Update: Choosing to remodel your home can be a minefield. There’s so much information out there across the blogs, forums and design websites, it can be hard to know where to begin. Luckily, remodelormove.com has expanded to include thousands of articles and a comprehensive design gallery to help you on your way. And of course, we can also help with the basics about whether to remodel or move.

Following are ten common questions that homeowners have about the remodel or move decision.

1. How much will it cost to remodel?
There are several ways to get remodel project estimates:
Cost per square foot
This is the most common way to do a quick estimate. It simply assigns a cost per square foot of area that will be remodeled. To calculate your own estimate, determine the square footage of the area that will be built new or that will be substantially changed and multiply that by a cost of $100 to $700 per square foot. You can quickly see that this estimate has little value since the range of potential costs is so great.
Estimate from a contractor or an architect
With a general idea of what work that you want to do, you should be able to get an estimate of the cost from a contractor or an architect.
The Remodel or Move Calculator
Use the Remodel or Move Calculator that uses both the square foot estimation technique as well as the techniques of a contractor to provide an estimate of the cost to remodel.
2. What should I do if the contractor’s quote is more than I can afford?
Get more than one quote. All contractors have their own way of quoting and their own cost structures, so quotes will vary.
Confirm with the contractor that he or she understands the scope of the project.
If the other quotes that you get are in the same range and you still feel that it is more than you want to or can spend, you can try the following:
– Reconsider the level of quality of materials that you requested.
– Consider reducing the scope of the project.
– Consider managing the project yourself.
3. Should I stay in the house during the remodel or move out?
Start by asking the contractor what he or she recommends. There may be stages of the project where you need to be out of the house. If the contractor says that you can stay, you want to consider whether you will have the use of the critical areas of the home during the remodel project: bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen.
4. How long will the remodel take?
Your contractor will give you an estimate of the time required to complete the work. But remember that the unexpected does occur during remodeling projects, and there may be a project that the contractor has to finish before he works on yours.
5. Can you trust contractors and their employees?
Contractors and their employees are regular people, no better and no worse. Most want to do a good job and will treat your property with respect. To minimize the chance for problems, set up an environment where opportunities for accidents are limited.
6. Where can I find a contractor?

Ask for referrals from friends, neighbors and co-workers
Ask other people who have done work for you in the past, your plumber, gardener, etc.
Local and free newspapers often have advertisements for local contractors
Try our free online contractor referral service
Telephone book
Lumber yards and hardware stores. Especially the lumber yards that cater to contractors.
7. Isn’t remodeling risky?
Remodeling is no more or less risky than other major decisions that will cost you lots of money. If you plan well, pick a good contractor and have reasonable expectations, the project will turn out great with very few problems.
8. How long will it take to sell my house?
This all depends on the number of buyers for houses in your neighborhood at the price you’re asking at the time you are selling your house.

Talk with your real estate agent to get his or her estimate of the time it will be on the market. Also watch other houses in your neighborhood that are priced at the same level and are being sold at the same time of the year. If you priced your home competitively and it is in good condition, then it shouldn’t take longer to sell than is typical for your neighborhood.

9. How do I pick a real estate agent?
Make sure that the agents have recent, successful experience selling houses in your neighborhood, check their references and then decide on who you think will represent you the best and do a good job. It is always good if you like your real estate agent, but it is less important than how well he or she will protect your interests by selling your home for the highest price and ensuring that the selling process goes smoothly. So focus more on an agent’s track record of success than on whether he or she is pleasant to visit with.
10. Which offer should I accept for my house?
This is a difficult decision because of the short time you have to make it and the different advice you will get. You need to consider the price offered, the number and type of contingencies, the ability of the buyer to get the financing and the chances of getting a better offer. Your real estate agent will play an important part in reviewing these offers, so take advantage of his or her expertise. Also keep in mind that your real estate agent gets paid when you sell the house.