Compare Pricing for Home Renovations?

Dwayne Smolnicky blog

Over the years many have asked, “How much do you charge per square foot?” When remodeling, this is typically asked about home additions.

Some 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 renovation to have the same square footage cost as a kitchen renovation. 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 plumbing fixtures, appliances, cabinets, tile and granite counter tops. Each of these items can have a significant difference from a low, basic budget estimate to a top selection estimate.

Combine that with the fact that some items 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, or wine by the bottle.

I suppose anyone could get or give a square foot price for a remodeling project over the phone, but that number would not much help and could even lead to much confusion, misconceptions, and an overall unpleasant experience.


There are many reasons why one remodeler may be more expensive or much cheaper than the other!

Selecting a remodeler based on price alone is riddled with pitfalls. For example, a cheaper price can end up costing you dearly in the long term if your remodeler is not using quality materials, experienced trades, or has hidden costs. A cheap quote may seem better at the start, but may cost you more in the long run if quality is compromised, or the hidden costs add up as your project progresses.



Provide All Remodelers With The Same Starting Point.

To ensure that you can fairly compare quotes from multiple remodelers, make sure you provide each with the same brief, the same plans and specifications. This will even the playing field and make it easier for you to compare.


Do All Quotes Include The Same Items?

Are you comparing apples with apples? That is, do the quotes that you are comparing include the same items? Is it clear what is included and what is excluded?

Check That Quality Materials Have Been Specified.

Building prices can vary due to different types and grades of materials specified. If a remodeler is very cheap, and their quote seems significantly low, you will need to ask more questions about the materials supplied. You want your home renovation to be in high in quality so that it stands the test of time.


Is The Quote Lacking In Detail?

If a quote is lacking in detail, or doesn’t list everything you have requested then proceed very carefully. If an item is not listed then chances are it has not been costed into the quote. This potentially means a nasty surprise lurks further down the track.


Watch Out For Hidden Variation And Administration Fees!

Has the remodeler specified what they charge as an Administrative Fee for Variations? If this is not specified then you need to ask. ALL renovation projects have variations. This type of cost can end up adding thousands of dollars to your project and blow your budget.


A Home Warranty Is Offered On All HDMI Designs Home Renovations And Building Projects!

A home warranty should be listed as an item in your formal quote. If a remodeler does not specify this, be alarmed!


Contacting Your Remodeler During Construction Should Be EASY!

Ask about the accessibility of the remodeler and/or Site Supervisor during construction. If a problem arises, can you contact the remodeler directly? Is your project manager authorized to make decisions or does this have to go thru a lengthy administrative process back at the office?


Check That Your Remodeler Has A Track Record Of Delivering On Time

Ask whether the remodeler performs formal project planning, and whether they will be able to deliver your project in the time frame that you require. Ensure that any dates promised will be written into your Contract.


Does The Remodeler Use A Standard Building Contract?

Without a contract both parties would be mad to proceed. Furthermore, if the contract is ‘home-made’ proceed with caution. Standard contracts provided by reputable organizations guarantee that both parties are being treated fairly. If a remodeler suggests that a contract is not required and that a handshake will do, run away.


HDMI Designs is committed to creating both an experience and a space that is positive and supportive to our clients, employees, sub-trades and suppliers alike, and to see our customers dreams come true.

We hope that the above has been helpful. If you would like to book a consultation with HDMI Designs to discuss your home renovation or home addition, we would be happy to arrange a time to meet.