Asking a home remodeler how much a home remodeling project will cost is like going to a dealership and asking how much a car on the lot will cost. When buying a car, cost depends on the manufacturer, warranty, and options. With home remodeling, every project is unique due to location, size, scope, and the finishes/fixtures.
Here are some of the major factors that impact the cost of a home remodeling project:
Geographic location impacts construction costs both structurally and in architectural design because of building style. For example, in California, there is seismic activity which dictates structural design as compared to Chicago where roofing systems must be built to withstand snow loads. Architecturally, stucco is less expensive than wood siding and composition shingle roofing is more economical than tile.
The square footage of the addition or remodeled area directly impacts cost in many ways. Obviously with a larger the area, more materials and labor are needed to complete the work. Size can also impact structural requirements like footings and support beams.
The scope of each project is unique and based on the individual homeowner’s needs and taste. Also, building a room addition on a concrete slab is more economical than on a raised wood floor, just like a single-story addition is less costly than a second-story addition. Production and tract homes versus custom homes differ in cost because of building type and caliber of materials.
Finishes & Fixtures
Besides structural, finishes and fixtures are the largest contributor to cost. Line items like plumbing fixtures, appliances, flooring, hard surfaces (stone, granite etc.), cabinetry, and carpentry impact costs dramatically.
The only way to accurately quote a project is to develop a design plan and scope. There are design-build contractors who offer free design and quotes. The old adage, you get what you pay for applies here. You should not rely on the accuracy of a free design. It is well worth paying $1,000 to $5,000 to have a reputable firm work with you to design a project that meets your needs and budget. Part of the process is to offer a few different priced-out design schemes and help you meld them into one that you will love. In the long run, this will help eliminate potential cost overruns and ensure your project runs smoothly during construction.