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Asking "how much does remodeling cost" is a bit like asking "how much does a trip around the world cost – by the hour?" There are just too many variables to generate a simple answer.

Remodeling, cost, budget, recycling, home value, kitchen, bathroom, basement, new addition

Remodeling costs depend on the extent of work done (new sink versus new addition), the grade of materials used (linoleum flooring versus Rosa aurora marble), and the home's location (compare labor costs in New York City to those in Harlingen, Texas). Another factor that can affect your final cost is the amount of additional home value that you recoup (your ROI) when you sell.

If you're considering a home renovation project, you can get a rough idea of your potential costs by consulting a survey like Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report. This survey tells you not only what's involved with a typical remodeling project, for example a "minor kitchen remodel" but gives you a range of its cost and also how much you might expect to recoup when it's time to sell your home. This particular report gives you regional numbers as well as national figures.

What Does the Project Involve?

For example, a mid-range minor kitchen remodel (in a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinets and counter tops) entails leaving the cabinet boxes in place but replacing the fronts with new raised-panel wood doors and drawers, including new hardware. It also means replacing a wall oven and cook top with new energy-efficient models, adding new laminate counter tops, installing a mid-priced sink and faucet, repainting trim, adding wall coverings, and replacing resilient flooring. When you budget for your renovation, you'll want to know what you're getting for your money.

Location, Location, Location

Costs differ depending on where you live, and your ROI changes as well – some projects are just more popular than others in different parts of the country. For example, the minor kitchen remodel can be expected to cost $19,066 in New England (recouping 75.7 percent when you sell). In the Pacific region, the project costs about $2,000 more, but you can expect to recover 90 percent of your investment. Factors like weather and culture have a big impact on a project's desirability. Out West, decks are all the rage, and you can expect to get 96.1% of your deck-building dollar back when you sell. But in Chicago, you'd expect to get back just 58.6%! Getting an estimate on the expected value of your project is important, or you may be surprised if your bargain-basement turns out to be a bad investment.

All Real Estate Is Local

Surveys like Remodeling Magazine's are fun to look at, and can give you a general idea of what works where and how much it costs. However, there is nothing like getting very specific information about what's in demand in your neighborhood. If you see a lot of "For Sale" signs in your part of town with the same real estate agent's name on them, give him or her a call and ask about improvements. Then remember who helped you when you're ready to buy or sell. Most importantly, get a few real-life bids for your project. Only with an actual bid for your actual job can you make an intelligent decision about remodeling your home.

Need More Help?

If you need professional help with your project, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a pro today!

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