How to Know What Remodeling your Home Will Actually Cost



Depending on the materials you choose, the cost of a remodeling project can vary by thousands of dollars. If hiring a contractor, expect to pay between $8,000 and $15,000 to upgrade the fixtures in a full bath with top-of-the-line products. Major remodeling of a large master bath can run anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 for the materials and labor, and can cost several times more if you include luxury fixtures in the design. An attic bedroom can cost as much as $33,000.

Remodeling isn’t cheap. The best and perhaps simplest way to cut costs on a remodeling job is to do it yourself. But beyond that, collect multiple bids from contractors. There are other ways to cut corners. Mechanicals such as piping and electrical fixtures can be reused, as can woodwork. In addition, ask a contractor about materials he or she may have left over from previous jobs.

As you remodel, the following three things will probably astound you:

  • How much longer everything takes than you expect
  • How much work it takes
  • How much everything costs – in fact, a rule of thumb is to allow for double what you think your project will cost.

There are several decisive factors people use when determining where to put their money when it comes to remodeling. Many of us have at least one room in our house that just has to be done (review this for common kitchen remodel items). A lot of homeowners will place equity at the top of their list when they find they have some money to put towards remodeling. Perhaps the most important consideration of remodeling is the budget you are working with.

Remodeling your present home may be easier than finding a decent house to buy — a by-product of the strong market for homes in many parts of the country. The most convenient and cheapest way to finance small and medium sized projects is borrowing against your home equity, especially if you refinance when rates are low. Another option is the Federal Housing Administration’s 203(k) program, which will help you pay for extensive remodeling.

It is strongly suggested that you get an impartial opinion or advice on your remodel from either a home inspector or a qualified engineer when it comes to making major repairs, such as a new roof covering or foundation repairs. Asphalt driveway repairs, siding installations and replacement windows are also common areas of complaints. When making costly repairs, you need to get a second or even a third opinion before you even start the job.  Be sure you plan out the remodel, and account for the fact that it will likely cost more and take longer than you think. A good plan, a good contractor, and some patience go a long way towards making your remodel a successful (and pleasant) experience.


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