From Andy Lebo, EGStoltzfus Custom Homes and Remodeling Division Manager

Thinking about a home remodeling project can stir up many emotions. You might feel excited one day…and overwhelmed the next. Many times, questions and uncertainty dominate our thoughts:

“Will this be better than what we have now?”
“With all these options, what if I make wrong decisions?”
“Will this pay off?” 

When approaching a remodeling project, there are inherent, temporary inconveniences, as well as time obligations requesting and reviewing estimates, assessing the plans, and choosing fixtures and finishes. But individuals who do engage in a remodeling challenge derive long-term benefits and enjoyment from their new and improved living space. Similar to a vacation, remodeling requires planning and review of pricing. However, a vacation ends, while improvements to your home provide a source of ongoing daily pleasure.

Where should you begin? How do you know if you can add a first-floor master suite? Or maybe just remodel a bathroom? For many reasons, project pricing can vary significantly. It depends on the scope of your project, lifestyle needs, and desired material selections. But let’s focus on a few ideas, provide you with some average budget ranges, and share some of the factors that can influence remodeling costs.

  • Adding a typical first-floor master suite starts around $120 thousand. 
  • Updating an existing full bathroom typically runs $20 – $65 thousand, depending largely on the fixtures and finishes. A more accessible layout, zero threshold shower, and multiple shower controls are some common additions in this area. 
  • A standard kitchen renovation range is $35 – $55 thousand. Custom cabinetry, a large central island, and structural changes to open up the floorplan of a home are frequently part of a $55 – $80 thousand kitchen project.

The age of your home can also be a factor when remodeling. 

  • While older homes often have lot sizes that allow for expansion such as a first-floor master suite, they may require electrical updates to meet new local standards. 
  • Plumbing lines may need to be replaced depending on the type of material used and its current condition. 
  • An aging HVAC system may need replaced with a larger more efficient system that can handle the extra load of new space you’re adding to your home.  
  • Pre-1978 homes may have lead paint, and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires contractors to adhere to specific protocol for testing/removal when renovating these homes. 
  • Homes with a private septic system may be restricted when adding bedrooms. Knowing your septic system and having a discussion with your township is a good place to start.

If you are contemplating the idea of aging in place in your current home, you are likely weighing the cost of remodeling. Clients often ask contractors, “How much would it cost me to…,” – and the common response is often “It depends on…” For some clients, that can be a difficult answer to accept. 

An analogy that often helps is to consider the cost of a bag of groceries. Much like a remodel project, the cost is dependent on your list. For example, my bag of groceries might cost twice what your bag costs because of the difference in the meals we’re preparing. There could also be several price points for the same item. So, prioritize your remodeling list and speak with a qualified remodel company that can review and assess the feasibility of what you desire to accomplish and spend. Renovating with an experienced professional brings clarity to the process and ensures the most out of your investment.

For additional information, Remodeling Magazine compiles an annual “Cost vs. Value Report” that lists several project descriptions and average costs.

EGStoltzfus is a second-generation, family owned full-service construction company serving central PA. Building one story at a time, they specialize in the design and build of quality neighborhood homes, custom homes, residential remodeling and commercial construction, including various projects for Moravian Manor Communities. To learn more about the EGStoltzfus Remodeling division, visit

Compare the Value!

Interested in comparing the current costs of living in your home versus making a move to Moravian Manor Communities? Download our Compare the Value worksheet to see the advantages and savings available in our residential living homes, from apartments and cottages to carriage homes and townhomes. Or call our residential living sales office at 717-626-0214 to inquire about the various upgrades we can make to your home upon moving in to Moravian Manor Communities.