How Much Do Home Renovations Cost?

Man measuring counter amid kitchen that's being renovated

Rick Gomez / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Professional home renovations can run from $1,000 for a closet renovation to $500,000 to add a detached living space. 
  • Costs for individual projects will vary depending on the complexity, materials used, and contractor costs.
  • Improvements may include repairing, modernizing, adding to, altering, or replacing different aspects of your house.
  • Renovations can improve or decrease your home’s equity, so it’s important to weigh home reno costs and returns before embarking on a big project.

At some point, most homes will need some kind of renovation, if not a total makeover. Home improvements are any changes you make to your home’s interior or exterior. This could include repairing, modernizing, adding to, altering, or replacing different aspects of your house or condo.

Renovations can improve or decrease your home’s equity, so it’s important to weigh home reno costs and returns before embarking on a big project. Also consider how much enjoyment you’ll get from any change—think of it as an investment in your future happiness. 

With the right approach (and budget) you could earn a decent return on your dollars and enjoy your changes for years to come. Learn more about the costs of popular remodels, factors that impact costs, and how to cut costs for each remodel approach. 

Renovation Cost Ranges

In the table below, all information not otherwise cited is from the 2022 Remodeling Report from the National Association of Realtors and National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Low cost estimate  High cost estimate
Kitchen remodel $28,000 $80,000
Bathroom remodel or addition $35,000 $80,000
Basement or attic conversion to living space  $57,500  $100,000
Accessory dwelling unit (ADU) $30,000 $500,000
Hardwood flooring refinish or new flooring renovation $3,400 $5,500
Closet renovation $1,000 $11,000
Roof replacement $12,000 $51,000
Other exterior renovations such as new exterior windows or doors, or new deck. $3,150 $48,000

Kitchen Remodel Costs

The rough news: The average kitchen renovation costs around $45,000. The good news: A complete kitchen renovation returns 75% of your costs; even a kitchen upgrade returns 67%, according to a 2022 report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. 

It included a survey of members about typical costs, and a homeowner survey. According to the latter, the top reasons people renovate their kitchens are to upgrade surfaces and finishes, and to improve livability and add features. 

Labor and cabinetry can be among the most expensive portions of the total cost, according to Gregg Cantor, San Diego-based CEO and president of design/build and remodeling company Murray Lampert. Many homeowners also hope to expand their kitchens by a few feet or more, which can add to the price. 

A home’s age and room size greatly impact pricing for renovations, Cantor said, including in kitchens. 

“With a newer house built in the 1980s, ‘90s, and forward, doing a kitchen refresh is different than a house built in the 1930s, ‘40s, or ‘50s where there can likely be other costs like wood replacement and more electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work,” he said.

“In California, major code changes were adopted in January 2023. The good news is this means more energy-efficient building practices. With that, there are some additional costs for any construction or remodeling project.” 

Tips for Reducing Kitchen Remodel Costs

To keep prices lower, don’t mess around with the kitchen’s footprint too much, Cantor said. This means walls stay where they are. And keep water lines and wiring in mind. For example, don’t swap the stove and sink, which will likely require extensive plumbing and rewiring. 

Other ideas to reduce kitchen remodel costs include:

  • Repair instead of replace appliances 
  • Replace cabinet fronts or faces only, and add new hardware 
  • Buy new-to-you, energy-efficient appliances second-hand; wait for retail sales or buy floor models. 
  • Look for appliance packages that offer a deeper discount or a bonus item
  • Replace countertops, sinks, faucets, and flooring with affordable models

In particular, investigate modular countertops, Cantor said, which often come in many different quartz colors. Research composite materials to save money on countertops and flooring. 

“There are a lot of really good quality composite materials these days that are durable and not expensive,” he said. “We install luxury vinyl plank (LVP), quartz and Cleaf laminate even in higher-end homes.” 

Bathroom Remodel or Addition Costs

A bathroom renovation returns 71% of the cost spent, and generally costs around $35,000. Adding a new bathroom returns 63%, and costs around $80,000, according to the NAR/NARI report.  

