Determining the Cost and Benefit of a Home Renovation Project

By Erin Devine, DIY Home & Floor Blog

Often, home owners want to update the kitchen with granite countertops, install new flooring or renovate the basement to make their homes more appealing to buyers. Before you begin planning your renovations, however, come up with a blueprint for how much value these will add to your new home.

Here are some tips on what to consider when calculating the costs and benefits of performing a home renovation project:

1. Calculate the costs of your renovation project.

Estimating how much you will spend on installing hardwood flooring or purchasing new appliances is fairly easy to do. However, calculating cost can become difficult if you don’t consider the full scope of the project. Before committing to a renovation, consider the size of your home, the amount of materials needed, and the length of the project. Only after you’ve calculated the total cost can you assess whether renovating is a savvy investment.

2. If needed, ask for professional assistance.

Refusing to hire a professional contractor is another mistake that many home owners make. While it’s possible to successfully complete simple projects on your own, more complex projects like remodeling a basement should be left to a reputable contractor. If you’re anticipating a large renovation project, you need to start pricing the cost of labor through local contractors. If you can’t afford to have a contractor renovate your home, try doing some of the simpler renovations on your own while saving up for the larger projects.

3. Determine how much value the renovations will add to your home.

Only after you determine the cost of the renovation should you estimate how much added value it will bring to your home. If you’re spending thousands of dollars to upgrade your home with features like hardwood flooring and granite countertops, you need to be able to justify the investment.

Select which renovation projects offer a greater return. For example, hardwood flooring usually offers a greater return on investment than granite countertops. According to HGTV, kitchen remodels will help you recoup between 60 and 120 percent of your investment depending on what you renovate, while a bathroom addition can recoup 80 to 130 percent.

But home owners are encouraged to meet with an appraiser or a real estate agent if they really want to know how much they stand to recoup and for help in calculating just how much that renovation project will add to their home’s current value.

More at REALTOR® Magazine

Every year, REALTORS® in markets across the country judge the effects of remodeling projects on sales prices for the Cost vs. Value Report, done in cooperation with Remodeling magazine. From now until Oct. 5, you could win $500 just for adding your voice to the survey. Weigh in today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin Devine is the owner and writer for DIY Home & Floor Blog, an online resource for home decorating and flooring. She loves all things do-it-yourself and is a frequent contributor on many home renovation and interior design blogs on behalf of Floor & Décor Outlets.

Blog Contributor

This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Anne Meczywor

    We get yearly updates on cost vs. value from NAR. I find those charts, broken down by major geographic areas, to be very helpful. My buyers and sellers like the charts so they can see at a glance what a project is likely to cost and what the potential return to value would be.

  2. Thanks for your wonderful guidance.

  3. Kymberlee Albertelli

    I have seen too many Sellers be advised to slap granite on dated, subpar quality kitchen cabinets, or update bathrooms using fiberboard cabinets and granite and leave old blue tubs or toilets or cheap lighting. Sometimes, honestly, it’s better to put a poster of an Architect’s or Interior Designer’s drawings of the space than to spend foolishly. I hope this article helps see what will add value, what will sell the home and what needs to be skipped to allow the Buyer to come in and make their own choices.

  4. AlbertMiller

    Nice post!I would like professional assistance idea in this post.Because professional done all their work properly and according to our budget.

  5. Hi! Thanks a lot for the lovely piece of advice and guidance. Really helpful article for people looking for home renovation projects.

  6. Although it’s not really a renovation, There isn’t a project that you can do to a house that can come close to the ROI of a roof cleaning. An average sized home costs about $400 – $600 for a roof cleaning. Most buyers will certainly deduct for a new roof replacement (as much as $10k) in their offer if the roof is stained badly.

  7. Stunning quest there. What happened after? Take care!