Remodeling or renovating your home is a major project that requires careful planning and budgeting. The costs can really add up, so it’s important to have realistic expectations when estimating your renovation budget. In this guide, we’ll break down the average costs associated with remodeling a house and the key factors that impact the overall price.
How Much Does It Cost To Remodel A House?
The average cost to remodel a house falls anywhere from $100 to $300 per square foot. At that rate, it’s not uncommon for a whole-house remodel project to cost $200,000+ for a 2,000 square foot home. The final cost comes down to factors like:
- Scope of work
- Types of materials/fixtures
- Contractor rates
- Your location
- Structural changes
We’ll explore all these cost factors in more detail throughout this guide. Having said that, here is a rough ballpark range you can expect to spend to renovate a house:
- Minor Kitchen Remodel – $25,000
- Major Kitchen Remodel – $75,000
- Bathroom Remodel – $20,000+
- Master Suite Addition – $150,000+
- Whole House Overhaul – $250,000+
As you can see, remodeling costs can hugely vary based on the details of your project. The complexity involved makes it difficult to estimate without understanding the full scope of work. We recommend working with remodeling contractors to create detailed project estimates before setting your budget.
Key Factors That Impact Home Remodeling Costs
Now let’s explore some of the key details that cause fluctuation in project pricing:
Scope Of Work
The scope encompasses all the details involved in the remodel, including:
- Rooms being renovated
- Renovation type (update vs. customize)
- Structural changes
- Specialty features/finishes
- Contractor requirements
The more extensive the scope, the higher your overall budget needs to be. Something simple like new floors and countertops will cost much less than adding a bedroom or demolishing walls. Develop your scope before getting project estimates.
Types Of Materials & Fixtures
Once you decide on the project scope, the next consideration is finishes and materials. Opting for premium materials like quartz countertops or imported tiles raises costs quickly. Be realistic about budgets for each material type to avoid cost overruns.
Contractor Rates & Requirements
Hiring a general contractor accounts for a significant portion of any remodeling budget. Contractor rates range from $40 up to $100 per hour based on their expertise level and crew size. Get multiple quotes to find the best balance of skills and rates.
Like real estate, renovation costs vary significantly by region. Labor and material rates fluctuate based on demand trends in your area. Expect to invest more if you live in a HCOL area like San Francisco versus Ohio suburbs.
Structural & Design Changes
Altering home layouts or foundations gets complicated and pricey. Something like adding a bedroom addition or bumping out exterior walls requires architectural plans and engineering approvals. These specialist costs quickly increase project budgets.
Now that you understand the key factors impacting costs, let’s get into a detailed price breakdown across common renovation projects.
Average Cost To Remodel A House By Project Type
Remodeling costs can vary drastically depending on the project type and scope involved. To give you a better sense of potential budgets, here’s a breakdown of average pricing across some of the most popular renovations:
|Minor Kitchen Remodel||$25,000|
|Major Kitchen Remodel||$75,000|
|Master Suite Addition||$150,000+|
|Whole House Overhaul||$250,000+|
As shown above, whole home renovations start around $100 per square foot. Prices go up from there based on material selections and structural complexity. Expect to spend $250,000+ for a full custom overhaul of a 2,000 sq ft house.
Now let’s explore average pricing across specific projects:
Kitchen overhauls are one of the most popular (and costly) renovations homeowners take on. You can expect to spend:
- Minor Kitchen Update – $25,000
- Major Kitchen Remodel – $75,000
- Luxury Custom Kitchen – $125,000+
What impacts kitchen costs? The size, layout changes, and types of appliances/materials selected. For example, granite countertops average $60 per square foot while premium options like quartz and marble cost over $100 per square foot installed. Those material costs add up quickly in larger kitchens.
When budgeting your kitchen remodel, expect to spend $135 to $350 per square foot depending on your tastes and scope of work.
Similar to kitchens, bathrooms vary based on size and materials selected. Here is a rough estimate based on projects scope:
- Powder Room Update – $7,500
- Primary Bathroom Remodel – $20,000
- Custom Spa Bathroom – $50,000+
With multi-piece tile installations, luxury tub/shower combos, and heated flooring, custom bathrooms hit the $50,000+ range easily. Carefully evaluate your must-have features during planning to avoid overspending.
