Remodeling can add resale value to a home, improve day-to-day living, add much-needed space and improve function. The National Association of Home Builders reports that in 2013 homeowners spent $150 million on home improvement (with kitchen remodels leading the way at nearly $13 billion of that total). A "remodel" refers to big changes to the layout of a home (think stripping the walls down to the framing), and a “renovation” refers to surface-level updates and repairs to an existing space.
Cost per square foot
The price per square foot for a remodel can vary greatly depending on the project. Factors that affect the cost per square foot include the overall extent of the project, selected finishes, geographic region, area costs for labor, materials, the cost for required subcontractors such as electricians, cabinetmakers and plumbers, and architectural plans. According to Ken Moniz of Moniz Home Improvement in Harwich, Massachusetts, says that a remodel job in his region can cost anywhere from $25 to $100 per square foot.
Nationally, kitchen remodels are the most sought after project and provide the most bang for the buck when it comes to resale value. The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report shows that minor kitchen repairs (on average $20,830) recoup over 80.2 percent of their value during resale, making the investment a double win for the homeowner—improved functionality while they’re still living in the home and a payoff at sale. Those recoup numbers for minor kitchen remodels are even higher in some regions. On the West Coast, these remodels show a 95.8 percent return on investment during sale. Alternately, the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report shows that the national average cost of a major kitchen remodel is $62,158 with a return of 65.3 percent. Here’s how Moniz Home Improvement breaks down costs for a minor kitchen remodel:
300-square-foot kitchen remodel: $25,000
Full remodel including all new cabinetry, fixtures, lighting, floors, plumbing, electrical and slight floor plan change
Labor = 80 hours and $11,000
- The client remodeled the kitchen because of a burst pipe, and the project included fixing the water damage.
Bathroom remodels are the second most popular choice for clients of Moniz Home Improvement. A bathroom remodel can be a fast facelift to improve outdated linoleum or tiles, upgrade fixtures and add new paint, or a bathroom project can be more extensive to change the footprint of the room and add luxury elements such as tiled showers, jet tubs and other touches. According to the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, the national average cost for a bathroom remodel is $18,546, with a 64.8 percent return on investment. Here is an example of a simple bathroom facelift from Moniz Home Improvement:
50-square-foot bathroom remodel: $6,000
This project included modifying and updating the overall look and installing a new shower surround, shower floor and pedestal sink. All new plumbing was added.
Labor = 40 hours and $3,000
- The remodel did not include flooring, fixtures or cabinetry.
When making over more than one room in a home, a general contractor can help create a master plan and help save costs overall. Taking on different projects with individual contractors can ultimately cost more. General contractors also serve as the project manager to all subcontractors, which saves the homeowner a lot of time and stress. In addition, when several rooms are remodeled at the same time, it’s easier to achieve a cohesive work and design aesthetic throughout the home, using the same product brands and materials. Because a multiroom project offers the contracting company a larger scope of work, individual room costs will be less than if they were tackled individually. Desired finishes (top-of-the line luxury fixtures, entry-level items or mid-range comfort), the scope of work to be done and how many square feet will be remodeled all affect the total costs for a multiroom project. Here’s an example of a multiroom remodeling project from Moniz Home Improvement:
225-square-foot, two-room remodel: $9,000
These two rooms were the first stages of a larger, whole house remodel.
This project included refurbishing the existing wood and wood beams in the bedroom and dining room, as well as updating the walls and ceilings. New hardwood floor and lighting—including new wiring—were also part of the project.
Labor = 110 hours and $4,500
- Materials: $4,500