Homewyse is an excellent reference tool to help homeowners make detailed and well-informed decisions, and for contractors in planning and estimating jobs. It doesn’t include automated connections to get estimates from contractors, but does provide detailed installation estimates, maintenance costs and a job cost planner tool. The granular data is particularly helpful in allowing you input your exact measurements or project specifications, yielding detailed cost estimate ranges which include breakdowns for project materials, labor, supplies and tools.

Home Renovation Cost Estimator Spreadsheet

Your home renovation costs will vary depending on your preferences. By using the home renovation cost estimator spreadsheet, you can easily fine-tune your budget to put your money toward what means the most in your home.

  • Step 1: Consider how you’re going to finance your remodeling project. You can refinance your home for tax-free funds, apply for a construction loan or pay out-of-pocket.

  • Step 2: For each project, copy the spreadsheet onto its own tab. Then estimate the prep work including inspections, design and permit costs.

  • Step 3: Once your prep work is estimated, begin sourcing vendors and getting estimates for your project and adjust as needed.

  • Step 4: Once your estimated costs are calculated and work begins, log the actual cost in column E. If needed, adjust your budget and log your outstanding balance accordingly.


House Value vs Remodel Cost

When it comes to smart budgeting for a renovation, emotions can easily cloud judgement. It’s natural for many homeowners to start pouring thousands of dollars into a dream kitchen or bathroom, especially if you hate the one you have now, without thinking about the bottom line.

However, the reality is that if you don’t have unlimited cash flow you should be mindful of the returns a particular remodeling project will bring you.

That is of course if you think you may sell your house in the next 5-10 years. In this case, there is one big rule you need to follow:

DO NOT spend more than the value of the room compared to the overall house value on its renovation. We are going to give an example of a renovation budget for a house that is worth $400,000.

Here is how the numbers break down:

Remodeling Project % of Total House Value Maximum Remodel Budget
Kitchen Remodel 15% Up to $50,000
Master Bathroom Remodel 10% Up to $40,000
Complete Attic Remodel 10 -15% Up to $40,000 – 50,000
Complete Basement Remodel 10 -15% Up to $40,000 – 50,000
Small Bathroom Remodel 5% Up to $20,000
Build Patio/Deck 2 – 5% Up to $8,000 – 20,000
Replace Roof 2 – 4% Up to $8,000 – 16,000
Replace Siding 3 – 5% Up to $12,000 – 20,000
Replace Windows 3 – 4% Up tp $12,000 – 16,000
Single Room Remodel 1 – 3% Up to $4 – 12,000

The kitchen is 15% of total house value. So you would be spending no more that $50,000 on a complete kitchen remodel

A Master bathroom is 10% of the total house value. So you should spend no more than $40,000 on a complete bathroom remodel.

A Small bathroom/powder room is 5% of the total house value. So you should spend no more than $20,000 on this remodel

One room in the house (bedroom, living room, office, etc.) is valued at 1-3% of the total home value. So don’t spend more than $4,000-12,000 on renovating a single room.

Finished attic and finished basement are both valued at about 10-15% of total house value. So you should spend no more than $40,000-50,000 on either one of these remodels

Patio or deck is worth 2-5% of house value. Don’t spend more than $8,000-20,000 on installing a new deck or patio in a $400,000 house.

A roof is typically worth 2-4% of the house value. So you should spend $8,000-16,000 on the cost of a new roof.

Keep in mind that while a roof is not worth a lot per se, it can be a huge downer for your house value at the point of sale, if its an old roof or it is leaking.

So if your roof is nearing the end of its service life or has major issues, its best to replace it before you put your house up for sale.

Siding is worth 3-5% of the total home value. Spend around $12,000-20,000 on new siding.

If you are on a budget don’t just settle for cheap vinyl siding, as today there is a wide range of beautiful siding options for any price point.

Windows are worth around 3-4% of the total value of your house. So spend about $12,000-16,000 on replacement windows.

The Bottom Line

Home renovation costs will vary based on structural or mechanical repairs, square footage, underlying issues, location and materials used. Start by using the home renovation cost estimator spreadsheet above, then talk with contractors to understand the exact estimates in your area.

Home renovation and remodeling aren’t easy. However, a happy home can help improve your well-being. Before you begin your project, consider the value of your time into your budget – the planning and remodeling processes aren’t quick.

If you’re thinking about any home improvements, consider refinancing your house to help you budget for the costs of remodeling. You can also give us a call at (833) 326-6018.

How do you plan for home maintenance?

To plan for home maintenance, keep a close eye on the condition of your home. For example, clean out your gutters regularly and replace your HVAC system filters when dirty. Look for leaks around toilets and sinks and inspect the outside of your home, including the foundation, so see if any cracks or other issues are starting. If you're uncertain of what to do or what condition your home is in, it never hurts to consult a professional.

5. Add Your Mark Up

Knowing how much to mark up your jobs is certainly an art. Your markup should not only give you a margin but also cover overhead costs. Part of this involves calculating the true cost of labor, as we discussed above. It also involves accounting for other business expenses.

