What Is the Average Cost to Gut and Remodel a House?
A Room-by-Room Breakdown of Costs
For DIYers and potential real estate investors, fixer-uppers can seem like a fun and rewarding opportunity. The chance to show off your handy fix-it skills, while also turning a profit in the process? What could be better?
But fixer-upper properties aren’t always what they seem — and in order to ensure a return on your investment, it’s important to know the full scope of costs you’ll incur, long before purchasing the home.
Are you considering buying a fixer-upper? Check out this guide on the average cost to gut and remodel a house–and make sure you’re ready for the financial commitment.
The chart below shows a breakdown of remodeling projects and how much they can cost you on average.
When gutting and remodeling a house, the kitchen will likely be your highest-cost space. According to Home Advisor, the average kitchen remodel clocks in at over $20,000. Cabinetry, hardware, countertops, and flooring are often the most expensive items in this room, with higher-end items like EnergyStar appliances and custom cabinetry adding additional costs to the ledger.
A bathroom remodel can run anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 depending on the scope of the project. The costs of a bathroom renovation are highly dependent on the materials, fixtures, and hardware you choose, with items like quartz countertops, jetted tubs and custom wood cabinets coming at a premium.
For the most part, a roof only lasts a few decades, so if the bulk of the house needs renovation, it’s likely the roof does, too. Replacing a roof generally runs anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $100K, depending on the materials you use. A basic asphalt roof typically clocks in under $10,000, while higher-quality ones like tile or slate cost six to 10 times that.
If the home requires replacing or adding vinyl siding, you can expect to pay between $5,700 and $14,000, according to Home Advisor. It generally runs around $4 per square foot of coverage. Thicker and more stylized siding options may cost more. There are other siding materials available, though wood and fiber cement are typically more expensive.
Doors and windows
Replacing all the doors and windows on a home can add thousands of dollars to your final costs. On average, full-house window installation runs just over $5,000, with larger windows commanding a higher price tag. Doors, on the other hand, cost about $1,000 just for one. Exterior doors are more expensive than interior ones, as are ones made of solid oak, beveled glass, wrought iron, and other more high-end materials.
There are a number of often overlooked expenses that can impact your overall renovation costs, too. The biggest is typically labor. Contractors, plumbers, electricians, engineers and other professionals all come at a fee—usually an hourly one. These fees vary greatly; plumbers typically ask for $45 to $150 an hour, while structural engineers can cost $500 or more, according to Home Advisor.
Some of the costs you’ll want to take into account include:
- Permits Many renovation projects require a permit from the local building authority. There may be application fees for these, and you may also need multiple permits for different projects throughout the house.
- Adding, moving or removing walls Changing up the layout of your property can add significant expense to the project as well. Moving (or removing) load-bearing walls or walls where plumbing, electrical or mechanical systems are housed will typically come with higher costs.
- Appliances Replacing and installing appliances can also increase your costs to remodel. Generally, stainless steel appliances and energy-efficient ones will cost more.
- Flooring Flooring costs run the gamut and depend largely on the size of the space as well as the material you choose. Installing carpeting, for example, only costs around $1,500, while higher-end floors like laminate or wood cost about $2,800 and $4,200, respectively.
Any changes to the HVAC system on the property will add additional expenses to the project. A new air conditioning unit typically runs $5,000 or more, while new blown-in insulation costs about $1,400. Moving the home to a solar-powered system averages at around $20,000 total.
Getting the Most from Your Remodel
Some remodeling projects improve your home value (as well as your revenues once you sell the property) more than others. Make sure you’re choosing your remodeling projects wisely to ensure you get the most from your investment.
According to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost v. Value Report, remodeling projects with the highest ROIs include:
- Replacing your garage door (Resale value of $3,520 / Cost recouped: 97.5%)
- Adding stone veneer siding (Resale value of $8,449 / Cost recouped: 94.9%)
- Doing a minor kitchen remodel (Resale value of $18,123 / Cost recouped: 80.5%)
- Adding a wood deck (Resale value of $10,083 / Cost recouped: 75.6%)
- Replacing old siding (Resale value of $12,119 / Cost recouped: 75.6%)
Other high-ROI projects include replacing your entryway door, replacing outdated windows, or adding a fiberglass grand entrance. If you’re not sure which projects will give you the highest returns on your investment, consider speaking to a local real estate agent about what features and amenities local homebuyers are looking for.