How much does remodeling cost ?

Remodeling can be a good option in the current uncertain economic climate. It’s a great idea if you really like where you live, but just need some extra space or want a change of layout. It can also cost less than moving or a new build project, and give your current home a new lease of life. Depending on the remodeling that you do, a large proportion of the investment will be recouped when you do finally decide to sell your home and move.

Remodeling costs – things to consider.

Each home is slightly different and no two remodeling projects are the same, so how much your own remodeling project will end up costing you will depend a lot on exactly what you do and to what level. There are low end and high end finishes for many common remodeling choices such as kitchens, bathrooms and even flooring. Many aspects of remodeling present opportunities to either keep costs down, or they can literally run away with your budget if you don’t keep an eye on costs. Certain remodeling options will add value to your home and make it more saleable in the future than others. The same options can also help you recover some of the investment when you finally sell up.

The most popular remodeling choices are the addition of extra living space such as a bedroom or office/study, kitchen or bathroom, and opening up existing living space into open plan style.

Factors which affect remodeling costs.

Some of the main factors which will play a part in determining the overall remodeling costs are the level of finish you choose for certain installation (basic or luxury, low end or high end), how old your property is, any remedial work that needs to be carried out, quality of construction material used, the proposed designs and any structural changes, and the labor costs for the specific geographical area where you live.

Typical remodeling costs.

If you need to add space, either because of children or working at home, then adding a single room to an existing house based on crawl space foundations, with basic electrical wiring, without the need for plumbing installations, with regular windows and with any heating system being tied into the existing system, you should probably expect to budget around $120 - $250 per square foot with basic to standard level finishing. As a general rule: the larger the space, the lower the cost per square foot.

Alternatively a two-story build-on for double the extra space, based on a simple design with no complicated requirements should come in around $175 per square foot. This can be very cost effective as both floors share the same foundations and roofing structures so you get a lot more space for your money.

Kitchens are a top choice for remodeling plans because they are the heart of many family homes and a lot of time is spent in them. Without doing any major structural changes, but replacing the old flooring, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, sink and installing new kitchen appliances (nothing too fancy), and finishing walls with paint rather than tiling, you should budget for around $12,000 for a typical 12'x14' kitchen or approximately $72 per square foot.

A major kitchen remodeling including major changes to layout, gutting everything and taking the walls and ceiling back to bare structures, installing new wiring, plumbing, new average quality appliances, lighting and finishing should be manageable for around $230 per square foot.

Bathrooms are another favorite when it comes to remodeling. Depending on what you want to achieve you can do quite a lot for a little or spend the same on top end fixtures and fittings. As a guide, adding an extra simple bathroom with three standard quality fixtures, a small window, basic plumbing and electrical installation with easy connection to main systems and average tiling/painted finish should be around $150 per square foot.

A better equipped bathroom addition, based on the same size, but with separate shower cubicle, whirlpool bath tub, two sinks, independent room for toilet facilities, closet and customized good quality vanity tops will cost more in the region of $250 per square foot.

Best way to estimate remodeling costs.

Because each remodeling project has its own challenges, be it access, age of the building, having to upgrade systems in order to install new appliances or deal with unforeseen problems during the remodeling work, the best way to budget your remodeling costs is to get some quotes from local contractors who have experience doing similar work. They will be able to guide you on any potential problems areas.

As with any new build or renovation projects, it’s always a good idea to budget for at least 10% more than is quoted, especially if it’s a major remodeling, to take care of any little ‘disasters’ that crop up once things get under way.

To get a better idea of costs, here are some remodeling estimates from professionals.

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