How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a House?

(After all, isn’t it about time to get with the times?)

Young couple examining blueprints while being on construction site in their home

So maybe you’re finally fed up with staring at those old oak cabinets. Or maybe the '60s just called and said they want their bathroom back. Either way, it sounds like it’s time to bring your home up to date. But how much is a home remodel gonna cost you? Well, how much needs to be done?

The most important thing you can do when it comes to remodeling your home is make a plan. Start by creating a solid blueprint of the task at hand and make sure you stick to it through the end. Our independent insurance agents stay on top of the industry and all the latest discounts so you don’t have to. That means they’ll help you find the right home insurance coverage for you at the right price.

If you don’t, you risk ending up with an empty bank account and an unfinished nightmare. This step-by-step guide will help you get on your way, the right way. 

Step 1: Know Your Budget

Look, we’re going to give it to you straight; remodeling a home is expensive. On average, a lower-end remodel will set you back around $5,000, and a higher-end remodel could end up being a massive investment of over $100,000. Knowing your exact budget will help determine what you can upgrade, and knowing exactly what you want to remodel will give you a good start.

Step 2: Decide What You Want to Remodel

The beauty of remodeling a home is that you get to change whatever you want. However, this can also be the ugly side of remodeling. Remember that budget we talked about? Prioritizing what you want to change in your home will allow you to decide exactly what you can afford to renovate and what needs to be put on hold until next time. 

If decisions aren’t your thing, we recommend prioritizing improvements that can add more value to your investment. So think of upgrades like siding replacement, adding a deck, a kitchen upgrade, windows, bathroom remodels and bedroom additions.


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Step 3: Research the Potential Cost 

You’ve got your budget and you’ve got your wish list. Now it’s time to find out how much renovating a house is gonna cost you.

It should be pretty obvious that we can’t just yell out a cost estimate for your project at the drop of a hat. After all, there are tons of different factors for every remodel, including: the scope, your budget, your materials and your location. 

However, our friends at Home Advisor have provided some national averages you can use as a basis to understand potential costs a little better. 

cost to remodel a house chart

Now, just like any other massive money project, you’ll want to beware of hidden costs. According to HGTV there are 10 common hidden costs that most homeowners don’t think about when jumping into a project to rehab their house.

  • Changing your mind
  • Surprise structural changes
  • Bringing your home “up to code”
  • Improper building practices
  • Higher utility bills
  • Boarding pets
  • Eating out
  • Pest and rot damage
  • Taking time off work
  • Moving out/in

We recommend you set aside a nice little emergency fund in case any of these hidden costs decide to rear their ugly head during your remodel. 

Step 5: Understanding Permit Costs

If you plan on doing any major renovations, you’ll need to secure a permit. Unfortunately, permits come with fees ranging from $100 to $3,000, and are typically required for any new construction, additions, structural changes, and electrical, mechanical and plumbing work. 

To determine whether you need a permit for your renovations, check with your city’s building department and they’ll get you squared away.


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How to Save Money on the Cost to Renovate a Home

If reading this article has you crying over a bowl of cereal while counting your life savings, don’t give up hope! There are a lot of ways you can save money so that your home remodel doesn’t leave you penniless and cranky, like: 

  • Do some of the work yourself: If you’re a handyperson or you’re willing to watch A LOT of YouTube videos, you can try to do as much as possible of your remodel yourself. If a job’s too big, hire a contractor, they won’t laugh. 
  • Prepare for your contractors: No matter how contractors bill you, they charge for every little thing they do. So save your contractor’s time and your money by helping prepare the space. As long as it’s not needed, rip out the old carpet or take a sledgehammer to those cabinets—it’s great for getting rid of unwanted energy and stress.
  • Buy mid-grade materials: You really don’t need the most expensive materials to have a beautiful home. In most cases, you can get the same look and quality of materials at a number of different price points.
  • Shop around: Search for a good, honest, budget-friendly contractor and materials by asking friends or reading online reviews. 
  • Don’t do a complete remodel: Consider refurbishing instead of replacing whenever possible. Sometimes just sanding the heck out of them and throwing on new stain is all your kitchen cabinets need.

Remodeling your home is an exciting time. By properly planning for your remodel, budgeting, and applying a little elbow grease, you can have your dream home and still have some cash in the bank, especially with an affordable home insurance policy. Now, go on and rock that remodel.

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