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Despite the economy being what it is currently, the property market is alive and well and those who are able, are still buying domestic properties for personal occupancy. Most often, though, the new owner is compelled to make changes to the property to suit their own needs, tastes and styles, personalizing the property prior to moving in.

During the first half of 2021, Smarten Renovate/Smarten Projects completed a significant number of projects of what we call “multifaceted home improvements”, where at least 4 of the following 8 components were altered or renovated, directly following property ownership transfer: structural alterations (windows, doors, walls), flooring, ceilings and cornices, kitchen cupboards and counter-tops, built-in cupboards, bathroom, interior and/or exterior painting.

During this period, we have once more come to realize that most clients are completely unaware of what market-related costs of professional home renovations and alterations entail prior to starting the renovation process or obtaining quotes. We have therefore decided to publish this article as a guide on baseline costs. It has to be borne in mind that each project is different and entails different pricing, because each has different specifications and because of the myriad of possibilities as far as finishes and fittings is concerned.

Let’s then have look at what a home owner should expect to pay for multifaceted renovations, done by a professional contractor business and based on prevailing industry-related prices (July 2021):

1. Kitchen makeovers

Kitchen makeovers may well be the most expensive type of single home improvement endeavour one undertakes. The baseline range for full kitchen makeovers should be: Small kitchens (less than 15 sq m floorspace): between R60 000 and R100 000, medium-sized kitchens (between 15 and 20 sq m): between R75 000 and R130 000 and large kitchens (more than 20 sq m): between R120 000 and R250 000. These prices are based on mid-to-high range finishes and include electrical- and plumbing work, tiling and painting, melamine cupboards and quartz worktops.

2. Bathroom makeovers

Most bathroom makeover projects involve at least the removal of existing floor- and walltiles, plumbing & waste preparations for the new layout, retiling walls & floor and the installation of new sanitary ware and fixtures. Baseline ranges for bathroom makeovers are: Small and medium bathrooms (between 4 and 8 sq m): between R40 000 and R 80 000, and large bathrooms (more than 9 sq m): between R60 000 and R110 000. Again, these prices are dependent on the quality and types of finishes one uses and may also escalate depending on extra work done.

3. Flooring

Many owners wish to change the existing flooring at their newly-acquired properties because floors are such a visually captivating element of any home. Baseline ranges for 4 basic types of flooring are as follows:

Laminated wooden flooring: between R280 and R550 per square metre including matching skirting, depending on the quality and grade of laminates.

Tiling: between R285 and R750 per square metre depending on the type and quality of tiles and whether existing tiles need to be removed or tiling occurs on top of existing tiles.

Cement flooring (concrete, screed or cement floors): between R200 and R650 per square metre depending on the type and colour of finish.

Vinyl: between R350 and R680 per square metre depending on the type.

4. Painting

You can expect to pay between R60 and R80 per wall/ceiling square metre and between R70 and R90 per square metre to repaint your roof.

5. Ceilings and cornices

New ceilings could cost between R150 and R300 per square metre depending on the state of the existing brandering and whether the finish is flush-plastered. You can also expect to pay between R75 and R140 per linear metre for new polystyrene cornice depending on the profile.

We are aware that the above price ranges do not cover all renovation work, but they should provide the owner with a basic guideline on cost of the most popular types of projects. As a last word, let’s take a real example. A very recent (May 2021) full apartment renovation (double storey floor space 140 sq m) including full kitchen makeover, 2 and a half bathrooms makeover, laminated wooden flooring 110sq m, vinyl laminated flooring kitchen 16 sq m, all built-in cupboards replaced, all walls and ceilings painted and some other miscellaneous electrical and other work, cost the client R250 000 in total and took us two months from project start to completion.

It is advisable for the owner to obtain at least 3 quotes from reputable renovation contractors when considering any renovation project. In that process, it is furthermore advisable to have a broader look at the prospective contractor and view factors other than price only, including workmanship guarantees, terms of contract and payment, provable industry standing and ability to carry out multifaceted projects, operational model including project management and site management, quality control, and public liability and all-risk insurance status.