Home renovation

Numbers you need to know

Home renovation and remodeling costs can be a tough pill to swallow after you’ve paid the price of buying a new home, but if you’re the proud owner of a repairman (or even if you’re the happy owner of an old house in need of work), you may be in the mood for some updates.

And that will lead you to ask yourself: How much does it cost to renovate a house? Knowing your numbers ahead of time is crucial, lest you end up with plans that exceed your budget.

So before you take a look at a sample tile, check out this detailed breakdown of how much it will cost to remodel your dream home, as well as your average home renovation costs and your return on investment (ROI) potential.

Average home renovation costs

Your exact cost to renovate a home will depend on its square footage, the area you live in, and the degree of renovation your home needs. But to get a rough idea, What Merrillfounder of FortuneBuilders.com, gave us an estimate of the average costs associated with various renovations:

  • Low ($25,000 to $45,000): A small remodel would likely include interior and exterior painting, small repairs (like refinishing cabinets), and new landscaping.
  • Medium ($46,000 to $75,000): A more complex remodel would include the low cost upgrades above, plus a full kitchen remodel (depending on appliances) and minor bathroom remodel.
  • High ($76,000+): Low and medium cost upgrades, as well as fixing foundation issues and roof and sewer line issues.

Biggest Home Renovation Costs

Sure, paint can play a big part in a remodel, but gallons of semi-gloss will be a drop in the bucket compared to big-ticket items for some rooms (we’re looking at you, the kitchen and bathroom ).

Remember that it is the appliances and cabinets in these rooms that consume the most money. Here’s what homeowners can expect to pay in home improvement costs for an average-sized home (about 2,500 square feet).

  • Food: The national average cost of a kitchen renovation is $20,474. If a kitchen only needs minor upgrades, renovations should start at around $10,000. A complete hose can fetch upwards of $50,000, depending on the quality of materials and fixtures installed, Merrill says.
  • Bathroom: A bathroom remodel typically costs around $9,000 and tops out at $20,000. (Of course, you could spend more adding spalike touches like a steam shower.)
  • New roof: The cost of protecting all your upgrades from the elements will set you back around $20,000.
  • New floors: You might want to complete your renovation by taking over that old rug. Installing new wood floors will cost around $4,400, while laminate, which is less expensive, will set you back around $2,800. Of course, the exact cost will depend on how many square feet you have in the kitchen.
  • Electrical updates: If you’re replacing an old panel (and obsolete house wiring) as part of your renovation, expect to spend between $3,000 and $5,000.
  • Replacement siding: Any major remodel includes an exterior upgrade. Installing new exterior siding on your home costs an average of $14,000.
  • Replacement windows: If you plan to replace 10 windows and frames to save on your energy bill (you may need the savings after this renovation), the cost will range between $8,500 (vinyl) and $20,000 (wood).
  • The contractor: Unless you plan to oversee the renovation yourself, a budget should include the cost of a general contractor. They usually charge 10% to 15% of the total project budget. So for a $50,000 renovation, expect to pay a contractor $5,000 to $7,500.

An easy way for homeowners to save money on home renovations is to negotiate to pay the builder’s actual costs on finishing materials, says Jesse Fowlerpresident of Tellus Build, a green custom-build company in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.

The contractor you choose should get a discount off retail prices, and Fowler says that can benefit you as well, because you can “realize some or all of those savings.”

Home improvement costs and return on investment (ROI)

Ah, the magic words that make the homeowner’s pain of parting with thousands of dollars more palatable, because those big checks you write for home improvement costs today can pay dividends if you ever sell your home.

A typical kitchen renovation typically yields an 83.1% return on investment. That means for every $1,000 you spend on these cabinets and countertops, you’ll get $831 back.

Meanwhile, a bathroom renovation offers a 65.7% return on investment, and if you opt for those expensive wood-framed windows during your renovation, you’ll enjoy a high return on investment of 72%, 1%. Check here which renovations offer the best return on investment.