As an interior, kitchen and bath designer, I get this question at the beginning of nearly every project I do – but it’s never a simple one to answer. I usually respond to this question with a question as I discuss it with my clients. I ask what they’d think if I were to say, “Please go buy me a car. How much will it cost?”. It becomes clear that there an abundance of information which needs to be specified before a precise answer can be determined. Information such as:
- How big of a car do you want?
- Do you want to buy new or used?
- Is there a certain manufacturer you like?
- Do you want an entry level model or an upper end model?
- What kind of gas mileage do you want?
- How long do you want to keep it? And so on….
The same goes for any kitchen or bath remodel, no matter the scale. The true cost of any remodel can only be known once a complete design has been created, all of the finishes and fixtures have been selected, and a contractor provides an exact cost based on those details.
But if you’re simply considering a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project at this point, there are places where you can gather helpful starter information. It just so happens that the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report has just been released this January. The folks at Remodeling Magazine, who publish this report, estimate the average cost of 35 common types of remodeling projects in 101 major cities around the country. They also estimate the ‘Cost Recouped’ of each remodeling project type based on how it affects resale value of the home.
A few things to consider before reading this report:
1. “Project costs (in this report) are based on estimates for generic projects and do not account for personalized design and product choices made by homeowners in connection with actual remodeling projects, nor do they account for local and short-term fluctuations in pricing, supply and demand, and other factors affecting cost.”
2. “The Cost vs. Value Report provides an accurate snapshot of the national housing market, but it cannot be applied accurately to an individual remodeling project for a particular home at a particular street address. The best course of action is to obtain construction cost estimates from reputable local remodelers and to talk with an experienced Realtor about home prices in the neighborhood.”
These are excellent points to remember. Every client, and therefore every project, is highly unique. The figures in the Cost vs. Value Report are merely a starting point to understanding kitchen and bathroom remodeling costs. Thankfully the report includes a paragraph description of each project type so we can get an idea of what they’ve included. (For an example of how I used this information with one of my clients, see the second half of my 2012 blog post on this same topic.)
In order to see remodeling cost trends in Portland I’ve compiled information from the past few years to give some perspective. You can read or download the full 2015 report here, which also includes data on remodeling trends countrywide, by geographic region, as well as a guesstimate of resale value for all of the project types.
So it appears as though the estimated cost of kitchen and bath remodels in our area have increased slightly over time. If you’re wanting to pursue a remodeling project in 2015, your best best is to start with researching professional kitchen and bath designers and general contractors. They are the best collaborators you will have to a cost-efficient and seamless project.