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Designing Your Project
Creative & innovative design solutions turn your project into reality
Planning & Budgeting
Proper project planning and budgeting saves time and money
Tips & Tools
Tips & Tools that will help you throughout your project

  How do you figure out what your renovation will cost? How much should it cost? How do you set an appropriate budget? What is the likely payback at resale? How can you maximize your return on investment?
Renovation Cost Will Vary By...

  Type of renovation
  Materials used
  Geographic market
  Finishes used
  Resources used
  Cost of Permits
  Cost of cleanup
  Move or stay/storage
  Your time invested

“At its simplest, cost is a function of materials, time and
labor, and local market conditions”

Qualified Preliminary Estimates

  Get multiple preliminary estimates. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. But remember, until the entire project is designed, full specifications are completed and material selections are made these will only be an preliminary estimated cost range.

  Design-Build firms that have the experience, knowledge, architectural designers, building consultants, and proper management staff in place that follow the quality control standards established in the National Association of Homebuilders publication, “Guidelines for Professional Builders and Remodelers” will be typically within 2-3% of each other in cost.

  Inexperienced contractors operating out of their truck or garage should not be included in analyzing or establishing the projected budget cost range of your project, as they typically do not have the overhead associated with having the proper insurances, project supervisors, or management staff in place to successfully manage and complete a great project for you.

  A good rule of thumb is this - whatever amount you’re zeroing in on – multiply it by a factor of 1.1-1.2 to cover changes, contingencies, and Murphy’s Law. Seasoned design-build firms know that the unexpected always occurs. So just go ahead and plan for it. 


  If you’re like most of us, your list of needs and wants will exceed your ability to foot the bill. While the actual cost of renovation varies tremendously, you still need to establish a budget.

  If you’re renovating for yourself or your family, a bank can help you figure out how much you can afford to spend, and how much you can borrow.

  Generally, 20% to 30% of the value of your home is an acceptable amount to invest in the existing structure. For example, if your house is appraised at $200,000, it’s reasonable to invest another $40,000 to $60,000 in improvements. If you’re adding square footage to the house with an addition, this percentage can increase.

Factor in

  What you may have set aside
  What you can borrow and the interest rate you can get
  What is a reasonable monthly payment?
  How long you plan to live in the home

Maximizing the Return on Your Investment

  How do you know if your investment is going to pay off? You may not be planning to sell any time soon, but you want some idea if you’ll recoup your remodeling dollars.

If you are looking at resale soon, do consider renovations that give you the most bang for your buck.

What do the experts say about the best value for your renovation dollar?

“When it comes to payback, these renovations have
the highest return on investment”

  Re-siding (for curb appeal)
  Master suite additions
  Attic bedrooms.

  When looking at these statistics, remember that they yield average costs and returns; the values in your local area or particular situation may differ. 

Sample of Cost vs. Value Information, 2008 National Averages

Project      Cost Value at ResalePercentage Recouped

Siding Replacement - Upscale$10,393$10,771103.6%
Bathroom Remodel - Mid-Range   $10,499$10,727102.2%
Minor Kitch. Remod - Mid-Range $14,913$14,69198.5%
Window Replacement - Mid-Range $9,684$8,681  89.6%
Master Suite - Mid-Range             $73,370$60,46082.4%
Home Office Remod. - Mid-Range$13,143$9,569  72.8%

Remodeling Magazine, November 2008
This section lays out the main factors that influence the economics of your renovation.