One of the first questions we get asked, whether in the initial phone call from a client or when someone finds out what we do, is “what does it cost to remodel?”

how much does it cost to remodel?

The answer isn’t immediately satisfying: “It depends.”

It depends on the project, the scope of the remodel, the conditions we find (there may be problems lurking behind walls and ceilings), and clients’ tastes and lifestyles. There are an infinite combination of variables.

But we do have some broad guidelines that may help you budget and figure out what’s right for you.

Just Don’t Move a Thing

If you’re looking to update a powder room, full bath or kitchen, you’ll spend less if we stick with the existing layout. Leaving walls where they are, and not having to relocate plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling systems is your lowest-cost option. For that, you’re looking at project costs starting around:

  • $12,000 for a basic powder room. That’s for demolition and replacing all cabinets, fixtures, mirror, tile floor, new lighting and paint.
  • $25,000 for a complete full bath replacement. Again, leaving things where they are and tearing away the old, and installing new cabinets, counters, fixtures, medicine cabinets/mirrors, exhaust fans, lighting, tub or shower, and flooring.
  • $45,000 for basic master bath replacement. As above, but often includes an expanded tile shower — fixtures stay in or near their current locations.
  • $50,000 for a basic kitchen facelift. What we call a “pull-and-replace.” New countertops, backsplash, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, and appliances in the same locations. By basic, we’re thinking GE appliances, stock cabinetry, and a single sink.

Tear It All Down

More often, though, our clients want new room designs and layouts. And that does cost more — because it involves more time and work throughout the process. We’re going to work with you to find out what you want to change and why, and that will inform the designs. Want walls down to create a bigger kitchen? We have to figure out whether the wall you want gone is load bearing, so, y’know, your house doesn’t collapse. If it’s load bearing, then we need to engineer a way around it.

It’s also more labor-intensive — from demo to finish. Electrical and plumbing has to be run to different areas, and heating and cooling systems may be affected. Your selections in materials — like flooring and countertops — and appliances will also cause cost variances.

As a rule of thumb, though, here are the starting price points for these more intensive projects:

  • $95,000 for a complete master bath/suite remodel. It includes all the new finishes and materials, but also includes moving the fixtures and improving the layout, often involving adjacent spaces like walk-in closets. It can be a total reimagining of the bedroom or closet space to improve the whole suite.
  • $125,000 for a complete kitchen remodel. We replace all finishes, fixtures, and appliances. In most cases, it involves moving appliance and utility locations and taking down walls.
  • $150,000 for a luxury kitchen remodel. Replacing and moving everything, including walls, and finishing in materials such as quartz or custom concrete counters, two sinks, custom cabinets, and high-end appliances like Sub-Zero, Wolf, or BlueStar.

Keep in mind these are guidelines and starting points for the conversation. Everything we do is customized to who our clients are, how they live, and what they value. Not every project falls into a neat category — for example, we’ve done kitchens with stock cabinets and a BlueStar range — for that client, the upgraded stove was more important than having custom cabinets. We’ve demolished and framed in a room as part of a larger project that the homeowner is finishing himself.

Se what we mean about it depending? We love to solve problems and work with our clients to get the results they want and can afford.

Next week, we’ll head outside, for additions and outdoor projects in Part 2.

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