September 25, 2022

Estimating Home Renovation Costs - How to Do Estimates the Right Way

A home renovation is often a wise investment. The cost is easily recuperated for most homeowners when they sell their property. Plus, if you're planning to stay in the home, it adds to the space's aesthetic.

With rising inflation, it's difficult to know how to estimate home renovation costs.

The following guide will outline the traditional cost of renovating interior and exterior spaces based on the current market trends.

How to Estimate Home Renovation Costs

Estimating costs at a time when inflation is rising and material costs are fluctuating is difficult. Planning ahead for a remodel is crucial because you can time it right when the price for materials drops.

Below, we've put the list of renovation costs by room, but keep in mind that prices can vary based on:

  • Room size
  • Complexity
  • Materials chosen
  • Labor costs
  • Location
  • Etc.

Old House Renovation Costs vs. New House Renovation Costs

Old homes cost more to renovate because they may have:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead pipes
  • Old electrical wiring
  • Etc.

You also must judge the cost based on the room and what work needs to be done. For example, let's say you plan on remodeling an old bathroom that needs new flooring, updated plumbing systems, a new bathtub and a toilet. In this case, it will be more expensive than painting the space and adding granite countertops.

HomeGuide puts the average cost of an old home remodel as:

  • $15 - $60 per square foot
  • $20,000 - $73,000 for the entire home
  • Up to $100,000 for a 3-bedroom home

If your home needs a remodel down to the studs, the price can go from $100,000 to $200,000 for a three-bedroom. Additional rooms and larger homes will cost more to remodel.

A builder or contractor may come into the home, start removing sheetrock and find that there's mold, old wiring or old pipes. In these cases, unforeseen damages or structural work can cause prices to skyrocket.

It's crucial to sit down with a contractor who is willing to provide an estimate that may include a high-end for unexpected issues like those above. 

Expected Renovation Costs by Room

A study from Harvard University predicts that home remodeling costs will rise by 8.6% through mid-2022. Renovating a home can cost as much as $17,000-$70,000+, depending on your plans in current market conditions.

If you're planning to renovate one or more rooms in your home, it can be challenging to estimate costs without knowing the details of your project.

However, we can estimate costs based on averages for other homeowners.


The kitchen is one of the most expensive rooms in the home to renovate, but the investment pays off in the value it adds to your property.

On average, it costs $25,656 to renovate a kitchen, or $150 per square foot. The cost of a project depends on the size of the kitchen, materials and extent of the renovation.

  • A simple update that includes a new coat of paint, updating a sink, installing a tile backsplash and refacing cabinets can cost $10,000-$15,000.
  • Installing new cabinets, flooring, appliances and granite countertops can push the cost to $30,000 or more.

Master Bedroom

Renovating a master bedroom can run you about $110 per square foot. Costs will vary greatly depending on your location, your plans and other variables, like mold remediation, that may be needed. 

Adding a walk-in closet can cost $15,000 or more, especially if you install high-quality cabinets. Flooring will run you $8-$15 per square foot. Expanding or adding a master bathroom can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The price will be higher if you need to build an addition versus repurposing existing space.

Master Bathroom or Guest Bathroom

Like kitchens, bathroom remodels can be costly, but they often pay off. On average, it costs $6,600-$16,387 to remodel a bathroom.

Renovating a large or master bathroom can cost $25,000 or more for a major remodel. If you're only updating or refreshing the space, it may cost as little as $3,000 to complete the work. On the other hand, you may spend $50,000 or more if you want the most luxurious upgrades. 

Location will play a big role in your costs, as labor costs vary and account for up to 65% of the cost. Materials matter, too. A fiberglass shower is less than $500, whereas a custom tile shower can run thousands of dollars.

If you want to change your floor plan, expect to spend significantly more on your renovation. Plumbing and electricity may need to be installed if you're moving toilets or showers.

Living Room

A living room is an affordable option for renovation. These spaces often cost $1,500 to $6,000 to renovate, which may include adding fans, lighting or painting. If you want to install a fireplace, you'll spend $900 to $4,000.

New flooring can also cost $1,500 to$4,000 or more, depending on the size of the room.


Basement remodeling is a big job, depending on the size and age of the basement. If you have issues with cracks or flooding in the basement, you may need to install pumps. Additionally, if you want to finish the basement, you may need to add flooring or run:

  • Electrical lines
  • Plumbing lines

Finishing a basement will cost $25 to $50 a square foot, with the average cost being $18,400 to finish the space. Of course, size plays a factor in these costs, too. Some basements will cost $34,000+.

It's important to know that a basement's space isn't included in the home's total square footage.

However, the return on investment is around 70%. If you make rooms in the basement or add an office (which is very popular due to a growing number of people working from home), it will make your home much more desirable if you plan on selling.


