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Jul 1, 2013 2:56PM
OK, who the crap did this article?  The costs listed are insanely overpriced, and you are not doing your due diligence if you pay anywhere near those amounts for those things.

I just signed a contract to renovate the interior of my entire home...$14,000 and the contractors are advised that 1 penny over and I need to be called first.

The home is 1800 sq. ft, and the renovations include...
New carpet throughout, except kitchens and bathrooms (1 and 2), which get new floors.
Painting entire interior, spray the ceilings throughout, new ceiling fans in 4 rooms, stain on all kitchen cabinets, new dishwasher, new sinks and counter tops in 2 bathroom, new mirrors in bathrooms, new sink and counter tops in kitchen, track lighting in kitchen, bathrooms and at bar, new hot water heater, new central heating and cooling system, 4 new screen and 4 new exterior doors.  I'm sure I missed something.

SO this article is BS....granted, I didn't not get marble countertops, nor did I get hardwood, or expensive carpet, but sorry, the prices listed are insanely high on all.
Dec 5, 2012 12:21PM
How did they come up with the costs for these renovations?  Well, put it this way, 2 years ago I remodeled our bathroom.  Total gut job.  New bath (included moving some plumbing), new vanity new floor with underfloor heating, new drywall (including tearing down the plaster ceiling), put in a heated towel rack, insulated the whole room (was no insulation in the walls or ceiling), made a built in shelving unit, added an exhaust fan.  Basically everything re-done except the toilet, though we did buy a new seat for that. Total cost was somewhere around $8k.  All done by myself (with help from my wife and a good friend) except for the electric stuff.

Last year I did a total gut job on 2 bedrooms, and that cost about $3k in total.

That's how you keep costs down and make equity.  Those 2 renovations probably added about $20-25k to the value of our house (it would now be appraised as a 3 bedroom instead of 2).  That's just a bonus on top of the fact it's now 100 times better to live in.
Dec 5, 2012 8:49AM

The average prices listed for the home improvement projects outlined in this article are close to being realistic for the homeowner that takes on the entire project without a contractor, but some of the average cost listed in this article will vary in different regions of the country.


Remember, this article was written to give homeowners the average cost for various home improvement projects without a contractor, not with a contractor.


When you hire a contractor, you will have to add 50% or more to the average home improvement project cost and some contractors will add a lot more than 50% to the estimate after reading you to determine your basic knowledge of construction and material cost.


With a little research you can determine the cost of your improvement project with various web sites and big box store web site calculators that will calculate the material needed for your project and some online material calculators will automatically add 10% of the material for breakage, waste, etc..


Just like the article mentioned, some big box stores offer classes for various DIY home projects and you can also purchase home improvement project books at the big box stores. Also check out your local community college that may offer short 8 to 16 week courses on basic residential construction, plumbing, etc., if available in your area?


Every homeowner should also educate themselves on building codes that may be related to their home improvement project, a good place to start would be to buy a code check book available at technical books stores, online or at the big box stores. Remodeling projects MUST be followed to the manufacturer's installation instructions and built to code to prevent injury or death.


Depending on the scope of the project, you may need to apply for a city or county building permit. The permitting process will let you complete stages of your project up to a point prior to the city or county building inspector inspecting your work and giving you instructions to make needed corrections or permission to proceed to the next stage or to complete your project.


I worked in residential construction for over 12 years in Texas, I worked as a construction manager and inspector for a nationwide residential builder. I bought my new 2,300 sq' home through my employer at a discount in 2007. My employer was selling identical homes as mine for about $146,000 and I was able to purchase my home for $136,000 with my employee discount.


The cost to build my home for my employer was around $76,000, excluding the cost for the lot which was about $18,000 with the improvements. The $76,000 cost to my employer for the construction of my home included everything from the foundation up to completion with nice finishes.


I verified the costs by adding up the purchase & work orders for my plan/house that were sent out to the construction managers with the start package. The $76,000 total construction cost didn't include any administrative cost to my employer, the cost only covered the actual construction labor & material. 





Dec 5, 2012 8:43AM
Wow wow wow....a bathroom remodel for over 10,000 grand..pftt yea right! Well at least here in Miami Ive come across alot of people, including my own relatives that have remodeled their bathroom for less than 5,000 grand, I mean this isnt Beverly Hills or Hollywood but ****, Miami is pretty pricey to live in but I highly doubt it costs that much ANYWHERE to remodel anything around the house, unless youre in Beveryly Hills or the Hamptoms or something lol. Anyone ever heard of the HG Tv? lol
Dec 5, 2012 8:41AM

I didn't see any statistic about updating electrical panels and wiring.

