Budgeting for Your Bedroom Remodel
How Much Should You Spend?
How much money you'll spend to give your master bedroom a fresh look depends many factors, including the remodel's scope, where you live and unexpected problems that arise during construction. Costs for different types of projects vary widely, and the features you choose can be as expensive as your budget allows.
"Remodel costs tend to run about $110 per square foot, but that is like talking about the average cost of a car," says Susan L. Miner, ASID, a Palmer Lake, Colo.-based interior designer. "It really depends on how many bells and whistles you add."
"The cost of additions and renovations vary so much because of variables such as any water damage or mold remediation that might need to be done," says Claire Tamburro, ASID, of Tamburro Interiors in Washington, D.C. "Unforeseen conditions often arise once walls, floors and ceilings are exposed."
A master bathroom expansion, including a dual bath, can range from $10,000 to $30,000 if repurposing an existing space, experts say. Ripping out an interior wall to combine two bedrooms into a master suite will cost less than constructing adding to your house via a bump-out, which involves removing exterior walls, or adding a second story onto your home, which can require a reworking of your home's foundation.
Oh, So Suite
"If you're adding a walk-in closet within your home's existing footprint, the total cost can be between $7,000 and $15,000, says Valerie Steil, ASID, of Marc T. Neilsen Interiors in Valparaiso, Ind.
In the San Francisco Bay area, where Michael McCutcheon does most of his projects, master suite remodels cost an average of $100,000, a high-end project, $250,000. "At the high end, we see large master suites with elegant baths and furniture-grade cabinetry in the closet area," says McCutcheon, president of McCutcheon Construction in Berkley, Calif. and member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. "Exterior access, or at least great views, are also highly desirable. High-end baths often have features such as heated floors, steam showers with built-in benches, sound systems, exotic toilets.
"Really nice closets with furniture-grade cabinets can easily cost $100,000 by themselves. Add another $100,000 for the master bath," he says. "Add in a deck or doors or windows and nice furnishings, and you get to $250,000 in a hurry."
If you're replacing furniture, window treatments and bed linens, you'll find a wide range of prices, says Christine Baumann, ASID, of Christine Baumann Interiors in New York City. Outfitting your space with custom pieces will run you about $20,000 on up, while replacing your old furnishings with ready-made items will generally cost between $5,000 and $7,500, she says. It's important to keep in mind, she adds, that once your new, larger bedroom is furnished, you'll need to make sure your furnishings look appropriate in the new space.
Flooring and Finishes
New flooring is also a good way to change up your master bedroom without construction. Hardwood floors typically cost between $8 and $15 per square foot, depending on the quality of the wood, Baumann says, while wall-to-wall carpet costs about half that much, but doesn't last as long. "Most people don't want wall-to-wall carpet anymore," she says. "That's a good thing, because hardwood floors are easy to clean."
While hardwood floors such as oak and mahogany are the most popular for master bedrooms, Baumann said that bamboo which is economical and environmentally sustainable is gaining in popularity. "If you go with bamboo, make sure it is strand bamboo, to protect the floor against dents from your furniture."
To help you stay within your budget while getting the features you want, Miner recommends doing a bit of research. "Go to model homes in the area, see what is new and selling, then go to the home improvement stores to price the finish materials you've selected," she says. "The builder and interior designer are going to need to know where your taste falls in the vast world of options when they price the remodel for you."
If you want to give your master bedroom a fresh look but are working with a shoestring budget, a new coat of paint is your best bet, experts say. A fresh color, combined with rearranged furniture and a few new accessories, can give your master bedroom a new look for a few hundred dollars or less.
Make Meaningful Improvements
"A lighter color can make your bedroom look bigger," Baumann says. "Adding crown molding can also give you a good return on your investment."
Repurpose your furnishings by switching them with furnishings from another room. "When you move things around, it's like running into a friend in an airport," Miner says. "It's such fun to see them again."
"Cosmetic changes such as de-cluttering, cleaning, adding a coat of new paint and creating a new furniture layout can breathe new life into a home," Tamburro says. "Creating a phased plan for future renovations with approximate budgets will give the homeowner a road map for how to achieve their goals. Consulting with a professional interior designer and/or architect is money well spent to assess how to allocate available funds to maximize return on investment."
"As with any space in the home, the most meaningful improvements are those that address whatever is making the space unpleasant, whether that is replacing hand-me-down furnishings that aren't treasured memories, work carpeting that doesn't clean up well any longer," Klein says.
Ask a friend who has a good eye to help you create a new look, Baumann says. "We do have to look at our space with other eyes. Bring in those other eyes."