For many homeowners in Toronto, the prospect of renovating can be worrisome. You want to know how much a good renovation is worth, what unexpected costs could pop up along the way, and ways to save before committing to a full home renovation.
The cost of renovation can widely vary depending on many factors. We will explore the renovation cost per square foot in Toronto, what affects the cost the most, and ways to safely reduce costs while still enjoying the home renovation of your dreams.
- The average cost of renovating per square foot in Toronto is $100-$200.
- Higher-end renovations can cost upwards of $300 per square foot.
Cost of Renovation Per Square Foot in Toronto
The renovation cost per square foot in Toronto is between $100-$200 per square foot (PSF) for a basic yet elegant renovation. This is an average cost for all rooms of a home, including more pricier areas such as the kitchen and bathroom.
A $100-200 budget will be enough for a standard, basic renovation that covers demolition, flooring, wiring, plumbing, and fixtures. However, it won’t cover the addition of new appliances. Certain types of flooring may also cost more.
A $200-$300 PSF budget will allow for more flexibility in the design and customization of your renovation. However, it still won’t cover complex structural alterations.
A budget of $300 PSF and above will cover complex structural alterations, such as removing walls, placing a staircase, and giving a complete makeover to your home’s layout. This budget allows for the most free reign of a beautiful and well-thought-out re-design of your home. It also covers electrical rewiring and utilizes the skills of experienced renovators.
I usually lean towards a balanced budget as this allows me to showcase some interior design builds within the renovation while keeping everything cost-effective.
What Affects the Cost of Renovation?
What affects the renovation cost per square foot the most in Toronto is the following:
- Additions like the ceiling height.
- Additions like complex architectural structures.
- The distance between your home and the renovators.
- The size or square footage of your home.
- The type of material used.
- The type of renovation involved.
The industry standard for your home’s ceiling height is 9 feet. However, it is an excellent re-designing method to increase the appearance of space and grandeur in your home by raising the ceiling to at least 10 feet.
Pricing for raising a ceiling can significantly vary depending on location and your home type. To give a rough estimate, you can expect a raised ceiling to add as much as $10,000-$20,000 to your overall budget.
Complex Architectural Structures
Complex architectural structures are at the heart of interior design. These complex structures can quickly add to the overall price of a renovation. Due to their custom nature, the expertise behind them, the labour involved, and the cost of materials that cause the price to fluctuate drastically.
For example, a ‘floating staircase,’ a staircase made to look like it’s floating in place without support, is a trendy and imaginative look for your home. A complex architectural structure like this can cost an average of $20,000-$30,000 for a single flight, but prices can vary depending on your vision.
I usually like to go for at least one complex architectural structure or unique inferior design build in a renovation project if the budget allows, making the entire project pop elegantly.
The Location of Your Home In Relation to the Renovators
Although not an extensive cost, having your home further away from your preferred renovators can affect the cost of your renovation overall. This mainly affects homeowners in rural Toronto, a fair distance from the nearest city. It also affects homeowners who prefer a renovator who lives in a faraway city.
This affects the overall cost due to the renovators having to drive to and from your home to access the worksite. If you live two or even three hours away from the nearest city, this commute can add up over time, leading to possible additional charges.
The Size of the Home
Everything in a renovation heavily depends on the square footage of the place. This is because person-hours are put into every square foot, especially when discussing new flooring. For example, renovating a 1000-square-foot home will cost around $90,000-$200,000. A renovation for a 2000-square-foot home will cost more, around $200,000-$400,000.
From my experience, a larger home will usually always have a more costly renovation simply due to the extra material and labour hours the project demands.
The Type of Material Used
The type of material used and the difference between low-end and high-end materials significantly impact your home’s look, appearance, and budget. Low-end materials will be more cost-effective during the renovation but won’t look as appealing and will lower the value of your home in the long run.
For example, if you renovate your kitchen in Toronto, using low-end materials would cost around $15,000-$45,000. However, the same renovation could cost upwards of $50,000-$60,000 but look immaculate when using high-end materials.
Pro Tip: Always use a mix of high and low-end materials, and invest in mid-range materials where they will experience the most wear and tear, like kitchen countertops.
The Type of Renovation Involved
The type of renovation involved can significantly affect your budget. Kitchens tend to be the most costly renovation, averaging around $40,000 for a mid-range renovation. Smaller bathrooms are the most cost-effective due to the small square feet involved and can be anywhere around $5000-$15,000 for a basic or high-end renovation.
