How to Estimate Construction Costs?

Estimate Construction Costs
  • If you are a do-it-yourself homeowner with knowledge of construction techniques, estimating the cost of a home remodeling project is relatively easy. However, if you have never undertaken a major home renovation project before, you may find that the job can be quite challenging. How to estimate construction costs? Here are some suggestions.
  • Ask yourself a few questions first. What is the purpose of the addition or renovation? What changes will need to be made in order to make the home more comfortable and convenient for family members? Will additional rooms be required as the home is renovated?
  • Once you have answers to these simple questions, then you can move to the next level. Find a licensed contractor who offers estimates on home projects. You can use the contractors’ Web sites to search for local contractors in your area. Also, be sure to check your local telephone directory under “home improvement” or “building supplies.” If you don’t see any contractors listed, you will have to spend some time looking elsewhere.
  • Another way to get an estimate is by discussing the job with friends or family who have recently done major renovations. Ask them what costs were incurred and what they would suggest doing differently next time. Chances are you will be able to receive a few recommendations for free or at a discounted rate. Consider asking the contractor you use for an estimate on the same basis. This will give you a third-party perspective that you can trust.
  • Do not be afraid to ask the contractor for references. He will need them to check out his work and provide you with the information you need. Find out from these references his experience level and skill level with the specific type of project. Are his workers competent and bonded? Does he adhere to industry standards?
  • Once you have gathered your estimates, compare them to other similar projects in your area to see just how similar they are. It is also a good idea to talk to a licensed contractor who specializes in home renovations. They may be able to give you an idea of how much less than a similar renovation would cost based on your needs. Even if they cannot give you an exact estimate, they should be able to give you an idea of what it should cost based on the size and scope of the project. This is important information to know whether you are considering doing the project yourself or hiring a professional. Home renovations can take quite a bit of time and money; the costs can quickly add up.
  • Be careful when you submit a bid on a project. Sometimes the lowest bid does not always mean the best deal. When you are trying to estimate costs, it is easy to overpay for certain items such as supplies or labor. For example, it might cost less to purchase the materials yourself than to pay a contractor to install them. Be sure to ask your contractor for the average cost of the materials he uses, and then find out the estimate of the materials you will need to purchase to complete the project.
  • It is important to understand all aspects of the project, including labor costs. If you want an accurate cost estimate, you should ask for multiple bids from several contractors. Ask each contractor to provide a bid that includes their estimated costs for materials, labor, and overhead. Compare these bids and choose the one that is the best deal. There are a number of online tools available to help you do this, but if you don’t have access to the Internet you should still be able to get a basic understanding of how to estimate costs. The key is to be realistic about what you can afford.

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