Home Remodeling Cost

How much will my home remodeling cost?  You have a dream and a vision of what your home could be, and some cash to spend on it, but will it be enough?

home remodeling cost

Just to start with I want to make it clear what I mean when I talk about a remodel (as opposed to a renovation).  A remodel is a major repurposing of space which involves far more than a paint job.  It often involves re-organising spaces by removing walls or building new ones, re-configuring plumbing and wiring and replacing fixtures, fittings and finishes.  It might also include building an addition to your home.

So it’s all about improving your space both in terms of function and the way it looks, and taking care of those home maintenance jobs that need doing. 

How to figure out your home remodeling cost

Depending on the size and scope of your project you may be looking to hire a general contractor to coordinate all of the work, or you may be looking to run the project yourself and engage with different trades as you need them.

If you’re planning to do a large project and hire a general contractor, it makes sense to start with a remodeling cost per square foot in order to get a ballpark estimate for your project.  Or invite some contractors to give you an estimate on costs.

If you’re doing a smaller project, and you’re planning to manage the work yourself, it’s a question of pulling together all the work that needs doing and getting an estimate for each job.

Hidden home remodeling cost

Remodeling projects are particularly prone to ending up bigger than when they started.  It’s common to start with the idea of remodeling your ground floor to make it function better and look fabulous without considering some of the hidden costs that can be associated with remodeling.

When you’re considering the cost of your remodel you should also consider the costs of dealing with ‘unkowns’ – things about your home that reveal themselves only as you’re starting the work.

Here are a few home remodeling costs that you might not be expecting...

  • Wiring – replacing old wiring
  • Plumbing – replacing old plumbing
  • Upgrading insulation and sealing
  • Underpinning a foundation
  • Getting rid of asbestos
  • Dealing with Radon
  • Replacing lead based paint
  • Paying to have your home brought up to current building code standards

Do what you can to investigate the state of your home to flush out as many of the unknowns as possible and get your cost estimate as accurate as possible before you begin your project.

One thing that’s important to bear in mind is that you’re not likely to make your money back on smaller remodeling jobs done in isolation for example remodeling your kitchen or bathroom.  The value add remodel jobs are those that add additional function to your space, for example, an extra bedroom or a garage.

You can check the cost versus value for smaller remodeling jobs at Remodel Magazine.

notes on home remodeling costs

Hard and soft costs

Depending on the scale and scope of your remodel you may have other costs to consider in addition to the cost of the work itself.  The costs of the work done are sometimes referred to as hard costs.

You may have some soft costs to consider as well such as…

  • Are you intending to hire a design professional such as an architect or interior designer?  Don’t forget to include their fees in your remodeling budget.
  • Are you planning to remove any load bearing walls?  If so, you may need the services or a structural engineer.
  • Will you need a building permit for the work that you intend to do?  If so, what are the building permit fees?

And a few other possible costs to bear in mind…

  • Will you need to buy any new furniture, soft furnishings or accessories?
  • Will you need to move out during your project?  How much will it cost you to rent somewhere to stay?

More construction costs...

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