As with a kitchen, the most expensive costs stem from custom cabinetry, Cantor said. Finishes such as marble and upscale plumbing fixtures also drive up costs. Other bigger-ticket items that can add up: 

  • Shower, bathtub, sink, fixture, and associated plumbing work
  • Countertops 
  • Flooring, tub/shower surround, and tile work 
  • Lighting, heated flooring, and other electrical work

Tips for Reducing Bathroom Remodel Costs

As with a kitchen, save money by not disturbing the bathroom’s footprint and by using prefabricated cabinetry. Less-expensive or minor changes might include putting in a new vanity and faucet, Cantor said. A new surround can be installed around an existing tub, and a tub liner may clean up the look of a tub. 

Even more inexpensive bathroom remodels might include: 

  • Laying down a fresh coat of paint for walls or tile
  • Using interlocking vinyl plank or peel-and-stick tiles for a renewed floor
  • Switching out or painting handles, outlet covers, or switch plates
  • Buying a new shower curtain, art, towels, and bathmats


When remodeling, consider how low-flow toilets and showers can reduce your water bills, particularly if your original fixtures are a pre-1994 vintage.

Costs of Attic and Basement Conversions 

Converting an attic to a living area provides a 75% return on investment; converting a basement to a living area 86%, said the NAR/NARI report. But homeowners were slightly happier with their attic conversion than basement conversions. 

The average cost to convert an attic to a bedroom is around $40,000, but ranges between $12,000 to over $70,000, according to the website Homeadvisor. In contrast, basement conversions may cost between $12,000 and $40,000—although some sources say they can go up to $68,000 or higher. 

Basement and attic conversions can require significant systems investments, including plumbing, wiring, and more. Basements may need waterproofing or require new exit and access windows or doorways. Attics may need dormers or other features to create taller, code-compliant ceilings. 

Tips for Reducing Basement and Attic Renovation Costs

If you’re hoping to add space to your home, a basement conversion is less expensive than an attic conversion. To keep costs down, avoid adding bathrooms—and plumbing expenses. Consider converting a garage instead or only one room. A garage renovation costs just $15,000 on average. 

Cost of Adding an ADU  

Some homeowners renovate their homes to add an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) within or beside a single-family home, also sometimes called an in-law suite or garage apartment. (If they unit is outside the home, it may be called a detached accessory dwelling unit, or DADU.) These spaces can enable multigenerational housing or allow the homeowner to rent space in high-demand areas. 

In general, an ADU within a converted space (such as a two-car garage) could run $30,000-$119,000, while the new construction of a small, 500-square-foot space could be as high as $200,000 or more. Cantor said his firm has designed and built many custom ADUs at $250,000 and up, and is now constructing a 1,200 square-foot luxury home for over  $500,000. 

These ADUs have their own bathroom and kitchen, which is part of the cost. But some cities, such as San Diego and Los Angeles, allow 500-square foot junior ADUs, called JADUs, with shared bathrooms and “efficiency” kitchens (sink, small cooking appliance, and refrigerator). 

Cantor said these have been in high demand in California, thanks to recent changes in city and state laws regulating ADUs. The costs per square foot will likely roughly be the costs for new residential construction, depending on your finish choices, size, grading of the land, utility installation, permits, and other construction costs. 

Tips for Reducing ADU Costs

Some cities, such as Seattle, offer predesigned, pre-approved residential ADU plans to help smooth the approval and construction process. Other ways to lower the cost of an ADU:

  • Reduce square footage
  • Have only one plumbing wall
  • Use electric instead of gas appliances
  • Choose affordable finishes 
  • See if you can put in a JADU

Hardwood Floor Renovation Costs

Flooring jobs may have the biggest payoffs of any kind of project, both financially and emotionally. For example, refinishing a home’s hardwood flooring returns 147% of the costs spent, according to the NAR/NARI report.

