It is a good idea to get a quick estimate of addition and home remodeling costs before proceeding. The cost per square foot is one way you can get this cost estimate. While it is a commonly used estimating method, it is not foolproof and you need to recognize its limitations before relying too much on the estimate this provides.
Here is the way to calculate this estimate:
Square footage of the area to be remodeled x Cost per square foot.
This is a quick and easy estimate; however, it is important to recognize that the cost per square foot can vary from $100 dollars to $700 dollars. This is a wide variation that can impact your estimate greatly. It could change a kitchen remodel estimate from $20,000 up to $70,000.
The second step in the process is to weight the estimated calculation. This involves deciding on whether you will have an economical, average, or custom remodeling project and can change the cost per square foot of the calculation. For example, an economical remodel could involve $100-200 dollars per square foot. On the other hand, a custom remodel could cost $600-700 dollars per square foot. Including these factors provides you with a more accurate estimate.
Other factors that impact the cost per square foot include location of the remodel. Depending on where you live in the US, materials and labor costs will vary. It can even vary within a given state. This means that before you do your estimate, find out what the average cost of a square foot of your remodel is in your area for your choice of installation.
Another aspect of remodeling that influences your estimated cost per square foot is the season. Many contractors have slow periods during the year. These are the times when their rates are lower and you can capitalize on that factor.
Yet another factor you need to consider is how much of the work you are willing to do yourself. These are jobs you can take on yourself that will impact your final estimate:
  • Project management
  • Designing the project
  • Doing the plumbing and electrical work
  • Doing your own framing
  • Doing your own clean up
  • Doing the demolition work
  • Providing the wallpapering and painting
There is a huge variation in the possibilities of cost per square foot estimates and there are other factors that impact the cost. Therefore, consider that a simple estimated calculation is not reliable unless it is weighted and accounts for the above additional factors. There are some online calculators that factor in these issues.