June 8

Common Portland Home Remodeling Questions

Before you decide to embark on a home remodeling project in Portland, you’ve likely got a whole lot of questions. Here are answers to some of the most common Portland home remodeling questions to help start your project off on the right foot. 

Common Portland Home Remodeling Questions

1. How Long Do Home Remodeling Projects Take?

This depends on the scope of your remodeling plans and a few other common “delay factors” including:

  • The decision-making process to approve the design and materials going in
  • The scope of work
  • Financial obstacles that can hold up progress
  • Your availability to meet and discuss critical stages of the process
  • Supply chain issues that delay deliveries
  • Unforeseen structural issues or discoveries like mold and pests
  • Frequency and complexity of change orders
  • Weather
  • The team you hire to complete the project and their ability to stick to schedules and timelines

That said, here’s a rough best-case scenario based on our average project timelines at ReCraft:  

  • Guest/powder bathroom: 5-8 weeks
  • Primary bathroom:  6-10 weeks
  • Kitchen update:  8-12 weeks
  • Kitchen full gut remodel:  12-16 weeks
  • Basement remodel:  12-16 weeks
  • Accessory dwelling unit:  8-12 months
  • Whole home remodel:  6-12 months

2. How Much Do Home Remodeling Projects Cost In Portland?

Beautiful Portland Kitchen Remodel

Time is a big factor in remodeling costs because you pay for labor hours. So, the first and simplest part of the answer is, the longer the work takes, the more it costs.

Next, the complexity of the work must be considered. This ties into labor costs because the more complex the work, the more trades you need on the job. For example, if you don’t have to alter things like plumbing, electrical or HVAC ducts, it will cost less than if you want to reroute plumbing or gas lines.

Finally, there are the design finishes. Your investment in finishes depends on the materials you select, and the variances here are great.

However, to help put things in perspective, here are some average price ranges for typical home remodeling projects in Portland:

  • Bathroom update: $55,000-$75,000 
  • Bathroom full gut remodel:  $75,000-$120,000 
  • Kitchen update:  $70,000-$150,000
  • Kitchen full gut remodel:  $120,000-$220,000
  • Basement remodel (includes adding a bathroom):  $125,000-$210,000 
  • Accessory dwelling unit:  $400-$500/sf
  • Whole home remodel:  $250-$350/sf

3. What Is The Typical Remodeling Process In Portland?


This is what our ReCraft remodeling process entails:

  • A free initial on-site consultation to discuss your project details, goals, and vision, from which we give you a ballpark idea of cost and time to complete
  • Determination of design requirements based on initial consultation 
  • Sign a pre-construction agreement including detailed budget and timeline to give you a clear picture of what it will take to produce your remodel
  • Sign the final remodeling contract which includes detailed scope of work and fixed price
  • Provide access to our client portal for communication and sharing details like schedules, material & fixture lists, change orders, etc.
  • Selection of all finishes, fixtures, and materials
  • Project work starts (if unexpected problems arise or a change order is requested, we will always seek approval on adjustments to pricing or schedule before extra work being done)
  • Project completion with complete satisfaction guaranteed
  • 9–12-month check-in to ensure you are still happy with your remodel

This is our proven ReCraft approach when remodeling a Portland home, ensuring our clients are kept informed, updated, and satisfied throughout their entire remodeling experience. 

4. Do I Have To Move During My Remodel?

do i have to move during my remodel

Smaller-scale projects focused on a single room can usually allow you to stay at home. With kitchen or single-bathroom remodels the decision hinges on safety and whether you can comfortably maintain your daily activities, such as using the bathroom and preparing meals. Some people choose to get a gym membership during their remodel to have access to a shower.

However, when it comes to a whole home remodel, the home is unfit for living and will require you to temporarily relocate. It’s important to work with an experienced contractor who will complete the work as efficiently as possible to limit disruptions to your life. 

5. How Do I Make Style Decisions?

how do i make style decision for my home remodel project

Some people know exactly what they want, but in our experience, most people want guidance from professionals. In both situations, it helps to do some research and find designs and styles that resonate with you. Browse websites like Houzz and Pinterest, do some window-shopping at local showrooms, and page through home style magazines for inspiration. This allows you to share your ideas with your contractor/designer so they can guide you in design selections and also ensure your choices fit within your budget.

6. I Live In An Old Home In Portland. Is There Anything I Should Be Aware Of When Hiring A Contractor?

We’d say, if you’re planning to stay in your home long-term, or you want to increase your home’s value before you sell, then it is definitely worth it to invest in a remodel. 

Trusting your remodel to a contractor like ReCraft who understands Portland’s unique architecture and home styles ensures the charm and character of your older home is maintained throughout your upgrade.

7. How Do I Set My Budget?

how do i set my home remodeling budget

Working on an older home is very different from working on a new home.  Construction materials have changed dramatically over the different eras of homebuilding. Galvanized water supply piping, knob and tube electrical wiring, and lath and plaster wall finish are all common materials found in older homes here in Portland. Having trade contractors who are familiar with these materials and how to deal with them is absolutely critical for your remodel to be a success.  Working on an older home does increase the budget vs. working on a newer home, as tying into these older types of materials often takes more time to do it right.

A quality home remodeling contractor will walk you through the step of creating a budget that you are comfortable with, taking into consideration how much money you have available, whether through savings, credit, home equity, or a mix of resources. The bottom line is that only you know how much you can afford. Keep in mind that you should add a 5% to 10% contingency fund on top of your remodel budget in case unexpected issues arise.

8. How Do I Find The Right Remodeling Contractor For My Portland Home?

how do i find the right remodeling contractor for my portland home

You can start your search online by looking for highly rated, licensed professionals in Portland with experience in the type of remodel you have in mind. For example, there’s a big difference in working on a 1910s Portland Foursquare vs a 1950s Ranch, and you’ll want your contractor to maintain your home’s integrity. 

Keep in mind there is a big difference between projects as well. Building a fence vs. a full-gut kitchen remodel requires very different skill sets, knowledge, and often approaches, to ensure a great result. 

It’s also important to work with a quality contractor if you live in one of the historically designated districts throughout Portland, as certain restrictions may apply.

And remember, you can’t choose a contractor solely based on price. If you receive low-ball estimates, question them, because some contractors are dishonest, inexperienced, or both. You want your contractor to understand the unique challenges your Portland home presents and have the skills to handle era-specific design and construction techniques for a successful, quality remodel. You also should verify the following when choosing a Portland home remodeling contractor:

  • Licensed with Oregon CCB
  • Bonded and Insured
  • They display a gallery of work and happy customer reviews on their website
  • They are willing to provide references
  • They have a proven process they will walk you through during every step of your remodel, the most important of which is a detailed scope of work

9. Will I Need A Permit For My Remodeling Project?

will i need a permit for my remodeling project

You’ll need a permit to undertake the following remodeling projects in Portland:

As part of the City of Portland FIR (Field Issuance Remodel) program we are linked with a dedicated inspector for all of our jobs from start to finish, meaning no stress for you.

To see if ReCraft is a good fit for your next remodeling project in Portland, OR, call at 503-939-9782 or click here to submit your remodeling project details


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