Square Foot Pricing for Home Remodeling

Recently, the Design Build Planners have engaged in discussions with both remodeling professionals and homeowners regarding pricing projects by the “square foot.” Over the years many have asked “How much do you charge per square foot?” In remodeling, this is typically asked about home additions. Homeowners believe that the answer creates a platform to compare remodelers and their estimates. However, this general question would be like asking a automobile dealership, “How much is a car per pound?”

When estimating the cost of a room addition the first level of distinction is what type of room is it? One should not expect a family room addition to have the same square footage cost as a kitchen addition. These two additions may be the exact same size, but the components and work involved in each is vastly different, therefore a square foot price comparison cannot be made.

Also consider an estimate for a same-sized family room addition from two different design build remodeling companies. The price or the square foot basis does not tell the whole story. One remodeler might include finished flooring, painting, recessed lighting, utility jacks and extra receptacles for TV and computer, plus several larger windows. These are all items that are commonly selected by homeowners for new family rooms, but not necessarily included by a remodeler up front in their estimate making the square foot of an addition skewed.

Compare that to an addition that involves a kitchen and/or bathroom. These projects have dozens of variables with tremendous potential price swings for each. Items such as cabinets, tile counter tops, plumbing fixtures, appliances…etc. Each of these items can have a 1,000% difference from a low, basic budget estimate to a top selection estimate. Combine that with the fact that some might not even be included initially makes that square foot remodeling estimate as relevant as purchasing a car by the pound, groceries by the bag, wine by the bottle or box size and so on.

In summary, one can get or give a square foot price for a remodeling project over the phone, but that number is not much help and can often lead to confusion, misconceptions, and an unpleasant experience.

The Design Build Planners are committed to creating a professional and pleasant remodeling experience for both remodelers and homeowners. We suggest that you start with the DBPlanners e-book “Improving the Remodeling Estimate” which offers a detailed plan of what should professionally be done by remodelers and homeowners regarding an initial meeting for a remodeling project.  This free e-book can be accessed easily by entering your basic information in the remodeling guide box on any page of the Design Build Planners website.

7 thoughts on “Square Foot Pricing for Home Remodeling

  1. Cesar M.

    Great info, I think price by the foot work good with whole house remodels but for smaller remodels the best way is taking in consideration every item you changing, don’t forget price for keeping clean the working area since home owner most of the time are still living in it. I got a small electrical company in Charlotte NC and believe me we spend at least 4 hours cleaning during the hole small to medium size projects.

    Cesar M.
    Montes Electric, Inc.


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