Finishing out a basement offers the opportunity to add livable square footage at a lower price point than building an addition. You can expect to invest:
- Basic Basement Finish – $15,000
- High-End Recreational Basement – $40,000+
What influences basement pricing? Factors like room layouts, bathrooms being added, HVAC improvements, and finish types selected all cause costs to fluctuate. For example, basic drywall and laminate flooring costs roughly $30 per square foot while high-end finishes with wet bars and theater spaces land over $100 per square foot.
Master Suite Additions
Adding a bedroom suite comes with expensive structural demands. You’ll need to account for:
- Building Permit/Site Plans – $5,000+
- Foundation/Framing – $30,000
- Roofing & Siding – $20,000
- Interior Finishes – $50,000+
That leads to total costs exceeding $150,000+ on average. The price per square foot holds consistent with whole home remodels based on finish types selected. Because you’re expanding the home’s footprint, there are additional structural and design costs to factor in.
As shown above, you could easily spend $100,000+ improving just a single room in your home. And that’s assuming average finish selections and no major layout changes. The costs add up extremely quickly across multi-room remodeling projects.
What Goes Into Remodeling Costs?
Now that you understand the average pricing across project types, let’s explore what goes into those budgets in more detail:
Any major structural changes require architectural plans and permits, running $5,000 or more. You may also need specialty design services like:
- Kitchen designer – $1,500+
- Lighting designer – $1,000
- Audiovisual design – $1,000
Build these specialty fees into your budget if making high-end custom improvements.
Structural & Site Work
Altering home layouts or foundations requires structural engineers and site work. These costs often surprise homeowners because they assume only finish materials are expensive. You’ll also need to account for:
- Wrecking/demo – $5,000
- Framing lumber – $15,000
- Concrete footing/foundation – $15,000+
- Electrical improvements – $10,000
- HVAC work – $10,000
- Insulation – $5,000
Those structural costs stack up quickly across kitchen bump-outs, room additions, whole home demo, basement framing, etc.
Next comes all the cosmetic details like floors, cabinets, countertops, paint and trim. Material costs vary drastically by type and quality grade selected. For example:
- Stock cabinets – $5,000
- Premium cabinets – $15,000+
- Laminate floors – $2 per square foot
- Hardwood flooring – $6 per square foot
- Quartz countertops – $80 per square foot
- High-end lighting – $5,000+
- Custom shelving – $5,000
As shown above, you could spend $20,000+ outfitting a large luxury kitchen. Take time to make budget-driven selections to prevent overspending.
From fridges to laundry pairs, appliances cost another $10,000+ for a full kitchen suite. Prices fluctuate based on brand, fuel type, capacities and built-in vs freestanding models. Budget approximately:
- Fridge – $2,000+
- Slide-in range – $1,500+
- Wall oven/cooktop – $4,500+
- Venting hood – $1,500+
- Dishwasher – $1,000+
- Microwave – $500+
Builtin specialty appliances like warming drawers, undercounter fridges, and wine coolers add $1,000+ each as well.
Skilled trade labor accounts for 50% or more of any remodel budget. Contractor’s typically charge $50 – $100 per hour based on expertise levels and crew sizes. The more teams needed for your project, the quicker costs escalate.
It’s wise to add an extra 10% – 20% contingency fund to your budget for unexpected expenses. Renovations often uncover issues like mold or faulty wiring that add thousands in remediation or replacement fees.
As shown above, dozens of installations and fees stack up across whole home renovations. From initial demolition to final design finishes, these midsize projects often land $250,000+, even in homes under 3,000 square feet. Carefully evaluate what’s achievable within your budget before setting expectations.