We just did a major remodel of our home that included replacing sill plates and some exterior wall studs due to water damage, had blown in insulation done, replaced single pane windows with double, replaced doors and sliders, concrete around home was replaced so it slanted away from foundation, re-did kitchen, had a french drain put in for drainage and yard is low maintenance.

Cost was about $50K. Any idea how that affects the value of our home?

Dec 5, 2012 8:12AM
You guys forgot one of the more costly improvements or upgrades: The home comfort system!  The average cost will vary from region to region and depends on a number of factors.  In our area, the average furnace upgrade is $4500, replacing a boiler is $4000, and air conditioning is $3000.  These prices are just for replacing existing systems.  If you are making a big change, such as converting from oil to gas, adding air conditioning, or changing the type of system (from a boiler to a furnace or vice versa), the average price is about $10K.  I am surprised this got by you guys!
Dec 5, 2012 7:56AM

I wish I could afford these for my present this year.. but the whole theme for the Holidays is "low cost".. down to the great gifts I am buying.. I got these hilarious cookbooks for everyone.. all under $15! they are a bit unpc so I won't tell you the titile here.. but I can't wait to see the look on my Mother in Law's face when she opens it.. google Whipped and beaten culinary works" to find it.. but don't go if you can't take a good joke..

Dec 5, 2012 7:49AM
So called "homes" are not homes at all...they're boxes or cubicles with plumbing and wiring. You make it an actual home when you: furnish, decorate, landscape, heat/cool, maintain, pay property taxes, etc.. Keep that in mind when buying one of these glorified boxes.
Dec 5, 2012 7:33AM
Completely ridiculous. Lets just delude homeowners even more. I really wish they would stop writing these articles or at the very least hire someone to write who knows what their talking about.
Dec 5, 2012 7:24AM
I'm a midwest home owner and an avid diy . I recently had a new roof installed on my house and garage by a reputable contractor so I thought! Two of the roof vents were upside down, The ridge rows were installed wrong side up on not all but some of them on the house, all but one of them on the garage. The crew were all caucasion. Where did pride of work go. Also I had to check on progression of work as they didn't install new flashing around the roof per bid. They also broke a board big enough to step through and told me their boss said it wasn't big enough to warrant replacing. So needless to say I'm will continue my diy
Dec 5, 2012 6:28AM
I think everyone should tackle a major or even minor home renovation DIY (do it yourself) style.  Go down to the big boxstore, drive right past the local hardware/lumber yard that's bee there 50yrs. and get'r done.  Then make your own clothes, fix your own car, and then maybe come back to a legitimate contractor like me and we'll talk. 
Dec 5, 2012 6:15AM
I've been a remodeler for thirty years and there is just so much wrong with this article I don't know where to start. The prices are silly low. If a house is renovated or improved, but no square footage is added, there will be very little recouping of prices. When people look at a house for sale they expect a good roof, a nice kitchen and bathrooms or they buy something else.
Dec 5, 2012 6:01AM
Ok. So they're saying the average addtion of 250 sq. ft. is an average $7,522.00??  Wrong.  That is only about $30 a sq.ft. I have been a remodeling contractor for more than 25 years. Here in the Northeast, a living room addtion of that size, on average, would be more than double of that! Some that have an unfinished basement, or insulated crawl-space can be closer to $100.00 per sq. ft.!!
Dec 5, 2012 5:36AM

THese numbers are ridiculous.  I build for a living and, as someone else said, couldn't even buy the materials for most of these projects for the average cost.  They must have been looking at some other numbers or some old numbers.  Also, the average expectancy can vary wildly.


They said the average roof price was less than $10,000.  The last roof we did, the materials cost more than that.  We were putting on average priced asphalt shingles.  These have a life expectancy of 25-30 years.  This was an average sized roof. 


 If someone wants to use ceramic, slate or other materials, the price will sky rocket into the stratosphere quickly.  These have a longer life span but their cost is so high, it almost negates the life expectancy.


This is but one example of their numbers being so off.  I could go on about other remodel projects and the problems with their numbers but it would be along similar lines to the roofing.

Dec 5, 2012 4:37AM
Why all the HUGE homes?  Why not show some remodel projects for the average Joe type home?  This is totally unrealistic.
Dec 5, 2012 4:35AM
I am a contractor in the midwest and these prices and life expectancies on some projects shown here are way way off. This guy obviously did not do much research.
Dec 5, 2012 4:20AM
don't know what moron wrote the reclaim cost on these project but way off the resale standed
Dec 5, 2012 3:58AM
Number 6 is the nicest driveway I have seen in recent memory.
Dec 5, 2012 3:52AM
by using color-stone coated zincalume protected roofing tiles will reduce the roofing cost by half.
Dec 5, 2012 3:21AM
I agree with jerzygrl, these average costs are wishful thinking. I'm a building contractor in SW Florida and my cost  to build would be more these.
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