Wanting to do some home remodeling is an understandable desire. You might have lived in your home for a while and are looking to modernize things with fresh ideas. It’s possible you just moved in or bought the place and are looking to make it your own. Also possible is that you are looking to maximize the value of the property before you sell it, or you just had someone move out or in and you’re looking to customize it to the new set of residents in place.
Whatever your motivations, you have to get a thorough home remodeling cost estimate prior to starting the work so that you know if, one, you can afford it, and two, how to budget it appropriately if you can. Keep reading to learn the 7 steps involved in getting a home remodeling cost estimate done thoroughly and accurately.
- Decide on the list of improvements you want to have done: You probably already have some ideas rattling around your head every day as you move through your home. Grab a notepad and start jotting them down. Don’t start making calls or buying supplies and tools right away though. Keep working on your list for a few days, eventually doing a walkthrough of your entire property to see what other things you might want to do. Once you go three straight days without adding anything to your wishlist, then you can be confident your dreams are all on paper.
- Check with the other decision-maker: If you own or share your home with a spouse or other partner, then you’re home remodeling to-do list has to meet their approval, and their ideas are likely to be very different from yours. If possible, have him or her do their own notepad. Then you can sit down together and start coming up with a joint list. That might take some time, and even some debating and possibly fighting, but it’s a necessary step. Unfortunately, you’re still not ready to call contractors yet or go shopping.
- Go over your property again: This time, you’re not looking for things as you would want them to be, but as they are. Check your gutters. Look for leaking pipes. See if the garage door and furnace are working as efficiently as they should be. Check the number of power outlets in every room. See if any doors are drafting air. What you’re looking for are any repairs or upgrades that might need to be done during your remodeling.
- Call contractors for estimates: Get at least three. You’re looking for a combination of good price, minimal disruption of your life, and someone that you can trust to do good work, which is the most important one of all.
- See what you can shave off: Some aspects of the home remodeling might be areas where you can save money by providing your own materials and labor, or just handling it on your own.
- Consider options you weren’t aware of: Contractors are likely to make you aware of choices you might want to go for that you did not know existed. Be ready to pounce on these if your budget allows for it.
- Keep the new property value in mind: Even if your home remodeling cost estimate comes in higher than you anticipated, you might still be able to afford it. If you’re able to borrow more off of your new mortgage value, or you get more market value for selling your home, then you might have more money available to you then you thought.
Using this 7-step process, you can get an accurate idea of how much a home remodeling project will cost you.