How to Estimate Home Repairs and Renovation Costs

Estimating home repairs and renovation costs seems not a tough job if you precede it in the right direction. Various factors have to be kept in mind when doing such estimation. This generally includes prioritizing your remodeling needs, creating a detailed remodeling plan along with accurate cost estimates, and requesting bids from multiple numbers of contractors.

This ultimate guide will help you how to make accurate estimates if you have been given the task to renovate your home. No matter whether you want to remodel a specific section of your home, it is compulsory for you to consider estimating the renovation cost beforehand. Though it seems a bigger challenge, however, with correct guidelines, you can accomplish this milestone.


Estimated Cost to Remodel a House


According to lots of experts, the average cost of remodeling a 1000 square feet home is around and about $20,000. On the other hand, for renovating a 3,000 to 5,000 square foot home, the estimated cost reaches $90,000. A general rule is that renovating an older house costs comparatively more as compared to new homes.

On an average basis, one has to spend $10 to $50 per square foot no matter what kind of renovation project he wants to carry out! For kitchens, the average renovation cost is $5,000 – $50,000. For bathrooms, it is $3000 – $24,000 and for basement, it is $10,000 – $31,000.

How much to Spend on a Home Remodeling Project

The Golden Thumb Rule

We are going to share with you this golden thumb rule that your renovation project budget should not exceed 10 to 15% of your total home value. Like, if the total value of your home is $100,000, and you want to redo a kitchen, its finishing cost should not reach more than $15,000.

In the same way, construction companies should not base their cost estimates on what the rest of the world is charging. It is an involved process where you have to take into account a large number of factors. Like, determining the true labor and materials costs, as well as finalizing the true overhead and profit margin is a must for you. Price your project in the right direction while considering the material prices fluctuations and contingencies. This is they way how you end up getting a proper cash flow.

Tips to Estimate Home Repairs and Renovation Costs

Creating a basic level budget

First of all, creating a basic level budget plan should be done at your end. This will give you a general idea of what your entire remodeling cost will come out to be in the end. Simply start with the basic planning! Create a broad, easy-to-understand budget checklist. List down all the renovation components and figure out their costs one by one.

Categorize kitchen in the separate section; include bathroom renovation cost in another section and so on. Instead of assuming the budget figures, it is better to do authentic market research on your own. Consider taking help from the online remodeling cost tools like RSMeans and HomeWyse. They will give an insight into how costs vary depending on the square footage, finishes, location, labor, and materials cost. There are lots of other online sources that give a further break up of costs by geographic area.

Determine Financing Sources

Instead of finalizing your house renovation budget, you need to determine first of all from where the financing will come! Check out whether you have enough cash, or you will need some loan. Keep in mind that the budget of your project should be within your available funds.

Once all these things are sorted out, then set aside 20% of your available funds so that you can easily deal with unexpected expenses. You never know when something will go wrong. So, setting aside these funds will not disturb your project timeline in case the cost of materials and labor go up. Hence, set aside 20 percent for a cushion to coverup contingenies and unforseen costs. These funds can be utilized to carry out activities such as demolition that were not part of your original plan.

Determine Your Goals

When doing a cost estimate for your home renovation project, make sure to determine your goals and needs first of all. Prepare a list and spot out which areas of your home need renovation. Determine the type of improvement that you want to see! Like, if you wish to give a makeover to your kitchen, determine whether you want to install new tiles and cabinets. Decide beforehand whether you want new ceilings or paint.

All in all, you have to come out very much clear about what changes you desire to make. In addition, set realistic goals and avoid making your whole renovation job a big struggle. While determining these goals, finalize which brands you will go for. This will help you in estimating the final cost of your materials because each brand has a different price range set.

Defining your goals will help you stay on budget until and unless your remodeling project is not completed. Defining your needs, goals, and other details will make you exactly aware of what you want and expect from the project.

Make a proper list and include all minor and major details in it. Categorize them; lay them down in proper order. Ask yourself certain questions that what you expect from the project, what renovation details you want to include and exclude, which things you can compromise on!

Creating a Remodeling Plan with Accurate Cost Estimates

With the help of this detailed plan, you will be able to come up with an accurate house remodeling budget. Create a spreadsheet using excel and start putting the item desciptions, material quantities and unit rates to comeup with the cost estimates. You can use online resources for estimating labor costs. The labor costs for engineers, architects, and the rates charged by plumbers and handymen are different. A well-detailed plan can be easily understood and communicated with contractors.

