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It may come as a surprise that there are many methods for calculating the square footage for a home addition or remodeling project. We receive many calls asking What is the price per square foot for a room addition? And over the phone, we aren’t comfortable giving you an answer.In fact, if anyone can, we strongly urge you to proceed with caution.  Without seeing your home how can a contractor have a thorough understanding of what you are looking to do, where the structural elements are in your home are and what will truly be involved?

Electrical, plumbing, engineering, architecture these are just a few of the things that will adjust the cost of an addition. That’s not the only issue you run into when trying to receive a square foot price over the phone – different contractors calculate square footage differently.

Discrepancies occur when including (or omitting) porches and screened-in decks, basements, attic spaces and garages. Was the square footage occupied by a staircase counted once or twice?  Then there’s the question of where the measurement is taken from. Some home improvement contractors may only include the space inside the walls. Other times, the calculation is based on taking measurements from outside of the wall framing (which adds the square footage represented in the wall thickness.)

As a homeowner looking to remodel, you need to consider the quality of materials used by different remodelers, as does the costs charged by the remodeler’s sub-contractors such as electricians, plumbers and painters. Every week at Sea Pointe Construction we have company-wide meetings involving design consultants, production managers and support staff to talk about products and projects. This helps us to consistently learn what works best in design and in the field.

Finally, what’s included in one contractors’ estimate will vary from what’s included in another contractor’s estimate. It’s virtually impossible to get an apples for apples comparison between two buildering contractors, and even if you could control most of the variables by having the design finalized and all products selected, there are still the differences in quality and customer service to be considered.Don’t be afraid to show the company that may have what seem like higher prices the lower quote and have them point out the differences between their quote and your second bidder. That way you can make an informed decision on what route will be best for you.

So beware of comparing two home improvement estimates solely on the basis of cost per square foot – they are all not created equal!


Upgrade Your Countertops

Granite is still the most popular “in trend” product to use when replacing your boring, white tile counters, but you should also consider other stones products that are just as beautiful, if not more. Granite is popular because it is extremely durable and requires little maintenance, in addition to adding elegance to any kitchen remodel. You might consider a quartz surface such as Cambria and Silestone which is quickly becoming more popular. Because it’s man-made, it always has even color distribution throughout the slab and is less porous than granite, so it will never need to be re-sealed after installation.

Create a Great Room

Many home buyers are in the market for an open kitchen/great room space.If you have a wall separating your kitchen from your living space, consider removing it and adding an island instead.Make sure to remember to check with your home remodeling company to make sure it is not a structural wall supporting your roof (uou don’t want the second story crashing down on your family pizza night). This is a great way to add value to your family’s home for the future, while creating a fun, entertaining environment for next weekend’s game night.


Replace Old Appliances

If your appliances are more than 10 years old, consider buying new ones that use less energy.The energy efficient appliances cost a little more upfront, but the money you save on energy bills in the long run more than makes up for the initial price difference.Likewise, environment-friendly water heaters and furnaces pay back the cost after a few years of service and will continue to be good for your pocketbook for years to come.

Change the Backsplash

Look at this picture.What stands out the most to you?The counter or the backsplash? Add personality to your kitchen remodel with a new backsplash.These days the choices are limitless for knockout decorative pieces in glass or metal, or install a crisp subway ceramic tile pattern if you’re on a budget.Try to select backsplash materials that compliment your kitchen cabinetry.

It’s the Little Things

If you’re not quite ready to do a full kitchen remodel, start with updating small items that pack a big punch. Modernize the hardware on your kitchen cabinets.This can immediately spruce up dull kitchen cabinets that you aren’t ready to part with. Another option is to switch out old light fixtures.This can instantly brighten up the room, but remember to consider if the fixture is shedding light up or down. You need bright ceilings in order for the up lighting to reflect back down on your workspace.