Renovating your home is an exciting project, but also requires careful planning and budgeting. When considering taking on a renovation, one of the first questions is always: how much will it cost? Understanding renovation costs and planning accordingly is key to completing projects on time and on budget. This article explores the primary factors that influence cost so you can set realistic expectations when renovating your home.
Several key factors determine how much a renovation project will cost:
- Scope of work – The size, scale, and details of the renovation significantly sway the overall budget. Large, whole-home renovations cost more than small bathroom and kitchen updates. Custom, high-end finishes, and features escalate costs compared to standard and budget-friendly options.
- Property size – In general, larger homes with more square footage equate to higher renovation costs. The amount of space needing updates is the primary cost driver.
- Location – Construction and contractor rates vary tremendously by geographic region. Renovation projects in major metropolitan areas typically cost more than identical projects in smaller towns and rural locations. Regional wage rates and material/supply costs contribute to location differences.
- Contractor vs DIY – Hiring a qualified professional contractor adds cost but can save money down the road through quality workmanship and smooth project execution. Taking on a DIY renovation slashes upfront expenses but only for those experienced in construction.
Now that we’ve explored the primary elements that dictate renovation costs, let’s examine typical price ranges.
Typical Renovation Costs
As one of the most popular home renovation projects, many homeowners upgrade their kitchens. Depending on size and selections, kitchen remodels run:
- Minor remodel – $20,000-$35,000
- Major remodel – $50,000-$75,000+
Factors like appliance upgrades, countertop materials, custom cabinetry, and layout changes significantly impact the final kitchen renovation cost. Expect to invest around 10-15% of your home’s value for a major high-end kitchen overhaul.
Bathroom renovations recoup much of their initial investment in added home value, making them savvy renovation projects. You can expect the following investment ranges:
- Powder room update – $5,000-$15,000
- Primary bathroom overhaul – $15,000-$30,000
- Multi-bathroom makeover – $30,000-$50,000+
Custom tile, reconfigured layouts, added square footage, and luxury materials like stone and polished finishes contribute to the final bathroom renovation price tag.
For growing families or homeowners wanting more living space, home additions provide added square footage. Typical addition costs are:
- Up to 400 sq ft addition – $50,000-$250,000+
- Multi-story addition – $100,000-$500,000+
The cost per square foot decreases with size, but overall investment rises exponentially for large-scale, multi-floor additions.
Whole Home Renovation
Renovating an entire home allows for remodeling from top to bottom but comes at a greater cost. Whole home makeovers typically fall into the following ranges:
- Cosmetic refresh – $15,000-$35,000
- Moderate remodel – $50,000-$150,000
- Luxury custom overhaul – $250,000-$1,000,000+
The age, size, layout, and pre-renovation condition of the home significantly sway the overall budget. Whole home renovations also allow for structural improvements, system upgrades, and smart home technology integration inaccessible with room-by-room makeovers.
Outdoor Living Renovations
Creating outdoor living spaces adds functional space for entertaining, cooking, dining, and relaxing outdoors. Typical backyard upgrade project investment includes:
- Patio or deck addition – $5,000-$15,000
- Full outdoor kitchen – $10,000-$30,000
- Custom pool and pool house – $100,000-$250,000+
The climate of your geographic region also determines how often outdoor spaces get utilized and should be factored into budgeting.
DIY vs. Professional Services: Weighing the Pros and Cons
The allure of saving money through do-it-yourself (DIY) projects is undeniable. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully. While DIY can cut labor costs, it may lead to errors that could be costlier to rectify in the long run.
|Lower labor costs
|Risk of errors
|Expertise and quality assurance
|Higher upfront labor costs
|Lack of specialized skills
|Dependence on external schedules
|Efficient project completion
|Potential delays due to external factors
How to Determine Your Budget
When establishing a renovation budget, expert recommendations suggest:
- Get contractor estimates – Consult with professionals early and often while designing the project scope. Their experience provides realistic spending guidance.
- Follow the 15% rule – For major renovations, limit spending to no more than 15% of your home’s pre-renovation value. This prevents overspending compared to the added resale value.
- Research rates – Understand cost per square foot averages for your region and type of renovation using resources like the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report.
- Prioritize must-haves – Distinguish absolute essential updates from nice-to-haves. Focus first on necessary structural, system, and layout upgrades over aesthetic and decorative finishes.
- Secure financing – Finance larger renovations through home equity loans and lines of credit, cash-out mortgage refinancing, or renovation loans and mortgages rather than credit cards and personal loans.
The renovation budgeting sweet spot comes from balancing aspirational design ideas with realistic, sensible spending allowing you to thoughtfully improve your home.
Does a Home Renovation Add Value?
Beyond just modernizing and customizing your living space, renovations also boost resale value. They demonstrate pride of ownership and curb appeal helping homes sell faster and for higher prices.
On average, home renovations recoup 50-75% of the original cost at resale. With some projects, you can recoup 80-150% of the investment. Improvement projects with the highest return on investment include:
- New wood flooring
- Minor kitchen remodel
- Deck additions
- Attic bedroom conversions
More extravagant renovations offer less direct financial payback compared to their upfront cost but may provide years of functional living space and enjoyment.
Ways to Save on Renovations
If quotes come back higher than expected, many homeowners look for savings opportunities to lower renovation costs including:
- Take on DIY demolition, prep work, and finishing tasks
- Use budget-friendly finishes and materials without sacrificing quality
- Complete projects in phases instead of all at once
- Secure contractor referrals to access preferred pricing discounts
- Have existing cabinetry refinished instead of replaced
- Wait for the off-season to complete exterior projects
- Use discounted reclaimed and surplus materials
Evaluating and deciding where you are comfortable compromising versus where you want to splurge helps lower total expenditures without negatively impacting the finished renovation.
The question “How much does a renovation cost?” does not have one set answer. Many factors shape an individual home improvement budget. Being an informed and strategic renovator goes far to create realistic budgets delivering stunning, functional home updates. Discuss preliminary ideas and estimated pricing with contractors to tailor a project scope and budget uniquely suited to your property’s potential.