Everyone is excited to design, style, and bring the home of their dreams from their imagination into real life. That is until they are faced with the unfortunate truth about how much all of that will cost. If you’re embarking on your first major home improvement project and don’t know what it will cost, or what small, subtle, factors contribute to the final price, we’ve got everything you need to know right here.
Renovation vs. Remodel
A lot of people use these terms interchangeably when, in reality, there is a clear-cut difference between the two. You need to first decide what path you want to take before anything else. Renovation refers to the home improvement tasks that require refreshing, updating, refurbishing or restoring elements of your home. Remodelling, on the other hand, involves major changes to the house, including, but not limited to, changing the floorplan, adding, removing, or moving rooms, and other major changes. Renovation can be as simple as a DIY project, while remodelling is bound to cost you a couple of thousand dollars at the very least.
The scope of the project influences the costs significantly. For example, do you want to do a full home renovation or just a specific room? Even if you plan to renovate or remodel the whole house, you will most likely do it one room at a time since doing the whole house at once is costly. Not to mention, you still need to be able to live in and use the other rooms in The house during the renovation (which can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks). Renovating a bathroom can, on average, cost around $10,000, while something bigger and costlier like the kitchen (full of pricey appliances) can stretch your budget up to $20-30k. So it’s important to understand what rooms are a priority to renovate first.
Permits and Labor
While homeowners are busy designing and planning their renovations, they often forget about the cost of executing all of them. Unless you’re going down the DIY route, you need to be prepared to set aside a budget for hiring a contractor, getting the necessary permits, and hiring dedicated specialists to carry out the improvements. A permit alone may cost around $400 to acquire since most homes need approval from their HOA or community responsible when making major changes to the house. Don’t forget to consider the hourly rates of painters, carpenters, plumbers, and anyone else who has the task of installing, fixing, or building an element in your house. Does it already sound like a lot? It’s no coincidence that a lot of homeowners decide to apply for a purchase plus improvement mortgage to finance their home improvements since buying the house is only part of the cost.
Size of Property
All properties come in all shapes and sizes, and that can make all the difference in how much your home renovations cost. Many services, like changing the roof, flooring, painting the walls, and so on, will charge per square meter/foot. Hence, if you have big rooms and floorplans, the same service will cost you more than it would for someone with a small apartment, for example. Not to mention, if you have backyard space or a front lawn that you also want to incorporate into your renovation plan.
Your choice of materials plays a large role in determining the final price of your renovations. Materials are in involved every step of the way: from the paint that you opt with for your walls, to what you want the cabinets to be made of, and so on. For example, if you want to completely redo the flooring in a room, the difference in price can be as great as 50% depending on if you opt for laminate flooring or hardwood. The latter is significantly more pricey. This is a matter of preference and budget so you need to look at all of your options and see which one you want to go with. Keep in mind that the quality of materials will also determine how long-lasting your renovation will be. If you shop on the very cheap end of the spectrum, you may face the need to refresh or update it a few years in. Whereas a quality renovation can last you over a decade.
If you opt for some additional services during your renovation or remodelling, that can bring up the price as well. A few such additions can be:
- Hiring an architect or designer
- Making changes to plumbing or HVAC
- Updating appliances aside from renovations to the structure of the house
- Dealing with an old (antique) house
- Making structural changes to the floorplan/foundation
Happy renovating (or remodeling)!