Remodeling costs in Washington DC in 2020, including kitchen, bath, and whole-home (plus building additions and permit tips!)
A stately Capitol Hill rowhouse. A mid-century modern jewel in Falls Church. A unique craftsman’s cottage in Kensington. Whatever your abode, it’s a great time to renovate in Washington DC, the sixth most populated area in the country. If you’re ready to make your own splash to a home and increase its value, one of your first steps is to create a budget to cover your remodeling costs in DC.
Sweeten offers a cost guide to give you a sense of how to budget for remodeling costs in the DC area, Montgomery and Howard counties in Maryland, and select counties in Virginia, including Fairfax and Arlington. Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and financial protection—at no cost to the homeowner.
Here’s a quick overview of budgets for some standard renovation projects:
- Gut renovation: Starting at $100 per square foot (psf)
- Low-end kitchen remodel: Starting at $20,000—$25,000
- Mid-range kitchen remodel: Starting at $30,000—$40,000
- High-end kitchen remodel: Starting at $68,000
- Low-end bathroom remodel: Starting at $12,000—$15,000
- Mid-range bathroom remodel: Starting at $21,000 or $600 psf.
- High-end bathroom remodel and extension: Starting at $40,000
- Adding square footage: Starts at $120 psf
Total Gut Renovation Costs for a DC Home
A total gut renovation in Washington DC that brings a home down to its frame and studs could start at around $100 psf. Doing it all at once will get you the best price per square foot if you are already planning multiple projects.
How much does a Washington DC kitchen remodel cost per square foot?
- A best-value kitchen remodel typically starts between $20,000—$25,000. This allows the replacement of cabinets and countertops from big-box stores, a stocked appliance package, and tile flooring.
- For a mid-range kitchen, expect starting costs between $30,000—$40,000. This pricepoint would include semi-custom cabinets, hardwood floors, upgrade in appliances, and an island (with no sink).
Remodeling‘s Cost Vs Value report found the average cost in the Washington DC area costs around $68,000. This works out to be $340 psf. About 60 percent of the cost is recouped in the value it adds to your home. With a budget of this amount, you can remodel a 200-square-foot space with countertops, semi-custom wood cabinets, and a stainless steel sink with a standard single-lever faucet. It also allows the addition of a built-in microwave, dishwasher, and custom lighting. Other than adding a kitchen island, the layout, such as where the oven and dishwasher are installed, must remain the same as the original design. Keeping your layout will be the biggest influence in a low budget down.
- For an upscale kitchen remodel, costs start at $68,000 and include a stone or marble countertop as well as opening up the space or removing a wall.
A luxury remodel comes in at an average of $135,000 for Washington DC, the Cost Vs Value report found. The psf cost is $675. This project can add 58 percent of the budget to your home’s value. An upscale kitchen remodel can consist of custom cabinets, built-in sliding shelves, stone countertops, and imported ceramic or glass tile backsplashes. The appliances would also kick up a few notches to include a commercial-grade cooktop and vent hood. The kitchen can also have designer faucets and a water filtration system.
How much does a DC bathroom remodel cost per square foot?
- For a best-value bathroom, expect a typical project to start between $12,000—$15,000. At this budget, it would not be a gut but a refresh.
- A mid-range bathroom remodel has costs at $21,000 or $600 psf. These figures come from the Cost Vs Value report. For this price, you can remodel a 35-square-foot bathroom. It includes adding a porcelain-on-steel bathtub, ceramic tiles, and a recessed medicine cabinet with built-in lighting. This renovation can add $14,000 to a home’s value. That’s 65 percent of the project’s cost.
- A high-end bathroom remodel starts at $40,000. This budget includes a 3 or 4-piece bath such as the sink, shower/tub combination, and toilet. For $67,000, a 5-piece bathroom could be installed.
According to the 2020 Cost Vs Value report, the average price in this category is around $67,000. For this price, you can expand your bathroom from 35 square feet to 100 square feet. The new bathroom can have features like a freestanding soaker tub. On top of that, you can have a shower with recessed shelves, a frameless glass enclosure, and body spray fixtures. Your budget can also afford a double sink and double-mirror vanity with custom draws and wall cabinets.
Adding square footage to your DC home
Enlarging living space to an existing floor plan starts at $120 psf and can easily go up to $200 psf. The most economical addition is adding square footage over a crawl space. An extension where you are adding or adjusting the foundations will come in around $150 psf. The cost increases to $200 psf if a wet space—bathroom, laundry, or kitchen—is added. The cost of adding a second floor can start at $150 psf.
Remodeling costs in DC: Permits
The District of Columbia is a compact city of only 69 square miles. The Council of the District of Columbia issues building permits for this area. Permits cost two percent of the budget for work over $1,000. For example, a permit for $20,000 bathroom will cost $400.
Prince George’s County, to the east and south of the city, uses an equation for permit fees. $50 + (Construction Costs x 0.008) = permit fee. So, a $20,000 renovation would cost $210. Watch out for specific fees for projects such as basement finishing which is $340.
In Montgomery County, the area to the north, building permits for alterations, additions, and repairs start at $270.
Enjoy making your DC home your own! Know the costs and find the right renovation team to bring your vision to life. Post your project on Sweeten and you’ll be one step closer to your home sweet home!
Six steps on how to start your renovation and finding the right general contractor for your scope.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.