
- Excavating and preliminary work $ 40.00
- Stone Masonry $250.00
- Brick Masonry $100.00
- Cement Floor $ 50.00
- Rough lumber, paper lining and shingles $450.00
- Flooring lumber $ 80.00
- Outside cornices $ 20.00
- Windows, doors, fittings $450.00
- Other Millwork $ 75.00
- Stairways $100.00
- Plumbing $200.00
- Wiring for electric light and bells $ 75.00
- Mantels and fireplaces $ 75.00
- Painting and glazing $225.00
- Carpenter labor $300.00
- Incidentals $100.00
- Total $2,590.00
Keep in mind that this home has unbelievable details both inside and out. Fir floors, incredible trim and moldings, exterior details, etc. This leads me to ask two questions: 1) Where has our pride of workmanship gone within the building industry? 2) At what point did we start adding zero's to the end of everything?
As a general rule, fashions and trends are cyclical. Bell bottoms were popular in the 60's and 90's, Michael Jackson made his comeback in the early 2000's and energy efficiency and alternative power is currently makings its comeback. Unfortunately, I have not seen pride of workmanship and intricate details make its comeback within the housing market. Granted, we have upgraded our materials from Formica to granite but where is the pride of workmanship? When are appraisers going to recognize the value in details and workmanship? When are we going to return to focusing on quality over quantity?
My husband is a General Contractor and artist in his own right. I often have a great deal of sympathy for him as he comes home frustrated with people wanting to cut corners or sub-contractors who are sloppy. However, every now and then he comes across clients who want to do things the right way only to be faced with the "extra zero's" on the end of the job breakdown. I suppose I simply need to be thankful for my home that has all of the wonderful details and only cost approximately $2,590.00 to build!