A powerful estimator tool will take this information into account, so that you can rest easy knowing that your overheads are covered. It’s always best to give yourself a certain amount of wiggle room, as unexpected factors can affect your final project.

Don’t let yourself be caught unawares and find out that you haven’t made a profit — it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

Here are some typical handyman expenses:

  • Monthly living expenses
  • Health and liability insurance
  • Tools
  • Advertising
  • Vehicle mileage and maintenance
  • Website costs
  • Office supplies
  • Phone and internet
  • Licensing fees
  • Taxes: self-employment, federal income tax, state income tax

Your quoted hourly rate needs to cover these expenses.

A 35 percent margin is one rate suggested by Remodeling. Try cutting down on your overhead costs to help you meet this number. Even calling your cell phone and internet providers to make sure you have the best rate possible can help matters.

Small factors can often affect your final outcome. That’s why using a cost estimator to ensure that the numbers you are crunching are correct will benefit you down the road. Make sure that you are making the right choices for your business with the free estimating software from FreshBooks.

Cost Of A Whole House Renovation

If you would rather remodel the entire home, rather than do it in stages (this is what most homeowners do because of budget constraints), here is an approximate break down of how much a whole house renovation costs.

For a typical size 2,500 sq.ft. home, the cost to do a cosmetic renovation without fixing any major problems is $20,000-35,000. This can include things like fresh paint, new inexpensive counters and flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, new lighting fixtures, sinks, faucets, shower heads, light landscaping.

For a 2,000-2,5000 sq.ft. house, a $50K remodeling budget is very solid and can give you all the major improvements.

Spending between $40,000-75,000 can go a long way and include things like a full kitchen and bathroom renovation, higher end flooring, new windows, siding, roof, deck.

In this price range, the more you are looking to get done, the cheaper your materials will have to be. Here you will have to make a lot of decisions and compromises between quantity vs quality.

Spending $100K or more to fully renovate a 2,500 can offer you a high-end remodel, with expensive materials, higher end kitchen appliances, nicer looking siding, more extensive landscaping, new deck or patio.

When remodeling the entire home, its important to find a reputable General Contractor (GC) who will be overseeing all the work, managing the subcontractors and purchasing your materials.

While you can avoid hiring a general contractor, if you are renovating one room at a time, massive remodels are best managed by a pro. This will save you both time and money.

Preparing The Home for Sale

If you’re simply preparing your home for sale, you’re going to want to do work in the spaces that are going to yield the biggest return. The rooms most likely to give you a return are the kitchen and the bathroom.

Some kitchen remodeling is fairly straightforward and mostly entails adding new appliances, cleaning up cabinets, adding new countertops, and painting a backsplash here and there. It’s an endeavor where you can make your dollar stretch and end up seeing a lot of it back in return.

For homeowners trying to sell, bathrooms are another great room to invest in. Nearly every dollar that you spend in your bathroom will come back to you. The more than you invest in making it easy to clean and nice to relax in, the more you’ll see in return.

Another overlooked element in renovations is the heating and cooling system. New homeowners are sensitive to their carbon footprint as well as their utility costs. If you can update or at least repair your system, you’re more likely to seal the deal.

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

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

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.

2. Calculate Materials Costs

Now put together a list of materials you’ll need to do the home repair job. There are a variety of ways to calculate how much materials you’ll need. One method is to use a building materials calculator.

There are also a variety of apps for contractors that will help you calculate materials costs. Our article on apps for contractors lists 10 of the best apps out there.

In general, a good cost calculator tool will help you calculate the amount of material you need to fill a certain volume, depending on the material type (concrete, brick, wood etc.)

For a general contractor with a lot on their hands, it’s important to find the right cost calculator tool to help you estimate your project speedily and accurately.

Depending on the number and type of materials you need and the level of conversion costs you are after, some contractor estimate apps will be more useful than others. In the above list you will find that some apps have more powerful conversion calculators, but come with ads. You have a wide range of options to choose from, so finding the right one for your needs will help you make the best choices for your project.

List Your Materials

The materials that you need are going to factor into how much things cost. If you’re looking at remodeling your kitchen, marble might sound nice until you start looking at the price. Finding alternative solutions can help you bring the price down.

If you don’t know how much of something you need, look it up. Rather than making multiple trips to the paint shop or having one wall that’s a slightly different shade than the others, calculate exactly how much paint you need for your next big job.

Remember that less expensive materials might not last as long. If you get twice as much life out of a material for only 10% more in price, it’s going to be worth the spend. If the better materials last twice as long but cost twice the price, then it’s all about whether or not you want to do the work again.

About This Article

Co-authored by: GreatBuildz Contractor Matching Service This article was co-authored by GreatBuildz. GreatBuildz is a free service that matches homeowners with reliable, pre-screened general contractors. GreatBuildz was founded by a team of real estate and construction experts who believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. GreatBuildz connects homeowners with reputable contractors who passed their rigorous screening process and signed their code of conduct. GreatBuildz also individually selects contractors for the specific project and provides ongoing support to ensure everything goes smoothly. This article has been viewed 15,341 times. 1 votes – 100% Co-authors: 21 Updated: August 13, 2021 Views: 15,341 Categories: Renovation Advice and Tips

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