Remodeling in Orange County? Regardless of the size of your home and the scope of your project, you’ll want to plan ahead for your budget. While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for estimating a home remodel cost, we can give you a rough idea of what to expect.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Diego Counties with reliable contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about every home remodel cost for all kinds of projects – here are some ideas & tips to get you started.
How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost in Orange County?
$35,000 – $100,000+
Most kitchen remodels in Orange County will fall between $45,000 and $70,000, but we’ve seen budget-minded homeowners get impressive results for as low as $35,000. On the flip side, those taking on larger projects with custom cabinetry, designer appliances, and high-end finishes can spend upwards of $100,000.
Variables like project size, scope, materials, and reconfiguration, if applicable, all play a big role in kitchen remodel costs. Here’s what you need to know:
Size: Larger kitchens require more materials and, in turn, more labor to install those materials. What’s more, many homeowners choose to outfit larger kitchens with larger appliances, which are more expensive than smaller models.
Scope: A smaller renovation might involve mostly cosmetic changes, such as refinishing cabinets and cupboards and installing a new backsplash, which will cost less than a larger project that includes new cabinets, countertops, and appliances. We designed this kitchen remodel checklist to help you define the scope of your project.
Reconfiguration: If you’re happy with your kitchen’s current layout, you can save a significant amount of money. Moving the sink and appliances to new locations will drive up your costs because you’ll have to pay for new water and gas lines, wiring, and venting. Construction associated with removing or adding walls also will increase your final costs.
Materials: The bulk of your costs in this area will come from just a few items — cabinets, countertops, and appliances. Because there are so many choices, costs will vary greatly. An experienced remodeling contractor can help you navigate your options and make the best selections to suit your aesthetic, lifestyle, and budget.
How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost in Orange County?
$15,000 – $60,000
In Orange County, bathroom remodeling costs tend to run between $25,000 for a smaller bathroom and $40,000 for a master bath.
As with kitchen renovations, your remodeling costs will be greatly affected by the size and scope of the project, as well as the materials you choose and whether you’re reconfiguring your layout.
The most efficient and cost-effective remodels forgo changing the bathroom’s layout, thus avoiding the expense of rerouting water and waste lines and installing new wiring, lighting, and exhaust systems. That said, high-end bathroom trends like spa features, wet rooms, and indoor-outdoor mergers can add a lot of excitement to your home. Whatever your goals, an experienced remodeling contractor can help you fine-tune your approach.
ADUs, JADUs & Garage Conversions
Changes to California’s ADU laws mean most Orange County homeowners now have the option of adding another living space to their property by building a garage conversion, accessory dwelling unit (ADU), or junior accessory dwelling unit (JADU). These can be used as rental units, guest houses, or in-law suites. Renovation costs for each unit type vary, so we’ll break each down separately.
How Much Does a Detached Garage Conversion Cost in Orange County?
$90,000 – $125,000
Converting a standard two-car garage — usually about 360 square feet — can cost between $90,000 and $125,000. With a project of this scope, it’s important to document in detail which materials are included in your contractor’s bid and which you will be responsible for supplying.
Because a structure — foundation, framing, stucco, and roof — already exists, this is the least expensive option if you’re planning to add living space to your home. Still, to ensure nothing gets overlooked in the planning process, we find it helps to think of a detached garage conversion as building a small house: You’ll need to add plumbing, a water heater, electrical systems, heat, air conditioning, and appliances.
To help you plan your project, we’ve created an ADU checklist.
How Much Does an ADU Cost in Orange County?
$150,000 – $400,000
As outlined by California’s ADU regulations, an accessory dwelling unit can be up to 1,200 square feet in size, though we’ve seen them as small as 200 square feet. Needless to say, the desired size of your ADU will play a big role in your project’s total cost. Generally, you can expect to pay between $300 to $400 per square foot.
An ADU can be attached to the house — this often means you’re converting a garage or a basement — but it also can be a free-standing unit. Either way, you’ll want to work with an experienced architect to draft plans and compare bids from at least three general contractors.
How Much Does a JADU Cost in Orange County?
