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Cost Versus Value for Your Rochester Remodeling Project

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Feb 17, 2019 @ 20:02 PM

Cost Versus Value for Your Rochester Remodeling ProjectIf you’ve decided it’s time to remodel your Rochester-area home there are a couple of major questions you’ll want to answer before you get too far into the process. The first question is so obvious that a lot of homeowners actually overlook it. What exactly do you want to accomplish with your remodeling project? Here’s a post that digs into that topic a bit.  The second big question you’ll face is what the project is going to cost you (and what kind of value will it bring)? Let’s take a closer look at cost versus value for your Rochester remodeling project.

Cost and Value Vary With the Project

Naturally, your specific costs will vary depending on the size and scope of your project. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular remodeling projects homeowners take on to improve their homes. The figures we’ll mention were compiled for the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report ( for the Rochester, NY area.

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

A Midrange Minor Kitchen Remodel

Let’s assume you want to remodel your kitchen and you’re not looking to make huge changes. You’re really after a minor upgrade to make the kitchen brighter, more welcoming, and more enjoyable to use. In such a case the report assumes you have a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops. You’ll leave the cabinet boxes in place but replace fronts with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts, and new hardware. This project calls for replacing your existing cooktop or oven range and slide-in refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. You’ll replace your laminate countertops and install a mid-priced sink and faucet. To that, you’ll add new resilient flooring. Then you’ll finish by painting the walls, trim, and ceiling.  On average, this type of project will cost $22,352 in the Rochester area. And if/when you sell your home you’ll recoup 67.6% of what you spent.

A Midrange Major Kitchen Remodel

Maybe you want to do a little more to your kitchen when you remodel and you’re looking at a major kitchen remodel. You’re not looking for luxury, so it’s still a midrange project—but there’s more involved. Once again, the report assumes you have a functional but outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen. But instead of resurfacing the cabinets, you want to install 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, including 3x5-foot Kitchen Island. You’ll install new laminate countertops and standard double-tub stainless- steel sink with standard single-lever faucet. The project will include an energy- efficient range with vented range hood, a built-in microwave, a dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting. You’ll also install new resilient flooring. Then you'll paint all the walls, trim, and ceiling. The average cost for this type of project around Rochester is $65,521. You’ll end up recouping 52.5% of your investment.

An Upscale Major Kitchen Remodel

Sometimes, what you really want to accomplish in your kitchen requires a major remodeling of the kitchen and the addition of upscale materials. In this kind of situation, the report assumes you’re starting with an outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen. This time, however, you’d replace the cabinets with 30 linear feet of top-of-the-line custom white cabinets that include built-in sliding shelves and other interior accessories. Instead of laminate countertops, you might opt for stone countertops with an imported ceramic- or glass-tile backsplash. Instead of a slide-in refrigerator, you’d select a built-in refrigerator. For cooking, you’d opt for a commercial-grade cooktop and vent hood, a wall oven, and a built-in microwave unit. You’d also install a high-end under-mount sink with designer faucets and a water filtration system. The plan calls for adding new general and task lighting, including low-voltage under-cabinet lights. For flooring, you'd install tile or similar flooring that looks like wood. This kind of project averages  $130,513 in the Rochester area. Your return on this investment would average 51.0%.

What About Putting On an Addition?

There may be times when you simply can't make the improvements you want within the parameters of your existing space. If that's the case, you’re looking at an addition to your home. Master Bathrooms are one of the more popular additions we do in Rochester. Let’s look at a couple of different approaches.

A Midrange Bathroom Addition

For a midrange bathroom addition, the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report assumes you’ll add a 6x8-foot bathroom over crawlspace with poured concrete walls. It also assumes installing a cultured-stone vanity top with molded sink and standard chrome faucets. For this project, the report uses a 30x60-inch white fiberglass tub/shower with ceramic tile surround, and a single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced faucet. The commode would be a white low-profile toilet. The project includes general and spot lighting, electrical wiring to code, a mirrored medicine cabinet, plus a linen storage closet or cabinet. It also includes the installation of a ceramic tile floor, as well as painting of all trim. The average cost for this project is $47,397 and it generates a 46.6% return on investment.

An Upscale Bathroom Addition

More luxurious, comfortable spa-like Master Bathrooms are also very popular. For this kind of project, the report assumes adding a new 100-square-foot master bath to an existing master bedroom over a crawlspace. This will include a 42x42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls. That comes with an accent strip, recessed shower caddy, body-spray fixtures, and a frameless glass enclosure. It also assumes installing a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets, a stone countertop with two sinks, and two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting. For this project, you'd also include a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. Flooring consists of larger matching ceramic tiles—laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. A nice addition is electric in-floor heating. General and spot lighting and a waterproof shower fixture are also included. Your bathroom cabinetry would have a custom drawer base and wall cabinets. The plan assumes extending HVAC to the new room.  The average cost for this type of project in Rochester is $87,740 and it should provide a 45.7% return on investment.

