How Much Does it Cost to Renovate a House in 2023? | Fifi McGee (2023)

We get a lot of emails from fellow UK home renovators and people about to complete on a property trying to work out house renovation costs asking, “How much does it cost to renovate a house?”. Believe it or not, some people that buy a property to renovate don’t itemise the costs at all, and we think it’s a surefire way to leave yourself out of pocket.

“Two in 5 renovators overshoot their budget by an average of 20%” –Hiscox

For a typical 3-bed house, renovation costs can differ hugely. We’ve spent approx. £95K on our renovation but renovation costs have increased since - so make sure you download our costs + free renovation guide here to learn ways to stop costs from spiralling out of control. Some members of our community are spending £300,000+ on theirs (more on that later too!)

In my years trading as an interior designer, I’ve seen a really worrying amount of people approach me to discuss working together, and they have little to no knowledge of how much their total costs to refurbish their house will be. Not even finger-in-the-air figures.

A little bit of careful budgeting goes a long way, and it’s really paid off for us in our personal projects. So we decided to write this post and show you how we completed the main part of our house renovation within budget.

As the cost of renovating a house is such a hot topic, in this post, I want to address the following:

  • How much a renovation costs – so you can budget for yours

  • What our renovation costs were –for our typical 1930s semi

  • The average renovation costs our community are spending on their properties

House renovation costs for a 3-bedroom house in the UK

A little bit about our renovation costs

We’re Neil & Fi, and many years ago, whilst running a little home & interiors blog from a 1-bed flat in Hove, Sussex, we made a decision that would change the course of our lives forever.

We 'flipped' our flat, made £70K in equity in under three years, navigated the sale during the Brexit vote (to a European buyer, no less!), and then used the equity to renovate a fixer-upper house in Brighton that hadn't been renovated since the 1960s.

You can see the step-by-step work we've done over on our 1930s House Renovation page. The property needed everything doing to it, shag pile carpet, wallpaper on every single wall, the lot! Check out the before and after renovation shots.

On our minds for most of the conveyancing process was “how much does it cost to renovate a house?”

The work itself was gruelling and had a steep learning curve, but we were hooked on renovation life. I (Fi) trained as an interior designer, and in recent years we started providing support to renovators who are taking on all sorts of projects, from knock-throughs to double-storey extensions.

Back when we got an offer accepted on our house, we started researching house renovation costs to see if we could actually afford to renovate this place.

Having no friends or family in the building/trades industry at the time, we didn't have anyone we could rely on to give us accurate quotes for work - nor did we really fully know what we wanted to do to the house before we moved in (it's always advised to live inside the house before deciding anyway).

Other than decorating, neither of us were DIY savvy, so we knew we'd have to pay for labour costs but had no idea what these would be.

All we had was Google and Neil's budgeting skills to make safe estimates of each item of work we'd like to do, plus contingency, then tracked it all item by item inside our house renovation costs spreadsheet throughout the renovation.

So with that, we did a great deal of ‘safe bet’ calculations which gave us confidence we could do the work we wanted to do, and we were on an OK track financially.

Honestly, even now that we work in the industry, we repeat to people…. Gathering informed estimates for your renovation costs is the single best way to start your project - even before you even get the keys.

If you want to learn how to do this, check out our home renovation course. In the first module, we provide templates and information to help you itemise your costs. We give you insider tips to prevent your costs from spiralling and reveal industry secrets to help you save money on your project.

Alternatively, if you want to access something now, we’re sharing our entire renovation costs itemised for you to download for free – which could give you a feel for the items you may need to budget for. Remember, costs vary depending on where you are in the country and the complexity of the house you’re renovating.

The free costs download will also give you access to a renovation guide that talks you through the average timeline of a renovation and how best to budget. It’s the perfect place to start.

How much does it cost to renovate a house in the UK?

We recently asked some of our home renovation course students via a questionnaire what their budget was, and crunching the numbers, out of 70 responses, the median average approximate budget was £75K.

Here is a round-up of our student data. But it’s worth remembering that these people within our audience do not necessarily represent the wider UK picture. As you can see, there is quite a wide range, but it should help you get an idea of the average cost to renovate a house –or at least a ballpark amount to start with.

Important things to know when working out your budget:

  1. There is a huge North-South divide when it comes to renovation costs - you might as well ignore labour cost estimates from outside your part of the country. (We wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing people hiring from cheaper areas!)

  2. In 2021 the costs of supplies rose enormously. This means that many renovation websites are showing out-of-date cost information. Always set a contingency budget (more about this in our free guide below).

