I’ve had the fascinating experience of simultaneously overseeing full home restoration projects here in Portland and in London UK. One of the aspects that has most surprised me is how much more expensive it has become to do good quality work on a home here in Portland. While we can’t totally compare apples to apples in two very different locations, both homes are similar square footage Both homes are located in nice parts of town and we are doing good quality work on both. So a fairly good opportunity to compare the costs of this sort of work.
And what has been most surprising is the cost of doing this work in Portland has been at least 35% higher?? And this is even when factoring in the different currency exchanges. This is while the cost of housing in London is more than double, London home valued at 2.25 million $ and Portland home valued at $850,000. In both homes we specced similar works:
- new double glazed wood windows
- redoing all interior floors and walls
- new kitchens and bathrooms
- new plumbing, heating and electrical systems
- new landscaping and exterior features
- finished out loft and added bathroom
- new roofing
And here are the approx total costs for the two projects:
London home – $225,000 (170,000 pounds)
Sellwood home – $300,000
So to do this sort of restoration, the costs as a % of total house value are astonishingly higher in Portland.
London: 1700 sq feet/ project cost $225,000/ home value 2.25 million. So project cost was $132/sq ft or 10% of total home value.
Portland: 1700 sq ft/ project cost $300,000/ home value 850,000. Project cost was $172/sq ft or 35% of total value.
It’s not like the London home cut corners. Here is the previous one we did for even less money…
And this is one big reason why I think we will be seeing less good quality restorations in Portland. And there will be more tear downs, replacing vintage homes with cheaply built much larger homes. Restoration work has gotten just too damn expensive. I’ll explore some of the reasons for this huge disparity in another post.