If you are planning a house addition, one of the first things you will want to do is to get an idea of what the cost of the project will be. A house addition calculator will certainly meet your needs. But of the many house addition calculators available, which is the best?

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The first question to ask about a house addition calculator is what it claims to calculate. Does it offer a reliable, accurate preliminary estimate or does it offer an estimate of the final cost of your remodel? We advise that you not use an online calculator to try to calculate the total final cost of your remodel. There are just too many variables in an estimate to think a computer program can provide this kind of quote.

Keep in mind the purpose of online calculators. They are intended to provide an instant and preliminary estimate on a given type of home addition. Many online calculators, in fact, provide nothing more than a cost-per-square-foot estimate that only saves you the time and trouble of doing the math.

Probably the most important decision you will make when remodeling is which contractor to hire. After hearing this same question from thousands of visitors to www.remodelormove.com we have collected all the advice about finding and selecting the best contractor. This is a great tool to make your most important remodeling decision

RemodelOrMove.com: Contractor Selection Workbook

Some online calculators ask you for some additional information that makes the estimate a bit more accurate. They might be programmed to account for such things as:

  • Location – some ask for region, others for state, and still others work with zip code
  • Work quality – it is common in the remodeling and construction industries to divide quotes and the work on a project into three categories: economy, average, and custom or luxury.

These factors are important in calculating a home addition estimate. But there are other factors that are also important, such as who will do the work. The only calculators we are aware of that factor in decisions about who will do some of the key work on an addition project are the ones at www.remodelestimates.com and www.remodelormove.com. Both of these calculators ask you questions about who will do such things as:

  • Design – an architect will be much more expensive than your contractor or even a home designer.
  • Project management – Whether you leave this job to your general contractor, hire a project manager, or manage the project yourself, the costs will be very different.
  • Doing part of the work – If, for example, you will be doing the electrical work or the plumbing, this has a big effect on the cost. Even doing such things as assembling cabinets or painting will have a noticeable effect on the cost.

Either of these calculators can give you a reliable preliminary estimate for your home addition cost. Using the most sophisticated house addition calculator will give you a better estimate. Just remember that this is a ballpark figure or a preliminary estimate. The purpose of this estimate is to help you determine what your budget should be and to understand how certain changes in cost items and labor will affect the total cost of the job. By changing variables and re-running the calculations, you will be able to get a good understanding of how you can reduce some of the costs of the remodel without sacrificing quality of materials or workmanship.

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