Estimating Home Improvement Costs: a Step-by-Step Guide

By Artem Kropovinsky, Interior Designer and Founder of Arsight |
October 21, 2023

Setting out on a home renovation journey? Budgeting, though seemingly daunting, is the secret sauce to a successful makeover. At Arsight, we’re not just about aesthetics—we’re about crafting spaces that resonate. Let's demystify the budgeting process together.

Bedroom in Chelsea, New York. By Arsight

The ABCs of Home Improvement Costs

Renovations aren’t just about swinging hammers and choosing paint colors. They’re a financial endeavor. Here’s how to approach your budget like a pro.

Fixed vs. Variable Costs: Know the Difference

Fixed Costs are constants. Think: permit fees, basic contractor charges, and essential utilities. These are your non-negotiables.

Variable Costs fluctuate. Your choice of marble countertops over laminate or opting for hardwood floors instead of tiles will vary these costs. Being aware allows you to decide where to be extravagant and where to be economical.

The Contingency Budget: Your Financial Safety Net

Unexpected costs aren’t a possibility—they're a guarantee. A leaking pipe discovered during a bathroom remodel or a sudden price hike in materials can disrupt your budget. By setting aside 10-20% of your overall budget for these unforeseen hiccups, you ensure your project sails smoothly.

The Roadmap to Cost Estimation

The Power of Consultation

An initial professional consultation might seem like an extra cost, but it’s an investment. It helps avoid rookie mistakes, provides insights into design trends, and even opens doors to trade discounts. Ever wondered how experts like Arsight maximize aesthetic appeal without compromising the budget? It all starts with strategic planning.

Homework: Research and Price Comparison

Different suppliers have varying prices for materials and services. Dedicate time to scout multiple options, seek bulk-purchase discounts, and look out for seasonal sales.

Strategy: Task Prioritization

Identify the "must-haves" vs. the "nice-to-haves." Do you need that wall torn down for an open-concept living area, or could a change in lighting achieve a similar spacious feel? Recognize essential tasks and sequence them effectively.

Common Budgeting Pitfalls and How to Sidestep Them

Over-optimism: Dream, but Stay Grounded

While envisioning a luxurious spa-like bathroom is delightful, your budget might only allow for a modest upgrade. Marry your aspirations with reality to prevent project stalls.

The Resale Value Oversight

Every renovation should add value to your home, both personally and in market terms. If you’re installing a feature that's highly personalized, consider its broader appeal for future potential buyers.

Bathroom in Chelsea Apartment, New York. By Arsight

Tech to the Rescue

Digital Estimation Tools

Numerous online platforms can give ballpark figures based on average renovation costs. While not exhaustive, they're a great starting point.

Virtual Consultations

Many professionals now offer online consults. They're not only convenient but also eliminate the overhead costs of in-person meetings.

Conclusion: Your Renovation, Demystified

Armed with this knowledge, you're well-equipped to embark on your home transformation journey. And remember, any space, when curated with love and foresight, becomes a sanctuary.

Ready to turn those renovation dreams into reality? We at Arsight are poised to assist. A reimagined space isn’t merely a visual treat—it’s where memories take root. Let’s cultivate those memories together!

Artem Kropovinsky is an author, interior designer and the founder of Arsight, a globally award-winning design firm based in New York. With over decade of experience, Arsight specializes in complex projects, including new constructions, complete residential renovations, restaurants, and retail stores.