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Bungalow Secondary Dwelling Unit Conversion - Cost / Schedule / Risk Mitigation / Contracts - Is this the right time to proceed?

  • Thu, May 05, 2022 1:31 PM
    Reply # 12768791 on 12669725

    Hello Glenn,

    Thank you for the message. 

    Yes we do Ductless AC wall units 

    What is your email and can you send you more info on the whole system


  • Tue, May 03, 2022 1:38 PM
    Reply # 12765602 on 12669725

    Hello Sorin,

    I'd be interested to hear more about the hot water radiant heating systems you set-up in SDUs. How do you handle AC? Do you install mini-splits in each unit as well?


  • Tue, May 03, 2022 8:20 AM
    Reply # 12765089 on 12669725

    Hello Eva,

    No problem and sent you email 


  • Mon, May 02, 2022 10:16 PM
    Reply # 12764745 on 12669725

    Hi Sorin,

    Would you be able to share the information on SDU contractors with me as well?



  • Tue, March 29, 2022 7:26 AM
    Reply # 12685162 on 12669725

    No problem at all and email was sent 

  • Sun, March 27, 2022 6:48 PM
    Reply # 12683033 on 12669725


    Thanks again! Really appreciate your time and for sharing your contacts. 

  • Sat, March 26, 2022 8:05 AM
    Reply # 12681757 on 12669725

    That sounds great Adam !

    Yes of course I can share some of the GC's I have used 

    Do you have a email I can send it to?


  • Fri, March 25, 2022 6:58 AM
    Reply # 12680360 on 12669725

    Hey Sorin,

    Incredible feedback!

    Thanks for taking the time to share that detailed response. This project is my first big budget reno and trying to be as diligent as possible in the process.

    In the end, I cancelled the April SDU start with the selected contractor, as I have another active flip and didn't want to spread myself to thin.

    However, I did purchase my neighbors property that is also another semi-detach bungalow 10 meters away closing sometime in Q2 - 2022.

    So the plan is to sequence (2) SDU renovations at the same time to start in Q4 2022. To hopefully get better pricing for the increased volume of work and the logistical advantages. I plan to tender the work once I am closed on the 2nd property.

    Can you please refer some GCs you worked with before in the Ottawa area. You can also reach me by phone at 819-328-2541.

    Thank you and hope you have an awesome day!


  • Fri, March 18, 2022 7:23 AM
    Reply # 12671145 on 12669725

    Hello Adam,

    Great news to hear about your new basement SDU project starting in April

    I have done many of these myself and own a few so will try to provide some inside in what I have paid before for a SDU project 

    - A reasonable timeframe for a basement project is 3 - 4 months but April is will be a very busy time for construction projects and contractors so I would expect a few delays up to 1 month -  If you book a company to GC the whole project then it will run smoother then if you are piecing out the work individually 

    - Your cost should be around $125/ SQFT for this renovation project  ( Approx $125,000 plus contingency  .... Our costs abit more as we dont keep the furnace and spend around $20,000 just to change the whole mechanical system to hot water radiant heating system ( we do this to get rid of the ducts to eliminate sound and smell between units, get more height in basement, each floor getting there own thermo stat and monthly it costs less to operate), Are you increasing the height of each window in basement?  If only changing one  of them to larger egress window then will save some funds there 

    - Contingency in any renovation project is normal as no construction project I have ever seen or been a part of goes under the projected costs. There should not be to many hidden factors when doing a SDU project especially as now your basement is vacant and empty. Things that might come up in a SDU project will mostly be changes the clients wants to add or change which will most likely add to extra charges.....go through the contract with contractor ahead of time to make sure everything that can come up is covered with them.....I always ask my contract to provide a list of what is not covered in the construction as you always get a list of what is covered and dont think about what is not covered in the construction contract 

    - The costs to borrow will continue to go up based on forcasts so I dont think waiting will help any and a vacant basment doing nothing and not earning income is  bigger loss then the extra cost of borrowing

    I hope this info helps you and I wish you the best on your project as it sounds exciting :)

    If you would like some referrals for some contractors that have done SDU's before then please let me know 

    Have a blessed weekend


  • Thu, March 17, 2022 6:05 AM
    Message # 12669725

    Hello everyone,

    I am on track to start a basement SDU conversion in April 2022. Drawings and permit in place. And the project was quoted around 6 months from today.

    The basement is just under 1,000 square feet and will be a 3 bed /1 bath accommodation in Ottawa in a semi-detach bungalow. 

    Can you please advise on the following details:

    - Based on current market conditions, what should be a reasonable timeframe to perform the work? starting point is an unfinished basement with minor selective demo. Factoring possible supply chain issues labour availability.

    - Based on current market conditions, what is the cost of construction when factoring material, transport and labour increases approximately. Note: separate side entrance to basement is existing and the natural gas furnace will heat both spaces.

    - Contractually, how do I share the risk between the contractor and the client? As the contract states a minimum 10% contingency that has no cap for unforeseen circumstances and no commitment to a timeframe with no penalties. So very one sided. 

    Please feel free to share any tips or feedback on the items above.

    Lastly, is the increase we are seeing in the cost of borrowing. Which has an impact on the overall attractiveness of the investment. So basically, in my mind I am trying to determine if it is a good idea to proceed with the SDU  at this time or not and how to clearly establish that decision.

    Thank you for your time.


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