How much will my remodel cost? It’s a valid question! Every project, no matter how big or small, is limited by cost in some way. And getting an estimate of the projected cost of the remodel you have in mind is almost impossible to project by searching online for answers. Home remodeling calculators and price per square foot guides don’t give you a valid estimate. “Price per square foot is often useful for insurance purposes,” says Jeff Talmadge, owner of Talmadge Construction. “But every remodeling project is different, and using a per square foot cost to calculate a budget can be misleading. What does that per square foot price include? If you’re doing a remodel, you often need a new subpanel or to replace old water pipes; that raises the overall cost of the project. Square foot pricing doesn’t take these types of items into consideration. And for new construction: “what about PG&E, driveway, and septic or sewer?” Are those items included in the price per square foot?
According to the National Association of Home Builders, price per square foot averages are not designed as a guide for any particular home or situation. Instead, these price surveys offer only “a broad idea of construction costs for an average home; they are not perfect tools for estimating costs for a particular house. Building practices, the cost of labor, the cost of land, and to some extent the cost of the materials can vary from place to place and depend on the nature of the particular home being built.”
Talmadge Construction designer Nicole Brown points out that remodeling reality shows can also skew the perception of price. “You may see a gorgeous deck they say cost $3K, but it was built on a property in Wisconsin. Labor in California is much more expensive than in many other parts of the country.”
So back to the question of “how much will my remodel cost?” Consider instead, “Where do I start when considering the cost of a remodel?” Here at Talmadge Construction, we believe in and have consistent success with the Design-Build method of building construction. Design-Build is about working together to stay within your budget limits. We begin by listening to your priorities, discuss your budget and then discover what we can make work for you. Instead of having plans drawn up for a house that may cost more than you want to invest, we design a project with you to suit your budget and needs. This process allows for time to research the actual cost of your job. “The final estimate is the actual price and is the result of creative, thoughtful design and detailed estimating,” explains Jeff. “We’ve done all the research and the trade contractors have all looked at existing conditions to avoid surprises. We go look for potential issues and tell you the truth about what to expect.”
The Design-Build Process eliminates price per square foot confusion and gives you the actual cost of your remodel with all variables factored in. Read more about the Design-Build process on our website or schedule a free in-home consultation by calling us at 831-689-9133.
What are some of the variable affecting the price of a remodel? Click here to find out.
Scott Hall says
Great article. Just a note, you mention final estimate. By the time you figure all the parameters out it is a price, not an estimate. The whole “estimate” terminology is so confusing for homeowners. People will share with me they have gotten a few other estimates. But what is so misleading to homeowners is the idea that an estimate is equated to price. Estimates make so many assumptions. A Design Build way of approaching remodeling I agree really is the only way to get an accurate price and what a homeowner truly wants. It allows the time to properly plan and develop the project. On the other hand, outdated methods such as “estimates” based on allowances and lots of assumptions and “bidding” , these methods are based on the idea of “how can we make it seem like you are going to get the lowest cost in the beginning so we can get a contract signed”. A few months ago I had a homeowner tell me that another contractor was 20% less than us for a project. First of all, just to be clear, we did not give a price but rather a “realistic budget range”. It takes a very thorough process to get to a final cost for any remodeling project. I asked the homeowner some questions and found through these questions that the other company’s estimate was based on lots of incomplete information. No design had been complete, no thourough scope of work and specifications developed, and no products selected. It was simply 1/2 page of generalities with a cost estimate. I asked how they would receive a final cost. The homeowner shared that the contractor told them that they would sign a contract, get a 25% down payment, and then work out all the details like the design, specs, products. If i were a homeowner i would feel very unsafe with this. I like to have a clear idea of what am i going to get and at what cost.
Again, great post and great information for homeowners.