This project requires sanding away dirt, scuffs, and dings to bare wood, repairing any problem areas, then applying several coats of stain and protective layers. Generally, costs range between $4.50 and $5.50 per square foot, with an average cost of $3,400.  

But costs may be higher, depending upon whether you: 

  • Do the job yourself or hire contractors 
  • Choose more expensive stains or woods
  • Need to repair or replace damaged floors

Installing new wood flooring will be more expensive than just refinishing, of course, clocking in at about $5,500. And doing it returned 118% of costs, according to the NAR/NARI report. That’s not as high of a return as refinishing, but it’s still very good. 

Among interior remodeling projects, both types of flooring jobs (refinishing and installing new flooring) offered the best financial return on investment. They both also received the highest “joy score” possible. A joy score measures a consumer’s perceived happiness with a particular renovation on a scale of 1 to 10.


Insulation upgrades also offer a high return on investment (100%), according to the NAR/NARI report.

Tips for Reducing Hardwood Flooring Costs

Brave homeowners could try DIY hardwood refinishing by renting a sander and other tools, but it’s a challenging undertaking. Other options include: 

  • Refinishing only public rooms (such as the living room) 
  • Installing less-expensive luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or tile (LVT) flooring 
  • Requesting a service called “recoating and screening,” which typically skips sanding but glosses up hardwoods with the protective coating

Another advantage of LVP or LVT flooring besides economics is that it can be waterproofed and used in wet areas, Cantor pointed out. 

Closet Renovation Costs

Homeowners who signed on for closet renovations were rewarded with a return of 83% and top joy score (10/10), said the NAR/NARI report. Closet renovations typically overhaul a storage space to maximize functionality and appearance. 

Renovating a six-foot space could run between $1,000 and $11,000 or more, according to the design company California Closets. After all, custom solutions often come with custom prices.

Closet reno costs can depend on: 

  • Design services and labor
  • Size of closet
  • Built-in look, coordinating closet, or simple approach
  • Storage features (pull-out drawers or baskets, shelving)
  • Hardware and lighting 
  • Use of upscale materials, trim, and other features 

In essence, the larger and more customized the closet, the more you may pay— but functionality may be enhanced, too. 

Tips for Reducing Closet Renovation Costs

DIY options abound through home-goods stores like IKEA and The Container Store, which offer interactive design tools to find off-the-shelf options. If you don’t want to go it alone, you can share your budget with a closet designer, who can work within your means. Also, consider getting competitive quotes from a local cabinet shop, Cantor suggested. 

Roof Replacement Costs 

The national average cost of a roof replacement is $14,000 to replace 2,000 square feet of architectural shingles on a two-story home, according to the website However, your costs may be higher or lower depending on several factors, such as the state you live in. 

For example, in California, “cool roofing” materials may be required, although that might also help you save money by cutting air conditioning use. In California, the cost to replace a roof ranges between $12,000 and $20,000. In Texas, you might need to look into a hail-resistant roofing material, but costs may not be as high. The price may range between $6,000 and $20,000.

Beyond location, costs depend upon: 

  • Materials used (such as asphalt or more expensive clay) 
  • Roof complexity and size
  • Any structural repairs or reinforcement needed
  • Labor costs 
  • Gutter replacement, if necessary

Tips for Reducing Roof Replacement Costs

It’s essential to compare contractors and get three or more estimates, Cantor said. He recommends checking with roofing manufacturers to find trained, qualified, and approved roofing contractors. These contractors may be more likely to find underlying problems, such as dry rot or skylight issues, without upselling you. 


If your home’s roof was damaged due to a covered weather event, check with your insurance company about roof repair or replacement. 

Costs of Other Exterior Changes

The highest joy scores for exterior changes according to the NAR/NARI report, come from painting exterior siding, adding new vinyl or wood windows, rejuvenating an entryway with a steel or fiberglass door, or replacing a garage door. 

Garage Door Replacement

Replacing a garage door has the highest financial payoff of those (100%). The cost is about $2,000, and a relatively high percentage of Realtors (13%) recommend replacing worn out garage doors before putting a house up for sale.

