Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How much does it cost to renovate a house in Ottawa anyway?

When we purchased the house we really did not have a good idea of how much it would cost to renovate. We figured it was cheaper than building a new house, but by how much was anyone's guess.

One of the first sources of information on renovations that we turned to was the book "Make It Right" by Mike Holmes. Besides providing good information about how a house is built, it was one of the only books we found that gave pricing guidelines for a home renovation in Canada. For example, Mike says that a kitchen reno can cost $10,000 to $40,000, bathrooms are between $10,000 and $20,000, basements cost $30,000 on average, while an addition is from $90 a square foot up to $360 a square foot. The average for an addition, he says, is $120 a square foot, which will give you the minimum code requirements - carpet, vinyl, possibly some ceramic in the bathroom, etc. Decks run about $5 a square foot while fences are about $12 per foot of fence.

Mike's estimates seem to be in line with information we got from architects and builders that we talked to in Ottawa. Most Architects we talked to said that renovating an existing space runs about $100 a square foot, while new construction (e.g. an addition or adding another floor) runs about $200 a square foot for decent quality construction. Oakwood, a design-build company with a long history in Ottawa, told us their new construction runs about $235 a square foot.

In the Fall/Winter edition of Ottawa Renovates magazine, a magazine produced in conjunction with the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association, there is an article where several Ottawa area builders are asked about construction costs. Depending on the builder, cost estimates were anywhere from $100 to $450 per square foot. Engel Construction, for example, councils that when budgeting for a whole-house renovation, plan for $100 per square foot, and then add costs for kitchen and bathrooms. Starting with a gutted space, a new kitched will range from $10,000 to $15,000 excluding counters and cabinets. Cabinets cost from $7,000 to $50,000 or more. A new bathroom can run from $10,000 to $15,000, says Engel. Similarly, Lagois Drafting and Construction ballparked costs at around $200 to $400 per square foot, plus their design fee. Luxury Renovations says that their projects usually run between $250 and $450 per square foot.

Don't forget that these costs are just for the construction. You also need to add on costs for landscaping and for the architect (if you use one), who sometimes cost as much as 15% of the overall construction budget.

What's your experience with the cost of a renovation? Was it cheaper or more expensive than the figures given above?

47 comments:

  1. Thanks for your comments. Ottawa Renovates can be viewed online at http://www.ottawarenovates.com.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment Mark. I have added the hyperlink to Ottawa Renovates magazine in the text

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  3. $5.00 per square ft to build a deck...wow
    using 2 x 6 pt joists and 5/4 decking would cost approx $4.50 per sq ft to buy....Just 50 cents per sq ft labour....

    $12 per ft for fencing....6 ft pt fence with 4 x 4 posts cost about $11.00 per ft to purchase materials...Just $1 per foot to construct

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the price is just for material, even though I doubt thats what they are saying.

      Delete
  4. To whom it may concern,

    I am looking to renovate a basement I was wondering how much you would charge to complete this it is 7000square feet, 2 rooms, 1 3 peice bathroom, and a recreation area laminate flooring, labour and material please. or labour only. this renovation is in the ottawa area.

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks to the Anonymous commenter who pointed out the discrepancies in the cost to build decks and fences. If your figures for building materials are correct then, yes, the labour cost does seem rather low. The figures you are referring to come from Mike Holmes' book. The book was published in 2007, which means it was likely written in 2006, hence, the figures are now about four years out of date.

    I recently came across another source of advice on renovation costs at Ontariocontractors.com (http://www.ontariocontractors.com/costs.htm). That site lists the cost of supplying and installing a deck at $20/sq ft.

    To the anonymous commenter who is requesting cost estimates to finish a basement, I cannot provide that, but I recommend you check out ontariocontractors.com website, or try to get an estimate from a couple of local builders. 7000 square feet! wow! that's one heck of a basement.

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  6. In planning a home renovation, you may jot down things that you should prioritize; especially in budgeting. You have to be careful in buying stuff. You may ask the help of your contractor or a roofer about choosing affordable and yet quality materials for your home.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for this! This will definitely give us a point of comparison of prices of different companies for renovation. My, it does cost quite a bit having to renovate. Maybe not as much as building a new company, but it will definitely cost you. This is why it is imperative you choose the right contractor to give you a fair price for both the services and the materials to be used.

    Charles Terry

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  8. Complete Construction & Management (CCM) was founded on the belief that quality and commitment is the cornerstone of every project. This approach allows us to extend our highly personalized attention to each client, whether it is a new custom home, addition or remodel. Call 561-623-3282 today to see how we can help renovate or create your home.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dream Touch Renovations have done an amazing job with our home additions work. Very professional, respect timing and gave us an affordable quotation
    I would like to recommend them :
    http://dreamtouchrenovations.com/home-additions
    613-680-7773

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello I read your blog. your blog is sharing great information. Ottawa basement renovation providing best Ottawa Basement Renovation in Canada. Thanks for share this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice comment about Dream Touch. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that you happen to share the same last name. I'd hire an actual carpenter not just someone with a web site

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great blog post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the closing phase :) I deal with such info a lot. I used to be seeking this particular information for a very lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.
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  13. Good works. This is good remodeling especially cabinets. There are many remodeling firms which work very beautifully.
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  14. Hello I want to mention this is a very old blog, but I went with the advice given here in the comments. Hired Dream Touch Renovations for my basement finish. They did an amazing job, 5 star. local ottawa basement renovation company, check them out:

    http://dreamtouchrenovations.com/ottawa-basement-renovations/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, entered private information. Here's a number to call in ottawa, btw they do more than basement renovations. 613 680-7773

      Delete
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