If you just want to change one room in your home, deciding to remodel can be as simple as financing the project, finding the right contractor, and setting a schedule. But what if you have multiple projects that you want to complete and a set budget of $ 20,000?
We asked do-it-yourself and real estate experts for advice on how to spend sensible money on a renovation.
“The first question we ask everyone is how long they want to stay home,” said Chuck Khiel, vice president of Fred Home Improvement, a division of Case Architects & Remodelers in the Washington area. “If you stay forever, it makes sense to do something that you really want to do, regardless of whether it adds to the value of your home. If you sell in three to five years or sooner, focus more on yours [recoupment] on investments. “
Regardless of how long you plan to stay, you should always consider the resale value of the project to ensure you’re making a wise investment, says Mischa Fisher, chief economist at Angi, the home services platform formerly Home Advisor and Angie’s was known to perform.
“As much as we’d love to address ‘wants’ before ‘needs,’ it’s important to prioritize needs first,” says Fisher. “Always prioritize repairs that are safety-related. There may be repairs that now seem small or insignificant and could become much bigger, riskier and more expensive if ignored for too long. “
A $ 20,000 budget can take a lot of remodeling, but it may not be enough to complete all of your projects. Here are some popular options to consider:
Remodeling an average kitchen costs between $ 25,000 and $ 40,000, Fisher says. The return on investment for kitchen remodeling can be more than 70%, he says.
“I’d cross the kitchen off the list if you had $ 20,000 because that’s not enough to upgrade to sell,” said Craig McCullough, director of the Catalyst Group at Compass Real Estate in Washington. “If your entire kitchen is out of date, it’s better to offer buyers $ 50,000 to pay for the kitchen remodel rather than doing a piecemeal update.”
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If you are focused on spending your $ 20,000 on your kitchen, however, replacing the counters, adding LED lighting under the cabinets, and installing a new tile back panel provide a nice facelift, suggests Khiel, especially if your counter tops are in good condition. You can also paint the cabinets within that budget.
The cost of renovating an average-sized bathroom is $ 10,800, according to Fisher. How much you will spend depends on the quality of the equipment and finishes you have chosen. Reconfiguring a bathroom and moving the plumbing and electrical connections increases costs significantly.
“For less than $ 20,000, you can paint the bathroom, replace the vanity, medicine cabinet, lighting, flooring, and fixtures,” says Khiel. “Maybe you can recoat a cast iron tub within this budget.”
The big difference is in the materials, says Khiel.
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“You can find good quality and attractive things in the mid-range, but you can also spend $ 8,000 on the closet alone,” he says. “Your [recoupment] the investment outlay is in the region of 70% if you stick to the quality of the medium level. “
McCullough suggests that sellers focus on modernizing the main bathroom on a budget of $ 20,000 and then spending a small amount to replace the floor and wall tiles and vanity in the guest bathroom if necessary.
Completing a partially completed or unfinished basement adds more living space and increases your resale value, says Fisher. He says the average cost to complete a basement is close to $ 20,000, but this can be much higher or lower depending on the amount of work. The payback on the investment to complete a basement can be greater than 70%, says Fisher.
“Every jurisdiction in the DC area requires permits for partial or full completion of a basement, which adds to the cost,” says Khiel. “Permits are needed if you want to frame or cordon off rooms with walls, drawings for the permits as well as electrical, heating, air-conditioning and insulation work.”
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McCullough says a remodeling project that only requires changing and painting the floors could be done for well under $ 20,000, but completing a basement would be way beyond that budget.
“Some of the most important budgetary factors are labor, flooring, waterproofing, lighting, electricity, furniture, sump pump installation, ceiling, drywall, insulation, plumbing, painting, decoration and permits, and doors, windows and walls . ”Fischer says. “Start with the essentials and work with a contractor to make sure everything is done in the correct order and according to the code.”
Replacing or refurbishing the flooring, painting or wallpapering the walls and ceiling, and building or redesigning the closet space are aspects of the master bedroom that pay off well for investment and impact on your daily life, says Fisher. These projects can easily fit into a $ 20,000 budget.
Khiel says most homeowners expand their closet space if they can, and some call for bespoke built-in closets for storage and a TV. He also suggests adding moldings or paneling or replacing the doors within a $ 20,000 budget.
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“The window change can also fit into the budget, but you have to be careful if they no longer fit the windows on the adjacent walls,” says Khiel. “Windows can be very expensive, so some people build one wall a year to spread the cost.”
Adding a ceiling fan or built-in lighting can also improve the appearance of a master bedroom. And those are both things buyers value, says McCullough.
Adding a patio or deck can improve the resale value of your home with a return on investment of up to 65%, says Fisher. The increase in outdoor living space was particularly appreciated during the pandemic. Fisher says adding a deck is anywhere from $ 4,000 to $ 11,250 for most homeowners, but the cost increases depending on the size of the deck and the materials used.
“A $ 20,000 deck would be maybe 200 square feet if it were made of wood, but if you want a composite like Trex, that deck size will cost you $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 because the prices are so high right now,” says Khiel.
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Fisher says there is a sweet spot to getting the deck size right.
“Too small and you probably won’t be using it much, too big and you can lose your whole yard,” he says.
To get the most impact from a $ 20,000 investment in your home, McCullough suggests replacing or repainting all of the floors in the home.
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“This is important even if you have a relatively new home, as home builders often include less expensive floors when building a condo or apartment building,” says McCullough.