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When trying to decide whether to invest in your current home and renovate rather than selling your house and purchasing a new one, homeowners often consider remodeling a kitchen, bathroom or basement. We’ve covered “Curb Appeal” here in our Sellers Blog, but we’ve compiled some other information in this post that may make your decision to sell or fix up your home a little easier.


According to general contractor, Harry Braswell of Harry Braswell, Inc, “The 5% to 15% Rule is a handy tool to help determine how much you spend on your kitchen project. Basically, the rule states: The entire kitchen project (including cabinets, appliances, countertops, flooring, lighting, trim molding, & wall coverings) should cost no less than 5% and no more than 15% of the current value of your home with approximately 50% of the total cost allocated for cabinets (including accessories and trim).” The typical kitchen budget is 8% of your home’s value.

Harry also adds, “Even at the high-end there are limits. The adage ‘anything goes’ does not apply. The total cost of high-end custom kitchen should not exceed 20% of the current market value of the house.” Spending more could reduce your chances of getting even a minimal return on your investment.


When doing a master bath remodel, “a rule of thumb is that the total project—including materials and installation—should cost no more than 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) puts the national average at about $16,000. Another guide is Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, which compares the average cost of various renovation projects with the value they retain at resale. In 2011-2012, mid-range bathroom remodels cost an average of $16,552 and recouped 62 percent, while upscale bathroom remodels cost an average of $52,249 and recouped 56 percent,” says Consumer Reports Magazine.

Also under consideration are secondary bathrooms such as powder rooms and guest baths.  As the homeowner, you may not spend as much time using them, but renovating secondary baths may also provide a strong return on your investment.

Basement contributor, Brian Eckert had this to say about basement remodeling: “The average costs for refinishing a basement are between $15,000 and $25,000. This will provide you with walls, flooring, insulation, a modest bathroom, and electrical wiring. Another way to compute the total cost of remodeling a basement is by the square foot. A low-end estimate for basement refinishing is $25 to $30 per square foot. However, a more reasonable estimate is probably somewhere between $25 to $50 per square foot, and in some cases as much as $75 per square foot.”

It’s always wise to look at your basement remodel as creating a “third floor” to your home.  In keeping with this idea, it’s important to consider the quality of  finishes used on your main floor and plan to use the same quality in your basement remodel to keep your basement from looking like and after-thought.

The info graphic below offers some other options for seeing a return on your investment when improving your home.



Our recommendation is to be sure you consider all options when it comes to improving or selling your home.  The Rob Morrison Team, Coldwell Banker Residential-Barrington is here to help you weigh all your options, be it listing your home for sale or recommending our favorite contractors to help you complete your renovation projects.

Call us.  We’re here to help. (847) 212-0966

Stay tuned and Live Well.


Post Author: homesandliving

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