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Investment Education: How Much Does a Renovation in Canada Really Cost?

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Embarking on a renovation project requires a clear understanding of the costs involved. The question we frequently encounter is, "What will be the cost of my renovation?" Yet, providing an immediate quote isn't feasible for several reasons:

  1. Without seeing your home, it is so hard for us to determine the scope of work.

  2. Proper estimations on cost takes a lot more time than you would think. It includes research, selections, and many hours of work.

  3. Pricing is dependent on so many factors, including the finish level and even the client’s ability to make decisions.

That being said, we recently collaborated with an AMR Design Preferred Contractor, Tania Bosch of Bouwen Construction to help answer that question! 

Tania Bosch has been in the construction industry since 2006 and started her own company in 2020. We have worked with her on projects in the past and look forward to our continued partnership in the years to come.  For more information on Bouwen Construction, please visit

The Truth Behind Renovation Costs: Investment Education 101

tania bosch explaining how to determine renovation costs.

“We would ALWAYS recommend that a client not rely on unit rates for projects. Preliminary pricing should be prepared with consideration to what a client has indicated their wish list is. 

I often use a car analogy with a client:

1. Basic Ford 2. Fully loaded Honda 3. Mercedes

If you don’t have a baseline to work against, then it is almost impossible to have a relevant framework for pricing! For this reason, it is also helpful to have the entire project team participate in project planning from as early on in the process as possible.

The pricing I have outlined can yield a beautiful finished product with some key custom features.  That being said, I have worked on kitchens where the millwork alone was about $350,000…before anything else was contemplated!  The right team and yield great results regardless of budget.

I would say the below works on properties that are in the $750,000 – $2,000,000 range.

All numbers below include contractor fees.” –

Tania Bosch, Owner Bouwen Construction

Whole Home Renovation Costs

$450,000 – $8500,000 

This pricing assumes some exterior changes, window replacement, kitchen renovations (see above), bathroom renovations (see above), flooring replacement, interior drywall, and electrical and mechanical upgrades and modifications. 

This could also include a small addition.

Main Floor Renovation Costs

 $300,000 – $450,000 (based on approx. 1200 – 1500 sq. ft.) 

This would include the redevelopment of a kitchen, 2 bathrooms, flooring, paint, finishing carpentry replacement, relocation of some space, new windows, and new custom millwork throughout. 

Kitchen Renovation Costs

$150,000 – $250,000 

This pricing assumes new flooring, custom millwork, replacing appliances, solid surface counters, replacing lighting and modifying the plumbing and electrical. 

What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?

Custom cabinetry. Quality-built cabinets can significantly impact your budget, but they are also a crucial element that sets the tone for your entire kitchen design. While custom cabinetry may initially seem like a higher upfront investment, its long-term benefits make it a wise choice. At AMR Design, we work closely with our clients to create bespoke cabinetry solutions that perfectly align with their vision, lifestyle, and investment. Tailored to fit your unique kitchen space, custom cabinets maximize efficiency and storage while exuding unmatched quality and durability, providing long-term investment value.

Are kitchen remodels worth it?

A well-planned kitchen remodel not only enhances your daily living experience but also adds long-term value to your property. The joy of cooking and dining in a beautifully designed kitchen is incomparable. Moreover, should you decide to sell your home in the future, an upgraded kitchen can significantly increase its resale value, making it a wise investment all around.

Basement Renovation Costs

$120,000 – $150,000 (based on 1250 sq.ft.)

This would include bedrooms, a bathroom w/ custom tiled tub or shower surround, an open area or gym, a small bar area in the main area, and carpet in the main area.

Does a finished basement add value to a home in Canada?

A finished basement can provide both functional benefits and potential increases in property value. A well-designed basement transformation contributes an average ROI of 70% to the overall worth of a property. The addition of usable living space and extra storage options make a finished basement an attractive feature for potential buyers, but also increase your enjoyment of your home!

Bedrooms / Upper Floor Renovation Costs

$130,000 – $160,000 

This would be a similar price point to a kitchen renovation, assuming two bathrooms are redone and the balance of living space is updated.

bedroom renovation costs

Full Bathroom Renovation Costs

$50,000- $150,000

This pricing assumes that the space is completely demolished and includes new drywall, mechanical and electrical modifications with fixtures, plumbing (think Kohler or similar), a free-standing tub, a custom shower, heated floors and custom millwork. 

Powder Room Renovation Costs

$25,000 -$35,000 

This pricing assumes that the space is completely demolished, and includes new drywall, mechanical, electrical with fixtures, plumbing (think Kohler or similar), heated floors and custom millwork to suit the space. 

powder room renovation costs

Renovation Costs: What About Design Fees?

Design fees typically start at $20,000 and up for a renovation. On a renovation of $500,000, fees average $35,000, assuming we are designing for the renovation and sourcing a full furnishing and decor package (like the professional photos in our portfolio).

We strongly believe in investing in the lifestyle you want to live. We recommend finishing a space completely before moving on to another part of the home. To fully enjoy their spaces once the renovations are complete, we encourage our clients to invest wisely in a full plan.

Decorating a whole home is much more involved than designing a floor plan and hard finishes, as there are actually many more decisions to be made than there are on the renovation side. 

Furniture and decor take about ⅔ of the time but are necessary for the photo-ready personalized space that you will love for life. Working with a designer means tapping into

our professional expertise to prioritize what is most important and what will give you the best return on investment.

design fees with AMR design as part of your renovation costs

Phasing Renovations (aka how to get everything you want)

Some clients prefer completing larger renovations in phases for financial reasons. With this option, we can develop a cohesive plan for the whole home but execute it over time, so you are doing it the “right” way. 

If the goal is to have a fully finished, renovated, and decorated home, it is perfectly reasonable to expect the full project to take a number of years – not only for financial reasons but also for your own quality of life! (After all, who wants to live on a construction site?)

Renovation Costs and Working With AMR Design

While this is an overview of the investment required for renovations, remember that each project is unique and costs can vary based on supply and demand, contractor choice, and even the client’s role.

When you work with AMR Design, we provide a comprehensive service that includes both design and construction management. This means that you can be as hands-on or hands-off as you like – we will guide you through the process every step of the way.

We pride ourselves on being honest and transparent with our clients, and we will work with you to create a custom plan that fits your needs, budget, and timeline.

Is a full renovation worth it?

We understand that taking on a complete home renovation project can seem overwhelming, but let us assure you, the results can be absolutely worth it! At AMR Design, we believe in the transformative power of a well-planned renovation that aligns perfectly with your vision and lifestyle. Our expert team is here to guide you through the process, ensuring every step is executed with precision and care. From enhancing aesthetics to optimizing functionality, a full renovation allows you to create your dream living space. Plus, it's a wise investment, as it can significantly increase your property's value in the long term.

So, if you're contemplating a residential renovation, let us be your trusted partner in turning your house into your dream home!"

The right designer will also be able to work with you to create a space that fits your budget and your investment needs. So, if you're ready to get started on making your home a place that facilitates entertaining important guests, contact us today!


Was there anything included in this post that surprised you? Do you have any specific questions about working with an Interior designer? We would love to hear from you in the comments section!


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