Remodeling Without Breaking the Bank – New Websites help with Cost Estimates


There’s a reason that many people who have gone through a major remodeling job eventually refer to their homes — no matter how beautiful the result — as “The Money Pit”: All too often, the costs outstrip their expectations (and that’s being kind).

One could make a convincing argument that any entity that could effectively arm consumers with realistic, reliable notions of cost — before they sign a contract — would garner considerable loyalty. Maybe even a Nobel Prize.

Will remodeling add value to your home?  Contact the appraisers at for your home value questions.

So in recent years, various players in the housing business have certainly tried. Remodeling magazine and the National Association of Realtors have teamed to offer an annual cost roundup of prototypical projects, featuring estimates from contractors that are tied to real estate agents’ estimates of the jobs’ payback at resale time. Earlier this year, Zillow launched Zillow Digs, which featured photography of actual projects paired with contractors’ estimates of costs.

Now comes Houzz, the popular home improvement site that’s known for its 1.7 million photos of rooms and other household improvements: It recently introduced the Houzz Real Cost Finder, which surveyed 106,000 homeowners who had completed numerous projects within the last five years to learn how much they had spent.

“It’s a tool that enables homeowners to see specific costs for building and renovation and decorating in their local areas and at different price points,” said Houzz Vice President Liza Hausman.

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