We write this same blog ever year – and for good reason! Often, homeowners have no idea what a remodel is going to cost. After all, if you haven’t done one recently, it’s hard to pull a number out of thin air and the information you find online can be unrealistic. Worse yet, television shows do not reflect “reality” and are very misleading. No, we can’t actually renovate your kitchen in 30 minutes and there are no corporate sponsors paying for advertising to help defray the costs!
For the past 30 years, the editors of Remodeling Magazine have compiled data from across the country to create estimates of what home remodeling projects cost in each market – in our case, Greater Boston. They use the data to produce the “Cost Vs. Value Report” which we have found to be pretty accurate.
That being said…let’s take a look at two of the most popular home remodeling projects locally – kitchens and bathrooms – and how much they would cost according to the 2019 report.
According to the report, the average bathroom remodel (not an addition, but a remodel of an existing space) costs between nearly $27k and $80k in the Boston area – the higher end of the range being an $8000 increase over 2018 (people clearly love to go high-end on their bathrooms). In our experience a cosmetic re-do starts at around $30k, but that’s using simple subway tile and basic fixtures. Changing the layout (i.e. moving pipes) and upgrading fixtures and tiles can increase that to the upper end of the range. Some popular upgrades we often encounter are curbless showers and heated floors.
According to the report, the average kitchen remodel ranges from $78k to $155k as you go from “midrange” to “upscale.” Our kitchen projects typically fall in the bottom 2/3 of that range, which is enough to include quartz countertops, wood floors, an island and an eye-catching tile backsplash.
Keep in mind that these are averages. It’s important when setting your budget to be honest with yourself about whether your taste and requirements are, in fact, ‘above average,’ and to plan accordingly. For example, a ‘midrange’ kitchen includes laminate countertops, but our clients typically want stone or quartz. Another cost factor that is sometimes overlooked is the cost of removing one or more walls (and adding structural support) to create an open floor plan.
Overall, the price of a remodel has increased since last year. Kitchens and bathrooms are typically around $3-5k more than in 2018. The next question is, WHY? As we’ve written before, reasons include:
- The tight housing market – particularly in our area
- The difficulty of finding skilled labor
- The rising costs of materials such as lumber
- The rising costs of imported goods such as countertops and appliances due to tariffs
- Building code now requires additional insulation and efficiency of HVAC equipment (although this “cost” may end up paying for itself in lower fuel bills and comfort)
However, there are many reasons to remodel your home despite the increase in cost. Of course, there’s the VALUE that the remodel brings to you and your family, by creating a more functional space and a design style that makes you happy. Plus, if you’re considering selling your home, remodeling adds value. The Cost vs. Value Report will also give you an idea of the estimated resale value and percentage of the cost you may recoup if you sell your home. It’s helpful to know what your investment may be worth.