Your Exact Costs Will Vary

The figures provided here make a certain number of assumptions. Your exact costs will depend on the size (square footage) of the project, the complexity of what you want to do, and on the specific materials you choose for finishes. Still, these figures provide a starting point for thinking through your budget. And speaking of budgets: Here’s a post that offers help for setting a realistic budget for your Rochester home—whether you’re building or remodeling.

There Is More To Cost and Value Than Just Financial ROI

Even though it’s helpful to look at average costs and projected return on investment for potential remodeling projects, it’s important to keep in mind that there is more to evaluating the value of your remodeling project that just the financial returns. The real reason to remodel has more to do with creating a home you love—one that adds comfort and convenience—and one that allows you to enjoy your particular lifestyle. Here’s a look at some of those “added values” that may be hard to measure in terms of dollars and cents.

© 2019 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at


Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY, Cost vs Value Report 2019, Remodeling Costs Rochester NY

Which Remodeling Trends Matter Most For Your Rochester Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Aug 1, 2018 @ 08:08 AM

Which Remodeling Trends Matter Most For Your Rochester Home?Every year industry experts talk about the newest trends in the remodeling industry. You’ll hear about these trends on home improvement sites such as or on remodeling shows on television. A lot of what you’ll hear or read tends to focus on interior design: What are the “hot” colors this year? What kinds of backsplash materials are “in?” Which hardware finishes are most popular?  Those are all interesting and important items to consider, but which remodeling trends matter most for your Rochester home?

I’d like to suggest that real remodeling trends—ones that have staying power—focus more on functionality and changes that come about in response to homeowners’ changing lifestyles.  Let’s look at a few of these kinds of remodeling trends in some key areas of your Rochester home.

Kitchen Trends

Kitchens have changed dramatically over the years. They’re no longer simply spaces for food preparation. These days, people use them for entertaining, cooking, casual dining, and even family meetings. While color changes and finishes may constantly change, one trend that seems to have great staying power is the use of kitchen islands as a major feature in kitchens because they lend themselves to multiple uses. Take a look at some of the kitchen projects we’ve worked on recently.

Bathroom Trends

Bathrooms are kind of a big deal in today’s homes. There’s a good reason for that. This is a room you use multiple times a day. It’s where you get ready to meet the challenges of the day and it’s also a place you relax at the end of the day. A couple of trends in bathrooms have been to make them more comfortable and functional. That means dual sinks and more space for getting ready in the morning. And when it comes to comfort, many homeowners have replaced old conventional tubs (and even whirlpools) with elegant soaking tubs and spacious showers that enhance relaxation. Here’s a look at some of the things you’ll want to consider as you plan your bathroom remodel.

Interior Trends

Even though open floor plans have been around for a few years they continue to be a popular trend. It’s a way to bring more natural light into your home and it also gives the inside of your home a more spacious feel. Often homeowners choose to repurpose existing rooms to meet their changing needs for things such as a home office, a guest bedroom, or a multi-purpose family room/entertainment room. You can even finish out your basement or convert your garage into extra living space.

Addition Trends

There are also trends in home additions that are worth noting. There has been an increase in the number of multi-generational households over the past few years. Often that requires adding physical space that can be used as an in-law apartment (which can be used for older parents moving in, or for adult children who are still working on getting started in their own careers).  Click here for some inspirational images of how you can add beautiful—and needed—space to your existing home.





Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY

Rochester Additions Are About More Than Adding Space

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Jul 22, 2018 @ 19:07 PM

Rochester Additions Are About More Than Adding SpaceSometimes there is simply no substitute for adding onto your Rochester home. If you have more children than when you first moved into your home, you may need more space. Or it could be that your kids are older and it's not realistic for them to share a room anymore. Or you could have an older parent who needs to move in with you. Each of those situations requires more space, but keep in mind that Rochester additions are about more than adding space.

At Gerber, we've been doing Rochester home additions for years.  One of the things we've seen time and time again is that it's not just about how much space you have in your home—it's about having space that fits your needs and your lifestyle.

Let’s look a little closer at a few scenarios to illustrate what it means to add more functionality and comfort while adding additional space.

Aging-in-Place Needs

Let’s take the example of creating space for your aging loved ones. It’s not just a matter of adding square footage. Their needs may be a little different than yours. You’ll want to pay attention to things such as:

  • Doors and Hallways
  • Kitchen layout and design
  • Stairs (or solutions that eliminate stairs)
  • Bedroom needs
  • Bathroom needs
  • Garage considerations

In each of those situations, your aging parents will have needs or preferences that are different than those of the rest of your family. Here’s a helpful infographic that highlights specific things to consider for each of the things mentioned above. These are things you’ll want to think about in order to create space where your aging parents will feel comfortable and safe.

