Estimating Your DIY Project

Do-It-Yourself projects are very rewarding, with many challenges and the ability to save money by doing your own labor. Estimating costs are very important as you will want to know what your finished project will cost before you start the project. You don’t want to get part way into your project and not be able to finish it due to funds running out. Some projects can be split into phases allowing you to start the project and work to a point you can stop and enjoy before going on to the next phase. Use these tips to help with your DIY project estimating.

Tools required;

Pencil & paper or computer


Time to shop

· Visualize your project through from start to finish. Try to visualize performing each step that will be required to complete your project. Most importantly visualize the finished project so you have your goals set to the end of the project.

· Make four separate lists to itemize your project.

· First list is for all the tools you’ll need to complete your project. These tools might include from the simplest of hand tools to unique rental tools you will need. Some tools required; maybe a hammer, pliers, pry bar, sledge hammer, circular saw, wrenches, screwdrivers, air compressor, air hose, nailer, razor knife, sawzall, drill, drill bits and so on.

· Second list will contain all of the building materials, and supplies you will need to complete your DIY project. Such as lumber, drywall, nails, screws, tape, plastic, tarps, paint, drywall mud, tiles, flooring, plumbing, backer board, copper pipe, and fittings might be on this list.

· Third list will be all of the finish items you will need. These items might be: paint, curtains, fixtures, faucet, kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures, mirrors, and anything needed to finish your project.

· Fourth list will be your catch all list. It will include things that don’t fall under the other three lists such as trash removal, hauling, dumpster rental, license fees, inspection fees, permit fees, subcontractor costs, equipment rental fees, and delivery fees.

· After the list is complete, it’s time to put numbers to them. Check through all lists and use every resource available to find out the prices on everything you need. Shop at your local home improvement stores, and suppliers. Browse the internet. Pick up the phone and call local businesses and city offices.

· After you have your numbers added up, a good rule is to add 20 percent on top. This should help to cover any overlooked items needed to finish your project.