Accurately projecting how much it is to renovate or remodel a home is key to completing projects on time and on budget. Accurate budget projections are relied upon by both homeowners and contractors alike to determine project scope and timeline.
There are many variables when accounting for home renovation and remodeling costs. This is true for any home renovation project but those that go beyond simple aesthetic updates or single-room renovations can quickly run up a number of direct and indirect fixed and variable costs. For instance, labor is a variable cost that can often comprise 20%-40% of construction budgets.
Due to these and other factors, how much to renovate a house is a cost that can vary widely. The good news is that national homeowner data is available to give those tackling home improvement a sense of what it may cost to renovate or remodel their homes.
Total Renovation Estimates
According to a 2021 report by HomeAdvisor, the average 1,000 sq ft home renovation typically runs just under $20,000. The average home in the United States, according to 2019 Census Data is approximately 2,300 sq. ft.
So, if you’re the average homeowner and already doing the mental math using the original $19,000 figure, you may want to reconsider. The same data from HomeAdvisor shows that costs to renovate larger houses is not only inconsistent but tends to rise with the square footage, with the average 4,000 sq. ft. home costing $87,000 for total home renovation.
When taking these factors into account, you can see that home remodeling and renovation costs can escalate quickly. Consider the following before calculating the cost of your build.
Renovating Old vs New Homes
In the 2021 housing market, excessive housing demand combines with limited supply to sharply raise the cost of owning, maintaining and improving homes. In this environment, older homes become an attractive option for many of those both buying their first home or looking for a cost-effective way to downsize. This makes renovating an older home an attractive financial opportunity for those looking to buy or sell. While renovating older homes can provide tremendous value, it is an investment and any investment is a risk. Renovators of old homes often fail to fully anticipate the full costs are HVAC, plumbing and electrical needs with corresponding labor costs (and expertise) necessitated by repairing or updating homes.
Single-room renovations are a popular strategy for adding value and comfort to an existing home. The three rooms most frequently renovated by homeowners are the kitchen, bathroom and basement. The aforementioned 2021 HomeAdvisor report details the average cost of these single room renovations.
Kitchen: $4,000 – $60,000
Bathroom: $2,000 – $25,000
Basement: $11,000 – $30,000
DIY vs. Contracting Work
DIY home renovations are an increasingly popular strategy by homeowners looking to cut costs by performing their own renovations. Here’s a list of 100 home repairs you might consider doing yourself that could complete or simplify large swaths of the renovation process.
One aspect of the home renovation process you shouldn’t DIY is the initial estimation. Hire a professional who can guide you through the process, especially if this is the first time you’ve taken on a project of this magnitude. It is much more difficult to cut costs if you don’t have an accurate projection of what those costs are. With a trusted track record and decades of experience, check out this example residential home renovation worksheet or get a residential home renovation estimate from Chianelli Estimating. Getting a professional home remodeling or renovation estimation will help you get your project done faster and on budget, with fewer surprises.
Renovation for Quality of Life vs. Monetary Value
While they often can, not all home renovations are performed to add value. Some renovators are more concerned about the short-term gains in the owner’s quality of life, rather than gains in home value. If this is the case, you may look differently at your home renovation project, perhaps delaying certain updates or additions in favor of others or choosing to do more of the renovation yourself. By determining what you can live with and what you can live without regarding your home renovation will help prioritize work and allay unnecessary costs.