Doing partial renovations, such as a single bathroom, is more cost-effective than going full-out with a full home renovation. This is ideal for homeowners who want to split their renovations over the years, saving up slowly as they go to get the type of renovation they want.
Likewise, opting for a basic renovation with more cost-effective materials will affect a budget less than a high-end, customized renovation with expensive materials.
A kitchen, bathroom, and basement with a basic renovation is less likely to affect a budget than a high-end, customized renovation involving only the kitchen. This is due to the standard layouts, minimal structural changes, and cheaper materials used in basic renovations despite spanning a more significant space.
What are a Few Additional Costs I Might Not be Aware of?
There are a few additional costs that may come as a surprise when renovating your home in the Toronto and Greater Toronto Area, such as:
- The cost of designing.
- Permits and city requirements.
- Site preparation, including demolition and tearing down walls.
- Overhead costs, such as labour.
Cost of Designing
An additional cost that may be the most crucial is the cost of designing. We at Renowell take design incredibly seriously, as this critical stage defines the entire renovation and differentiates a good reno from a great one.
Having said that, a design fee is applied to the project that covers having an interior designer or architect do the design plans professionally. This covers years of expert knowledge that you can’t get with average or new contractors.
Permits and City Requirements
Several additional costs are involved in acquiring the relevant building permits for renovation in Toronto. As of recently, a building permit starts at around $231.71 for a 500-square-foot condo or home. This permit allows a home renovation to take place.
When the renovation is complete, it must be inspected for safety and to ensure it’s up to code when the renovation is complete. An inspection costs a minimum of $85.79 per hour and can take anywhere between a couple to several hours for an inspector to check a renovation.
Site preparation includes demolition and tearing down walls. It also includes leveling the floor and striping old electrical wires. These preparations pave the way for a smooth renovation and make the work to be done in your kitchen, bathroom, and other areas much easier.
There is an additional cost for preparing a site depending on how much preparation is needed and the scale of the project. General contractors and renovators will fluctuate in what cost they charge for site preparation.
Overhead costs include several factors, such as labour, salaries, and insurance. Calculating how much overhead costs will affect your budget can be challenging, especially if you seek high-quality technicians. A good technician will typically walk away with 10%-15% of profit.
How to Budget for a Renovation?
Budgeting for a renovation is necessary for a successful home remodel. In 2000, 67% of Canadians renovated their homes, showing how active the renovation industry is (1). In 2022, the renovation and home improvement industry was worth about 62.9 billion and is expected to grow (2). That means more resources for excellent renovations and ways to save when renovating your home.
There are a few handy ways to budget and account for the renovation cost per square foot, listed below:
- Stick to the design plan.
- Hire experienced renovators.
- Opt for mid-range materials
- Go all out of electrical and plumbing costs
- Consider the architectural and interior design complexity.
- Mix materials
- Focus on the kitchen and bath.
- Keep in mind that you usually pay your renovation costs in periodic amounts
Stick to the Design Plan
Sticking to the design plan, even halfway through construction, can save money and keep you within budget. Changing the design plan at the last minute can add extensive re-designing and labor costs and delay your renovation project.
Hire Experienced Renovators
Hiring experienced renovators can save you money and keep you within budget as you get experienced help to do your renovation right the first time. Trying to cut costs by going for less experienced renovators can cause unforeseen issues and structural mishaps due to not having a seasoned eye in construction, costing more to fix in the long run.
Opt for Mid-Range Materials
Opting for mid-range materials that are relatively inexpensive can help keep your renovation within budget. This might mean choosing laminate or wood countertops for your kitchen renovation instead of more expensive options like granite.
Saving on materials used over a significant space, like countertops, can help balance your budget. Besides this, laminate is known to be able to imitate granite and quartz countertops almost indistinguishably. It can be an excellent workaround if you still want that luxury feel to your remodel. Opting for wood also has the bonus of making your home appear warmer.
Electrical and Plumbing Costs
You want two jobs done right the first time due to their sensitivity: electrical work and plumbing. Hiring the best help when it comes to rewiring your home and re-doing the plumbing is recommended, as this can avoid hazardous situations in the future, such as if your basement accidentally floods due to a poor plumbing job.