Having done a 3-bed semi-detached 1930s house renovation which needed some elements of structural work flagged in the survey, as well as needing everything updated aesthetically, we have a clear idea of how much a renovation should cost.

A standard 3-bed semi-detached house in the UK should cost anywhere between £50K - £150K (excluding an extension or conversion). This price highly depends on the scale, quality and type of renovation work required.

Really though, the sky’s the limit when it comes to costing up a house to renovate. We’ve seen people renovate their houses for much less and much more!

Remember that every house is different, everyone’s tastes and needs are different, and labour costs are different across the country. So if you’re trying to work out costs for a house renovation, it’s difficult to come to a single figure for all these reasons and more.

In terms of the work we did, we initially wanted to do an extension on the back of our house which would skyrocket the cost of the entire renovation by an extra 100K+. In the end, we went with a remodel of the inside, which brought the cost down to about £65K for the initial part of our renovation (including the kitchen/diner and getting things comfortable).

We also spent a fair amount on structural problems flagged in the structural survey, which may not be something you experience with a property you are renovating, but definitely should be factored into your budgets just in case unforeseen issues unveil themselves.

If you’re unsure where to start with all of this, don’t worry because the free renovation guide that comes with our renovation costs will get you on your way. Give us 15 minutes every day for three days to set your renovation up for success! And look out for our online renovation course openings too!

Renovations are a sea of uncertainty, but with some assistance on your renovation costs and all the other crucial stages, you will be just fine!

How about house renovation costs and budgets in our community?

We’ve been running our renovation community for a good while now, and it’s interesting to hear what kinds of budgets our renovating students are looking at. We ran a questionnaire recently, and here are a handful of the responses:

Property type: 3 Bed Victorian terrace

Location: South-East London

Approximate budget: £150,000

Project details: “We’re planning to completely redecorate, extend the kitchen into the side return, replace the bathroom and potentially change the ground floor layout to use the space better. We may also consider extending into the loft.”

Property type: 2 bedroom bungalow

Location: Northumberland

Approximate budget: £130,000

Project details: “Our initial thought is to completely change the layout. Move the kitchen and lounge to the back of the house and extend to make a bigger kitchen/dining area and move the bedrooms to the front, whilst creating an additional room, which would be my craft room/additional sleeping space with sofa bed. In addition, the thought is knock down the detached single garage and build a bigger garage in to the side of the house with more storage space.”

Property type: 3 Bed semi-detached

Location: Glasgow

Approximate budget: £85,000

Project details: “Rewire, full new central heating system and plumbing, old one removed including asbestos water tank, all walls skimmed and painted etc, replacement coving, doors, new flooring in parts, new bathroom, kitchen and plans for an extension after kitchen is knocked into dining room, roofing, rendering, soffits, new front door. Not to mention plans for front and back garden, replacement of garage, and a garden room for my work studio!”

Property type: 2 Bedroom Victorian terraced house

Location: Brighton

Approximate budget: £100,000

Project details: “We are going to knock out a wall between the hall and dining room to create a more open plan space and install French doors from dining room out into the back yard. Putting a walk-on-able flat roof on the outhouse to utilise the raised garden space and make the outhouse into a habitable room. Either knocking through to make the kitchen into a kitchen breakfast room or keeping it separate for storage/a garden room. Creating a mansard loft extension to add (hopefully) 2 additional bedrooms and a shower room”

Let’s look at more specific renovation costs you may be considering…

How much does an extension cost?

Building a house extension to your existing home is a fantastic way to shape your house to your needs. In fact, rear extensions and side extensions have only increased in popularity in the last few years.

Neil and I wrote about our experience with kitchen extension costs (and why we chose against doing it), but many factors will come into play when you are considering what type of extension you may wish to build. Design is one thing, but the cost of an extension may determine what you are able to afford with your property and your budget.

So how much does an extension cost? Normally it’s safe to assume that a minimum figure of £2500 per square meter plus contingency can be used for the initial stages when planning your budget. A clever architect should be able to provide some clever strategies to save money. But break it down and be aware that expensive fittings, cladding, fixtures, lighting and glazing can have a big effect on the price.

The average price of a loft conversion in the UK is around £45,000, but where a staircase needs to be replaced, if structural changes are needed, or if you’ll be going higher end on fixtures and fittings, this can increase.

Using a price per square meter can be a fantastic way to plan ahead with your budget, but given that the prices are much lower for a loft conversion than other typical building work, such as house extensions, they can sometimes not be as useful.

