What Will It Cost? We Answer Your Biggest Budget Questions!
House & Home spoke to renovation expert Gillian Atkins, a designer with Lynda Reeves Design Studio, about how to budget for the most sought-after upgrades. Note: All figures given are estimates that can vary widely based on region and the condition of a space.
The biggest expenses will come from any structural work that needs to be done to create the opening for the folding glass wall. Call an experienced contractor for an estimate and brace yourself! This number will depend on the structural realities of your house. Once construction is done, you should be able to have a 10-foot-wide bifold glass wall installed for about $15,000 to $20,000.
Start by taking a close look at your floors — or better yet, call a trusted floor refinisher to help you evaluate what you have. If you’re lucky enough to have solid wood planks that are at least a quarter-inch thick with no visible warping or water damage, you can probably have your floor sanded and refinished for $3 to $5 per square foot. (You can also refinish some engineered hardwoods for the same price if there’s enough veneer to work with.) However, some results, like turning dark stained floors into pale oiled floors, might be out of the question. Depending on the look you’re after, you might have to replace your floors altogether with new solid or engineered hardwood. Plan for removal of the old floors to cost $2 per square foot. New flooring will run between $9 and $20 per square foot and installation costs approximately $3 per square foot. Also, be prepared to replace baseboards and trim that can be damaged during removal and installation. This can run $2 to $10 per linear foot.
There’s no way around it: renovating a basement to get eight-foot ceilings where they didn’t exist before is expensive. You may have a drop ceiling where you can expose more height, but that’s rare. You’re probably going to have to dig down. Find an experienced contractor who can help you get permits and structural drawings, dig down and underpin. Expect the job to cost $450 per linear foot, and that’s before the cost of finishing your new basement.
The two costs involved here are paint and labor. A reputable painting company can charge $4 to $5 per square foot, meaning your job will come in at $8,000 to $10,000. If you choose premium specialty paint, that rate will jump to $7 per square foot. A good paint job involves sanding, priming, prepping walls, sanding between coats and at least two coats of paint. Most professional painters will do color testers and allow for a variety of sheen levels.
There are several types of gas fireplaces. The most common is a sealed insert that fits into your existing fireplace and vents out the chimney. They vary in price, but a good one will cost about $3,500. Or, you can install an open gas log set. These tend to look more real and are more economical than a sealed unit, but give off less heat. Consult an expert for the options that will work best. Assuming you have gas in your home, expect to pay $1,500 to run a new line to the fireplace.
It sounds like you’ve got 36-by-80-inch hollow-core doors, which cost about $60 each from a big-box store. You can get more heft by choosing solid MDF-core doors with a paint or wood veneer finish for $120 to $200 each. Top-of- the-line doors are custom and solid wood, and they’ll cost $500 or more each. If your doors are lightweight, your hardware likely is, too. For hinges, handles and knobs, expect to pay $200 per door.
It’s true — adding these elements gives rooms a refinement that elevates everything in them. Including installation, new eight-inch wood baseboards are around $15 per linear foot, and good-looking, wood crown moulding is approximately $25 per linear foot. While you’re at it, you may want to add weightier door and window casings for about $15 per linear foot. If you’re thinking about wainscotting, budget $30 to $40 per square foot for standard-height MDF panels. All these treatments would then need painting.
Actually, you have three options: repaint what you have and replace your hardware, just replace the doors, or buy all-new cabinets. The following figures assume a typical 10-by-10-foot kitchen, with about 12 cabinets. If your cabinets are hardwood or MDF (not laminate or Thermofoil), in good condition, and you can live with the layout and style but not the color, you can have them professionally spray-painted for about $3,500 to $4,000. You’d be amazed at the impact just changing the color can have! The process takes about three days and ensures a smooth, hard-wearing finish. The second option is to keep the cabinet boxes but replace the doors. A company can install a standard Shaker-style door and refinish the surrounding strappings and kickplate to match for about $4,000. If the cabinets are a lost cause, tear them out and start fresh. Stock cabinets with melamine doors are about $200 per linear foot. Semi-custom cabinets with wood veneer doors climb to $400 per linear foot. And custom-made cabinets with hardwood doors are upwards of $1,000 per linear foot. You’ll likely need new countertops, which range from about $60 to $150 (and up!) per square foot.
First, you’ll have to have the existing backsplash removed, which will cost between $3 and $6 per square foot. From there, the budget will depend on the materials you choose. Ceramic or porcelain tile will run between $4 and $15 per square foot, plus $8 per square foot to install it. Slab backsplashes create a beautiful impact but are expensive. Marble slab costs around $150 per square foot and is fragile to install. A three-inch-tall marble curb at $20 per linear foot is a more economical option.