How much will my project cost?

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

Let me look into my crystal ball...

Before we start, let's acknowledge the fact that this is a bit of an unfair question. It's a little like asking, "how much does a car cost?" or "how much does a meal cost?"

That being said, I can help you work toward your answer. Your project cost is basically a function of simple arithmetic: Project Cost = Sum of:

  • Materials

  • Labor

  • Professional Support

In my experience, using reputable contractors and skilled tradesman, each bullet point represents roughly 1/3rd of the total project cost.

Therefore, particularly on smaller projects, if you tally up your material costs and multiply that number by 3, you will get a rough approximation of what your project will cost.

Example - Kitchen Remodel (This is an actual project completed in Long Beach, CA in 2021)


$10,000 - Cabinets

$5,000 - Appliances

$1,500 - Countertops & Tile

$1,500 - Plumbing Fixtures

$1,500 - Lighting & Electrical

$1,000 - Flooring

$1,000 - Hardware

$2,500 - Rough Materials (Lumber, Drywall, Paint, Etc.)

$24,000 - Total Material Cost X 3 = $72,000

That's a BIG number. But fear not! If you're inclined (as I am), you can do the work yourself, get the deep satisfaction of having built your home with your own hands, and save a boatload of money!

Check out some other opinions here and here.