The main items to consider when considering a loft conversion is the size of the loft space, namely that there is enough head height so that someone can occupy the conversion without hitting their head! The second thing is to note the position of the stairs in the house. Will it be easy to provide access to the loft without changing too much of the floor below? And how many windows will be added? Will you add an en suite? And how ‘luxury’ will you finish it (lighting, flooring, etc)? These decisions will all inform the costs of your loft conversion.

How much does an architect cost?

If you’re changing structural elements of the property, chances are you’ll need to pay for an Architect for designs, advice and management services. We have a full guide about architect costs and whether you need to hire one for your specific build.

Architects’ prices can vary greatly depending on their location and reputation. From £5,000 to £15,000 for the full services required for an extension and house refurbishment. You can also use a percentage estimate to get a feel for architect’s fees, which usually range from 5% - 15% of your total project costs. This is the rule of thumb we used for our house renovation, and it worked out.

How much does a new bathroom renovation cost?

Giving your house a new bathroom can be a perfect way to re-adapt or refurbish your existing property and increase the property’s value. But how much does a new bathroom cost? Prices can vary depending on the layout and products you choose to use.

A completely new bathroom can cost anywhere between £2,000 to £12,000 and higher! The price will be lower if water mains, drainage etc, are already available in the room, and you won’t be changing the plumbing location. The price of a bathroom makeover will also depend on the brands and materials you want, and you will also find that the price will increase where tricky plumbing solutions (hello wet rooms!) are required.

Our Reno Club student Kate created magic in her bathroom transformation recently. Keeping the plumbing layout virtually the same cut costs drastically…

How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

Renovating the kitchen in a home is a popular item on any project list. Kitchens are an opportunity to get creative and provide something with different finishes and design which complements your home.

For this reason, the prices for a kitchen can vary greatly. On the one hand, you may decide to design, renovate or build the kitchen yourself. On the other hand, you could go for a completely bespoke, handmade and high-end kitchen design.

So how much does a kitchen cost? Prices for a kitchen renovation can range anywhere between £5,000 to £50,000+ (yes, quite a varied sum!).

Our renovation course students, Matt & Georgie, were savvy with their budgets and got their bespoke kitchen for £17K 👇🏻

3 quick tips to reduce your home renovation costs

1 - Be selective about what you renovate

Choosing what to renovate in your initial plan and design is perhaps more important than how well you renovate. This will not only allow you to save money but will also allow your renovation to celebrate what already works in your property.

Being selective may mean avoiding large and expensive work such as structural work. In these cases, it can be better to work around what is already in your property to save you money on your renovation costs.

2 - Stick to simple materials and items and add features later and over time.

While it can be tempting to jump straight into creating a wow factor in your renovation, feature materials and items are normally complementary and work well because the simple things have been done right.

This can save you money on your renovation by cutting back on expensive features and adding them in moderation throughout time.

3 - Concentrate on your main renovation goals

Renovation projects can often spiral out of control as a result of additions and unrealistic expectations regarding cost and the amount of work things require.

Concentrating on one or two key goals of your renovation will help you keep focused on the key requirements of your renovation. This will save you time and budget. Our renovation course has many exercises to guide you to prioritise and itemise key elements of your renovation to keep you focused.

Find out your renovation costs – we can help.

Are you planning a home renovation project but worried about overspending and blowing your budget? Do you feel overwhelmed by the numerous expenses associated with the renovation process? We understand how you feel, and we want to help.

We've produced a resource for saving money on every aspect of your home renovation project. With our 3-day email guide, you'll have access to insider tips and tricks that can help you stay within your budget while achieving your dream home renovation.

The guide is designed to help you avoid costly home renovation mistakes that lead to overspending. We'll show you how to make smart choices when it comes to materials, contractors, and project management so you save money without sacrificing quality.

With the Survivor's Guide to Renovating, you'll gain the confidence and knowledge you need to navigate your home renovation project successfully. Don't let the fear of overspending hold you back from achieving the home of your dreams - sign up for the Survivor's Guide to Renovating today and start saving!

Thanks for reading,

Fi + Neil


How Much Does it Cost to Renovate a House in 2023? | Fifi McGee? ›

The average cost to remodel your whole house is between an average of $10 – $60 per square foot. So on the low end, a 2,500-square-foot home costs at a minimum about $25,000 to remodel. This includes improvements like painting, landscaping, and updating the trim and flooring.

Will renovation costs go down in 2023? ›

Current Trends in Renovation Costs

The report predicts that renovation spending will drop roughly 14% from 2022 to 2023. The study projected that renovation spending would exceed $450 billion during the first quarter of 2023 but cool shortly thereafter, with owner-occupied housing stock to “grow only modestly” in 2023.

