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How To Determine Your Remodel Cost Per Square Foot

Determining the price — and value — of a remodel comes down to many factors: scope of the project, quality of the fixtures and finishes, possible layout changes, and more. In this post, we’re going to take a look at how to calculate remodel cost per square foot and what that can mean for the resulting value of your home.

kitchen remodel

3 factors in determining the cost of your remodel per square foot

When figuring out your remodel cost by square footage, there are key three metrics to keep in mind:

  • Size
  • Complexity
  • Finishes

Size

Typically, a larger remodel space will translate to a lower cost per square foot. Conversely, the cost per square foot will increase the smaller the space is. The reason for this is the economy of scale.

If we’re doing drywall in a 200 square foot room, there are some specific steps we need to take in order to prep the room and complete the work. Those same steps hold true for a 2,000 square foot space. So, the cost of that work becomes more economical as the space size goes up

home remodel cost per square foot

Complexity

Next, you’ll want to consider the complexity of the project. How intricate or involved is the work that’s being done? To use the drywall example again, doing curved walls or coved ceilings will be a lot more complex than straight walls. So in this case, the size of the space isn’t changing, but the additional work involved will have an effect on the price per square foot.

Finishes

remodel cost per square foot: finishes

The third factor in helping to determine the remodel cost per square foot is the level of finishes. How expensive are the finishes that will go into the space? Let’s stick with drywall: an orange peel texture will cost less than a super smooth finish due to the amount of work and craftsmanship involved.

Here’s anther example: opting for a $300 toilet versus a $3,200 bidet toilet that needs to be connected to an electrical source won’t change the square footage in the space, but it will dramatically change the cost per square foot of your remodel.

Two Cost Per Square Foot Case Studies

Let’s take a closer look at a pair of different spaces and how their complexity and finishes had an effect on their overall remodel cost per square foot.

87 square foot luxury bathroom remodel

remodel cost per square foot: luxury bathroom

The first space is an upscale bathroom project that was somewhat complex and included high-end finishes. The plumbing fixtures and cabinets were high-grade. We installed LED lighting above and beneath the cabinets, as well as in the shower niche. The shower itself had custom tile. In short, it was an awesome bathroom!

The total cost came to around $97,000. So, the cost per square foot for this complex, top-shelf bathroom came down to about $1,100.

100 square foot midrange bathroom

remodel cost per square foot: midrange bathrom

The other case study involves a bathroom that included nice, but not top-of-the-line finishes. The shower still had custom tile, but there was no LED lighting, the vanity was middle grade, and there was relatively little complexity in terms of layout.

This project cost about $47,000, so around $470 per square foot. Even though this space was larger than the previous example, the cost per sf was less than half due to the finishes and complexity in the space.

How do size, complexity, and finishes affect my home’s value at the end of the project?

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll recoup about 80% of the cost of your remodel right away. But again, size, complexity, and finishes play a role in how that figure can fluctuate.

Typically, the more square feet, i.e., the larger the space, the higher percentage of recouped value. Put simply, when you add more space to your home — with an addition for example — it usually adds more value as well.

The more complex the project, the higher it will likely cost, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into higher returns on your home. That complexity won’t always add value.

When it comes to finishes, usually you’ll meet a threshold that’s in line with the style of your home and comparable homes in your neighborhood that will result in a return on your investment. Once you go above that threshold with finishes that are exceedingly higher-end, you may see a diminishing return.

In the end, the complexity and finishes really depend on your tastes and what you need and want in your home. Even though they may not translate into monetary returns, if they make your home more complete and comfortable for you and your family, that ultimately may be what matters most.

Watch: How to Determine Your Remodel Cost per Square Foot

Are you thinking about doing a remodel and aren’t sure where to start? We’re happy to discuss your project and help you make an informed decision that best meets your needs. Simply schedule a conversation with us!

Related Links

For more information on how to determine how a remodel may affect the value of your home and how to budget for remodels with confidence, check out the links below: