IF it costs about $200 a square foot to builld a fairly nice home from the ground up...how much per square is a remodel (roughly). Just basics like updating kitchens and baths and not knocking down walls or replacing doors and windows? Is there a rule of thumb to help in estimating before calling in the contractors for bids?
Probably not since so much depends on the project and your choices. For example, you may elect to do the kitchen which can be the most expensive room in the house depending on your choices in cabinets and accesories (full extention drawers, real wood box, dovetail construction, wood exterior, etc). One word of advice: Do not let contractors select your 'stuff'. If so, you'll probably end up with 'Contractor Grade' which is basically junk. Your estimates may come in with 'allowances' for 'stuff' and your choices can easily double the totals.
Just read your post and thought I'd respond with what I hope is helpful: The previous post was absolutely right about the cost of kitchen renovation. One way to LOOSELY estimate the cost of a kitchen project is to use the Home Depot-type flyers which give you a lineal foot charge for cabinets. You can figure out the cost of flooring material on a per sq. foot basis, as well as countertops, appliances, etc. Don't forget to add in the cost of labor if you won't install it yourself. Also, you will want to contact your building dept. if you are not knowledgeable about codes. This will affect the cost if you need to, e.g. upgrade your electrical service, bring gas into the kitchen,etc. Also, moving plumbing,etc. can be costly, but also may be worth every cent to get the room to function correctly. The only cost you can't really estimate well is the actual renovation: there are just too many variables you may run into when you start taking apart an existing structure. A good contractor ought to be able to figure out any major, obvious problems from the get-go, however.