$50,000 – $100,000
As defined by California’s new regulations, a junior accessory dwelling unit is a separate living space created from within the “envelope” of the existing home. It can be no larger than 500 square feet and must include at least a kitchen and a separate entrance.
Most JADUs are attached garage conversion projects, though we’ve also seen JADUs built out of basements and bedrooms. Converting an attached garage to a JADU is usually less expensive than converting a detached garage because all necessary utilities — think electrical, water, waste, and gas — are available in close proximity.
How Much Does a Home Addition in Orange County Cost?
$250 – $400 per square foot
Most often, homeowners build new additions onto the back of the house. Still, a number of factors will affect your home addition cost. For example, two-story additions are more expensive than single-story additions. “Dry” rooms like bedrooms and family rooms are less expensive than “wet” rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Meanwhile, some additions will require significant reconfiguration within the existing home, which also will drive up costs.
In Orange County, one of the most common additions we see is a new master suite, which includes a combination of dry space — the bedroom itself and closets — and wet space — a master bathroom. Renovation costs for a master suite might be 400 to 500 square feet in size and cost around $150,000 but can range from $120,000 to $200,000 depending on the size and required finishes.
Another popular project, especially if you own an older house, is to build an additional bathroom. So often, these homes don’t have as many bathrooms as more contemporary homes. In Orange County, bathroom additions range between $50,000 and $100,000 depending on whether you’re building a standard-sized guest bathroom or a luxurious master bathroom.
How Much Does a Whole Home Remodel Cost in Orange County?
$100 – $300 per square foot
Every home remodel is different, which makes it somewhat difficult to estimate whole-home remodel costs. The only way to get a realistic idea is to invite multiple renovation contractors to submit bids and study each one very carefully. That said, you’ll likely need an architect or designer to create plans before you request bids. We created this renovation checklist to help you get started.
One way to get started when planning a whole-home remodel is to separate the renovation into major components, starting with the most expensive elements like the kitchen and bathrooms. From there, you can factor in additional estimates for items like windows, flooring, interior/exterior paint, doors, roofing, and landscaping as well as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
Our ADU checklist can help you get a feel for these expenses. Once you establish remodel costs for each component, you add them together to establish a preliminary total.
That said, your home remodel cost can grow substantially if your renovation involves adding or removing walls, especially if there’s a need for additional structural supports, foundation reinforcement, beams, or shear walls. Most homeowners don’t have the expertise to estimate these costs, so it’s important to ask potential contractors to break this factor down so you can easily compare structural costs across bids.
Home Remodel Contractors
Regardless of your project, home remodeling cost will depend greatly on the contractor you choose. First of all, you’ll need to find a reputable General Contractor with a B-license from the California CSLB. This is the only type of contractor qualified to perform all the different trades required for these substantial projects. You’ll also want to only use a reputable general contractor who is fully insured including both General Liability and Workers Compensation insurance.
Hiring a reputable general contractor with the skills and reputation to get the job done right will not always be the cheapest option. There are plenty of handymen, unlicensed contractors and other shady companies that are willing to do your project for cheaper. But, you can be sure that you will be paying later for the mistake of hiring the ‘cheaper’ company…in the form of poor quality construction, ongoing delays, or extra costs during the project construction.
In order to find the right OC contractor for you, it pays to do your homework. Hiring the first contractor you meet or the cheapest contractor can easily lead to a stressful remodeling nightmare. It certainly makes sense to spend the time to find the right contractor fit, especially since you’re spending a significant amount of money on your remodel. I suggest everyone use a screening process similar to the one used by GreatBuildz to vet all our contractors to look for any red flags. At the minimum, make sure to check online reviews, Google the contractor’s (& owners) name, call several of their past clients, and check out their licensing status on the CSLB website. Don’t forget to verify that the contractor carries both General Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance.
If searching and screening contractors is not your idea of fun, you can contact the friendly staff at GreatBuildz, and they will match you with three pre-vetted contractors that fit your desired project and budget.
When it comes to remodeling your home, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your renovation experience.
GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish. Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next remodel project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com