Remodeling your home can be an exciting project, but it’s important to have realistic expectations when it comes to cost. Having a budget in mind before starting a remodeling project can help you stay on track financially. Here are some of the latest benchmarks and cost estimates to help you plan your next remodeling project.
Average Costs of Popular Remodeling Projects
The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms to remodel since it can greatly impact function and livability. According to the 2021 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine, the average minor kitchen remodel costs $26,214 and offers a 64.5% return on investment. This includes replacing cabinet fronts, counters, sink, flooring, and appliances. The average major kitchen remodel runs $66,196 and recoups 59.9% at resale.
Like kitchens, bathrooms are essential living spaces that homeowners want to update. The average minor bathroom remodel costs $19,134 and recoups 64.7%, while a major remodel averages $61,834 and returns 60.3%, per the 2021 report. Minor remodels update surfaces and fixtures while major overhauls include layout changes.
Living Room Remodel
Opening up or upgrading a living room averages $13,799 with a 78.6% ROI for a minor remodel. Major remodels run $68,490 and return 67.3%. Changes may include taking down walls, adding built-ins, installing recessed lighting, refinishing floors, and painting.
Finished basements add valuable living space. The average minor basement remodel costs $70,195 and returns 73.1%, while major remodels run $135,327 and offer 70.6% ROI. Work often includes framing, drywall, trim, flooring, lighting, and access to natural light.
Adding an outdoor living space appeals to many homeowners. The average cost is $14,360 for a wooden deck addition. More expensive options include composite decking or multi-level designs. This project returns 75.6% at resale on average.
Factors That Influence Remodeling Costs
Several key factors determine how much a remodeling project will ultimately cost:
- Scope of work – The more surfaces, layouts, and systems you change, the higher the price tag. Prioritize changes that will deliver the most impact or meet your needs.
- Materials selected – Opting for premium materials like marble countertops or imported tiles raises costs over standard options like laminate countertops or porcelain tiles.
- Specialty contractor fees – Trades like electricians and plumbers cost more per hour than general contractors. Complex lighting, HVAC, or plumbing changes add expenses.
- Permits – Any major structural, electrical, or plumbing work requires permitting, adding fees. Minor cosmetic updates typically don’t need permits.
- Location – Labor and materials cost more in some regions. Get quotes from local professionals.
- Age of home – Renovating older homes usually costs more due to unknowns like rot or asbestos removal.
Questions to Ask Before Remodeling
Here are some important questions to ask yourself before undertaking a remodeling project:
How long do you plan to stay in the home?
If you may move soon, focus on changes that improve livability rather than major overhauls. Cosmetic updates offer the best return.
What is your budget?
Be realistic about what you can afford. Get quotes on your wish list items to inform your budget. Focus on necessities first in case you need to scale back.
How will the remodel impact resale value?
While you want to please your personal tastes, avoid highly customized changes that won’t appeal to future buyers. Stick to conventional layouts and materials.
Do you need permits?
Know rules about permits to avoid headaches. Some areas require them for any work beyond painting or flooring. Planning departments can guide you.
Should you use a contractor?
Larger projects often benefit from contractor project management. They handle details like scheduling subcontractors. DIY is great for smaller jobs.
Tips for Keeping Remodel Costs Down
If your budget is tight, there are ways to save on your remodeling project:
- Take on tasks like painting, demolition or finish work yourself to save on labor fees.
- Purchase materials from discount retailers, warehouse stores or Habitat for Humanity ReStores.
- Consider lower-priced conventional materials like tile floors instead of hardwood.
- Scale back the project scope to the most important elements and upgrade later.
- Time projects for the off-season when contractor rates may be lower.
- Get multiple bids to find the best balance of price and expertise.
Understanding the costs for various remodeling projects helps set realistic budgets and expectations. While each home is unique, the latest cost benchmarks can provide a helpful guideline as you plan renovations. Defining your goals, research material options and finding ways to maximize your budget allows you to get the most impact for your dollar. With careful planning and creative decisions, you can bring your ideal remodeled home to life.