You should also know that if your home has any asbestos, your costs will go up because working with asbestos is harder and requires better personal safety equipment for the workers.
Here’s what you need to know about gutting your house to the studs and what can influence the cost.
Factors Affecting Cost to Gut a House to the Studs
- Building Permits
- Which Rooms You're Gutting
Here are some of the main factors that can change how much it costs to gut your home to the studs. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to know what problems will come up while the work is being done, so it’s common for the cost to change as work continues.
1. Asbestos: $1,000-$3,000
We’ve already mentioned that Asbestos can increase the cost of gutting your home. Expect the discovery of asbestos to add between $1,000-$3,000 to the estimate.
Sometimes asbestos can be discovered in advance by looking at old building permits or home records, but contractors can also find unknown asbestos while working.
2. Electrical: $3,000-$5,000
If you want to remove the electrical system in your home and replace it, that will add significantly to the cost of gutting your home. Expect to add between $3,000-$5,000 to rewire your home, less if you just want a new electrical panel.
3. HVAC: $5,000-$10,000
Updating the HVAC system is one of the most expensive upgrades you can give your home. Plan on an additional $5,000-$10,000 depending on the original setup in your home, its size, and whether you have any existing equipment that doesn’t need to be upgraded or replaced.
4. Plumbing: $2,000-$6,000
Plumbing is another difficult upgrade, especially if you’re looking at gutting and remodeling your kitchen or bathrooms.
Replumbing an entire property usually runs between $2,000-$6,000, depending on the local cost of labor and supplies as well as the size of your home and how many plumbing fixtures you have.
5. Building Permits: $500-$2,000
Anytime you’re looking to gut your home or remodel, you’ll also need to get local building permits for the work. The building permits examine your plans and make sure everything is up to code locally.
Depending on where you live and what kinds of changes you’re planning, building permits can range between $500-$2,000.
6. Which Rooms You’re Gutting
Some rooms are more expensive to gut than others because there’s more that needs to be removed and dealt with. Usually, gutting bedrooms, family rooms, and other rooms with minimal plumbing is less expensive than kitchens or bathrooms.
You might be able to get a deal gutting your whole home, but if you’re considering gutting individual rooms, the kitchen and bathroom will probably be the most expensive part of the process.
How Much Does It Cost To Gut A House Per Square Foot?
The average cost to gut your home to the studs is approximately $10 per square foot, depending on the materials involved and the size of your home. That’s pretty affordable, but you need to remember that renovation costs always come after gutting your home and that you’ll need to move quickly to protect the lumber in the frame from damage.
A gut renovation, which is a little different than just the cost of gutting your home, usually averages between $50-$200 per square foot.
That’s much more than just the cost of gutting, though. That estimate includes the cost of finishing the renovation as well. And you’ll likely want an estimate for the gut renovation beforehand, even if the general contractor gutting your home and the contractor handling the remodel are different people.
Is It Worth It To Gut A House?
Many homeowners wonder if it’s worth it to gut their home or if they would be better off buying a new property or demolishing their house and building a new home from scratch.
Usually, gutting your home will be more affordable than rebuilding or buying new, but it’s only worth it if you want to make significant changes to your home or need to address a problem on the interior of the structure.
That said, gutting and remodeling your home can add significantly to its value, which may make it worth more if you decide to sell it in the future.
Gutting your home can also often make it easier to add additional rooms or change the floor plan. This option is usually cheaper than buying a bigger home but more expensive than a straightforward remodel using the same frame and floorplan.
How Much Does It Cost to Gut a House and Rebuild?
The average cost to gut and remodel a house is $225,000. The exact amount you will pay depends on various factors including the size of the house, the number of bathrooms, and the level of finishes you want to install. As a general rule, you can expect the cost of gutting a home and remodeling to run between $160,000 and $300,000.
Is It Cheaper to Gut A House Or Rebuild?
Most of the time it’s easier to gut a house and renovate from there, but there are exceptions to the rule. While gutting a house and rebuilding can cost between $160,000 and $300,000, building a house from the ground up is usually more expensive, starting at about $350,000-$400,000 and going up from there.
For instance, if you want to make extensive changes to your home’s floorplan and design, or if you want to add more than one room, you might be better off rebuilding from scratch.
However, gutting and renovating will probably be more cost-effective if you’re mostly looking to upgrade the interior and materials.
How Much Does It Cost To Gut A Bathroom?
The average cost to gut and remodel a bathroom is between $25,000-$40,000. High-end renovations can cost more though, with the average cost for a high-end renovation being $65,000+.
The cheap end of a bathroom renovation is still $20,000-$25,000 because gutting bathrooms is more difficult than replacing the plumbing and wiring.
Bathroom fixtures also tend to be heavier, and your contractor may need to reinforce the existing frame for your bathroom if you’re adding new fixtures or if the fixtures you’ve chosen are significantly heavier than the ones you’re replacing.
How Much Does It Cost To Gut A Kitchen?
The average cost to gut and renovate a kitchen is between $30,000-$40,000. The low-end average is closer to $20,000, while the high-end average is between $60,000-$70,000+.
That’s because there are a lot of similar challenges in both rooms, including heavy fixtures and lots of plumbing, which means that they involve a similar amount of work despite usually being different-sized rooms.
Significant changes to your kitchen may also require replacing or reinforcing parts of your home’s frame, which can also increase the cost even if the other materials used are in the low- to mid-range in terms of cost.
Gutting a House Bottom Line
While the cost to gut a house is expensive, it's usually a better option than building something new. On average, you can expect to pay around $10 to gut your house to the studs. You do however need to factor in the remodeling costs, which will increase your costs significantly. A complete gut and remodel will cost at least $50 a square foot, but can easily cost double or triple that if you want luxury finishes.