It’s okay if these costs seem significant initially; cutting corners on the electrical and plumbing part of your remodel isn’t something you want to risk.
Architectural and Interior Design Complexity
You should never forget that any architectural or interior design complexity will add additional costs to a renovation.
Where you can, you can opt for a standard layout instead of an experimental or complicated layout. These visually stunning layouts can be a game-changer to a home, and if well-balanced with standard elements, you can offset the cost and still get the customized design you want.
This strategy is ideal for lovers of art who want to add poignant architectural pieces in such a way that is balanced with standard renovations to stay within budget.
A mix of low and high-end materials can cause your renovation to pop more dramatically while keeping everything within budget. This might be splurging on kitchen cabinets but opting for simpler flooring.
When guests come to your home, cabinets are more quickly in their line of sight and can make a more impactful presence on how your renovation appears overall. Flooring is seen afterward and doesn’t make as much of an impact. This way, you can save money on your renovation and have a good mix of materials.
Focus on the Kitchen and Bath
The kitchen and bath areas are the most eye-catching and stylish parts of a home renovation. Budget-wise, you can splurge in these areas and hold back in other areas of your home.
The ROI (Return on Investment) for kitchens and baths are the highest in your home, at estimated percentages of 75%-100% and 70%, respectively.
If you spend more in the kitchen and bath areas, you can get more back in the long run if you decide to resell your home eventually. This is helpful for budget-conscious homeowners who want the biggest bang for their buck in their home and bathroom renovation costs.
Pro Tip: When renovating a kitchen, always allocate at least 30% of your budget to the cabinets. This ensures you get a praiseworthy cabinet job done, and the finish will produce a jaw-dropping effect every time someone enters your kitchen.
Whether you’re doing a home or a condo renovation, paying the cost of your renovation is always a worry. However, not when you’re working with Renowell.
We offer flexible payments, like most top-tier contractors. This allows you to pay the cost of the renovation in small portions over a longer period. This makes budgeting for a home renovation easier, as you’re not paying for the whole project in one go.
A strategy like splitting up the cost of renovation allows most homeowners to get the renovations they need instead of living in a home that’s no longer serving its function adequately.
My Experience With the Cost of Renovation in Toronto
In my experience working around a full Toronto home renovation cost, I have found cost affects a lot of how the final renovation will look. I can save on costs by designing my own layout, but most people may need help to do that. I also know from my years of experience in the construction industry that hiring the best help does wonders for a renovation project down the line. When I hired good help for my home, I knew they would measure twice and cut once, doing the work right the first time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to renovate a 1000-square-foot house?
It costs between $90,000 and $200,000 to renovate a 1000-square-foot house. This is an estimated cost for a basic renovation without too many experimental or flashy re-designs. It also is an average cost that incorporates a full home remodel, whether you’re remodeling the kitchen, bathroom, or basement.
How much does it cost to renovate a 2000-square-foot house?
Renovating a 2000-square-foot home can start around $200,000 and go up as high as $700,000. These homes are typically more extensive, with more space and technical re-designs involved, lengthening and complicating the work.
How much does a bathroom renovation cost per square foot in Toronto?
A bathroom renovation costs roughly $100 per linear foot in Toronto. For smaller bathrooms, you can expect a basic renovation to cost around $5,000-$15,000. What affects the price most is the size of the bathroom and the type of fixtures being added.
How much does a kitchen renovation cost per square foot in Toronto?
A basic kitchen renovation in Toronto can cost around $15,000-$20,000, while high-end and customized renovations can reach anywhere between $60,000-$70,000. The type of cabinets going in affects kitchen renovation costs the most, accounting for almost 30% of the budget.
Figuring out the cost to renovate a house doesn’t have to take hours of stress-inducing research. By simply learning the basics, like how materials impact your budget, and the estimated cost of renovating being $100-$200 per square foot, you’ll be well on your way to planning your next home renovation with complete confidence.
- Statistics Canada (2000.) Homeowner Repair and Renovation Survey. Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75f0010x/4060207-eng.htm#:~:text=About%2067%25%20of%20the%20nation’s,%25%20spent%20less%20than%20%24500).
- Stastitica (2022.) Home improvement industry sales in Canada from 2010 to 2020, with a forecast for 2021 to 2023. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/602413/home-improvement-sales-canada/