Ease of Access

When you put on an addition, you’ll want to make sure that it’s easy to access. Open floor plans have been extremely popular for a number of years (and here’s an article that talks about how they aren’t going away anytime soon). You’ll want to talk to your remodeler about creating a space that is easy to access from the rest of your house—and looks and feels like an extension of your existing home.

Flexible Space

When adding on to your home it's a good idea to keep flexibility in mind. Things change with time. Right now you may want a game room to enjoy with your kids. That's great! But what about a few years down the road? The same is true with adding a home theatre. It may be the idea use of extra space right now, but will it still meet your needs in a few years? With some prior planning, you and your contractor should be able to come up with a flexible solution—something that can be adapted to other purposes later on. Here's a post that talks about how to keep your options open for future needs.

Sometimes, you simply need more space. That’s when a home addition can really make sense. Just be sure to take a long-range view when you do your planning. And take advantage of your builder’s expertise as you plan.


Topics: Additions Rochester NY, Home Remodeling Rochester NY

Interior Remodeling That Reinvents Your Rochester Home from the Inside Out

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jul 4, 2018 @ 13:07 PM

Interior Remodeling Reinventing Your Rochester Home from the Inside OutSome people choose to remodel the inside of their Rochester-area homes simply because the rooms and the décor feel a bit dated. These folks are after a fresh, new look and feel. If that’s your goal, we’ve pulled together information about current trends that can help you achieve your goal. Others are more interested in ensuring that their home truly meets their needs and reflects their lifestyle. If that’s what you’re after you want to pursue interior remodeling that reinvents your Rochester home from the inside out.

Identify Your Objectives

It’s hard to make meaningful plans for improvement if you’re not sure what you want. There is something important you should do before you get too wrapped up in what kind of cabinets, countertops, flooring, or hardware you think would look good. You need to make a list of your objectives. Take your time with this and be specific. Being dissatisfied with your current kitchen is a legitimate reason to remodel. But take things to the next level. What exactly is it that bothers you about your kitchen? Is the layout awkward or uncomfortable? Is it too small? Is it dark? What would you like to be able to do in your kitchen that you can’t currently do (such as entertain or eat)?

Once you’ve created that list go back through it and separate the changes you have in mind into two categories: “Must-Have” features and “Nice-to-Have” features. That will help you when you create your budget for your remodeling project. Here’s a helpful article about creating a realistic budget.

Determine What Will Fit Your Lifestyle

There are tons of examples of beautiful homes all over the Internet. You can get great ideas on sites such as (click here for some examples). Keep in mind that just because something looks good online that doesn’t mean it’s the right solution for you. Think about how your family will use the space that you plan to remodel. For instance, there are some great ideas for creating home entertainment rooms or game rooms in your house. But if your family isn’t in the habit of watching movies together or playing games together, they’re probably not going to start just because you create a space for that.

Instead, focus on things you already do—but could do more comfortably or conveniently if you made some changes. Re-make your home to fit your personality. Here’s an article about how to create a kitchen that matches your personality. The basic principles apply to any room in your home.

Don’t Overlook the Mundane

It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and exciting rooms of your home. However, it’s often the more mundane (or even boring) areas that can make a big difference in how your home feels. That’s why it’s important to think about things such as storage space, laundry rooms, or mud rooms that can make your life a whole lot easier.

To realize the maximum impact of a home remodel, don't just focus on the surface and on how things look. Yes, you want to have a home that looks fresh and inviting but take advantage of the remodeling opportunity to reinvent your home from the inside out.


Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY, Interior Remodeling

Rochester Remodeling—Measuring the Cost Before You Begin

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Jun 23, 2018 @ 13:06 PM

Rochester Remodeling Measuring the Cost Before You BeginWhen you’re considering a remodel of your Rochester-area home, you have a lot to think about. You may be wondering if it makes more sense to buy or build a new home or remodel your existing home. Or If you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel you may be wondering what features you really want in your dream kitchen.  No matter what you decide to pursue, one thing you’ll want to do is measure the cost before you begin.

There are a number of ways to look at—and evaluate—the cost of a Rochester-area remodel. Let’s look at a few.

What Impacts the Cost?

Not all remodeling projects are the same. As a result, you can spend different amounts to get what you want. Here are some of the things that will affect your final cost.