Building an addition to a home is a major expense, and there are numerous levels of additions to consider:

  • Two-story additions average $67,000 and are extensive
  • A 10 x 10 room can cost $16,000 to $40,000

On average, additions cost $80 to $200 per square foot, but they're a good option for smaller homes. For example, a 2-bedroom home sells for significantly less than its three-bedroom counterparts and has a much harder time selling.

Adding an addition can help increase the home's value and ability to sell.

Additional Non-Traditional Renovation Costs

Sometimes, you won't remodel your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. A home has many parts, and some remodels are focused on the less "impressive" parts but are still necessary. The non-traditional renovations and their costs include:


A deck can add a lot of value to a home, and it's an integral part of accessing the space. The price of a deck is charged by square foot, so the larger the deck, the more you can expect to pay.

Since a standard deck is around 14' x 20', you'll find most decks of this size cost around $6,000 to build. The cost per square foot to build a deck is roughly $25. Most homeowners will spend between $4,000 and $11,300 if they need a total deck replacement.

If you're merely replacing a few boards or staining the deck, it will obviously cost less than the figures above.

Old decks that are falling apart but don't require complete replacement just yet will cost $5 to $15 per square foot to fix. You'll often find the cost to be somewhere around the midpoint of $10, but there are many things to consider: size, materials, type of wood and more.


A roof is an often-overlooked renovation, but it's one of the home's most crucial components. Renovations may be something simple, such as adding new shingles. However, when most homeowners say they’re going to "renovate" their roof, they mean that they're going to replace it.

The cost to replace is:

  • $5,600 on the low end
  • $11,700 on the high end

A new roof will add value to your home. In fact, if you're doing an exterior renovation, the roof is one way to maximize your return on investment. Figures put this return at 109%, so if you spent $10,000, your return when selling would be $10,900.

Buyers prefer a new roof, as it's one of the largest repairs that can occur in a home.

If the home is older and the roof is 20 to 25 years old, it may be time to replace it. Metal roofs can last significantly longer, so they are the exception in this figure. 


Gutters are an integral part of a home's drainage, and luckily, they don't cost much to add. If you're adding them to your home, you can expect to pay:

  • $1,500 on the low end
  • $3,500 on average

However, if you have gutters that are already in place and don't need replacement, you can fix or repair them for between $200 and $600. New gutters add value to the home because diverting rainwater off the roof is crucial to keeping the roof rot- and mold-free.

Additionally, the gutters divert water away from the foundation and help stop pooling.


Renovating a garage is a popular choice for homeowners, and costs will vary depending on the size of the garage. A one-car garage will be cheaper than a two-car unit. The national average cost for this remodel will be:

Three-car and subsequent garages will cost more. However, this is one remodel that often doesn't provide a return on investment unless you convert the space into a room.

How to Get the Best Value with Minimum Cost When Renovating

If you want to maximize your renovation value while reducing costs, consider the following:

  • Stick to your budget: If you can't afford a certain remodel, see what you can afford in your price range.
  • Get multiple estimates: You may be overpaying for a remodel. You should seek out multiple estimates and choose the contractor that you're most comfortable with. However, seeking out the lowest price often leads to subpar work.
  • Do some of the work: YouTube makes it fast and easy to maximize your renovation while reducing costs if you're willing to put some time and effort into the project. Spending a few hours on DIY tasks can save you money. For example, you can remove countertops or cabinets on your own. Since the contractor won't need to perform these tasks, it will save you money on labor costs.
  • Reuse: If you like or want materials that you already have, be sure to reuse them in the remodel.
  • Balance: A good balance of materials is crucial if you're on a tight budget. You may choose more for fancy marble countertops and less on your cabinets. Countertops are always a good option in a remodel because they can offer great properties like heat and microbial resistance while also making a kitchen more functional.

On top of this, you can always choose renovations that offers the best return on investment. You may not be able to afford the most expensive remodel, but knowing which upgrades offer the best return is a good starting point:

  1. Kitchens: 80% - 87% return
  2. Two-story addition: 83%
  3. Deck: 75%

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms in the home that buyers will look at first. Major kitchen remodels can be very expensive, but even minor remodels can offer substantial returns on investment.

Finally, the sure-fire way to learn how to estimate home renovation costs is to call around and get estimates from three to five contractors. If all of the price ranges are similar, you can use that figure as a general cost.

However, if everyone gives a different price, you can add the estimates together and divide by the number of estimates to get a general idea of costs.

For example, if you receive three estimates to renovate your kitchen that are:

  • $20,000
  • $25,000
  • $30,000

You would add these figures together to get $75,000 and then divide by three to get the average estimate of $25,000.

Due to varying material costs and labor in your area, it's crucial to call around and see what professionals in your area are charging. However, the figures we've outlined are a great starting point for your renovation costs.

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An interior design professional with a Master's degree in Architecture and 14 years of practical experience.
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