How Much Does It Cost to Renovate a House in the USA?


Owning a house provides the opportunity to customize it to your liking and lifestyle without any restrictions or limitations. You have the freedom to tailor your home to your specific needs and preferences, which is not always possible when renting. Additionally, well-planned and executed home renovations often increase the value of your property, making it a wise investment in the long run.

However, home renovation costs can vary greatly depending on the extent of the changes you want to make. If you’re concerned about the cost, taking small steps can help you avoid overextending yourself financially.

Room-by-room Price Breakdowns

Breaking down the total cost of a remodeling project room-by-room can help in estimating expenses. This approach allows you to prioritize which areas to focus on first if you don’t have enough budget to cover all the intended jobs.

1. Bedrooms 

Average cost: $2000-$5000.

A simple bedroom makeover can be done without breaking the bank. A fresh coat of paint and carpeting can go a long way in transforming the look of a room without significant expenses. For those looking to update their home on a budget, the main bedroom or master suite is often a popular choice.

2. Living Room

Average cost: $2500-$10000

The living room is often the heart of the home, bustling with activity. It’s also a budget-friendly space to remodel. A coat of paint and new carpeting can make a big difference in the look and feel of the room. Additionally, homeowners can add new storage, lighting, and window coverings or rearrange furniture to make the space feel more open and welcoming.

For those looking to accommodate modern entertainment systems, especially in older homes, adding or relocating electrical outlets may be necessary. However, the costliest part of renovating a living or family room is often the installation of new electrical wiring.

3. Kitchen

Average cost: $10000-$50000

Nowadays, the kitchen can be just as much of a gathering place as the living area or family room. In today’s fast-paced world, the kitchen is often where families spend the most quality time together due to the preparation, eating, and socializing that takes place there.

Kitchens can also have the most cost variance based on cabinets, furnishings, equipment, and other add-ons.

Here are the typical costs associated with a kitchen renovation:

  • Basic kitchen remodel:

Budget: $5,000-$30,000

Installing brand-new fixtures and fittings, replacing worn-out fixtures, repainting, sprucing up the molding, and installing a new, cost-effective sink backsplash can be part of a low-budget kitchen renovation. Removing partitions or adding an expansion to the table space is also possible.

  • Mid-range kitchen remodel:

Budget: $30,000-$60,000

A renovation of this scale might include new flooring, appliances, and a tiled splashback behind the sink and worktop. The countertops and cupboards could be upgraded to a mid-range material.

  • High-end kitchen remodel:

Budget: $65,000 onwards

A renovation in this price bracket might include bespoke cabinetry, exotic stone or granite counters, and stainless steel or black stainless steel equipment. More elaborate details can be added when the funds for a kitchen remodel are increased, such as changing the light fixtures, installing new carpeting, and upgrading the plumbing.

Depending on the products you choose, the amount of work you need, and where you reside, the total cost of your kitchen renovation could range from a few thousand to several hundred thousand dollars.

Here are the common costs involved in a kitchen renovation:

Price of cabinets per foot of wall space:

  • Cabinets (cost per linear foot):
    • Stock: $100-$300
    • Custom-built: $500-$1200
  • Countertops:
    • Laminate: $1200-$2000
    • Solid surface (such as Corian): $1500-$3000
    • Stone or granite: $4000-7000

4. Bathroom 

Average cost: $20,000 to $50,000 

To keep bathroom renovation costs under control, it’s important to keep the fixtures in the same locations. Moving water and sewage pipes can quickly drive up expenses. However, even without major changes to the layout, a bathroom can be completely transformed with a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures, and updated cabinetry.

For those looking to splurge, a new standalone shower cubicle, a luxurious garden tub, or high-end marble or quartz countertops and surfaces can turn your bathroom into a true showpiece.

5. Revamping the Exterior 

During a home renovation, it’s common to update the exterior by refreshing the roof and facade. The cost of a roof replacement averages $7,211 nationwide, but this cost can vary significantly depending on the type of roofing material and the size of the roof being replaced. Meanwhile, replacing the siding can increase or decrease a home’s value by $4,300 to $15,000, depending on the material chosen. Finally, the average cost of an exterior house paint job is $2,200.

Considerable Extra Expenses 

Here are some potential costs you’ll want to consider beyond just the cost of materials when answering, “How much does it cost to remodel a house?”:

  • Labor

Labor costs include the salaries of your builders, architects, interior designers, and any other specialists who will be working on the project. Keep in mind that architects and designers can charge well over $100 an hour, while general workers like sewers and electricians cost only about 10% to 20% of the total budget.

  • Contingencies

It’s rare for home renovations to go completely according to plan. Some unforeseen problem, such as pests, defective cabling, or structural changes, always seems to show up in the midst of a makeover, costing the homeowner more money than anticipated. Save up to 20% of your total remodeling budget just in case something goes wrong.

  • Scope Creep

Enfinger says that once people start to see beautiful new items being put in, they may want to update a few more things, and their wallets will open up a little bit more. That’s perfectly fine, by the way. You should, however, plan financially for this eventuality.

  • Permits

The price of a building permit can range from $50 to $2,000, based on the type of project and the location. Make sure to budget for this expense, as it is required for most significant renovations.

  • Cost of Taxes

Although you won’t have to pay this expense upfront, you should be prepared to pay more in property taxes when your updated house is assessed. Keep in mind that remodeling may increase the value of your home, which can affect your property taxes in the long run.

Tips for Reducing the Cost of a Remodel

You can still save money even if you have to employ experts to do most of the work on your endeavor. 

  • Estimate 10% in additional costs for unexpected expenses.
  • Keep the current layout to avoid costly structural changes.
  • Use cheaper materials like vinyl and plastic to mimic more expensive ones like timber or stone.
  • Use pre-made components instead of custom-made pieces in construction.
  • Ask your workers if you can handle the initial dismantling and final cleanup on your own.
  • Consider refinishing old carpeting instead of installing new ones.
  • Take on DIY projects for final touches, like a tile border or a new tile floor.

Summing Up

When it comes to home remodeling, it’s important to strike a balance between what you want and what you can afford. While you can take on smaller aesthetic projects on your own, major structural or layout changes should be left to the experts. It’s also crucial to set a realistic budget and try to stick to it while also preparing for the unexpected by adding some flexibility to your budget. This will help you avoid going over budget and facing financial strain.

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