The cost to renovate a house can vary drastically based on a myriad of factors, with the average price ranging anywhere from just shy of $20,000 to nearly $80,000. Of course, that’s a whole house renovation — the cost of a house remodel, say in just the kitchen or an outdated bathroom, can run much lower.
Before you start in on a project, it’s critical to assess how much it will cost to remodel or renovate so you can make decisions that are financially realistic. While it might seem like a pain upfront, creating a budget beforehand can help you avoid headaches and hard choices down the line.
What Is The Average Cost to Remodel a House?
The national average cost to remodel a whole home generally falls in the mid-$40,000s. That being said, the cost to remodel a house can vary quite a bit depending on the scope of the project, the size of the house, the quality of the materials used, and the location of the home. On the low end, someone could spend just a few thousand dollars, while on the other side of the spectrum, a home remodels cost could reach $200,000.
Cost to Renovate a House Per Square Foot
Because the size of the house can play a big role in the ultimate cost to remodel a house, it can be helpful to know the cost of house renovation by square foot. On average, the cost to renovate or remodel a whole house runs between $10 and $60 per square foot.
For certain rooms, however, the price per square foot is typically higher. For instance, the cost for a kitchen or bathroom renovation may be more like $100 to $250 per square foot. This is because of the materials needed and also the labor involved due to plumbing and electrical work required.
Factors of a Home Remodel Cost
As mentioned, there are several factors to take into account when budgeting for a home remodel. Some of the major factors to consider that will influence the ultimate cost of a house renovation include whether the remodels are high-end, mid-range, or low-end, the type of home, and the number and size of rooms to be renovated.
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High-End Versus Low-End Renovation
The variation in price for a home renovation project stems mostly from the scale of the projects. According to HomeGuide, a homeowner generally can expect to complete the following home remodels within each budget range:
• Low-end home remodel: A low-end renovation would include small changes such as new paint, updated hardware, and fresh landscaping. It might also include inexpensive finishes like new counters and flooring.
◦ Budget: $15,000-$40,000
• Mid-range home remodel: In addition to the low-budget projects, a mid-range home renovation includes full-room remodels like a bathroom and kitchen, as well as a higher quality flooring than the low-end renovation.
◦ Budget: $40,000-$75,000
• High-end home remodel: A high-end home remodel would include the low- and middle-end projects, as well as high-quality finishes including custom cabinetry and new appliances. It might also include improvements to the foundation, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.
◦ Budget: $75,000-$200,000
As a homeowner, you can expect to customize your home remodel budget once you identify what rooms you want to upgrade and to what extent. Only one in five homeowners finish home remodels under budget, so it’s smart to pad estimates by 10% to 15% in the event of unexpected renovation costs.
Type and Age of Home
Older homes will typically need more attention during the home renovation process, especially as new issues arise when existing problems are addressed. Once walls and floors are opened up, for example, a homeowner might realize the wiring and plumbing are outdated and should be brought up to code.
While a house won’t necessarily be unsellable if everything isn’t up to code, there could be issues with sellers financing. That’s because lenders generally will not close on a house where health and safety issues are identified as problems.
If your home is deemed old enough to be considered “historic”— which is generally 50 years or older, according to the National Park Service — you’ll want to check on any existing guidelines that your city’s codes office may have, or if there’s a historic overlay that enforces the need for an architectural review. Designated historic properties in states like California, where owners of qualified historic buildings can receive property tax relief for maintaining their homes, could boost a home’s value.
Depending on the condition of the house and any past upgrades, its age can have an impact on the cost of a home remodel, but so, too, can the type of home, regardless of age. According to Angi, Victorian homes generally cost the most to renovate — anywhere from $20 to $200 per square foot — while farmhouses and townhouses tend to have the lowest cost per square foot, between $10 and $50.
Recommended: Homebuyer’s Guide
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Typical Renovation Costs by Room
When it comes to home-renovation expenses, generally not every room is created equal. Rooms with cabinets and appliances — think bathrooms and kitchens — tend to be the priciest and are often where a home remodel budget can go awry.
The typical range for the cost of remodeling a kitchen comes in between $13,379 and $38,6419, with $25,898 — or around $150 per square foot — being the average. But kitchens also can have the most variation when it comes to cost, depending on cabinetry, finishes, appliances, and other add-ons.
