A cost breakdown on materials, labor, and permits for your home remodel
(Above) Kitchen renovation by Sweeten general contractors Nicole and Steve
Moving into a new house—or realizing your home hasn’t kept up with your lifestyle—can make renovation feel like a path to reinvention. Creating a budget for that planned remodel is unique to every project; taking into consideration the materials you choose, changes in layout, or moving plumbing or gas lines, all of which factor into the equation.
Sweeten, a free service matching homeowners with vetted general contractors, has compiled a guide to renovation costs across Westchester County, New York, focusing on four categories: kitchen, bathroom, basement, and permits.
Here’s a breakdown of typical starting costs:
- Full home renovation: $175—$250 per square foot (psf)
- Low-end kitchen remodel: Starting from $25,000—$30,000 for under 100 square feet
- Mid-range kitchen remodel: $335 psf or $67,000
- High-end kitchen remodel: $130,000 and up
- Low-end bathroom remodel: up to $16,000
- Mid-range bathroom remodel: $600 psf or $21,000
- High-end bathroom remodel and expanded: $665 psf or $66,500
- Basement remodel: $117 psf or $75,000
Keep in mind that every professional contractor will want to have a detailed conversation and inspection of your home before developing an estimate specific to your needs and wants.
What a home remodel costs per square foot
It’s no secret that Westchester County, with its close proximity to New York City, is one of the pricier areas when it comes to real estate. That is also reflected in the cost of renovations. On average, many Sweeten projects can range from $175 psf—$250 psf. Sweeten contractor Gregory has worked on projects that involve multiple rooms or a gut renovation at the $250 psf range.
Anything higher, he said, “usually applies to one or more specialty trades, such as architects or engineers, and insurance costs which factors into the overall budget.” Choice of material will also affect the cost per square foot.
Similarly, a higher cost stems from the quality and experience of the skilled workers the contractors hire for the project. “Costs for construction vary based on experience, which increases for a higher-end result,” said Sweeten contractor Chuck. “A presentation representing the finished product—design and organizing, scheduling, and advising on the materials—is a service that adds to the budget.”
Residential renovation costs have increased on average 5.7% each year between 2013 and 2018. For most contractors, costs in all areas —labor, materials, etc—can fluctuate annually and even throughout the year (at the moment, new tariffs on Chinese imports are affecting prices for materials). If price increases hit during a project, that increase is most likely absorbed by the contractor. “We try to cover that in full,” said Majid, a Sweeten contractor who operates in Westchester. Another Sweeten contractor, Oziel, also noted that finishes—tiles, flooring, countertops, lighting, appliances, faucets, etc.—go up each year, as do overhead costs for workers compensation and general liability insurance.
Costs for a kitchen renovation
- Low-end kitchen: Sweeten kitchen remodels can start at $25,000—$30,000 for under 100 square feet with budget-friendly finishes from retailers such as Home Depot. Majid has worked on projects costing $40,000 for 150 square feet, or about $260 psf. This budget includes mid-range finishes.
- Mid-range kitchen: Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report puts a typical mid-range kitchen renovation at $335 psf or $67,000 total, as an average for Westchester County. These figures are based on a 200-square-foot kitchen with standard finishes such as an energy-efficient range, built-in microwave, and ventilation system. It also includes a garbage disposal, custom lighting, and resilient floorings such as vinyl, linoleum, or cork.
- High-end kitchen: Projects on the higher end of the scale can tally up to $200,000, according to Majid. A large part of that cost can be the cabinets, with one client recently spending $50,000 on fully custom European cabinets. In the Cost vs. Value report, the average high-end kitchen cost more than $130,000.
Costs for a bathroom renovation
- Low-end bathroom: A lower-end bathroom renovation, including demo, plumbing work, and new finishes, can reach $16,000, said Oziel. Bathrooms in this category typically lean on big-box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot to source the majority of materials.
- Mid-range bathroom: A mid-range bathroom in Westchester County will cost on average $21,000, according to the Cost vs. Value report, which is $600 psf for a 35-square-foot bathroom. This includes a recessed medicine cabinet, a standard toilet, solid-surface vanity counter, and a porcelain-on-steel tub.
- High-end bathroom: That same report put a high-end bathroom renovation and expansion at $66,500, based on a bathroom expanded from 35 square feet to 100 square feet. It worked out to be $665 psf; this is in line with budgets for some of the high-end bathrooms Majid has worked on, which have cost around $70,000.
With that budget, clients are looking at faucets that can cost $2,000 apiece, marble flooring, custom vanities, built-in medicine cabinets, a rain shower, and top-of-the-line lighting fixtures. At times, those pricey finishing materials can amount to half the budget. Whether it is low-end or high-end, a good general contractor can work with a reasonable budget and strategize how clients can get what they want.
Costs for a basement renovation
Sweeten contractors have worked on basement renovations that cost anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000. For Majid, a basic basement remodel can cost as little as $50 a square foot, which works out to be about $40,000 for an 800-square-foot space. The elements that could bring up your budget include adding a toilet or a shower, as well as any work that needs to be done to bring the room up to code.
Some town regulations might require two forms of egress or natural light (by adding a door or a window) or a certain ceiling height, which means digging down and lowering the floor. An average basement conversion in the Westchester County is $75,000, according to the Cost vs. Value report. The project for this size budget includes a 20×30 foot room and a 5×8 foot bathroom with a shower and a bar area as well as insulation and laminate flooring. This example project works out to $117 psf.
Costs for permits
The cost of permits changes from town to town in Westchester County. However, typically the cost will be determined by your budget and require a bit of high school math to figure out. Below breaks out the permit costs in different towns across the County:
- Pelham: Building permits cost $250 for a project costing under $5,000 plus $12 per each additional $1,000.
- Scarsdale: Building permits cost $255 for a project costing between $10,000 and $50,000. For projects budgeted over $100,000, a permit costs a flat fee of $1,755 plus $14 for each $1,000 or fraction over $100,000.
- Katonah: Permits cost $14 for every $1,000 of a budgeted project.
- Hastings-on-Hudson: The fee will cost $17 per $1,000 of the estimated construction cost.
These figures provide a jumping off point for your Westchester County renovation budget. On the (more fun) planning side, Sweeten’s Renovation Checklist offers you a downloadable roadmap to organize all of the moving parts of a renovation including laying out your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.”
Renovating your home in Westchester County? Sweeten can help!
Post your project on Sweeten and we’ll match you with multiple vetted general contractors to provide estimates for your renovation. Sweeten also checks in with you until project completion. Just remember, sit down with your general contractor to develop an accurate budget and you’ll be on your way to the home you’ve always wanted.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.