Category Archives: Additions

How Much Does Remodeling Cost (in Southeast Michigan) ?

Yesterday one of my Salespeople came to me, frustrated, asking “How do we educate the public as to how much Remodeling projects cost?”  It is very often, from my understanding, that homeowners have skewed expectations of what it really costs to complete the project they are envisioning.  Whether it is HGTV programs showing super-cheap D.I.Y. fixes, billboards falsely advertising the complete $4,000 Kitchen, or a combination of both, it is my goal to help de-mystify the entire process.

  Kitchens (Major) Kitchens (Minor) Bathrooms (Major) Bathrooms (Minor)
Low $13,962 $3,000 $8,499 $1,397
High $30,175 $9,196 $20,673 $11,276
Avg $22,825 $6,097 $13,265 $4,764


  Additions Windows (Vinyl) Windows (Wood)
Low $10,600 $565 $1,384
High $63,304 $12,000 $57,511
Avg $28,669 $4,521 $11,186

Please note that this data is not indicative of the entire Detroit Metro Market, just jobs completed by Kopke Remodeling & Design in the year 2012.

As far as the windows are concerned, these numbers do not (for the most part) refer to an entire replacement of all windows in the home. Our customers often purchase a handful of windows at a time, sometimes even just 1.

These numbers are aimed to show you what other Southeast Michigan Homeowners like you are spending on their remodeling projects.

Click here to see enlarged charts of data from all categories.

You will notice that all categories have quite a large range.  For example, Kitchen remodels can range from 13,000 to 30,000.  These prices directly reflect the prices of the different items you choose to include in your project.  There is expensive tile, and there is inexpensive tile.  You can choose a laminate countertop, or go with Quartz.  So ultimately, you decide how much you want your project to cost based on the items you choose.  The size of the room is also a factor of course, as are different obstacles that are unique to each an every home, such as updating the plumbing or electrical.  See our other article “Why Does Remodeling Cost So Much?” for more.

 Thank you for reading!  As always, don’t hesitate to email me at or call (586) 777-6633 with any additional questions you may have.  I will do the research and get them answered!

Why Can’t I See an Itemized Price Breakdown?

“How to Buy Remodeling” Blog Series – Part Two

Why Can’t I See an Itemized Price Breakdown?

“Can you give me an itemized price for this project: materials and labor for cabinets, countertops, flooring?  I want to make sure what is included in what I’m buying.”  We get that question a lot when we’re talking to clients.  And the answer is no.  The explanation is this: when you buy a project, like a kitchen remodeling or a bathroom remodeling, you’re buying a compilation of several tasks that are integrated together.  And together they make a package and the package is the price.  If you asked me “how much is the drywall?”, the drywall is going to be more expensive then if you asked “how much is the drywall with a bath remodel?”.  So line-iteming is just going to scare you about the individual prices, and it’s just not going to make any sense.  For example, the drywall in the bathroom might be $600, and you can say “okay I’ll take the drywall”.  Well if you only want the drywall, its $1,000.  So asking for an individual price, while it might seem logical, does not make sense when you are buying a package.  You’re getting 3 or 4 quotes and the total project price is what you’re looking for.

If you think about it in terms of buying a car, you never ask “how much is the axle?” or “how much is the steering wheel?” Imagine how much work it would take for them to figure that out.  In the pricing department before it gets to the sales department, sure, they have figured out the price of everything and they put it together into the car and they add overhead and they add profit.  And then they end up with a selling price that is on a sticker on the window.  That car costs $30,000.  Well where that $30,000 is allocated really doesn’t matter.  How much of its profit? How much is material? How much is labor?  Doesn’t really matter.  So the only reason anyone would ever want any useful report showing itemized materials, labors, overheads, markups, profits, would be for some other reason other than to buy the package.  You’re not buying just part of the package.

Now as a company selling remodeling projects, we’re glad to show you the breakdown, in general, of the cabinets, the countertops, the flooring, but we can’t give you material lists, and labor lists, as we are estimating these costs.  It hasn’t been sold yet; we don’t even know the costs.  Once the job is sold, we are going to purchase everything and find out what everything actually costs.  We can’t go through and figure that out to the dollar on every quote.  We only sell 4 out of 10 that we talk to, and we are talking to 30 or 40 people a week that want to know what their project costs.  So we take an estimate of what it has cost in the past, add some mark up for overhead, and some mark up for profit, and that’s our estimate to the customer.  So the kitchen is going to be, let’s say, $26,000.  We don’t even know how much is labor and material!  The company has provided to the salesperson a guideline to figure out what the price is going to be depending on certain factors. But to break it all down is just going to take hours and hours and there is no justification for the time it would take to do it.  It also doesn’t make sense why someone would need that broken down.  So, we don’t do it.

Why Does Remodeling Cost So Much?

“How to Buy Remodeling” Blog Series – Part One

 My bathroom is $25,000?! Why so much? The reason it costs so much is because there is $25,000 worth of work in the job.  If we want it to cost less, what we have to do is take out some of the items that we are including.  If you go grocery shopping and the bill is high, it’s because you bought more groceries.  If you want the bill to be lower, you have to buy less.  If you buy a car and it has features that you want, you’re going to pay more for those features (a back up camera or heated-seats, for example).  So in a bathroom if you wanted to buy a heated floor, it is going to cost more than a bathroom without a heated floor.  The price is related to the purchase quantity and quality of the products.

This is a comping image from Do not publish without acquiring a license from Acclaim Images. Image number: 0269-0606-0717-0803.

Most people do not buy a bathroom or kitchen nearly as often as they buy a car.  So people generally understand why cars cost what they cost, especially related to other cars.  Some cars are more expensive than others.  All cars take you to work, though.  When we talk about bathroom and kitchen remodeling, price is going to be reflective upon what is included.  More electrical, higher price.  More plumbing, higher price.  More expensive sink, etc.

Now if we are comparing proposals from one company to another and one seems to be $5,000 higher let’s say, the reason for that is most likely the salesperson’s interpretation of what you said you wanted coupled with his/her desire to get you to purchase better quality products so you won’t call back later and say there was a problem.

Some salespeople’s mentalities are more budget-oriented, while other salespeople’s mentalities are more quality-oriented (where the price ends up higher).  So depending on the personality of who you’re talking to, that person’s interpretation of what they think you should buy will be different.

My advice is to be more clear up front about your goals.  Do your research ahead of time, and be specific about what you want (and what you don’t want).  Then, the prices from the companies that you call in will be much closer together.  Then it is just a matter of deciding who you think you can have harmony with as a company-client relationship.  And it would be a good idea to visit their showroom, talk to some of their past customers, or just ask around – there are a lot of ways to find out about a company.  The Better Business Bureau, talk with the city hall about them getting permits, talk with the appliance suppliers , the cabinet supplier even.  Find out if they pay their bills – that will give you some idea of their business acumen along with the harmony that they have with their suppliers.  If they have good relationships, most likely it will end up to be a smooth-flowing job.