Here’s what a homeowner might expect to pay for a home remodel of a kitchen:
• Low-end kitchen remodel: This would include new lighting, faucets, a coat of paint, refreshed trim, and a new but budget-friendly sink backsplash. A low-end kitchen remodel also might include knocking down walls or a counter extension project.
◦ Budget: $5,000-$30,000
• Mid-range kitchen remodel: A remodel of this level could encompass new appliances, floors, and tiled backsplash to the sink and countertop. It also might include new cabinets and mid-range slabs for the countertop.
◦ Budget: $30,000-$60,000
• High-end kitchen remodel: With this range of remodel, there could be custom cabinets, high-end countertops like rare stone or granite, and deluxe appliances added. When the budget for a kitchen is expanded, the projects start to take on custom finishes. Other projects might include new lighting, hardwood flooring, and new faucet fixtures.
◦ Budget: $65,000 and up
Because a kitchen can be extremely customizable and include so many levels of finishes, your home remodel budget could fluctuate greatly due to the cost and availability of materials, the labor involved, and where you live.
Bathrooms take on a similar budgeting structure to kitchen remodels. The typical range for the cost of a bathroom remodel is between $6,1618 and $16,657, with $11,229 being average. However, that budget includes a range of projects, customizations, and features.
For example, new cabinets in a bathroom can account for up to 30% of the budget. Other big-ticket items affect pricing based on whether you choose low-end or high-end finishes.
On the low-end, a new bathtub might cost around $400, but if you are looking for a high-end tub, you could pay upward of $8,000. Similarly, a sink can run anywhere from $190 to $6,500, while a toilet might cost between $130 and $800.
Budgeting for a bedroom remodel can be a little more cut-and-dried, since it generally doesn’t include as many costly fixtures as you might find in the bathroom or kitchen. You can expect to remodel your bedroom for around $8,215 on average.
This typically includes installing new carpet, windows, and doors, as well as refreshing the molding or trim. A bedroom remodel might also include new heating and insulation and updated wiring and lighting.
Remodeling a master suite could cost a bit more since it typically includes a bathroom and bedroom renovation in one. If you want to add or expand a closet in the master suite, you can estimate adding around $2,940 to the room’s budget, on top of the bathroom and bedroom.
Living Room Remodel
Similar to a bedroom remodel, a living room remodel can be more economical, costing between $4,000 and $10,000, on average. Like the bedroom, living rooms tend to lack the “wet” features (plumbing and appliances) that can drive up the cost of bathroom and kitchen renovations.
If you plan to add a fireplace feature to a living room, expect to spend a bit more. A fireplace could add up to $5,000 per room.
Updating roofing and refreshing the exterior of a home is a common part of a home remodel. The national average cost to replace a roof is currently $7,211, but that price will vary depending on materials and the house’s square footage.
Adding new siding to a home typically costs anywhere from $4,300 to $15,000, with the cost again fluctuating based on the material used. Painting the exterior of a home will cost between $1,800 and $4,400.
Other Home Remodel Considerations
A home remodel isn’t just financial spreadsheets. There are other things you may want to consider — like if you are planning to sell the house or make it your forever home — before taking a sledgehammer to a room.
Home Remodel Timeline
A renovation project could take anywhere from a few days to a few months, so you may want to plan your home remodel timeline accordingly. It might be tempting to duck out of town when big projects are underway, but staying around means that you can monitor projects and provide answers to your contractors if any unexpected issues arise.
Additionally, home renovations can be stressful and might be best scheduled around other big life events. For example, you might think twice about a full home remodel that coincides with a wedding, the holidays, or a baby on the way. Unexpected events could arise, but there often is no need to pile on projects with other major life events going on.
Who Is the Home Remodel for?
Before diving deep into plans, you may want to consider who your home remodel ultimately is for. Is it for you to enjoy decades from now, or is it to make the house more marketable for a future sale? The renovation could take a different shape depending on your answer to this critical question.
If the remodel is just for you as the homeowner, you might choose fixtures based on personal taste or decide to splurge on high-end bathroom features that you’ll enjoy for years to come. On the other hand, if you plan to sell within a few years, you may consider tackling projects that have the greatest return on investment (ROI), which could mean prioritizing projects like a kitchen update or bathroom remodel.
