As we’re all spending more time in our homes during the Coronavirus quarantine, minds are spinning with home remodeling ideas for a fresh new quality of life. Thinking about how much nicer it would be to enjoy a new kitchen, the heart of the home, with your family? Wishing you had remodeled your master bedroom and bath for a spa-like retreat? Considering expanding your home to accommodate a growing family or aging relatives? Or craving a deck, patio, screened porch, and fireplace for outdoor living? Individual needs and wants drive Northern Virginia home remodeling projects, and similarly, costs vary greatly.
When considering the cost of a home remodeling project, it’s important to have a wish list and budget in mind. Cost drivers may include; the number of rooms being remodeled, the removal of walls and bearing walls, installing structural columns and beams, major interior reconfigurations, expanding rooms, building additions, upgraded cabinets, counter tops, fixtures and finishes, and unexpected nuances that may occur throughout the course of the project.
Here are three common Northern Virginia home remodeling cost considerations:
1) Project Scale & Complexity
The cost of your home remodeling project will depend on its size and complexity. We’ve experienced numerous situations where a client will start out interested in remodeling one area of their home, like a kitchen remodel, for example. Once they’ve started working with an experienced architect and see the numerous improvements and efficiencies that can be achieved, their wish list often extends to other areas of the home, thereby expanding the project scale, and consequently, the original project budget.
Although remodeling one area at a time is less costly, initially, than a whole house remodel, many homeowners realize that tackling multiple rooms at the same time, or even a whole house remodeling project, is less disruptive over time, and more cost-effective than trying to phase multiple projects out into the future. Cost efficiencies are gained by planning everything all at once, obtaining one permit, and having specialty tradesmen, such as electricians and plumbers, address multiple rooms within the house in one project schedule.
In terms of complexity, the number of specialized craftsmen involved in a project, for example, tile installers, plumbers, drywall installers, painters, etc., also has an impact on the cost of your home remodeling project.
Additional details, such as the age and condition of your home, the need for building permits and inspections, structural changes, and upgraded or custom materials, can also have an impact on the project cost.
Some Northern Virginia homeowners try to arrive at their own rough estimate for a remodeling project by using a cost-per-square-foot assessment of the area to be remodeled. However, square footage alone is a poor indicator of the cost to remodel. Every existing house is different, and every type of space is different, thus, every project is custom and requires its own specialized estimating. For example, the cost to remodel a bathroom or kitchen is usually much higher than other rooms of comparable size, like walk-in closets and small bedrooms, because of complexity and intricacy in the selection, ordering, and installation of materials, fixtures, and specialized labor costs.
Factors such as bearing walls, existing conditions such as custom trim, plaster vs drywall, type of paint, whether an existing floor is level, how much demolition is necessary, whether a septic system needs expanding, whether a variance is required, are just a few of the many cost drivers that must be factored in.
To navigate the complexities of a remodeling project, and protect and enhance the value of your home and upgrade your lifestyle, hire a licensed professional with decades of experience in wading through building and zoning codes, materials selections, structural engineering, architectural design, construction document preparation, interior design, fixture and finish selections, permitting, project management—and follow through to a strong finish.
The length of time your home remodeling project will take, the amount and quality of materials needed, and the amount of labor required to complete the project, all have a significant impact on the cost of a Northern Virginia home remodeling project.
2) Structural Changes
Many home remodeling projects require moving walls to reconfigure and/or open cramped spaces. Removing basic interior walls is not as much of a cost driver as walls that are load-bearing or walls that contain mechanicals. Removing load-bearing walls that hold up roofing and ceilings and provide structural support require a structural engineer who can plan additional framing and new beams to do the work of the walls. Removing walls that contain plumbing, heating or cooling ducts, or electrical wiring is a more complex project requiring extra time, labor and expertise.
3) Change Requests
A common cost driver for Northern Virginia home remodeling projects is change requests. Once a project is underway, clients have been known to change their minds and request more work or a different scope of work. Having a vetted wish list, working with a licensed architect at the onset of a project, and sticking to the plan helps minimize unexpected costs. The more detailed your home renovation plan, the more likely you are to stick to your budget. Getting organized on the front end is imperative.
Remember that even if you’ve carefully considered every aspect of your home remodeling project, experts suggest you should hold some additional funds in reserve. These additional costs may be due to unforeseen existing conditions, such as uncovering problems with the existing structure during the demolition phase, such as; problem soils, insufficient existing structural conditions, wood rot or termite damage; or deciding you want upgraded finishes or materials.
Estimating a Northern Virginia home remodeling project is rarely a straightforward process and requires a professional with depth and breadth of experience. Ensuring you’re working with licensed professionals with many years of experience in your specific area, will help eliminate problems down the road.
For a helpful tool to gauge home remodeling costs in Northern Virginia: https://www.houzz.com/remodeling-costs/full-home-remodel.