4 Common Home Renovations and How Much They’ll Cost

published Jul 31, 2018
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(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

There are two parts to every home renovation: There’s the fun part, where showroom salespeople treat you like royalty and Pinterest becomes your part-time job. But there’s also the practical part, which is mostly consumed with creating a budget and paying the bills.

As much as we love a mood board, today we’re going to look at determining a project’s budget and financing. We’ve rounded up some of the most common renovations by their price point and looked at how they may pay off—in terms of return on investment (ROI), or just by the satisfaction of being one room closer to your dream home.

As you figure out your project’s total cost, you may want to consider taking out a personal loan to finance it, rather than putting it on a credit card or paying out of your savings. A personal loan with fixed monthly installments and interest rates is a savvy financing option that can take the pressure off as you pay smaller amounts over time. American Express offers personal loans for eligible existing consumer Card Members of up to $40,000 and APRs starting as low as 6.98%.1 After a quick and easy application process, eligible Card Members can have a decision in seconds and no impact to their credit score for applying for a loan.2 Read on to see what kinds of projects a personal loan can help you accomplish. (When it comes to renovations, keep in mind that budgets vary state by state, and even city by city, so you might be paying more or less than the budget ranges below depending on where you live.)

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Small Kitchen Updates: Starting at $3,500

When many of us think of improving our homes, our minds go straight to the kitchen. Turns out, we’re pretty smart! You’re likely to get a good return on smaller projects in the kitchen. A budget of $3,500–$5K can cover cabinet upgrades, paint, a new backsplash, and maybe even upgraded flooring for a small kitchen. You can get a return on investment of about 81% with minor kitchen remodels, according to Remodeling Magazine.

(Image credit: William Strawser)

Bathroom Updates: $5,000–$10,000

Somewhere in the range of $5K–$10K is enough to add some bathroom updates that can make a big impact, like new fixtures, paint, and tile. Plumbers, electricians, and contractors will increase the budgets of more involved jobs. The good news is that in many cases, you can achieve the bathroom-to-spa transition with just cosmetic changes—no pipe or drywall work needed. If you are thinking about resale, new bathrooms are appealing to new buyers—just remember that classic, simple style will appeal to most people.

(Image credit: Chris Stout-Hazard)

Curb Appeal Updates: $10,000–$15,000

First impressions are everything, and for a house that means curb appeal. Landscaping, exterior paint colors, light fixtures, and an inviting front door add up to more than the sum of their parts. So, it’s worth investing in a project that will give your home an immediate WOW factor. For $10K–$15K, new landscaping and a fresh coat of exterior paint are well within reach and will give you something gorgeous to drive up to. If your goal is a higher ROI, simpler fixes like changing to a steel front door (91%) or a garage door replacement (98%) yield higher returns.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Total Kitchen Overhaul: $25,000–$30,000

Now, let’s talk about going all in on a room, like a total kitchen overhaul. With this kind of budget, you can leave most of the design to professionals and most of the heavy lifting to general contractors. This budget range will also cover major appliance upgrades. The motivation for this kind of project may not be resale, but rather the joy of living in a home you truly love for a while.

What Do You Need to Know About Financing These Projects?

While the returns on investment at resale will vary, there is emotional value to the experience of cooking in your dream kitchen or entertaining friends and family in a gorgeous living room—and many upgrades can help you enjoy a more efficient and healthy home if you’re planning on living there a while.

If you’d rather not use your savings to pay for your renovation, a personal loan could be a smart option for you. If you go this route, you can easily set up automatic payments on your loan, making fixed monthly payments simple to manage. So, where do you find the loan? If you’re an eligible existing consumer American Express Card Member, American Express Personal Loans may be a good place to start. They offer loans of $3,500–$40,000 with no origination fee and APRs starting as low as 6.98% to eligible consumer Card Members.1 Find out more about eligibility and the quick application process, plus the full terms and conditions here.

American Express Card Members must be pre-approved for a loan offer in order to apply. Pre-approved APRs and loan amounts are based on the Card Member’s creditworthiness and other factors. Pre-approved APRs will be between 6.90% and 18.97%, as of 3/2/2018. Not all Card Members will be pre-approved or receive the lowest APR or the highest loan amount.

If you are approved for and accept an American Express Personal Loan, American Express will report the loan information to credit bureaus, which may have an impact on your credit score.

This post is sponsored by American Express® Personal Loans and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio.
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