Biggest Budget Questions
Renovation experts on how to budget for the most sought-after upgrades.
Note: All figures given are estimates that can vary widely based on region and the condition of a space.
Question: I’d love to add a folding glass wall to the back of my house. Do I need to win the lottery first?
The biggest expenses will come from any structural work that needs to be done to create the opening for the folding glass wall. Call an experienced contractor for an estimate and brace yourself! This number will depend on the structural realities of your house. You should be able to have a 10-foot-wide glass wall installed. You don’t need to win the lottery.
Question: My hardwood floors are looking the worse for wear. Is it better to replace or refinish them?
Start by taking a close look at your floors — or better yet, call a trusted floor refinisher to help you evaluate what you have. If you’re lucky enough to have solid wood planks that are at least a quarter-inch thick with no visible warping or water damage, you can probably have your floor sanded. (You can also refinish some engineered hardwoods for the same price if there’s enough veneer to work with.) However, some results, like turning dark stained floors into pale oiled floors, might be out of the question. Depending on the look you’re after, you might have to replace your floors altogether with new solid or engineered hardwood.
Question: It’s time to repaint my 200-square-foot home. What will it cost to have it painted?
The two costs involved here are paint and labor. A good paint job involves sanding, priming, prepping walls, sanding between coats and at least two coats of paint. Most professional painters will do testers and allow for a variety of sheen levels.
Question: The doors in our new-build are so flimsy. What’s the cost of upgrading them?
It sounds like you’ve got 36-by-80-inch hollow-core doors, each from a big-box store. If your doors are lightweight, your hardware likely is, too.