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Bone Remodeling: What Is It and How Do You Do It?

The home improvement shows make it look so easy. You buy an old house, and in an hour, it gets a complete overhaul to meet a farmhouse-chic aesthetic. Suddenly, your children are well-behaved, and you know how to bake a pie. 

Sadly, the reality is more likely that you now have a dilapidated old house you aren’t sure what to do with. Where do you start? If a house is in a state of disrepair to the point that a person couldn’t reasonably live in it, you might need to consider full bone remodeling.

What is Bone Remodeling?

Also known as a gut renovation, a gut remodel, or a gut job, bone remodeling is simply taking your home’s interior down to the bones: the studs and the framework. You’ll peel away years of neglect and start with a fresh slate. 

While this type of project focuses on completely overhauling the interior of your home, it could extend to the exterior as well, especially if there are structural or foundational issues that could be a safety risk to occupants. 

What Are the Reasons to Choose Bone Remodeling?

The main reason you’d choose such a comprehensive project would be if you wanted to completely redo your home’s interior. We’re talking more than new coats of paint. In this scenario, you may want everything from new flooring and fixtures to appliances and maybe even an entirely new floor plan. 

House construction tools and remodeling blueprint on wooden table
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A bone remodel could include the following projects:

  • Removing the flooring
  • Removing or adding walls
  • Switching out HVAC components
  • Switching out insulation
  • Updating or switching out plumbing systems
  • Updating the electrical wiring

Basically, everything inside goes until you see studs. Another added benefit is that a complete home overhaul could reveal some of your home’s dirty little secrets, like:

  • Mold
  • Structural issues
  • Rotting studs
  • Damage from termites and pests 

If you love the look of your home from the curb, but can’t stand the interior, a bone remodel is a great option. You can have the interior of your dreams without sacrificing the outside. It’s not a full demolition. 

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Considerations for Bone Remodeling

Tearing down the interior of your home and starting fresh is a big job. Here are a few things to consider before making such a serious commitment: 


First, ask yourself whether your budget can accommodate it. While it can be more cost-effective to do a bone remodel than to buy a brand-new house, you’ll also have to factor in the expense of staying somewhere during your remodel. To be sure you can afford such a project, get plenty of estimates from various contractors.


Because everything in your house must go, you won’t be able to live there during the remodel. Make sure you have somewhere to stay for the duration of the project. Find an apartment, hotel, or stay with friends or family.

If you don’t have a place to stay or if you need to remain in your home while the work is done, it might be a better idea to renovate each room individually, instead of going for a complete gut-job.

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Such a big change will impact the resale value of your home. A big question to ask yourself is whether the overall cost of your bone remodel will be recouped in your increased home value. 

How much will the project increase your home’s value? If you don’t recoup a decent portion of the project cost, it might not be worth it. Of course, if you plan on staying in the home for many years to come, increasing resale value isn’t that big of a deal. It’s more important that the renovation is worth it to you.


A complete home overhaul is going to impact your life. Not only will it impact your finances, it’ll also likely impact your mental state, too. You won’t be able to live in your home for up to a year, not to mention the stress that goes along with making such dramatic changes on likely the biggest investment you’ve ever made: your home. It’s crucial that you honestly ask yourself whether you can handle it before you get started. 

The Average Cost of Bone Remodeling

How much does it cost to do a full bone remodeling job? Much of the cost will depend on the size, systems, and appliances in your home and how much they need to be updated. 

The national average for a major remodel like this is between $100,000 and $200,000. You can come up with a reasonable estimate by considering the various costs:


If your plumbing system needs to be updated or moved, you could be looking at an average cost of $14,745. You can save on this expense by doing everything possible to keep your plumbing where it is. Moving pipes is one of the most expensive things you can do for a renovation project.


For a complete rewiring of your home, you’ll end up paying an average of $13,798 (and that won’t include the new fixtures). As with plumbing, you can save on this cost by leaving your electrical system in place as much as possible. 


Kitchen remodels are notoriously difficult to estimate because so much of the cost is variable and dependent on your decisions. A good number to keep in your head when doing a bone remodel of a kitchen is the national average of $68,000. 


Although necessary, these pesky rooms can be another source of pressure on your budget. The average cost to completely remodel a bathroom is around $35,000, and that’s for each bathroom in the house! However, you can save money by choosing less expensive finishes and fixtures. 

Living Rooms and Bedrooms

By far, the least expensive areas to renovate are living rooms and bedrooms. For a living room, you’ll end up spending about $1,500 to $5,500. Each bedroom will likely cost between $1,500 and $3,500. 

There is one notable exception, however. If you’re planning to remodel your master suite, you’ll be looking at an average cost of up to $15,000. Why so high? It’s usually a larger room, plus a bathroom. It’s also an area in which you are more likely to be willing to splurge on fixtures. 

With that being said, a completely redone master suite is a highly desirable feature for many homebuyers. While it will cost a significant part of your budget to remodel it, you can get a great return on your investment. 


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If you’re planning to finish your basement, plan on spending about $46,900. This is another one of the top projects that homebuyers are looking for. The cost is higher because it will generally include:

  • Waterproofing
  • Insulating walls
  • Drywall
  • New flooring
  • Painting
  • Converting space

Be aware that when converting your basement, you’ll likely have to follow additional requirements put in place by the state. You may also need to get permits, depending on your location. 

The Average Length of a Bone Remodeling Project

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A bone remodel is not for the faint of heart. It’s labor intensive, costly, and, of course, time-consuming. It isn’t as simple as hanging some wall shelves or laying down new flooring. You will literally be stripping the inside of your home down to its bones to rebuild it. 

Builder handyman with tools and bone remodeling on the background
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Remodeling of your house is costly and time intensive

Generally speaking, you should plan to devote around six months to one year for such an extensive project. This will give you enough time to have it done correctly.

Need a little help? Tell us more about your project here and we’ll help connect you with a great contractor in your local area!

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