So, you’ve decided it’s time to refresh your home with a brand new kitchen or bath. Will those laminate counters you’ve hated for years finally go? And how much is it actually going to cost to replace them? There’s a lot of overwhelming information on Google, which does its best to give you “the number”. But head’s up if you live in or around Boston, or another major city, you may be setting yourself up for some massive sticker shock. If you’ve set a budget based on a “per square foot” price, rely on a source that’s not in your local area or you haven’t done your homework on what things actually cost, your renovation project could start to feel out of reach.
We know it’s easy to start hosting that fabulous dinner party in your luxe new kitchen in your head. Before we jump too far ahead of ourselves, and to help you keep your upgraded kitchen or bath dream alive, here are three factors that impact how much your renovation project will cost.
What’s Size Got To Do With It?
Living in or around Boston means that our kitchens and bathrooms are likely a little smaller than our suburban friends. The same goes for many other major cities around the US. “Great!” you think to yourself as you research how much renovations costs and stumble upon resource after resource of “pricing your project by square foot”. Before you start bragging to your suburban friends with their sprawling kitchens about how much less your renovation will cost because your kitchen is so much smaller, let’s get rid of one elephant in the room: contractors don’t just use square footage when they price a project.
Think of it more as a “price of entry”. In order to do any kitchen or bathroom renovation, a contractor has to plan, schedule, procure, and mobilize. Also, the cliche “time is money”? True story. The realities of city construction mean lost time in traffic, parking constraints, fees, and tickets. This all requires a base level of resources. It doesn’t necessarily matter if the project is a small bath or a huge gourmet kitchen remodel, there’s still a cost to manage and oversee the project. For example, take a bathroom that is 8 foot by 6 foot deep. At 48 square feet, using a guide we found online, let’s just go with $150 per foot. That comes to $7,200. In Boston, you certainly won’t be saying “farewell!” to your pink bathroom at that price. Especially if you dream of touching down on radiant heat marble floors.
Bottom Line: Square footage is not an apples to apples comparison. When it comes to cost, it’s more than just size.
Mise En Place?
Maybe you roll your eyes every time you think about the flaws in your current kitchen design; be it a lack of spice storage or an awkward layout not conducive to entertaining. You’re certainly not alone in wishing the layout was more in line with your lifestyle. You have visions of moving the sink, gas range, and fridge…it’s going to be amazing! But, moving plumbing work, gas lines, and electrical requires all the trades to get you there. That means bringing in plumbers, electricians, potentially HVAC guys to move ductwork and all this adds up to more money spent. Replacing fixtures in the same location can save you in your construction budget. But, really consider if having the range on the opposite end of the kitchen is worth the price. It may very well be!
Bottom Line: Keeping everything in its place saves you money, but it may be worth the extra coast to have a layout that’s more functional for you.
You saw the most incredible kitchen you have ever seen on Instagram, and you want to emulate that while adding in your own custom details. Pinning on Pinterest or the tried and true method, pulling pages from magazines, are great ways to guide a contractor as to what you’re looking for in a finished project.
Keep in mind, there can be a big difference in cost for different grades of finishes including flooring, cabinets, appliances, plumbing fixtures, tile, and lighting, and availability can really affect the cost and timing of your project. Visiting supplier showrooms or checking out an online resource like Houzz is a great way to get a feel for pricing or see the actual finishes firsthand. It’s also helpful for contractors to see your inspiration for your project so you can get on the same page and they can provide accurate pricing and help guide you towards selections that are available and in stock to save time and cash.
Bottom Line: Start by creating a vision board to get on the same page as your contractor. An experienced GC will help guide you towards finishes that give you the look you love, within your budget.
While it would be nice if Google could give you an exact formula or calculator to budget out your renovation, unfortunately, that’s just not the case. By first remembering, there’s more to a renovation than size, and considering fixture location and finish details, you’ll get a more realistic sense of cost, no matter where you live or how big your project is.
Start with these tips to get a better understanding of what your renovation will cost and let us know how it turns out! We can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the place!