What Does it Cost to Buy That Fixer in San Mateo and Fix It?

floor installerWe’re often asked what it costs to fix up a prospective house that we are showing a client.  Of course, the answer can be as much as you want it to cost, but that’s not being realistic.  San Mateo County is not the least expensive place to live and therefore, having work done will cost more here than in other places in the country.

I have a little chart here to give you an idea and a range of what things could cost.  This is only a guide.  When it comes to kitchens or bathrooms, what you select for cabinets, flooring, counters, appliances, fixtures, and the like can run the cost up ten fold.


  • Wooden Deck $25 to $50 per square foot
  • Wooden Fencing $25-$35 per linear foot
  • Concrete Flat Work $4-$6 per square foot
  • Build Detached Garage $100-$150 per square foot
  • Build Addition $150-$350 per square foot
  • Replace Windows $400-$600 per or more depending on size
  • Paint Building Exterior $3500-$7000 or more depending on size of house


  • Install Anchor Bolts $1000-$3000
  • Extensive Seismic Retrofit $5000-$10,000
  • Replace low foundation wall $100-$250 + per foot

ROOFING (To install one square or 100 square feet)

  • Composition Shingles $200-$300
  • Wood singles $400-$500 / Wood Shakes $400-$600 if allowed where you live
  • Tile $800-$1600
  • Install new rain gutters and downspouts $6-$10 per foot
  • Install Skylight $1500-$2500 – Sun Tunnels run considerably less.


  • Upgrade Service 125 amps $1200-$1600


  • Install New Forced-Air Furnace $2500-$5000
  • Install New Wall Furnace $1000-$2500
  • Install New Floor Furnace $1500-$2500
  • Install Air Conditioning (if there is a forced air furnace in place) $3000-$5000


  • Replace Galvanized Piping with Copper $1700-$3000 per floor
  • Replace Shower Pan $1000-$1500
  • Replace Tile Shower $2200-$3200


  • Painting $500-800 per room
  • Install Prefabricated Fireplace $3500-$6000
  • Major Bathroom Remodel $6000-$12,000+++
  • Major Kitchen Remodel $15,000-$60,000+++


  • Refinish hardwood floors $3-$4 per square foot
  • Refinish softwood floor $9-$11 per square foot
  • Buff and apply finish $1-$1.50 per square foot
This is only a guideline for you.  If you ask friends you can find skilled workers who will do thing for much less, or much more, or click on the link on this page for our Referral Directory, where you’ll find many tradesmen.  Remember, the quality of the materials you use will also determine costs.  Will you recapture your costs when you go to sell?  Yes, some, if not all depending on what it is you do and how much time has past from when you did it.

Moving? Know the value of your home …