How Much Will My Remodeling Project Cost? Can I Afford To Do This Project?
This is another good question, but it really depends on how much you want to spend.
If price is your only concern and you just want your project done
for the lowest possible price you can go to Craig’s List and look
for someone for $15 or $20 an hour to do your project. However, this
goes back to the previous question – do you want someone like that
coming into your home?
In the Denver metro area, if a remodeler is working for $15 or $20 an
hour he is not a remodeler. Yes, you want to save money, but having
the work done right, the first time, is the goal.
Let’s look at some general examples. A good quality bathroom
remodel for a standard size bathroom, 6 feet by 8 feet, could be done
for $2000 or for $15,000. It depends on what you want your bathroom
to be when it is finished.
For example, tile can cost anywhere from 80 cents a square foot to $30
or $40 a square foot, plus installation costs. Plumbing fixtures for this
bathroom can run from $300 to $10,000 or more. A luxury air jetted
soaker bathtub alone can run $3000‑$4000.
You get the picture. You can spend a little or a lot, depending on what
your budget is and what you want. It’s important to have an idea of
what you want to spend on your project first, and start designing the
look and feel from there.
Professional remodelers will be happy to come to your home and
give you an estimate on what you want to do. The big question will
be “what finishes do you want?” That’ʹs where the costs begin to add
up, and you need information about your options so that you can
make decisions that work within your budget.
We recommend that you price your materials in a store, or on‑line
before the remodeler comes to give you an estimate. This way you
can get to the project total much easier. It really does not cost much more, in labor, to
install a $100 toilet than it does to install a $1500 toilet. Our recommendation is to have
a solid idea about the “finishes” that you want before calling the remodeler for a price.
His price will be much more accurate if he knows what materials he is going to be
working with. Another contractor bidding possibility for you to consider is called “Time
and Materials” (T&M). As the term implies, the remodeler charges by the hour for all the
work on the project and then adds the cost of materials, plus mark up on the labor
charges. Depending on the agreement an additional percentage of the project costs will be
added on for profit and for overhead. This is a very popular option for home repair and
remodeling projects because remodelers like it. It virtually guarantees a good profit for
the remodeling company. One of the persuasive arguments contractors use when
proposing this arrangement is that if they have to give you a firm bid, the bid will have to
be high to cover any contingencies that may arise during the work. This is a valid
argument, to a point. No doubt things that could not be anticipated often come up during
remodeling or home repair projects. But even in a straight bid project there will be a
contingency in the agreement for work that could not be anticipated. Some projects do
not lend themselves to a firm bid and should be handled on an hourly basis, but most
projects can be bid. An experienced remodeler should know how long it will take to do
the work. Is Time and Materials a good option for you? The biggest problem with hourly
work, of course, is that there is no incentive for the contractor to work quickly or
efficiently. After all he is getting paid for every hour he and his crew are there working.
There is less incentive for the Time & Materials contractor to understand exactly what
you want. If something needs to be redone the contractor gets paid more money.
However, if the contractor has given you a firm bid and will have to do any re-dos on his
own time, he will want to be very sure of what you want before he begins work. Even if
you decide to use a contractor on a T&M basis you still need a written agreement spelling
• The hourly rate for each level of worker
• The amount of mark up on every aspect of the job
• A projection of hours to complete the job
• A specific description of the warranty – what it covers, and for how long.
By the way, if a company wants to charge you a fee to come to your home for a
remodeling estimate, call another company.