How home renovation Toronto residents approach this question is far more practical than getting down to a black-and-white cost number. Why? Because the home renovation scope is vast – indeed massive! Trying to nail down what a “renovation” costs is almost like asking, “How long is a piece of string?” It can mean anything from a quick fix-up of a single room to a complex whole house renovation divided into sub-activities like:
The challenge of constructing a comprehensive cost guide must take the renovation size into account as a vital consideration. Accordingly, an all-embracing scenario (as follows) will help us to appreciate all the twists and turns:
How much does it cost to gut and renovate a house in Toronto and GTA?
Here’s the thing – projects that involve 3000 square feet (PLUS) are entirely different from jobs that focus on small spaces over time. In other words, we’re focused here on the whole house renovation as the most economical backdrop to this discussion.
We wanted to give homeowners a realistic perspective on pricing for their full-scale (and also minor renovations). So, we interviewed Astaneh Construction CEO and founder, Hamed Astaneh – a leading Toronto Renovator who also constructs homes from scratch. He gave us an accurate insight into this subject. It turned out to be substantially more helpful than pinpointing what the price tags are, item by item (although we do indicate those below as well). Here’s what emerged from the conversation:
There’s one crucial decision that makes all the difference in controlling costs – your selected renovation partner.
Yes, Hamed emphasized that the entity you select to do all the heavy lifting can make or break your budget. Consider the following:
- Your renovator should try to save you money without cutting unnecessary corners – not find ways to make you spend more.
- Make sure he or she offers a one-stop, end-to-end service – a genuine partner in the program if you will. It implies they carry the responsibility for:
- Sourcing the materials (like flooring, cabinets, faucets, lights) – indeed, everything that goes into the renovation. Most experienced renovators know the best suppliers in the industry – positioning themselves ideally to negotiate the best discounts for you.
- Receiving the supplies and ensuring that the deliveries match the quantity, quality, and specs as per the orders. Supply chain errors can end up costing you much money when materials are short-delivered, incorrectly invoiced, or inaccurate in so many different ways.
- Reporting regularly on progress, monitoring that the work at interim stages meets your expectations.
- Advising you on renovation schedules to help address cash flow planning and keep budgets on the track discussed initially.
- Providing professional perspectives built on renovation experience across numerous projects (i.e., ones that can short circuit processes and cut down expenses). A professional renovator looks to use the architectural design in place instead of “reinventing the wheel.” Again, it fits into saving the client money at every stop.
Locking in with a renovator you have confidence in sets the foundation for a budget-centric project that makes sense. All that said, let’s move on to the renovation proposition as stated above – that is, renovating a gutted home (and all the relevant subsections) to create a comprehensive and satisfying outcome.
1. Kitchen Renovation Costs
It’s the room that carries substantial homeowner emotion, considering that most family-and-friend interactions occur in and around the kitchen. This is going to be the most expensive space according to experts like HomeAdvisor – the average hovering in the $35,000 – $65,000 range. You’ll spend your money on craftsmanship, cabinetry, hardware, countertops, flooring, faucets and appliances. The latter can cost a ton when you move into the imported and customized arena, pushing your kitchen renovation to twice the average in the blink of an eye. Here are mind-boggling examples of luxury additions that blast renovation budgets into the stratosphere:
- Dacor Discovery WineStation (US$5,299)
- Sub-Zero Wolf Freezer Drawers (US$4,250)
- Mugnaini Wood-Fired Pizza Oven (US$8,500)
- La Cornue Rotisserie (US$10,000)
- Meneghini Arredamenti Refrigerator (US$41,000)
Throw in things like quartz countertops (that can go as high as $120 per square foot), and you may touch a six-digit number for the kitchen alone. It all circles back to one’s imagination and, of course, a matching bank account. A rational approach with your renovation partner’s assistance can keep the kitchen vision realistic by erasing unaffordable options.
Here’s the kicker – resale value connects to a kitchen renovation like no other space in the house. Expect it to deliver the most significant investment return on a home resale by engaging buyers more than any other room in the house. Of course, your renovator should warn you not to over-capitalize this room – something that’s so easy to do (as you can see above). Prospective buyers may not appreciate all the add-ons as much as you do.
2. Bathroom renovation costs
According to Astaneh Construction, the master bathroom is where things can get crazy and end up anywhere between $20,000 to $55,000. It boils down to the selected materials, fixtures, and hardware you choose. Spa-baths, multi-nozzle showers, steam baths are only a few luxury options that attack the bottom line if you lose cost-focus.
The project’s secondary- and half-bathrooms can drop to as as low as $15000, with the average at around $25,000 (remembering that our starting point is a gutted house). Bathrooms rank second (behind kitchens) as investment value enhancers but holding one’s emotions in check is crucial to ROI. In a nutshell, bathroom renovation critically depends on the renovator’s input to keep things balanced and within budget.
3. Other cost considerations
A gutted house requires the rebuilding of bedrooms, passageways, and possibly a basement renovation. The latter by itself may involve building in a separate kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, and home office. Thrown in with all of all the above, savvy home renovation Toronto thinking shouldn’t forget:
- Sidings (running at $8.50 a square foot). It can add up to anything from $6,100 – $16,000 on average, whereas wood and fibre cement materials can take it well over $20,000.
- Windows (whole house window replacement tops out between $10,000 and $30,000).
- Doors can cost you $1000 for only one. Stylized front doors (e.g., made from solid oak or wrought iron with bevelled glass insets) jump into the thousands.
- Roof renovation or roof replacement: Roofs last for maybe thirty or forty years. We bring it up because when talking about a whole house renovation, it’s feasible to insert roofing issues into the equation. A full replacement can run you around $20,000, depending on the materials you use (including the latest metallic options).
- Aside from the materials, your contractor fees are going to dent your bank balance. You know that, but getting it nailed down up front is crucial. Astaneh construction recommends:
- Sticking to a fixed fee system, moving away from a per-hour basis. You’re not interested in how many hours are involved in the project – only the final expense to get the job done.
- Your renovator must take care of subcontracting with plumbers, electricians, engineers, and architects that contribute to the remodel.
- Get the work scope on the table before the work begins. Change orders as you go along generally result in cost escalations. Good renovators know this and help you come to terms with precise planning and staying with the start-plan.
- Permits are a routine requirement that carries regulated fees and are unavoidable. Expert renovators will have them high on the presented pricing lists.
- Walls are an issue that can come to big money if you decide to move them around. We reiterate Hamed Astaneh’s recommendation to connect to a renovator intent on doing the most with what’s there versus turning structures upside down.
- Most modern renovations favour hardwood flooring aligning to numbers like $22 a square foot – double the cost of high-quality carpeting.
- New HVAC systems add at least $5600 to the bill and blown-in conversion another $1500 (in most cases).
- Change-over to solar power is becoming a popular notion but can cost around $30,000, notwithstanding the long-term savings. However, there are often government and utility company incentives that can cut into this number significantly in certain areas. Your renovator should know the ins and outs when claiming these.
Trying to find an easy answer to renovation costs – beyond broad ranges – is a fool’s errand. It’s more important to find a renovator you can trust – one like Astaneh Construction. They have the experience and connections to get you the most value for your money. Even If you have the resources to afford high-end materials, you still want to drive a hard bargain. Astaneh Construction will cut out the waste and get you the best results for the cash you want to spend on the project. Either way, an expert renovator will make it look a lot more than the renovation dollars spent