Cost To Remodel A House By Type
Along with different project scopes, the type of home you’re renovating also causes pricing fluctuations. It costs more to remodel a contemporary home versus a traditional colonial, for example. Let’s look at cost differences by architectural style.
|House Type||Cost vs Average|
|Traditional (e.g. Colonial)||-10%|
As shown, you can expect to spend an extra 10% or more improving unique architectural styles. Contemporary homes often require higher-end finishes and custom fabricated elements that raise budgets quickly. While traditional home layouts better accommodate DIY efforts without altering integrity.
Geography also plays a role in material and labor rates behind the scenes – contributing to drastic regional differences. Now let’s explore cost differences by location.
Cost To Remodel By Location
Your geographic area is one of the biggest drivers behind pricing variability. Labor and material rates fluctuate based on regional demand trends and average home prices.
|Location||Cost vs National Average|
As shown above, renovating a home in San Francisco costs roughly 60%+ more than identical projects quoted in Houston and other lower cost areas. Why such a discrepancy? Several location-based factors impact regional pricing:
- Local home values – Higher home prices support higher renovation budgets
- Qualified labor pool – More demand drives up hourly rates
- Material supplier options – Less competition means higher material markups
- Permitting – Areas with long delays or strict oversight increase costs
Always account for 10-20% higher pricing than national averages if taking on a remodel in areas like NYC, LA, Seattle, Miami and other HCOL cities. Those elevated rates quickly snowball across whole home projects.
Now that you understand geographical pricing differences, let’s look at cost differences by home type and size.
Cost To Remodel By Home Type & Square Footage
Along with your location, the size and type of home you’re renovating causes significant budget fluctuations. Single-story ranch homes cost much less per square foot to renovate than multi-level colonials, for example. Let’s explore this more:
|Home Type and Size||Cost per Square Foot|
|1-story Under 2,000 sq ft||$75-100|
|Multi-level Over 2,500 sq ft||$125+|
As you can see, one-story homes under 2,000 square feet can be renovated for 25-50% less than larger multi-level houses costs. Several factors contribute to these square footage-based pricing differences:
- Amount of finish materials needed – more sqft = higher material costs
- Labor time/complexity – spacing work across multiple floors raises per hour pricing
- Degree of demolition/structural work – multi-level homes often require more
- Number of contractor crews needed – wider scope of work requires more teams/oversight
On top of the size differences, upgrading older homes reduces cost efficiencies as well. Renovating a flipped contemporary home costs around 20% less than renovating a 70s traditional home in need of new plumbing and electric.
Bottom line – account for paying around $125/sqft or more when remodeling dated homes over 2,500 sqft. And expect closer to $75-$100/sqft for simpler projects under 2,000 sqft.
How To Save Money When Remodeling Your House
After reviewing average pricing, you may be wondering if there are ways to save on your home renovation costs. Fortunately, several budget-friendly options exist:
- Take on demo/prep work yourself
- Complete non-structural projects yourself
- Buy materials/fixtures at wholesale outlets or Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations
- Use budget-friendly materials like laminate vs. hardwood
- Stage projects over time instead of all at once
- Shop contractor bids and time projects during winter off-season lulls
Along with the above cost-saving measures, securing financing can help make larger projects more affordable. Options like cash-out refinancing free up funds by leveraging your home’s equity.
Savvy homeowners also charge renovations to 0% APR credit cards or secure lending using home equity lines of credit. These financial tactics spread payments over time rather than paying 100% upfront. But make sure to assess the total spending and interest costs before committing to any financing.
As shown throughout this guide, many intricacies influence the cost to remodel or renovate your home. From contractor fees and material finishes to home sizes and locations – pricing varies drastically based on your specific project.
The average whole home remodel costs $100 – $300 per square foot. Expect pricing toward the higher end of that range if you live in a HCOL area or have a larger, multi-level home needing extensive work.
The best way to hone in on accurate estimates is to partner with contractors from the start. They can assess your project scope and provide renovation pricing reflective of your actual home’s needs. Just be sure to get 2-3+ quotes before committing to ensure you find the right match of price and expertise.
With some savvy budgeting tactics and financing, you can comfortably take on a major renovation without breaking the bank. Just focus on the must-have elements upfront instead of over-customizing. And phase larger projects over time as budgets allow.