Renovate or Relocate? The Cost of Home Renovation

by Kevin Gilday & Tom Gilday

"We Don't Want To Price Ourselves Out of the Neighborhood"

home renovation cost washington dcWe hear this a lot from prospective clients. They are trying to weigh the cost/value of investing in a home renovation against the cost of moving and buying new.  This is a huge question in the pricey Washington DC market. They are snared in a love/hate relationship with their house.

Something has got to change because they cannot put up with it anymore. Now they are leaning slightly more toward hate.  But there's hope.  They still love the house well enough to call and ask us to fix what they hate about it.


When the "fixing" calls for major interior remodeling and home additions, they want to be smart investors.  The house needs a lot and they want it all.  How do we decide whether or not it is worth the investment?  Will it assess?  Tough questions.  So here is a true story about how one couple handled this question.

Love It Or Leave It

There was an award winning television journalist and his award winning producer wife who lived happily in their Spring Valley DC home.  They loved the neighborhood.   Though the location of their home was just perfect, they were pretty much fed up with everything else.  The first floor lacked flow.  The layout was a knot of dead ends, hallways funneling you into rooms you didn't want stay in.

crappy kitchen BEFORE renovationThe vintage 70's kitchen was so past prime that it couldn't even be rebranded as a cool "retro" kitchen.


home addition BEFORE renovationA misconceived addition at the rear interrupted what had been a rather pleasant view of the patio and pool.

Plus, the only way you could get to the additional room was to go down the basement and up into it on the other side.  There must have been a good reason for this irregularity, but these two seasoned journalists were not able to uncover it.


front of ranch home before renovationTo top it off,  the street side lacked curb appeal. They decided not to love it anymore.


Leave It

They put in an offer on a beautiful wooded lot near the Potomac River with the idea of starting over with a brand new house.  Here they could design and build precisely the house they desired.  The location was beautiful.  Also, it was utterly isolated from everything they do in their busy lives and everyone they know.

They bailed out.  They walked out of the woods, got in their car and drove back to their beloved Spring Valley fixer upper with the goal of fixing her up.

Love It

After a few false starts, they signed on with Gilday Renovations for a makeover of the entire house. They loved that worn out old rancher back to life.  They did it all including the voluminous light filled family room addition, the custom kitchen design,a stone and pillar front porch.

interior family room addition
cherry wood kitchen remodel spring valley dc

The the cost of this magnificent whole house renovation came to just slightly more than the original purchase price. But, oh what a house it is now.  The pleasure of living there is worth every cent. Plus (for the bean counters) it assessed.

ranch home renovation spring valley washington dc
[caption id="attachment_4384" align="alignnone" width="300"] front entry porch after renovation
Bath Design Home Additions