This is the most common question that is very difficult to answer for many reasons. The first reason is every project is different. The existing conditions are different, the design is different, the finishes and materials are different and the timeline for the project is different. All these things affect the cost before the project even starts.
The second reason is, the cost of labor and materials fluctuates, sometimes drastically. This can be due to the time of year, demand for labor or other market conditions beyond any designer or contractors control. And most recently global pandemic. This has caused an incredible increase in demand for home improvements along with supply problems for many construction materials, fixtures and furniture.
What also makes it difficult is whatever number is initially thrown out, is the one everyone remembers even though it was prefaced by “this is just a ballpark estimate”.
If you quickly need a VERY general idea..Google “Cost vs. Value Report” and add the year you are looking for and the city or region your house is located.
So how can you know if you can afford a remodel? First things first, you need to know exactly what it is you want to remodel and are there any other systems that will be affected by the remodel. Do you want to add a 2nd bath? You may need to upgrade your main water supply lines. Do you want to finish out your basement? You may need some code required energy upgrades and possible a new heat source.
First up, detailed Plans. There are so many interconnected elements to a project and the only way to get a firm dollar amount is to have detailed plans with exactly what you want done so that you, and the contractors bidding on your project, have a firm scope of work from which to bid.
Second, specifications. You will also need specifications for your project. These will be fleshed out while your plan is being developed. They show what plumbing fixture or light fixture you want. They show the field tile and accent tile you want and where each of them goes and how much of each you are going to need for the job. Work everything out on paper! Not while your house is torn apart and the contractor is waiting for a decision that you may be forced to make under duress. Not an ideal way to remodel. So start thinking about that now (it’s free!) and collecting ideas about what you want in for your finishes.
This also allow you and your GC to budget for items you will be buying for the project and which ones they will provide.
You can go online and get ballpark estimates for your geographical region but if you want real dollar amounts for your project, you will need plans and specifications to obtain a bid from the contractor who will be doing the work on your project. Without all the information your specific project includes, all estimates will be “ballpark.”
There are only two good things about a ballpark. The sunshine and beer. Unless of course, you like baseball. Then there’s three.