Not sure about a project’s resale value? SoFi’s home project value estimator can be a useful tool to help determine the approximate resale value of a home improvement project.
Home Remodel Delays and Unforeseen Expenses
When deciding to take on a major home remodel, it’s helpful to expect the unexpected. Unforeseen delays like a shortage of materials during a global pandemic could extend your home remodel timeline, or emergency expenses could drive a project over budget. As a general rule of thumb, estimate at least 10% in added budget for emergencies or unexpected costs.
Financing a Home Remodel
Coming up with the money to finance a home remodel can be daunting enough to make some homeowners abandon the whole process entirely. However, there are multiple financing avenues you can explore.
Out-of-Pocket Home Remodel Expenses
Homeowners who take on small renovations and have liquid savings might decide to pay for everything out of pocket. The upside of this approach is not having to deal with debt or interest rates.
However, paying cash for a large project can be challenging for some homeowners. It might even lead to cutting corners on important elements in an effort to keep costs down. Plus, unexpected emergency costs could drive you into unexpected debt.
Borrowing Money from Friends or Family
Another alternative to financing your home remodel is borrowing money from family members or friends. While this may save you from having to deal with loan applications and approvals — and potentially provide more flexible terms — it can come with its own share of issues, such as risking the personal relationship if you’re unable to pay back the lender.
Additionally, loans from family members may be considered gifts by the IRS — and, thus, may be taxable. Consider discussing this method of financing a home remodel with a tax professional before proceeding if you have any concerns or uncertainties.
A HELOC, or home equity line of credit, allows homeowners to pull a certain amount of equity from their home to finance things like renovations. Qualifying for a HELOC depends on several factors, including the outstanding mortgage amount on the home, the home’s market value, and the homeowner’s financial profile.
HELOCs typically come with an initially low interest rate, and a homeowner generally has the option to only pay interest on the amount they’ve actually withdrawn. However, HELOCs also could have high upfront costs. They can come with a variable interest rate with annual and lifetime rate caps. Plus, your home is acting as collateral, meaning that if you fail to make payments, your home could be on the line.
If you don’t have the cash on hand or enough equity in your home for a HELOC, then a personal loan is another consideration. The most common type of personal loan is an unsecured loan, meaning the loan isn’t attached to your home equity.
Personal loans might be a good option for people who recently bought their homes, need capital quickly for unexpected reasons, or need a loan for their home improvement project — there are a number of potential uses for personal loans.
Figuring out your remodel costs ahead of time is important if you want to take out a personal loan though. One of the steps to get a personal loan approved is determining how much you’ll need to borrow.
Recommended: Personal Loan Calculator
The cost to remodel a house will depend on the number of rooms you decide to renovate, the degree to which each room is remodeled, the materials you use, and the area in which you live. Opting to DIY some projects could help bring down the budget, but it can be smart to bring in a professional for more specialized projects like electrical work and plumbing.
Before you get started, consider mapping out a plan that prioritizes which projects you tackle first and how you intend to finance your home remodel. One option you might consider is a home improvement loan from SoFi, which is a type of personal loan. You could get your loan funded as soon as the same day, with competitive rates and no fees. Qualified borrowers may be eligible to borrow $5,000 to $100,000 for a home improvement project or other personal needs.
Learn more and apply today for a SoFi home improvement loan!
What’s the difference between a house rehab, remodel, and renovation?
A house rehab, or rehabilitation, involves keeping and repairing old or historical elements of a home to make it in better condition, which could include introducing new materials. With a remodel, you’re changing the structure of a room, whereas a renovation is reviving the existing room to make it more attractive or personalized.
How do I estimate renovation costs?
The best way to estimate your renovation costs is to talk to a local contractor. You might contact a few to get some different estimates to work with. From there, you might consider adding at least 10% to that figure to account for unforeseen expenses or other surprises.
How much should I spend on a home renovation?
It’s really up to you how much to spend on a home renovation. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind the value of surrounding homes as you add value to your own. You might contextualize remodeling costs in the context of the overall value of your home.
How much remodeling can be done with $100,000?
It’s possible to renovate an entire house with a budget of $100,000, considering the national average cost to remodel a whole home generally falls in the mid-$40,000s. However, the amount of remodeling you can do also depends on factors such as the quality of materials used, the square footage of the house, and the home’s location. The cost of remodeling can vary widely based on these factors and others.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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