  • Size and Scope: It may seem obvious, but the size and the complexity of your project can have a dramatic impact on your cost. Simply refurbishing or replacing cabinets and flooring in your kitchen is one thing. If you choose to expand your kitchen, that may involve moving walls and other things such as changing plumbing and electrical service. Here’s a post that helps you get a grip on the scope of your project.
  • Materials Matter: The kinds of materials you choose for your project will also affect your cost. Granite or quartz countertops cost more than Formica countertops. They may also deliver more value (they look better and will last longer). But you have to be aware going into the project that they will impact your price. Here’s an article that can help you balance cost vs. value when remodeling.
  • Customization Costs: The more customized your remodeling project in, the more you’ll pay. Using standard sizes and angles is less expensive than going for unusual sizes and shapes. You’ll pay a higher price for both materials and labor. That may be worth it to you. If it’s really what you want and you can afford it—it may be the right choice. If you’ll be perfectly satisfied with a more conventional design, you probably won’t want to pay more.

Consider Resale Value

While your main concern should be to create a home that’s comfortable and convenient, you’ll want to keep resale value in mind. It’s important to look at your overall return on investment (ROI). Not all remodeling projects have the same kind of ROI. Here’s a look at the kind of return you can expect from some typical projects according to the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report (

Type of Project   Percentage of Cost Recouped
Midrange Bathroom Remodel    35%
Midrange Major Kitchen Remodel   38.1%
Midrange Minor Kitchen Remodel   56.5%
Universal Bathroom Design   38.9%
Manufactured Stone Veneer   63%
Backyard Patio   26.8%

As you can see, some projects hold their value more than others. You can visit for a look at specific descriptions and pricing for each of these projects to get an idea of what you can expect to spend. It’s also important to keep in mind that even though you may not recover everything you spend when it’s time to sell, you’ll still enjoy the benefits in terms of comfort and convenience while you live in your home.

Begin With a Budget

One thing that's really helpful in keep costs under control is, to begin with a realistic budget. Make sure you understand what you can really afford. Then take a look at what you can realistically get done for the money you're comfortable spending. Here’s an article that can help you avoid budget missteps when planning.

It’s great to look at ideas and designs online to come up with a plan to make your Rochester home even better. But make sure you measure the costs before you jump into the remodeling process.


Topics: Home Remodeling Rochester NY, Remodel Project Costs

What Makes The Rochester Area a Great Place to Live

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 20:01 PM

What-Makes-The-Rochester-Area-a-Great-Place-to-Live.jpgWhy is this a great place? This may not be a typical scene for the Rochester area in January, but it’s a good reminder of one of the reasons people love this region. Spring and summer can be absolutely delightful. Whether you’re enjoying relaxing by a riverbank, or enjoying the breeze coming off Lake Ontario (or off the water in the Finger Lakes region), it's awfully nice. Of course, there's more to the area than nice places to relax. What makes the Rochester area a great place to live? Let's take a quick look.

  • It Offers a Great Balance of Big and Small: Built on the banks of Lake Ontario, Rochester is the third largest city in New York which means you’ll have access to all the amenities of a larger population center. It’s a large city with a small town feel. And the areas around Rochester are full of small-town charm and character. Communities such as Canandaigua, Webster, Ontario, and Mendon provide quiet and relaxed places to raise a family.
  • An Abundance of Affordable Housing Choices: Housing in the area is very affordable and there is no shortage of choices when it comes to finding a home design that fits your specific lifestyle. You can take your pick from many floor plans that include Colonial homes, 1st Floor Master plans, Patio homes, Ranch homes, Cape homes, and even homes that are designed with In-Law layouts.
  • Area Attractions: If you want to get away for a weekend or even a day trip, the Rochester area has lots to keep you entertained. You can catch a concert in Syracuse (known for its jazz festivals). Or you could take a quick trip over to catch some of the most incredible water scenery at famous Niagara Falls. And while those falls are world-renowned, there are plenty of other things to do in the area.  Here’s a post that highlights some of the other great activities you’ll find in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Great Dining: Rochester resident love their food—and you'll find a wide variety of great dining opportunities in Rochester and the surrounding area, including American, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, and more.

There are plenty of reasons to live in the greater Rochester area, but what if your home no longer meets your needs? What if your family has grown and you need more space? Or what if you happen to be a mature couple and want a home that will allow you to stay where you are without moving?

We specialize in home remodeling and additions. Whether you need a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel, a home addition for more space, or even an In-law addition to accommodate aging parents—we can help!

And if you are looking for a new home, we build a wide range of home styles (click here for a look at the various plans) in a number of communities throughout the East Rochester area. You can find the home you want in the community you want virtually anywhere around Rochester.

This may not be the best time of year for stretching out along the riverbank, but there are plenty of reasons to enjoy Rochester all-year long. And now is a great time to think ahead about remodeling or building so that you can enjoy the great spring and summer weather!


Topics: Rochester area Home Builder, Fingerlakes Area Home Builder, Greater Rochester Activities, Home Remodeling Rochester NY, Fingerlakes Area Remodeling, Finger Lakes Living

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