Understanding Home Remodel Cost: Avoid Pitfalls and Unexpected Cost

Understanding the True Cost of a Home Remodel

Understanding Home Remodel Cost: Avoid Pitfalls and Unexpected Cost — Understanding home remodel cost pitfalls prevents unpleasant surprises when invoices arrive. Even though an initially agreed to detailed home remodel cost spreadsheet might have specified cost limits, it can also point to areas of potential cost additions.

Understanding Home Remodel Cost Variations

Understanding Home Remodel Cost: Avoid Pitfalls and Unexpected Cost

Understanding Home Remodel Cost: Avoid Pitfalls and Unexpected Cost

How is it possible to have one bathroom remodel estimate of a modest five by seven space come in at $12,000 while another goes as high as $35,000? The answer is simple: the contractor’s vision. Consumers are primed to pick contractors carefully, research their reputations with the Better Business Bureau, verify licenses and insurance policies with the local building department and also solicit consumer references.

Lost in the shuffle is an evaluation of workmanship and compatibility of vision. Where the consumer may see a basic countertop, the remodeling contractor may envision a work of art in marble. Not surprisingly, costs tend to run over budget.

Another aspect that is likely to drive up the home remodel cost per square foot is the condition of the home’s structure; this is not readily visible until demolition and construction begins in earnest. Opened walls may reveal wiring problems, leaking pipes, termite infestations and structural problems that need to be addressed and add to the overall cost of the home remodel.

Getting Started: Construction Cost Estimation Worksheets for Home Remodel Projects

Avoiding the sticker shock begins by defining the scope of possible expenditures. For example, a bathroom remodel may include fees for permits – if it takes the form of a home addition that is close to the property line, it may also require the services of a surveyor, which drives up costs even further. Then consider the costs of:

  1. Excavation
  2. Foundation preparation
  3. Framing lumber and labor
  4. The need for windows and doors
  5. Roofing additions
  6. Concrete work

Before long, the disparity in bathroom remodel costs makes sense. Other costs that drive up the overall expenditure of the project are the:

  1. Need for insulation
  2. Routing of heating or cooling duct systems
  3. Plumbing
  4. Electrical wiring
  5. Water and also sewer hookups

Going further, there are now the finishing costs of:

  1. Painting
  2. Trim work
  3. Appliances
  4. Light fixtures
  5. Floor coverings

The cost-conscious homeowner is wise to download a free construction cost estimation spreadsheet (1) and put in budget amounts for the various line items. Sharing this with a trusted contractor and also specifying ceiling amounts protects against running out of money in the midst – or toward the end – of the project.

For the Do-It-Yourselfer: Materials and Labor Cost Estimate Sheets for Home Remodel Projects

The home remodel cost per square foot may go down if the homeowner attempts the work himself. If unafraid of even a more extensive DIY project, downloading a detailed home remodel cost spreadsheet can help with the cost of the various materials the homeowner needs to purchase.

Getting started with the lumber is a good idea for an initial raw cost estimate. There are several free online calculators that assist with estimating the amount of raw materials needed for the construction of bearing walls, joint systems, gable roofing and concrete walls. It is important to realize that even in this setting professional labor costs do factor in – consider that at times a DIY job turns into a much bigger project than initially anticipated or that life’s circumstances change and someone else just needs to finish the job.

Unanticipated Variables and the Cost of a Home Remodel

Further affecting a homeowner’s remodel project expenditures are acts of nature; for example, a prolonged rainy season in Southern California can bring a home addition to a halt – this increases the cost of material protection and may even require the replacement of exposed wood and drywall. By understanding home remodel cost pitfalls and conducting something akin a risk analysis, the homeowner will be wise to leave as little as possible to chance and build in ample financial cushions for unanticipated eventualities.


  1. http://www.byoh.com/spreadsheets.htm

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