budget advice needed

plumberryMay 6, 2010

Is there a standard formula for remodeling. I'm trying to figure out reasonable budget amounts to allot for each category:

Design fees % of project; Contractor fees % of project

Materials % of project; Permits, engineers, architects % of project

Am I leaving anything out?


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I'm sure there is a website somewhere that will give you guestimates for percentages, but cost vary wildly by project and by region.

eg - What percentage of the cost is materials to lay a tile floor? That is going to be very different if you use a cheap ceramic or a $25/sq ft high-end marble.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 10:41AM
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I would look at your average value/sq. foot in your neighborhood. Then for a remodel, I would add 50 to 100% of that to come up with a general average per sq. foot. So, if value was running $100/sq. foot, a remodel would realistically range $150 to $200/sq. foot or even more depending on your tastes. Home values vary so much depending on location.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:14AM
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We just decided on the design/build team who will do our renovation today after a loooong look for the right folks. The team we signed with told us the design fee is about 3-5% of the price of the project. I have talked to others -- architects, designers -- who have gone up to 8-10%. We have some ballpark (very, very vague) figures for the project that we have talked about but other numbers have to be generated by the materials that we decide on. Our contractor said that it cost as much to put in a cheap window as an expensive window, but the installation cost is a bigger percent of the window cost. Makes sense, but getting a hold of prices and budgets is really tough.

Also, we have an old house and everyone has told us that a square foot price could not work.

I hope I have not added to your confusion.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 7:44PM
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the murphy factor! what can go wrong, will...

and change orders...everytime you change your mind, it will cost you!

remember the decor, paint, furniture, ect...

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 10:22PM
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thanks, really helpful and though I wanted to start this project a long time ago, I'm glad that I waited and studied as much as I did because I've gained so much knowledge just talking to many tradespeople, visiting showrooms and learning about materials, and reading over many proposals. I have also learned alot from this website.
Suzanne, your message is very helpful, actually, because our house is 1950's and the $/sq foot rule may not apply to us either. Though, it helps to know what an average $/sq foot is as a base to compare.
We are figuring on 8-10% on design fees. 15% construction fees and 3-5% draftsman&permits I guess 70% will be materials+labor but I could be way off.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 12:05AM
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There are no gneralized formulas one can use when determining the cost of a remodel.

The job will cost what it will cost based on what you put into it.

An 10x12 bathroom addition can cost $400 per square foot while the same 10x12 addition for a bedroom can cost $75 per square foot.

It all depends upon the design, the type room (baths and kitchens costs more than any other room), the type materials and fixtures, the finishes, your location and a host of other variables like specific site conditions.

Only way to know what your remodel will cost is to get plans and have it estimated by local professionals.

No other method will work and could leave you with wildly unrealistic results.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 6:04AM
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manhattan42 thank you. You are so right. Doing it this way will show us budget estimates as clearly as possible.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 11:04AM
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