What is the Most Expensive Home Renovation?

If you’re like most homeowners, you have a running list of projects you’d like to do around the house. Some of those projects are small, such as fixing a drawer that sticks, or taking care of a faulty window frame. Others are more moderate, such as painting a room or even knocking down a wall. Then there’s the realm of home renovation, where the only limits to what you can accomplish are 1) your imagination and 2) your budget.

Budget in particular is the biggest constraint people face when thinking about home renovations. If money were no object, you could achieve any transformation you wanted, and your dream home could be a reality within a year or two. But when you take a realistic look at the cost of professional home renovation, it’s obvious that you’ll have to pick and choose your projects carefully.

Since homeowners love to think about dream renovations, the question deserves to be asked: what’s the single most expensive home renovation out there?

Obviously, the most expensive project would be something rare, such as the large-scale restoration of a sprawling historical mansion. But in terms of ordinary renovations, the most expensive project is a kitchen makeover. But you probably could have guessed that.

According to HomeAdvisor, kitchens are the single-most expensive home renovation project by a long shot, with the average American parting ways with over $20k to realize a complete upgrade. The second most expensive home renovation, bathroom remodels, cost less than $10k on average.

What is it about kitchens that make them so expensive? Certain areas and amenities of the kitchen, such as countertops, appliances and cabinetry, can eat up quite a bit of the budget. Flooring, islands, and storage solutions are big factors as well. The materials themselves (especially in the case of countertops) can be expensive, and that’s before you even talk about demolishing the old kitchen (where applicable) and fair labor costs for all of that skilled work.

When you take all of these things into account, it begins to seem obvious that $20k is easily spent on a kitchen renovation. It’s also true, however, that a full kitchen upgrade may not be necessary. Skilled contractors are able to help you navigate toward the best results within a budget, and can offer valuable perspective whether you ultimately hire them or not. That’s why it’s good practice to make contact with a couple of highly-rated contractors in your area, and collect bids for the work you’d like done. Once you’ve done this, you can assess whether DIY is an option for you, and compare the various costs and time commitments – keeping in mind, obviously, that you don’t want a shoddy result that’s going to need repair inside of a few years. Homeowners today are concerned with making smart and savvy decisions that represent a good long-term investment, both in terms of the lifestyle they’re able to lead with an upgraded kitchen, and with the extra market value and buyer appeal that will result.