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Remodeling Costs in 2020

The 2020 Cost Versus Value Report

Remodeling Magazine has released the 2020 Cost Vs. Value report for the US and each major metro area–including the Portland Metro. This report has routinely provided helpful costing information for homeowners considering a remodel.

Remodeling Magazine creates this report each year by bidding out about 20 different common remodeling projects and then asking Realtors to estimate how much the home increases in value if a project were completed. The full report gives full descriptions of each project as well as the costs, resale value and cost recouped. Here are some key things to keep in mind as you read the report.

What is included in the numbers?

Because this is a national report that’s scaled down to the Portland Metro area, not everything is locally relevent. There are two basic grades for remodels, “midrange” and “upscale”. A project that is “midrange” in the report is typically not “midrange” in the Portland Metro area. For instance, both of the “midrange” kitchen remodels include laminate countertops. That might be typical in other areas of the country, but our “midrange” kitchen remodels include at least an acrylic or low-end quartz countertop.

Kitchen remodel in the Sullivan's Gulch neighborhood of NE Portland

Most project descriptions include an estimated square footage of the project. The major kitchen remodel is an estimated 200 SF kitchen. This is just barely smaller than a 14’x15′ kitchen–your kitchen might be smaller or larger than this one–and that will dramatically impact the budget.

This is a report based on averages of basic projects. There might be many things that you want to do that aren’t included in the budget or project description that they have put together. None of the kitchen or bath remodels include moving or replacing a window or installing or replacing doors–both of which are common items for us to include.

Key Insights from the 2020 Cost Report

Cost Increases

A mixer lift in kitchen remodel from the Alameda neighborhood of NE Portland.

Across the board for every project there are increases in remodeling costs. This is no surprise. We’ve seen rising costs each year since the recession. On average all projects got about a 3.25% increase in costs. For many projects that’s not very significant but on some major additions it can be thousands of dollars.

The cost increases on less-expensive “midrange” projects were about 1% more than on “upscale” projects. This slight difference may be due to the tariffs that hit cheaper imported cabinets, countertops and tile where the more expensive American made products were not impacted.

Value Increases

More exciting is the 10% increase in the value that was estimated for each of these projects. Normally the lower the cost for the project the greater the percentage of increased value. That doesn’t hold true for the value increase. Some of the more expensive projects increased more in value while some of the cheaper ones stayed the same or increased less. Adding a “midrange” bathroom increased about 2%, while adding an “upscale” bathroom increased 10.3%.

Cost Highlights

Here are some of the costs for some of the most common projects that we see:

A SW Portland remodel with a midrange budget

Bath Remodel – “midrange” – $21,803
Update existing 5×7-foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include 30×60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with ceramic tile surround; new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid-surface vanity counter with integral sink; recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; vinyl wallpaper.





A SW Portland remodel with an upscale budget

Bath Remodel – “upscale” – $68,280
Expand existing 35-square-foot bathroom to 100 sf within existing house footprint. Relocate all fixtures. Include 42×42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls with accent strip, recessed shower niche, body-spray fixtures, and frameless glass enclosure. Include freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets; stone countertop with two sinks; two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting; a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet; and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. Use all color fixtures. Use larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. Add general and spot lighting including waterproof shower fixture. Cabinetry has custom drawer base, wall cabinets. Extend HVAC. Electric in-floor heating.

A North Portland kitchen remodel with a midrange budget

Major Kitchen Remodel – “midrange” $68,884
Update outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen with functional layout of 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, including 3×5-foot island; laminate countertops; and standard double-tub stainless-steel sink with standard single-lever faucet. Include energy-efficient range, vented range hood, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting. Add new resilient flooring. Finish with painted walls, trim, and ceiling.



A SW Portland remodel with an upscale budget

Major Kitchen Remodel – “upscale” – $136,701
Update outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of top-of-the-line custom white cabinets with built-in sliding shelves and other interior accessories. Include stone countertops with imported ceramic- or glass-tile backsplash; built-in refrigerator, commercial-grade cooktop and vent hood, wall oven, and built-in microwave unit. Install high-end undermount sink with designer faucets and water filtration system. Add new general and task lighting, including low-voltage undercabinet lights. Install tile or similar flooring that looks like wood.

Download your copy

I encourage clients often to use this report as a pre-planning tool to think about budget before they even meet with remodeling companies to discuss their needs. If you keep the insights above in mind it will help you put together a preliminary budget that will speed you along to a successful remodel.

For your full copy of the PDF report click here