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Average renovation costs on most renos

Sometimes it is difficult to find the perfect house. One may be lacking an extra bedroom, or too few bathrooms. Maybe you require an updated kitchen. Too many home buyers pass on what would be the perfect new home because of this, and they do not consider making these changes themselves. I believe this is due to being unaware of the average renovation costs. In this article we will look at the average costs for these types of renovations so you can make an educated decision when it comes to finding – or making – the perfect home.


The kitchen is the heart of the home and it is very personal to many home buyers. It is also one of the most asked about average renovation costs. It can also be very trendy and as such, it can reflect the date it was last renovated. Some trends can come back in while others may have lasting “retro” appeal, but most just look out dated. For this reason, try not to be “trendy” when you renovate, or if you do, do so understanding that these changes are for your enjoyment and may limit the return on your investment. You can expect to pay around $25,000 for a complete kitchen installation/renovation depending on the finishes you put in. This includes plumbing, wiring, flooring, cabinetry, fixtures and appliances, back splash and any other final touches including drywall and painting.


Bathrooms are very personal as well and cost can vary greatly depending on the finishes. Some people prefer to have extras such as a bidet, while others stick to the traditional 3 piece shower/tub, sink, and toilet. I have been asked before if a bathroom requires a bathtub or can you have only a shower to save on space and cost. If it is a secondary bathroom you can get away with just a shower, but a home definitely needs at least one bathtub. You can budget for $10,000 per bathroom.


Walls do not only define a room but some also support the house and distribute its weight. A wall that does support the house is referred to as a load bearing wall. Walls can be very easy and inexpensive to build or remove if they are not load bearing. A load bearing wall takes significant planning to remove and you will have to get a structural engineer involved. Costs will obviously increase dramatically for load bearing walls. Removing or building a simple non-load bearing wall depending on length may cost under $1000. Load bearing walls may run as high as $10,000 or more.


Some houses have unfinished basements while others are more of a remodel. An unfinished basement where there is no demolition or removal required, your costs may be closer to $20,000. This includes insulating the basement walls. If you are remodeling these costs may increase to $30,000. In either scenario, these costs do not include a bathroom or second kitchen. To include either, refer to the costs listed earlier in this article.

*Note: Basement renovation does not include the addition of a legal duplex or accessory suite. Due to required permits, drawings, fire and noise separation, electrical and plumbing, building to code, inspections, and labour, the cost for a legal duplex/accessory suite may add up to over $100,000.

Electrical (Rewiring)

We are not talking about changing an outlet or light fixture, but instead about wiring or rewiring a house. If the rooms are unfinished and the electrician has easy access, your costs may be around $3,000. Otherwise you are looking closer to $20,000.


Installing plumbing in the house depends on such things as the distance the plumbing has to run, if there is easy access to the work areas involved, and the finishes you use. If we are just referring to the pipes and plumbing then your budget can run from $500 up closer to $10,000. The costs could be even more for higher end counter tops, custom shower stalls, etc.


If you are replacing a furnace itself, it may cost between $7,000 and $10,000 depending on the quality of furnace and the area you have to heat. If you have to install new ductwork and the repair costs associated, you are looking at and additional $3,000 to $5,000.


Building an addition to the house can run from $21,000 up to $100,000 depending on what it is you are building.  Determining the average renovation cost for additions is difficult due to the wide range of what this description covers. An un-insulated sunroom without electricity would be on the lower end while an additional bedroom for example would run closer to the high end of the budget. The extent of the addition, the finishes, and fixtures will greatly affect the budget.

Murphy Fund

Something very important to consider is that there are always surprises. When planning your renovation and determining your budget, make sure to leave room for Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Not in a negative way, but instead to be prepared for the unexpected. Add an additional 10% to the average renovation costs for these surprises. Some may say that this number is too low so use it as a bare minimum.

Keep in mind that these costs are based off average renovation costs and it will not be difficult to find prices that are higher or lower. Do not be surprised if quotes in your city are slightly different than these as well. In addition, keep in mind that the lowest quote is not always the best to take especially if you are looking at higher end finishes. Always ask for references and do your research on who you are working with before starting the work.

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