Houston Home Remodel Costs: Your Ultimate Guide

Whether you’ve got a bungalow in Houston Heights, a Craftsman cottage in Montrose, or an apartment in downtown, it’s time to make your Houston home your own. Sweeten’s guide to remodeling costs in Houston provides a jumping-off point to get you on your way. Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering guidance, tools, and support—for free..

Here’s a quick overview of budgets for popular renovation projects:

  • Gut renovation: starting at $80 – $100 per square foot (psf)
  • Budget kitchen remodel: starting at $10,000 – $15,000
  • Mid-grade kitchen remodel: starting at $25,000 – $30,000
  • High-end kitchen remodel: starting at $40,000
  • Budget bathroom remodel: starting at $8,000 – $15,000
  • Mid-grade bathroom remodel: starting at $15,000 – $25,000
  • High-end bathroom remodel and expansion: starting at $30,000
  • Deck composite: $18,000 or $56 psf
  • Wood deck: $13,000 or $40 psf

How much a Houston home remodel costs per square foot

Remodeling costs for a total gut renovation in Houston starts at $80 – $100 per square foot (psf) for a project that uses affordable finishes according to Houston-based Sweeten contractor Santiago And Lorella B. This means materials such as laminate flooring and countertops, value-brand appliances, and basic tiles from big box stores like Home Depot. 

However, “the ideal gut renovation cost is about $125 psf in order to have nice finishes but can go much higher depending on what the client is looking for,“ he said, adding that he has seen gut renovations come in at $250 psf.

Although a gut renovation is a big project, consider doing it all at once to get the best bang for your buck. It’s also going to get you your dream home much quicker than renovating room by room. The bigger your project, the less per square foot it will cost. 

Houston-based Sweeten contractor Nathan T. advises homeowners to research the costs of renovations in their neighborhood. “Don’t overinvest in your home compared to similar properties in the area,” Nathan cautions. He suggests avoiding high-end renovations in areas that don’t warrant them. However, he adds, “If it’s your forever home, personalize it to your heart’s content.”

How much a Houston kitchen remodel costs per square foot

  • Budget-minded homeowners can expect to pay between $10,000 and $15,000 for a kitchen refresh that includes new prefab cabinets, appliances, and flooring. Sweeten client Santiago recently saved on their remodel by repairing and painting the original cabinets, choosing a low-cost granite countertop and porcelain backsplash, and keeping the existing flooring.
  • For a mid-grade kitchen remodel in Houston, expect to pay upwards of $25,000. To keep costs down at this level, maintain the existing layout. This allows you to replace appliances like your oven and dishwasher without incurring the cost of relocating plumbing and gas lines.

You can get a stainless steel sink with single-lever faucet, laminate countertops, a built-in microwave, value-brand appliances, custom lighting, and semi-custom cabinets. An island could also be added. Moving plumbing, gas, and electrical, reconfiguring the layout, or choosing custom features will increase the budget.

  • For a high-end kitchen, labor costs and a refresh with select high-end materials such as marble or quartz countertops, imported backsplash tile, and high-quality fixtures start at $40,000. The costs increase from there with custom features, new cabinets and appliances, and reconfiguring the layout.

Sweeten contractor Santiago is currently working on an $80,000 kitchen remodel. For that price, the homeowner is getting custom cabinets, a quartzite countertop (quartzite is the natural version of quartz, which is manmade), light fixtures worth $300 a pop, and high-end appliances from Sub-Zero and Wolf. “One issue that pushed up the cost is that the plans were changed several times,” said Santiago, which lost buying power and time, which cost money.

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How much a Houston bathroom remodel costs per square foot?

A basic bathroom remodel, keeping the existing layout and using prefabricated materials and fixtures from big-box stores, typically starts around $8,000 to $15,000. This estimate assumes no unforeseen issues, such as plumbing leaks or mold, which would require additional costs.

“The key to maintaining a low budget is to shop around and apply filters when searching through websites,” said Santiago. “That way you prevent wanting an item that is not under your budget.”

In the Houston area, a mid-grade bathroom can start at $15,000 – $25,000. The average cost of a mid-grade bathroom remodel is about $19,000 or $542 psf, according to Remodeling‘s Cost Vs Value report. Like kitchens, the key to a budget in this range is sticking to the same layout. This avoids costly and time-consuming plumbing work.

This budget is for a 35-square-foot bathroom with a new porcelain-on-steel bathtub, ceramic tiles, and a recessed medicine cabinet with built-in lighting. A renovation of this level can add almost $12,000 to a home’s value, recouping close to 60 percent of the project’s cost.

Expect to invest upwards of $30,000 for a luxurious bathroom remodel and expansion. This budget accommodates a standard 5′ x 7′ bathroom with a tub/shower combo, toilet, and sink. Costs will rise with additional features like a double vanity, separate shower and tub, specialty tile, custom vanity, or advanced toilet functions.

Costs for adding outdoor space

Houston’s year-round outdoor entertaining options make it a fantastic city. Imagine spending crisp winter nights gathered around a fire pit or enjoying a refreshing drink on the patio during humid summer afternoons.

Your outdoor space is a canvas for creativity. The possibilities are endless:

  • Design an expansive outdoor kitchen for gourmet gatherings.
  • Install a gas fireplace to create a cozy ambiance.
  • Beat the heat with cooling fans and misting systems.
  • Set the mood with custom lighting.
  • Transform your yard with beautiful landscaping.

“A high-end patio that we worked on recently involved building an outdoor grill station with a roof,” said Santiago, of the $25,000 project. “The only thing that pushed up the cost was trying to find the specific brick that the client wanted.” 

Nathan recently completed an outdoor patio and kitchen with a budget of $50,000. It had a gas range, a fridge plus another one just for wine, ambient lighting, security cameras, a pergola and an area for the client’s dogs that was covered in artificial turf.

You can also stick with something simple that has a restrained budget. A basic wooden deck will likely cost $40 psf or $13,000 for something in the 320 square foot range. A deck made from composite, a mix of wood product and plastic, will cost around $18,000 for the same size or $56 psf. This material tends to last longer with less maintenance. 

Other remodeling costs in Houston: Permits

The cost of building permits varies from place to place. There are nine counties that make up the city of Houston. Each one has its own building permit system and fees. 

For example, in Harris County, most residential renovations attract a $130 fee. The minimum fee in Montgomery County is $15 plus $.30 per square foot of your renovating project. Depending on your remodel, there could also be a plan review fee (half the initial permit fee), a plumbing permit ($100), and a mechanical permit fee ($100). 

Santiago calculates an average permit fee when doing a quote for a client. He takes the square footage of the project and multiplies it by $1 and then adds additional fixed permit costs such as plumbing, electrical or HVAC.

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Post your project on Sweeten to connect with a trusted contractor in your area and turn your basement into a space you’ll love.

To help you plan your renovation, we’ve also published articles on different design inspirationsprocesses, and cost guides to ensure a smooth and successful project.


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