How to Estimate the Cost of Remodeling

The first thing any home owner considering a remodel usually wants to know is “How much will it cost?” Here are some tips and ideas to get you started in putting together an estimate for the cost of remodeling, whether you’re just looking for a quick and dirty first-pass guesstimate, or a more detailed and realistic cost for your exact remodeling plan.

First Pass Estimates

There are organizations that compile data on average remodeling costs in the US nationally, by region, and even by city for major metropolitan areas. For a general idea, check out It breaks down general categories of remodeling (minor kitchen vs. major kitchen, for example) by region, giving cost and expected increase to home value.

To get a little more specific to your exact project, but still not have to go into detail about what exact materials and vanity you intend to buy, is a helpful remodeling calculator. It’s simple to use, and only involves a few fields, and maybe a couple of measurements.

Detailed Estimates

Of course, the easiest way to get a detailed estimate is to simply call a few contractors, have them come take a look at the room you want to remodel, and get competing estimates for the job. But what if you intend to do it yourself?

Clearly, in order to put together a detailed estimate, you’ll need to have a detailed plan, and that can be kind of a pain to put together without the right tools. Lucky for you, we have just such a tool available! With our free kitchen design tool, you can design your dream kitchen using measurements and statistics from your own space, visualize what it could look like when it’s done, and then get an itemized estimate right away.

Always Budget a Little Extra

Depending on the age and condition of your house, it’s always a good idea to build in an extra 10% to 20% to cover any nasty little surprises you encounter along the way. For example, what if you discover mold or mildew, or rotting floorboards or drywall, that you hadn’t planned on replacing? Or what if your older house’s plumbing or wiring isn’t up to code, and can’t handle modern fixtures and appliances?

The point is, you never know what you’ll find once you actually remove flooring and cabinets, and open up walls. The older your home, the more likely you’ll encounter an expensive snag in your well-laid plans. If you budget for it, you can take it in stride if something does go wrong, and if it doesn’t, you wind up with some money in your pocket. If you don’t, it can put you into debt, or bring your kitchen or bathroom remodel to a grinding halt.

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