Using a remodeling cost calculator to get the facts about your planned renovation will help take some of the mystery and hassle out of the process. If your dream upgrade is outside even your most liberal budget, it's better to know that sooner than later.
Tools to Estimate Your Remodeling Costs
When you plan a remodel, there are lots of things that can impact your budget. One major factor is materials. There's a big difference between entry level and high-end materials in flooring, fixtures and building materials. One way to avoid surprises in the cost department is to use a remodeling cost calculator to put together some comparisons. These tools can be invaluable in helping you to get a good idea of how much you'll be spending on your remodel and where the bulk of the money will be going.
Any number of online stores have cost calculators designed to give you an idea of the costs involved in a specific remodel, such as these costing tools from Lowe's. You can get pretty accurate numbers for your proposed remodel, depending of course on how accurately you fill in the required information.
Remodeling Cost Software
Some home remodeling programs have modules that will allow you to estimate the costs of your remodel. If you're computer literate, this can be a great way to get your ideas into an organized format and then use that information to evaluate your costs. Although you can probably find shareware programs or trial software that will do the job, the more you pay for a program, the more sophisticated its features will be.
Another way to go is to try an add-on for your existing software. If you have Microsoft Excel, there are forms you can download from Microsoft's site that have cost calculators in them for figuring things like flooring, roofing materials and kitchen remodeling. They're pretty basic, but you've got to start somewhere, and if you'd use Excel anyway, the forms save you from having to do the research and create the formulas yourself.
Additional Information and Calculators
Online Estimate Sites
Cost Estimate Software
Build a Margin of Error Into Your Calculations
Remember, the market for materials and finished goods is fluid, so no estimator will give you absolutely accurate numbers. Before you break your piggy bank and start making calls, build a ten to fifteen percent margin for error into your calculations, and always try to double check your figures using two or more sources.