How much does it cost to gut a house?
How much does it cost to gut a house?
$2 – $8 cost per square foot
$3,000 – $16,000 cost to gut a house to the studs (1,500 – 2,000 SF)
$90,000 – $300,000 average cost to gut and remodel a house
Cost to gut a house
Gutting a house costs $2 to $8 per square foot on average or $3,000 to $16,000 total to gut a 1,500 to 2,000 square foot house to the studs. A full gut renovation costs $60 to $150+ per square foot to gut and remodel the entire home interior.
|House size (square feet)||Average cost to gut|
|1,000||$2,000 – $8,000|
|1,200||$2,400 – $9,600|
|1,500||$3,000 – $12,000|
|1,800||$3,600 – $14,400|
|2,000||$4,000 – $16,000|
|2,500||$5,000 – $20,000|
|3,000||$6,000 – $24,000|
|3,500||$7,000 – $28,000|
|4,000||$8,000 – $32,000|
Average cost to gut and remodel a house
The cost for interior demolition is $1,000 to $5,000 for an average project or $3,000 to $16,000 for entire 1,500 to 2,000 SF home. A full gut to the studs with a home remodel costs $60 to $150+ per square foot or $90,000 to $300,000+ total, including demo and the renovation.
|Project||Average cost to gut||Average cost to gut and remodel|
|Kitchen||$500 – $2,500||$10,000 – $50,000|
|Bathroom||$500 – $2,000||$5,000 – $25,000|
|Bedroom / Living room||$200 – $1,600||$1,500 – $5,000|
|Basement||$300 – $5,000||$20,000 – $50,000|
|Complete house (1,500 – 2,000 SF)||$3,000 – $16,000||$90,000 – $300,000+|
Cost factors to gut a house to the studs
Gutting a home costs $2 to $8 per square foot, which includes demo crew labor and debris removal. Several key factors affect this cost, including:
Home age and layout – Older homes have higher demo costs due to frequent repairs, structural support during demo, and added costs for hazardous waste removal. Multi-story homes also have higher demo costs since debris must be taken upstairs and downstairs for disposal.
Labor hired – Hiring a demo crew costs $40 to $80+ per hour, depending on the crew size. Hiring a handyman or a general contractor who can also make repairs and rebuild after the demolition increases costs.
Job difficulty – Kitchens and baths with more plumbing, heavy fixtures, and appliances are more costly to demo. Difficult-to-remove materials like concrete and glued-down floors require more equipment and labor at a higher cost.
Structural changes – Removing walls costs$500 to $2,000 for non-load-bearing walls and up to $15,000 to remove load-bearing walls.
Building permits – Most demo and reno projects require building permits costing $500 to $2,000.
Disposal – Renting a dumpster costs $280 to $500 per week, depending on the dumpster size. Junk and trash removal costs $150 to $350 per load to haul away large items like refrigerators, air conditioners, and old furniture.
Hazardous waste –Removing hazardous materials like asbestos adds to the demolition costs. A contractor must have added safety gear, up-to-date certifications, and adhere to strict EPA laws and regulations.
Cost to gut a bathroom
Gutting a bathroom costs $400 to $2,000, depending on the size and number of fixtures. A large primary bath with two sinks and a separate tub and shower costs more to gut than a compact 3-piece bathroom. Common bathroom projects costs include:
Removing a bathtub costs $150 to $750 with the highest costs for tubs with a surround or tiling.
Removing a sink costs $30 to $150.
Removing an old faucet costs $30 to $100.
A complete bathroom remodel costs $120 to $275 per square foot.
Cost to gut a kitchen
Kitchen demolition costs $500 to $2,500 for an average-sized kitchen. Kitchen gutting projects that include removing pipes, tiles, and added fixtures have the highest costs. Removing the kitchen cabinets costs $150 to $800, depending on the kitchen size.
A full kitchen remodel costs $15,000 to $50,000 when updating everything except the structural layout.
Cost to gut a house vs. tearing it down
Gutting a home is different than completely tearing it down. In a remodel, just the interior is gutted. In a rebuild project, the entire home is bulldozed and then reconstructed from the ground up.
A complete home demolition costs $4 to $10 per square foot, or $6,000 to $25,000 to knock down everything including the concrete foundation.
|Demo cost||$2 – $8 per square foot||$4 – $10 per square foot|
|Project cost||$90,000 – $300,000||$150,000 – $400,000+|
Frequently asked questions about gutting a house
What does it mean to gut a house?
Gutting a house means stripping the home down to the wall studs and foundation. The interior demolition includes removing and disposing of plumbing, HVAC, wall materials, cabinets, and fixtures.
How long does it take to gut a house?
A demo crew can gut a small house in just a few days, while a DIY demo can take several months or longer if you are trying to salvage materials.
Is it cheaper to gut a house or rebuild?
Gutting a home's interior and renovating is cheaper than rebuilding a home from the ground up. Building a new house costs $150 to $250+ per square foot, plus home demo costs to bulldoze the entire structure including the foundation.
Can you live in a gutted house?
A completely gutted house will have no walls, electricity, or running water. While you could rough it for a night or two, staying in a gutted house through an entire renovation project would not be safe or comfortable.
Finding and hiring a demolition contractor
Look for a certified demolition contractor with several years of experience.
Compare several estimates from licensed, bonded, and insured contractors.
Browse contractor reviews from past clients on HomeGuide and Google.
Never select a quote based on price alone but consider their reputation and workmanship.
Ask for a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the demolition begins.
Work out a payment plan instead of paying up front.
Questions to ask
Gutting and remodeling a house is a huge commitment of your time and finances, so don't forget to ask these important questions to find the best contractor for the job:
How many years have you been gutting homes?
What is your hourly labor rate?
How big is your crew?
Do you have the proper license, insurance, and surety bonds?
Does your estimate include a dumpster and waste disposal?
What happens if you detect asbestos in my attic insulation during the demolition?
How long will it take to gut the home down to the studs?
Can I save the counters or cabinets for another project?
Do you have a list of references with contact details?