Setting a Budget for Your Remodel


Setting a budget for a home remodel project is an important, but often difficult, part of the process. Costs can vary widely, depending on what exactly is being done and what the overall approach to the project is in terms of quality. Here are 6 of the top factors to consider when setting a home remodel budget.

1. Materials

The actual materials being used in a remodeling project account for the bulk of costs in most cases. However, as opposed to merely separating materials from labor, it’s important to break down home remodeling costs to a more specific level. For materials, consider the type and quality of those being used. This could include the flooring, tile, countertops, cabinets, and other materials being used for your project.

2. Project Size

It’s easy to slap an estimate on the average cost to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, or finish a basement, but one homeowner’s basement could be triple the size of another. The size and scope of a given project is obviously a huge factor in its overall cost.

But it goes beyond just square-foot pricing. There are so many details that come into play, just focusing on square-foot pricing can be very misleading.

3. Appliances

This applies mainly to kitchens, although it also factors in with certain other home remodeling projects. Big-ticket appliances like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers contribute greatly to total cost; and there’s a huge price range for these appliances.

It’s also necessary to consider matching the quality of other materials, like countertops and cabinets, that surround those high-end appliances.

4. The Contractor

The remodeling contractor chosen for a job has a huge bearing on its pricing. This isn’t about whether or not they’re offering a “fair” deal, but rather, it’s about the quality, craftsmanship, and expertise of a given remodeler. One may be great for completing generic, solid projects with no frills. Another may focus on high-end or premium projects, with every small detail artfully approached. Understand what type of contractor you want and need.

5. Specialty Contractors

While a general contractor may be able to complete a range of projects on his own, many projects also require specialty contractors, such as electricians, plumbers, or HVAC specialists. The more contractors that need to be hired, the greater the overall costs of your home remodeling project will be.

6. Extras

Always plan for the unexpected. Factor in about 10% of a project’s estimate as a contingency to cover extras that may arise unexpectedly along the way. Older homes, for example, can have many “hidden” problems not even the best remodeling contractor could be aware of before getting started on a project.

Remember that from one home remodeling contractor to the next, prices can vary substantially. Speak with several, get estimates, and find the right person to get the job done at your desired price.

Preparing for your home remodeling project?

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