Precisely Analyze the Renovation Cost

The next step is to precisely analyze your renovation cost. Your home remodeling cost depends on a large number of factors. This generally includes how much area you want to renovate, which contractor you want to hire, which brand materials you will use, and how much will be the length of the renovation project.

Understand this golden rule of never and ever assuming the remodeling cost. You need to precisely estimate it. In addition, never compare the cost with old renovation projects. Each time you give a makeover to your home, you should prepare the cost estimates from scratch. A professional cost estimation company like us can also help you in this regard.

Look at your budget and then plan accordingly

Your budget and prepared cost estimates should match each other. If your cost estimates are too high and your budget is low, then how your project will be able to be practically implemented? You have to wisely decide how much money you are ready to spend.

If you think such a decision is challenging enough, get in touch with a contractor and seek advice from him. While conveying your stance to the contractor, you have to be clear about your goals and also your budget.

Prioritize the expenses and go for cost-cutting

The next step is to prioritize the expenses and go for cost-cutting! Get hold of quality remodeling materials and avoid buying those things that are not adding any kind of value to your renovation project. Try to remain smart when doing cost-cutting. You should only proceed to buy those things and materials that make sense.

Moreover, if the renovation task looks simpler and nothing complex and you can perform it on your own, go ahead and avoid handing over it to the contractor. Always prefer using cost-effective materials that show good quality and fully meet your needs. Instead of replacing the older items and buying a new one, it is better to revamp them.

There are some other tips that you can follow for cutting costs in projects linked with renovation. Like, you can do demolition on your own. Try removing the cabinets and pulling up the tiles yourself instead of hiring a professional.

For tasks that need no expertise, it is better to perform them by yourself, this will reduce the labor cost. Order fixtures yourself and avoid assigning this duty to your contractor. See yourself as a project manager and there is no need to hire additional subcontractors. Lastly, instead of buying each and everything brand-new, try using refurbished items.

Ask for Bids from Multiple numbers of Contractors

Before you plan to hire a contractor, ask for bids from multiple numbers of contractors. This will give you a general idea of what the average cost is! Avoid hiring a company that offers too low or too high rates. Just look around and gather as many bids as you can and then make a decision. Select the contractor that best fits your budget line.

While hiring them, do interviews; ask questions, demand documents and certifications, and other important information. Ask them how many years they have been in this field. In addition, look at their licenses, qualifications, insurance.

Looking at the Past Estimates

You can look at the past estimates and on the basis of them prepare a cost estimate for your remodeling project. Simply look at all of the past estimates that you did for your previous renovation projects and get an insightful idea from them.

Take guess from only those past projects whose scope looks similar to your current project. Hopefully, this tip will help you in coming up with a precise preliminary estimate.

Accurately Calculate Materials Costs

Once you have compiled the list of materials that will be used in your renovation project, now start calculating their total cost. Lots of ways have been devised that help you in accurately estimating the materials cost.

Among the most reliable options, it is suggested to use an authentic building materials calculator. You can even use reliable and result-driven apps for this purpose. A true cost calculator tool will eventually help you in calculating the exact amount of material you need and also its cost.

Precisely Calculate Labor Costs

When preparing estimates, do not forget to calculate the labor costs! Include the hourly rate in your report. In this regard, you can take help from the online labor cost calculators and guides. In the present times, these resources have turned out to be a lifesaver for many beginners. In addition, you have to consider adding the price of overtime billing rates and the cost of hiring specialized labor because all these factors will in some way affect your final cost estimate.

Clearly determine that how much amount you will have to pay to your hired contractors in lieu of benefits, bonuses, insurances and transportation. Suppose, the labor rate is $20 per hour, but after including all these costs, the labor rate will become $35 or more per hour. To calculate these extra costs, it is suggested to use a labor burden calculator for the sake of figuring out the exact per hour labor rate. You should clearly estimate how many hours the renovation activity will take to complete. Finally multiply the unit labor rates with the total number of hours to get the labour cost estimate.


We hope that if you follow the above-mentioned tips, you will be in a stronger position to come up with accurate cost estimates for your home renovation and remodeling projects. Always choose those options that best suit your goals, needs, and budget.

Regardless of the fact that you want to renovate your bathroom, or you are interested in upgrading your kitchen as well as redoing and finishing your basement, this ultimate guide should be seriously followed by you. Budgeting for a remodeling project seems a tricky task but the above-mentioned helpful measures will make your task easier. So, follow this guide and determine the exact home remodeling cost at your end. Good luck!

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