Seattle Remodeling Cost Estimates Cheat Sheet

Matt Goyer

Considering buying a fixer upper? Or just looking to make some upgrades? Or want to go all out and build your dream home?

We recently had drinks with Jeff Pelletier of Board & Vellum, a local architecture and design firm, and got a super rough guide to what it costs to remodel, or build, in Seattle right now.

For a studs-out remodel you’re looking at $275 – $350+ a square foot, but if you’re just touching part of the home, here’s the cheatsheet on pricing (and remember, these are just construction costs. Soft costs such as design fees, engineering, and permitting can easily add 15% to 30% to the costs).

  • Kitchen remodel
    • Plumbing and appliance locations are unchanged: $50-100k+
    • Re-envision the space: $100k+
  • Bathroom remodel
    • Plumbing and fixture locations are unchanged: $15-20k+
    • Re-envision the space: $40-50k+
  • Finish a basement with a family room, bedroom and bathroom: $175-225k+
  • Add a second story with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms: $400k+
  • Lift the house: $75k for a simple lift to $125k +
  • Garage: $40-50k
  • Backyard “cottage” with kitchenette and bathroom: $400k


What if you want to start from scratch?

  • Townhome: $250 a square foot
  • Custom built home: $350-500+ a square foot


Keep in mind that these are very rough estimates, and depending on your situation you could spend much more, or perhaps less if you’re crafty! And remember, contractors are super busy right now and are booking 3-6+ months out.

What if you want a killer yard? Jeff’s cheat sheet for landscaping is to take the value of your house:

  1. Irrigation and planting: if you scrape the lot and just do irrigation and planting ~5% of house value
  2. Some hardscape and wood fencing: (but nothing fancy, maybe a fire pit) ~10%
  3. Outdoor kitchen, extensive paving/deck, arbor, etc ~15%
  4. Going for it? You can spend 20%+


If you’re only doing part of the site, you can divide by the total area. However, areas that are hard to reach will cost more.