How to think about your renovation budget

There’s lots of confusing and conflicting information out there on renovation costs and ultimately every home, and project, is unique. Here however are a few conceptual tools that can put you in the right ballpark and in control of your budget:


Typical starting costs

Bathrooms in NYC typically start at $20,000, Kitchens $30,000, gut renovations (including combinations and conversions) $150,000.


Price per square foot

As an approximate guide, it can be useful to multiply your floor area by the potential price per square foot of your project. Depending on the quality of finish and level of customization you want, your price per square foot could be:


Pro Tip

Over 65% of projects carried out by Bolster Professionals in Manhattan and Brooklyn are in the $200 to $500 per square foot range (Grade ★★). The quality of materials and finishes used in this range differ only very slightly with most owners opting for a level-5 finish wall, custom millwork and Wolf and Viking appliances. The biggest variable by far is the type and quantity of work being carried out. Therefore, the biggest lever you have to control the price of your project in this common price range is the scope of the work (e.g. the layout you choose and the amount of build work you decide to do).

Using your property value

If you want to base your renovation project's budget on some solid economics, look no further than your home. The following table uses historical Manhattan real estate values to help you set a budget that is proportional to the value of your home and able to be recovered within 5 years.

* Equivalent to forecasted increase in property value in 5 years minus cost of finance at 4% APR.

Things that affect price

Every home is unique, and while the scope and type of work you choose to do will be the biggest determinant of your budget, you can expect to pay more if you:

  • Choose high-end or customized finishes
  • Plan on moving waste and supply lines
  • Plan to live in the property during your project (we strongly recommend moving out)
  • Live in a building without an elevator
  • Are moving walls made of concrete (rather than sheetrock)

Learn more about understanding your renovation budget at