This is one of those big life decisions, do you renovate, or do you sell? Some things are hard to replace. If you have fantastic neighbors and a community of friends that you have cultivated over many years, that is hard to give up and maybe irreplaceable. The garden you have tenderly nurtured with its heirloom plants and prize-winning blooms is not something you can easily pack up and take with you. And then there are the memories, the good times and the not-so-good time, all the moments that add up to the sum total of your life to date.

Can you, in good conscience, walk away? Would your kids and or grandkids even tolerate the idea? Now I know that we have become a culture of nomads in this country. We do not live our lives in our communities as much as we exist online. I’m not sure that is a good thing. Time will tell. After losing many friends and neighbors this year, I am partial to the idea that home, family, and community are essential to our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

So here is my case for staying put and going for a full home renovation.

  1. It is a sellers’ market. You can get full price for your home, and then you are on the other side of the equation. Now is not the best time to buy. Do you want to go through a stressful bidding process where it’s you and twenty other families in an obscene bidding war for the same house?
  2. No matter what home you purchase, you will end up with a few renovation projects to make the house your new home. So, no matter what you do, you can’t avoid a construction project or two unless you are buying new construction. Either way, you are managing a build.
  3. It’s your house, so it is your choice about the renovation process. You can choose to do it in stages or pull the band-aid off and go for the complete house renovation. Living in Los Angeles, where the weather is excellent all year round, makes this prospect much simpler. No chance of snow, frost, and winter weather interfering with your project. You can set up an outdoor kitchen and live in your camper in the backyard. Think of it as a nature vacation.
  4. You decide your home renovation budget, so you control how and where the money is invested. Look for home renovation ideas on a budget. You will be on your own timeline so you can investigate budget kitchen remodels, budget bathroom remodels, and budget backyard renovations. Watch the home remodeling shows, read the home design magazines, go to the bath and kitchen showrooms. Go to open houses in your neighborhood and take the best design ideas you find.

Then you can start to assemble a working budget. You will know what things cost and how you want to invest your dollars. Here are some things to guide you on your journey to compiling your home remodel budget.

Breakdown of typical starting costs:

Gut Renovation vs. Non- Gut Renovation

In creating a budget, the first decision that impacts cost is deciding on a gut renovation vs. a non-gut renovation. A gut renovation is exactly as it sounds. You gut the house, removing everything down to the foundation. In a gut renovation, all visible surfaces are replaced. Interior walls are stripped down to the studs, and the framing is knocked out entirely.

A non- gut renovation may also involve a new kitchen, bathroom, new flooring, etc., but you will be using the existing structure and walls. A gut renovation will start at $100-$200 per square foot. A non- gut renovation will begin at about $75-$100 per square foot.

General Guideline for a Los Angeles Home Renovation Budget

  • Full-home renovation $100—$200 per square foot
  • Dry spaces- bedrooms and family rooms start at $50 per square foot.
  • Baths start at $400 per square foot.
  • Kitchens start at $300 per square foot.
  • Gut remodel with customization: $200—$300 per square foot.
  • Non-gut, remodel with customization: $200 per square foot.
  • Structural factors like staircases and second-floor additions- extensive customization: $300 per square foot+
  • Plumbing permits: from under $2,000 up to $5,000
  • Electrical permits: $900
  • Electrical permits: $900

Moving walls, adding staircases, shifting gas and plumbing, and electrical rewiring all contribute to a higher per-square-foot cost, plus add to the behind-the-scenes expenditures.

Since pricing for kitchens and baths runs higher than other rooms, more of those equal a higher price per square foot.

You can expect to see more extensive customization, fine finishes, and luxurious materials at this level and beyond. You will have access to handmade tiles, exotic wood grains, natural stone, and fine architectural details at this price point.

You might also see custom door casements and extensive lighting details at this level. There won’t be much in the way of off-the-shelf materials, and the artistry should be top-notch. Renovations that hit all of these notes can quickly run over $500 per square foot.

Tips to stay on top of your Renovation Budget:

  • Include an additional 10 to 15 percent in the budget for project overruns, unforeseen structural, plumbing, or heating problems.
  • Spend for high price custom materials only where it counts. Work with your designer to choose materials for maximum effect. Spend for the handmade tiles for your kitchen backsplash. They will create a standout design focus for your home. You can use standard material for the second bathroom to balance the budget.
  • Fix the plumbing and electrical infrastructure. Spend it now while you are under renovation or face more costly problems down the road.
  • Focus on kitchens and baths. Spend your money where it counts. Renovated kitchens and bathrooms add the most resale value to your home.
  • Consult experts upfront. If you plan to hire an architect or designer for a major home renovation, get them on board early. This can help save money by mapping out a clear plan to avoid costly changes mid-stream. Set aside 15 to 20 percent of your budget for your design team. Hire your licensed professionals early, a cost-effective way to prevent headaches later.

After planning your home renovation budget, it’s time to call in the experts. Structura Home Remodeling is the top company in the Los Angeles Area for a total home renovation.

Hire a company that will keep your project on time, on-trend, and on budget.

Structura’s clients say that the Structura contractors are true artisans and deliver on every detail.

Call Structura today for a free in-home design estimate or a virtual video design estimate.
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