Whether you want to update your kitchen, redo your bathroom, finish a basement or do some other home renovations, budgeting for a remodel can be tricky. Here are 3 ways to help you determine your home remodeling costs.
Step 1. Create a basic level-set budget
In order to get an idea of what your home remodeling costs may be, it’s a good idea to start with a basic, and broad, budget checklist. The idea is to list out all the major renovation components in a general way to figure out if your project requires a $50,000 budget or a $500,000 one.
So, how do you do that? First, start by chunking out the various aspects of your remodel. If you want to do a whole home remodel for example, one chunk would be the kitchen. Another chunk would be the bathroom. The deck may be next, followed by the exterior siding and so on. Separate out each major space to be remodeled then start assigning budgets to them.
In order to gather some of those budget figures, you’ll need to do some research. You’ll find a host of average remodel costs online, but they can vary widely depending on location, finishes, square footage, and other factors, so be sure to take those into account.
One place to start is the latest Cost vs. Value report. It presents average costs for different projects by type, such as master bathroom, kitchen, etc., and details the aspects of work being done in each scenario to give you a better idea of how your project may stack up. It also breaks average costs down by geographic area.
Once you’ve got some general costs for each chunk of your project, add them all up in order to produce an initial budget estimate for your overall remodel.
Stepping back and building out a basic checklist can help give you an idea of whether your project falls within your budget or if of what you’ve got in mind far exceeds the funds to pay for it.
Investigate payment options
This first step will also help give you a better idea of the overall cost of your project in case you need to look into financing options to help pay for it. The high level projection will give you the information you need to determine the best financing vehicle for you, whether it’s a home equity loan, remodeling loan, or something else to cover your home remodeling costs.
Step 2. Drill down to the details
After you’ve determined your basic home remodeling costs, the next step is to start focusing on the details. By this time you should know whether the general budget you had in mind will cover the cost of your project. But in order to develop an accurate picture of all the costs that may go into your remodel, this step is crucial. In order to start filling in those detailed costs, you should consider working with a professional contractor or design/build firm.
Do a design consult
With our Design + Build model, we begin each project with a Design Consult. It’s aimed at helping to identify each budget chunk in order to determine what is and isn’t possible within the desired budget range.
The consult includes specifically discussing and mapping out your remodel with our designer. It’s one thing to have line items for different aspects of your remodel, but discussing individual design elements and how they may relate to your space(s) will firm up most remaining budget questions. For example, this phase could reveal an additional wall you may want to remove or an extra element you want to include.
Your designer will work with you to build a detailed plan, including renderings, measurements, finishes, and more, so you not only know what your remodel will cost, but also where and how your dollars are being spent.
Use a proven budgeting tool
Most professional builders should have a budgeting system in place to help price out each detail of your project, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Since design/build firms employ designers and builders in-house, they offer the extra advantage of being able to estimate not only the construction aspect of the remodel, but also the upfront design work. That means you’re not having to juggle separate budgets or worry that one may not align with the other — for example, a design that looks great but would far exceed your budget during the actual build phase.
At Lamont Bros., we use a straightforward “good, better, best” system to walk you through and price out each aspect of your remodel. Sticking with our original whole home remodel example above, in our system each space would be broken down in detail in order to budget accurately. For example, in the kitchen, we would have a separate bucket for your cabinets, your countertops, your plumbing fixtures, and so on, then we assign a “quality” category to each.
So your kitchen faucet “good” category could be a great Delta model for $300. Better might be a Waterstone faucet for $900. Best may be a $2,000 Hydrology faucet. The same would go for your countertops. For example, we would discuss the pros and cons of each countertop option in order to meet your needs. Doing a bathroom instead? This part of the process would break down the cost of a new tile shower.
To see an example of our budgeting process, check out Portland Bathroom Remodel: What’s It Going to Cost Me?
Your building partner or firm should work with you to determine which components are more important to you (must-haves vs. mice-to-haves) and which aspects may be more difficult and costly, in order to determine a detailed budget plan. The goal is to do a lot of this work upfront so you have a really good idea about costs before picking out — and paying for — particular products for your remodel.
Step 3. Manage the budget throughout the project
Once you’ve finalized a budget, you want to feel confident that your project will closely adhere to it through to the end. Our design + build model offers several key advantages for homeowners: Keeping everything consolidated can help avoid frustrating delays, miscommunication, subcontractor scheduling issues, and possible construction issues, as well as help to ensure the work doesn’t exceed the allocated budget.
That’s why at the end of our design process, you leave you with detailed permit drawings, every product that’s going into your kitchen defined, and a fixed-price construction contract.
Our crews have detailed plans for every phase of the project and are committed to making consistent progress from start to finish. Plus, your design consultant will work with you at each step to ensure you’re getting the finishes you want and an outcome you love, in budget. In short, we’ll never leave you hanging.
You’ll be regularly reviewing the project with your team and we’ll preview the space with you once it nears completion. Once the work is done, we’ll do a final walkthrough. Then all you need to do is enjoy your new space!
For more ideas on what your remodel may end up costing, check our Project Costs page. It breaks down different types of projects to give you an idea of what yours may cost for a specific space in your home.
Related posts: Project costs
- Home improvement financing: What are my options?
- How much does a tile shower cost?
- Countertop pros and cons
- The 2020 Cost vs. Value report
- How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom in Portland?
- 5 most common types of ADUs and what they cost
- How much does a quartz countertop cost?
- Project costs overview page
Are you thinking about doing a remodel? We’re happy to discuss your project and start working with you on your budgeting process. Simply schedule a conversation with us!