Is it cheaper to renovate a house or build from scratch? ›

Q: Is it cheaper to renovate your house, buy a used one or build a new one? A: It's almost always less expensive to renovate an existing house than to buy used or build a new one. It's easiest to break the numbers down by square foot, keeping in mind that costs are highly variable based on location and market shifts.

What is the average profit on a house renovation? ›

On average, home renovations provide a 70% ROI. Home renovations are one of the only investments that can improve the quality of life in your living space and increase the value of your home for the future. The home improvements with the best ROI are projects that add functional space and square footage.

What is the projection for remodeling in 2023? ›

While the pace of expenditures is expected to slow substantially this year, we've raised our projection for the remodeling market size in 2023 by about $45 billion, or 10.2 percent, to $485 billion.

What is the forecast for construction spending in 2023? ›

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, August 1, 2023. Construction spending during June 2023 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,938.4 billion, 0.5 percent (±0.5 percent)* above the revised May estimate of $1,929.6 billion.

What part of your house is the most worth remodeling? ›

Kitchens and baths are the areas in a home "where you can tell if money has been well spent or not," says architect Steve Straughan, a partner in Los Angeles-based KAA Design Group. "They're the most expensive areas of the home in terms of construction. And they're where people spend time in their homes."

How much is too much to spend on a house renovation? ›

As you plan your renovations, keep in mind that the remodeling price tag for no single room, except the kitchen, should exceed about 10% of the house's current value. Kitchen renovations are more costly and, in some cases, can exceed 15% of the home's value.

What adds the most value in a renovation? ›

Best home improvement projects for return on investment
  • Converting a basement to a living area: 86%
  • Closet renovation: 83%
  • Converting an attic to living area: 75%
  • Complete kitchen renovation: 75%
  • Bathroom renovation: 71%
  • Kitchen upgrade: 67%
  • New bathroom addition: 63%
  • New primary bedroom addition: 56%
Apr 7, 2022

Are home renovations worth the money? ›

The takeaway

Home renovation projects like replacing your roofing and siding are a surefire way to recoup nearly all of your investment. But, other projects—like building an addition for a bathroom or bedroom—might cost you more to complete than a buyer is willing to pay for.

Is renovating an old house worth it? ›

Pros of renovating an old home

Opting for a fixer-upper can be especially beneficial in a market where home prices are steep or when interest rates are especially high, making home purchases even more expensive.

What is the difference between renovation and remodel? ›

Definitions. Technically, a renovation and remodel are defined differently. While a remodel changes the form of something (like adding a new shower to an existing bathroom), a renovation focuses more on restoring something old into good repair (fixing up a creaky floor, for example).

Is $100 000 enough to renovate a house? ›

Overall home renovation spend

According to a 2022 Houzz study, the median national spend on home renovation projects in 2021 was $18,000, with the 90th percentile spend being $100,000.

Is 100k enough for a renovation? ›

Depending on the square footage, the average cost to gut and remodel a house can be anywhere between $100,000 – $200,0004. Gut renovation cost per square foot ranges between $60 – $150 and includes new plumbing, appliances, structural improvements, a new roof and an HVAC (heating, venting, air conditioning system).

How much should you invest in renovations? ›

“A broad rule of thumb is that you should spend about 5 to 15 percent of your home value on kitchen renovation,” says Dan DiClerico, a smart-home expert for HomeAdvisor, a home improvement platform in New York City. “So, if your home is worth $300,000, you should spend $15,000 to $45,000 on the kitchen.

Will it cost less to build in 2023? ›

The researchers did note, however, that over the course of 2023, general building costs for contractors are expected to decline. Contractors may also find that as the year progresses they're taking on more federally funded infrastructure projects.

What is construction inflation for 2023? ›

From 2023 to 2026, the construction industry is expected contract. Key findings of the report include: Economic slowdown is expected to continue into 2023. Inflation is cooling off (6.2% in 2022) but will remain higher than normal, with an average of 4.7% expected for 2023, and will continue to push wages higher.

Will my home lose value in 2023? ›

Are home prices dropping in 2023? No — on the whole, U.S. prices are actually on the rise. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median home price in June was $410,200, which is very close to an all-time high.

Will there be a housing recession in 2023? ›

While there are signs of a slowdown in the housing market's year-over-year growth rate, the overall data and forecasts suggest that a crash is unlikely in 2023. Let us analyze the latest data provided by CoreLogic to gain insights into the current housing market trends and whether a crash is imminent.

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