Best Online Remodeling Estimators
There are some excellent free tools out there to help you with your DIY or contractor remodeling project. Get the data and cost estimates you need.
Whether you’re taking on a quick DIY project at home or recruiting a team of contractors to build out your dream home remodel, there are some excellent free tools out there that can help. These are some of the best. Each offers various features to help you make informed decisions and get connected with contractors.
Here we’ve rounded up the top remodeling estimators, with highlights, so you can find the best one for your project.
Homewyse is an excellent reference tool to help homeowners make detailed and well-informed decisions, and for contractors in planning and estimating jobs. It doesn’t include automated connections to get estimates from contractors, but does provide detailed installation estimates, maintenance costs and a job cost planner tool. The granular data is particularly helpful in allowing you input your exact measurements or project specifications, yielding detailed cost estimate ranges which include breakdowns for project materials, labor, supplies and tools.
Fixr connects you to local contractors. Find your project type, enter your zip code, provide some details and you’ll get cost estimates to compare. It also features a wealth of helpful data on national and local average project costs for just about any kind of project. You’ll also find detailed information on project specifics, which can be really useful in learning more about what’s involved in a project before making any decisions.
Angie’s List is the best tool for those seeking a reputable local professional recommended by people near you. Being a subscription service, Angie’s List has built a strong real-people network that yields high-quality, verified reviews of local contractors. The process is simple and straightforward: You fill out a form detailing what you’re looking for, and three nearby pros respond with estimates.
Houzz is great if you like pictures and want to generate ideas and inspiration for designing, decorating and remodeling your home. It also has a system to help you connect with a local contractor and access informational articles. Houzz offers shopping options to buy an array of home furnishings, appliances, hardware and decor right on the site. The standout feature here is all about getting ideas, and they do it very well!
We particularly like Home Advisor’s True Cost Guide. It features a well-organized gold mine of data, including a cost calculator, average cost ranges from real home projects, local and national average hourly labor costs and a breakdown of typical prices for specific materials. If you’re ready to find a contractor, Home Advisor’s slick project matching system allows you to give some quick details for your project, and a screened professional will contact you.
Kukun Home Intelligence provides this tool, which could be especially helpful for someone looking to organize multiple home renovation projects across different properties. It also stands out with its option to help you find a loan while estimating your project, and connecting you with a contractor for a price quote. Once you’ve initiated your project, a basic list of projects organized by property is added to your dashboard.
Easybids offers a mobile-app-only platform with a slightly different take on getting estimates from pros. Easy Bids allows you to post your projects to an open public forum. Contractors can submit bids, and everyone can view all the bids, questions and answers. The app also offers an augmented reality measuring tool. You can use your phone camera to take and save measurements to convey your project details clearly, or add satellite photogrammetry for exterior measurements such as the length of your lot. This could be a useful free tool even if you’re not planning any projects!
Remodeling Calculator does just what it says. With a robust calculator for a wide range of project types, it yields a more accurate and detailed cost estimate than other tools. It provides an extensive library of information related to calculating exactly what you need: Climate data by region for your central AC project; siding cost estimates by material type; and details like edge profiles for your kitchen countertop. The extensive detailed information not only helps you get an accurate estimate, but can be valuable if you’re researching your options. And when you know what you want, you can use their free estimate tool to put in a few broad parameters for your project and get up to four estimates from local contractors.
CostHelper is good for finding a simple summary of cost ranges and what to know about a project category. Think of Costhelper as a one-page summary. While not as in-depth as some other sites here, a quick take can be helpful and informative by providing typical cost ranges, what a particular project entails, potential discounts and other shopping tips. There are also first-hand reviews with project costs shared by community commenters.
RS Means data is built for pros, but also might benefit the ambitious homeowner highly involved in their large-scale renovation or new home construction project. You can access the Core Residential Costs data online for about $240 or buy the 2020 Residential Costs Book for around $250. You can save a few bucks if you buy the books used or get last year’s edition. If you want pro source knowledge on current construction costs, go big or go home!