Understanding the Remodeling Estimate Process

Understanding the Remodeling Estimate Process

Kitchen remodel

By Kevin Vick, President of Vick Construction & Remodeling

When planning any home remodeling project, it is imperative that you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. It is important to set and communicate your goals and expectations to your designer and remodeler upfront. After that, you can verify that those same goals and expectations are in the proposal.

Getting Started

If you have never planned a remodeling project before, an estimate may seem confusing.  Materials and labor costs will vary as each project is different. Additionally, there are other costs to be considered such as demolition, clean-up costs and permit fees. Square foot estimates and ranges are meant to help the client determine feasibility only. The way to determine the actual remodeling costs is to have it priced by a professional remodeling company with the help of a designer. You, with the help of your designer and remodeler, will need to determine all the finishes, fixtures, hardware, and appliances needed during the design process. That way, your remodeler can give you an accurate cost of your project including these items.

Remodeled Kitchen

Remodeled Kitchen in Deerfield Village. Photo courtesy of Vick Construction & Remodeling, Inc.

Know Your Price

Higher priced items can easily push the cost of a project to $200 per square foot and beyond, which may or may not be out of your price range. Therefore, it is very important to determine the price range of these items during the design process. However, you do not necessarily have to select everything precisely during the design process because allowance figures can be used to represent these costs. Using allowances will speed up the design and estimating processes. If you do not use your designer to help you with your selections, you will still need to have your designer, at the very least, create drawings. Your remodeling contractor will need the drawings to determine the remodeling cost more accurately. Keep in mind this is not a quick process and may require many visits to the home as well as meetings with the designer and engineer. In addition, there will be a fee for your designer’s services.

Manage Expectations

In the age of DIY television, please understand it is television. Costs and timelines can be, and often are, greatly exaggerated in the world of television. Also, just because your neighbor’s project cost X amount of dollars doesn’t necessarily mean your remodeling estimate will be the same, even if you use the same remodeling contractor. Differences in room size, materials used, and labor required, will cause the price to vary from home to home. Also, keep in mind that an estimate is just that – the final price may well be different, due to the actual circumstances of the renovation.

When remodeling your home, it is important for you to understand that the estimating process and your remodeling project have a lot of moving parts.  It is due to this complexity that the estimating process and the timeliness of your remodeler’s estimate may be lengthy.  Ultimately you will be more satisfied with your completed project if proper planning and cost estimation is done before the project begins.  Happy remodeling!

This article was provided by a member of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association. The Remodelers Council is dedicated to promoting professionalism and public awareness of the remodeling profession through education, certification and service to the Houston community.  To reach the author directly, email kevin@vick-construction.com. For more information on this article, please contact Lorraine Hart at lorraine@idealconsulting.net.  To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit www.ghba.org.

GHBA_RCThe Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association is an organization of remodelers and industry professionals. We are dedicated to the promotion of excellence and professionalism within the industry, and public awareness of the Remodelers Council. We achieve this through education, certification and service to the membership, industry and the community. Members of the Remodelers Council give back to the Houston community by participating in an annual charity project. The Remodelers Council holds an annual Garage Sale at the September Texas Home and Garden Show with proceeds going to their local charity project. To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit the GHBA website.

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