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The Home Depot

5 Tips on Estimating Remodeling Costs

Pro Referral > Home Guides > General Contracting > 5 Tips on Estimating Remodeling Costs
5 Tips on Estimating Remodeling Costs

The cost of a particular remodeling project has many variables. The geographic area you live in, the scope of the project, the contractor you choose, and the materials you opt for each play an important role, but the time of year, the existing conditions in your home, the current market, and many other elements can also have a significant effect on the bottom-line price. Online resources that site average costs for particular projects can be useful in determining how much your specific remodel will run, but depending on your circumstances, these figures can be thousands of dollars off in either direction. If you are planning a new project and want to know a ball park figure of the price, here are five tips that can help you on your way.

  1. 1.Get Quotes from Multiple Contractors in Your Area

    A single change in material choice can mean a difference in thousands of dollars.

    This is the single most effective way to determine how much your specific project will cost. However, you cannot be vague when it comes time to get quotes. A single change in material choice can mean a difference in thousands of dollars, so before you contact local contractors it is important to have a clear, easily-communicated idea of the project you want. It is very likely that each contractor you talk to will give you a different estimate, and some are likely to be much higher or lower than others. However, the average of the quotes you get from 3 or more local professionals will give you a much better idea of how much your project goes for in your area and under the specific circumstances your property presents than any online statistic.

  2. 2.Take Note of Structural Changes

    Obviously, remodeling larger spaces and using more expensive materials will cause the price of your project to increase while opting for more modest fixtures and upgrading smaller spaces will have the opposite effect. There are, however, other choices that always increase or lower the price of a project significantly that are a little more subtle. For example, any project that requires the relocation of ductwork, gas lines, or plumbing will be much more expensive than a similar project that does not require these alterations. Similarly, projects that replace individual elements with ones of similar dimensions will be less expensive than those that involve installing elements of very different dimensions.

  3. 3.Removal and Replacement Vs Refurbishing and Refinishing

    Just as the relocation of existing systems and the resizing of static components will always take more time and carries a higher price, projects that require the removal of existing elements cost more than projects that allow existing elements to remain intact. One of the reasons floating floors and metal roofing have become so popular is that they can typically be put down over the existing installation, which saves the contractor time by eliminating the removal process. The same rule of thumb can be applied to just about any home component: If the new can be installed without the removal of the old, the project will be less costly. Those looking to save money and time during their remodels should always consider enhancing their homes through refurbishing and refinishing rather than removing and replacing.

  5. 4.Identify What Works in Your Area

    There's a reason why homes in New England tend to look a little different than homes in New Mexico! Certain designs, materials, and home components are simply better-suited to some environments than they are to others. While this can sometimes have a direct influence on the price of a given project because the out-of-place element takes longer to install properly (it's not easy building a finished basement in southern Florida), it can also indirectly influence cost when a material is not readily available or the necessary skill set is not common in the area and must be subcontracted to an out-of-area specialist.

  6. 5.Examine What Services Are Included

    Finally, a large part of the total cost of your project will depend on the specific services your contractor will perform. For example, one company may quote much more for tree removal than another, but include cutting down the tree, pruning the trees nearby, removing all the leftovers, pulling out the stump, and filling in the resulting hole in their price. Asking what's included in the cost is a sure way to determine what you're paying for and which company is really offering a good price.

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