How Much Does That Home Renovation Project Cost?

Renovation requires careful planning, which includes budgeting, timing and a lot of contractor interviews if you want to find the right person and price.

By: Stephanie Lynch

Renovations, depending on what you want to be done, can be all over the place.  Some jobs can be in the low thousands, while some extensive jobs could be as much as your home mortgage.

If you’re thinking about any home renovation project in the future, let’s dig deep and see what the job may cost you.

What determines the cost of renovation?
It goes without saying that the more extensive the project is, the more expensive it will be.

For instance, if your renovation is intended to involve breaking down internal walls, which are structurally designed to bear some of the load of your house, you will need more resources than if you were only going to change the cabinets, a window, countertops or floor.

The size can play a factor as well.  A 100 square foot space will need much less tile than a 2,000 square foot basement.

With any projects, regardless of what’s done, you’re going to want to pay close attention to the materials being used, the amount of hours it will take to do the job, your geographical area and the competition in the area.  Most of this information can be found with a quick search online.

To give you an idea of what some popular renovations do cost, here some estimates you may see if you were to get this type of work done.

#1 Cabinets
Cabinets can cost anywhere from $60 to $210 per linear foot, depending on the material and are used in one of the most vital parts of the house, the kitchen. Kitchens have top priority in renovations because they add value to or detract from the house, and determine, to a large extent, how much the house would be worth when up for resale.

The most popular kitchen types include stock, semi-custom and custom.  Stock cabinets will be prefabricated and will be sold as-is, while semi-custom can allow slight customizations such as the design.  Custom will be just that – a custom option that allows the homeowner to fit the buyer’s exact wants and needs.

#2 Countertops
The costs of countertops, which are also used in kitchens, can cost anywhere from $1,600 to 4,000, depending on the type of counter and the dimensions. Countertops influence the look and feel of your kitchen, and there are several sizes and qualities of countertops to choose from.

For example, there’s Formica, Corian, granite, quartz, stainless steel, butcher block and so on. Your choice should be determined by your need and budget. Corian and granite countertops, for instance, are more durable and expensive than others.

#3 Windows
Windows can cost between $150 to $500+ each, depending on the material they’re made of, the style and size. Windows, apart from serving many useful, practical purposes, add an aesthetic appeal to the exterior of the house. There are different kinds of windows such as vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass just to mention a few.

Vinyl windows have their advantages and disadvantages. They are some of the most affordable windows, and it doesn’t take much to maintain them; they come in several colors, too. Unfortunately, they can’t be painted, which means they must be completely replaced if there’s a need for color change.

Aluminum windows are also popular. They’re not heavy, they’re durable, they’re strong and they’re inexpensive. But known as poor insulators, they allow in noise from the outside, and if not well crafted, they’re not aesthetic.

Fiberglass windows are rapidly gaining popularity over time because they are durable and are known as good insulators, but they require repainting from time to time to keep them looking good.

#4 Flooring
Flooring, like countertops and windows, can come in so many different styles and types.  The most popular options include carpet, hardwood flooring and tile.

Carpet, priced by the square foot most of the time, will be about $2 to $5 per square foot, depending on the quality and the brand.  Higher-grade quality carpets will be closer to the $5 per square foot range, while a lower grade carpet, often found in an apartment can be closer to $2 per square foot.

Hardwood flooring is durable, affordable and can cost anywhere from $7 to $15 per square foot, depending on the manufacturer and the type of wood being used.  A cheaper option – laminate flooring – can mimic the wood look and will be a fraction of the cost.

Tile, out of all flooring options, can be as little as $1 to more than $20 per square foot.  This will depend on the quality and type.  A mosaic tile, for example, could cost up to $25 per sheet, while a small white glazed porcelain tile could cost $2 per square foot.  Experts recommend budgeting at least $6 to $7 per square foot for flooring.

Summing it up
Budgeting can only take you so far when you research prices on the Internet. Since there are so many factors involved, always get at least three to five quotes from a local, licensed contractor.  Doing so should give you an opportunity to see what they can do for you and what they will charge.

About the Author:
Stephanie Lynch is the co-creator of, a cost-helping database designed to help consumers find out what unknown things cost in life such as professional services and surgeries.  For years, Stephanie has been an advocate helping consumers pay a fair price, bringing transparency to items that may be hard to budget for.  Feel free to reach out and follow her at @howmuchforit on Twitter.

Photo: leyla.a