Post details: Whole House Remodeling: Steps and Costs - Part 2

02/16/05

Permalink 08:46:41 am, Categories: Articles, 354 words   English (US)

Whole House Remodeling: Steps and Costs - Part 2


What About Costs?
Remodeling from top to bottom, or adding a substantial two-story addition, for example, are expensive undertakings. You can keep things under control, however, if you keep on track.

"People don't understand costs," Mavrakis says. "It's because we're a hush-hush society regarding money. Be up front with your budget. Share what you can afford. I compare remodeling with car shopping. If you can only afford a Ford Escort, you don't test-drive a Lincoln Continental, do you?"

Mavrakis adds, "Some people try to cut costs by acting as their own general contractor, too. Sometimes this works, but more often it doesn't -- especially if the homeowner works full time. With a general contractor (or other professional), you can get something that's really solid, really beautiful."

Investment Values
"A lot of clients ask, 'Will I get my money back?' We tell them if that's a big concern, contact a [real-estate agent] for some advice before starting a whole-house remodeling project," Mavrakis says. "Or find a contractor who's been in the business in your city for a long time. He'll know if your house, in your neighborhood, warrants a big-scale remodel.

To help you gauge the cost of a whole-house redo, consider the research included in the November 1999 issue of Remodeling magazine. This trade publication's annual "Cost vs. Value Report" compared costs in 60 cites to build a 16x24-foot two-story addition over a crawlspace. The first flour housed a family room with a prefabricated fireplace, and the second floor included a bedroom with a 5x8-foot bathroom outfitted with modest amenities. The project included 11 windows, an exterior door, and a new heating and cooling system to handle the additional square footage.

Nationwide, the 768-square-foot addition cost an average of $73,553 or $95.77 per square foot. The average return was 62 percent ($45,910) of the investment if the house sold the following year.

Whether you're gutting the interiors or adding multiple levels, your whole-house remodeling budget will depend on many factors. Just keep in mind that it's best not to remodel your house out of the property value range of your neighborhood.

Better Homes and Gardens

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