The cost of a remodel depends on many things, who will manage of the project, who will perform the work, and what the project involves. If you choose to have contractors perform the work, you can expect the renovation cost to increase as much as four times over the amount than if you were to do it yourself.

Photo by Molly Stevens

You have several options for calculating the cost of a remodel project. These include:

Cost per square foot

Calculating cost per square foot is the most common means to obtain a quick estimate. Measure the square footage of the area that you will like to renovate or add.  Then multiply this number by a cost of $100 to $700 per square foot.

For example, say you want to add a 10 foot by 25 foot game room at the end of the house. Multiplying 10 by 25, you get 250 square feet.  Then take the 250 and multiply it by the possible square footage cost, $100 to $700, and you will get an estimate of $25,000 to $175,000 for the project. In another example, if you were planning on expanding and remodeling an existing room then your square foot calculation would be a little different. In this case, you would add the square footage of the expansion to the square footage of the existing room for a total project square footage.  Once you have this, you can multiply it by the possible square footage costs to get a project estimate.

Obviously, because the possible square footage costs varies greatly ($100 – $700), the estimate really has little value. It is not likely that the remodel or addition cost will be as much as $700. On the other hand, $100 per sq. ft. is a bit unrealistic without taking great efforts to minimize cost.

The remodel cost calculators on our site provide a more precise estimate by taking into account specific information regarding the rooms that will be remodeled, how the project will be managed, and the level of finish that you want. These calculators are free for you to use. Click here to check them out.

Estimate from a contractor or an architect


You can get a more precise estimate of remodeling costs by consulting a contractor or architect to obtain a rough estimate for the project. Although they are likely to give you a cost per square foot as well, they will determine that cost by comparing similar projects which they have completed in the past and the quality of materials that you will want to include. Be sure to provide all the information required regarding your project to ensure you receive an accurate quote from the contractor. Also, don’t just stop at one quote. Obtain free multiple quotes from various contractors to shop and compare. If you would like to use our free contractor referral service, click here.

You can make your project a whole lot easier by investing in a good organizer like The Complete Remodeling Workbook and Organizer. It and other remodeling workbooks are available by clicking here.