Window Replacement

The cost of new vinyl retrofit windows starts at about $15,000, according to Cantor, depending on the number of windows. New wood windows start at $48,000, with cost recovery at 63%. While that seems pricey, Cantor points out that new windows can offer energy cost savings, while dual-glazed windows insulate from sound.

Siding—Painting or Replacement

Painting and replacing siding also produces decent returns and homeowner satisfaction. An exterior paint job can cost $3,750 to $9,750, according to the website 

Installing new fiber cement siding recovers more cost than installing vinyl siding, and costs only $300 more on average. Vinyl siding runs an average of $18,300, and fiber cement $18,600, according to the NAR/NARI report. If you choose a more expensive product—such as wood, brick, stucco, or stone—costs could run much higher, with stone topping out at up to $100,000.

Door Replacement

Around 30% of homeowners feel a new front door adds personality to their home—priced at around $3,150 to $3,500. 

Deck Addition

Adding a deck is also a popular home improvement. That can cost $19,000 to $25,000, depending on whether less-expensive wood or more-expensive composite is used, according to the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report. 

Cantor said many clients are trying to make the most of outdoor and indoor spaces with oversized doors that open out onto decks. “Adding a big door, patio and aluminum cover is a cost-effective way to create more living space,” he said. 

Tips for Reducing Exterior Home Improvement Costs

To cut costs for exterior home remodeling, you might try:

  • Adding a fresh coat of paint on the door or house siding versus replacing them. 
  • Ensuring any new windows or doors are energy-efficient to save on heating and cooling bills 
  • Comparing a variety of material types, manufacturers, and installers—all can offer pros and cons and very different price points
  • Asking if there’s any prep work you can carry out in advance to reduce costs (such as clipping back shrubs to ease access or taking down existing vinyl siding)
  • Offering use of your indoor bathroom for laborers to avoid need for a portable toilet
  • Painting your house exterior yourself 

You’ll likely be living with your decisions for a long time, so it pays to be cautious and make a good decision. For example, a paint job can last five to 20 years, depending on your home’s siding materials and quality of the job. Windows can last 15 to 40 years.


Rebates may be available for energy-efficient materials, Cantor said, including windows, roofs, insulation, heating/air conditioning, water heaters, solar panels, and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What costs the most when renovating a house?

Adding a detached living structure or remodeling an entire existing home are among the most expensive renovations you can undertake. A whole home remodel can cost at least $160,000 on the higher end, while a detached unit may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Adding a second story can also cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, as you need to add a staircase, reinforce the foundation, and expand basic electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

What is the average cost per square foot to remodel a house?

According to renovation site HomeAdvisor, the average cost per square foot to remodel a house is $10 to $60 per square foot for an average remodel, but the price can run up to $150 per square foot if you choose custom paints, high-end flooring, or other finer finishes. And then prices increase even more with more complexity, upgraded finishes, and smaller spaces—up to $630/foot or more for a bathroom, according to one Oregon contractor’s 2020 example.

How can I pay for home renovations?

You can use a number of different methods to pay for improvements. Saving up and paying cash will cost you the least, but make sure you leave your emergency fund intact. Home equity loans and lines of credit are common ways to pay for renovations, but they will put your house at risk should you have to default. 

Personal loans and other types of home improvement loans don’t do that, but the interest rates on personal loans tend to be higher, and some other loans may be harder to qualify for. And finally, credit cards are convenient and might come with rewards or discounts, but they tend to have the highest interest rates of all the payment options. 

Is remodeling a home worth it?

Remodels can return good value on money spent with the right approach. For example, when you go to sell your home, a minor remodeling of your kitchen could make the home more attractive, increasing the resale price. But a more extensive and expensive remodel may not be worth it, at least not financially. 

Consider quality-of-life improvements for yourself, too, when thinking about whether a remodel is worthwhile. A minor bedroom remodel may not be worth as much as a new kitchen to future buyers at resale. But that remodel may be priceless to you for daily life and restful sleep. 

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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