How Much Will a Home Remodel Cost?
I am continually asked the cost question from my readers, How much will my home
remodel cost? Some will describe in general what it is they have in mind & then pop the question- “Give me a
ballpark figure, what's an average cost? what do you think it will cost? Or
my favorite.... "How much per square foot?" (See below)
If I knew I would be happy to tell you but I have no way to tell. Consider all the reasons why I don’t know
& why you will never find accurate average costs, or per square foot remodel costs any
place on the internet.
I know you won't find them because they don't exist.
Yes, I know, you found a few internet sites that purport to give you estimates. I will
tell you that any estimate given will not be close to the real figure & probably not even close to
anything called average cost. These estimates are worthless & making any decision based
on them would be a mistake.
First of all home remodels are unique & custom remodels made to
order. After building hundreds of remodels I have never built the same remodel
twice. Each remodel is made up of hundreds, sometimes thousands of parts with hundreds of
variations in the parts. Plus, each variation has a different material cost & labor
So you say "well then give me an average cost for example, a 12X16 addition" There isn't
any true average. The price can vary many thousands of dollars & any average I give you
could be off by $10,000 or $20,000 or more. That's enough to discourage you from looking any further. You may be
interested at a lower figure & in fact would buy at a lower cost but you may drop the whole idea
based on false information.
Try remodeling in New York City & you will pay double or triple than if you live in Arkansas. If you live
in California you are going to pay more than if you live in Michigan.
Building Department standards differ wildly in various parts of the country. If you live in Florida you are going
to build something that will deter hurricane damage. California has earthquake problems & standards are higher
because of it.
Competition in your area is also a factor. If all of the contractors are up to their neck with work then they are
less likely to give you a lower price than if they were looking for work.
Weather is a factor in the colder areas of the country. If you live in North Dakota or Minnesota then I suggest you
consider having your basement finished in the winter. Any contractor would love to work indoors in January &
they will fight for the job at any price they can get.
Those of you who are looking for a price per square foot on a remodel are running a
fools errand. In remodeling there is no such thing as price per square foot that makes any sense. It is a myth
& anyone trying to tell you otherwise is not being honest with you.
Price per square foot may apply to building a new house but
that's where it ends. The number has zero value in determining the cost of your
desired remodeling work.
Two neighbors build a 12X14 addition. Neighbor #1 builds the
addition with asbestos siding, a shed type roof, 3 double-hung windows. The interior flooring is plywood ready
to be carpeted. Neighbor #2 builds with aluminum siding, a gable roof, a bay window
& 4 casement windows plus a patio door with steps to a patio. He adds a skylight & a fireplace.
Both additions are 12X14' but neighbor #2 has a cost thousands of dollars
more than neighbor #1. Why? Because Aluminum siding costs more than asbestos siding, gable roofs cost more than
shed roofs, bay windows & casement windows cost more than double hung windows, etc, etc, etc.
12X14=168' square feet.
If neighbor #1 spends $20,000 then his psf cost is $119.
If neighbor #2 spends $28,000 then his
psf cost is $166
So when you ask me how much per square foot for a
12X14 addition my answer is "I don't know".
The only right way to find an accurate estimate is to receive one from a qualified
contractor & then decide what you want to do.
If interested you can fill a short form & be matched with local pre-screened
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