Today’s top two upscale countertop options, granite, and quartz, are competitively priced with one another. Granite and quartz are quite different materials, one being a natural stone and another being an engineered composite made to resemble the natural stone.
This guide covers unique properties, pros and cons, looks, maintenance requirements, durability aspects, and pricing considerations for each option.
Granite countertops cost between $48 and $135 per square foot installed. The cost is largely based on whether you choose tiles or slabs. When going with a full-sized granite slab, its thickness, size (length and width), color pattern and degree of flawlessness or lack of imperfections will affect the overall price on a per sq. ft. basis.
Quartz countertop cost ranges from about $75 to $125 per square foot installed and engineered stone slabs are used.
$48 to $80 per s.f.
$72 to $94 per s.f.
$70 to $104 per s.f.
$84 to $112 per s.f.
$100 to $135 per s.f.
$105-$125 per s.f.
Avg. Total Cost: (64 sq. ft. of material)
$5,568 or $84/s.f.
$6,272 or $96/s.f.
Did you know? A decade ago, quartz was much more expensive than granite. With higher demand came an increase in production and with it, more cost-effective manufacturing process. That’s why you’ll find outrageous prices for quartz from many pricing sites. The days of $200+ per square foot quartz are gone, but many sites haven’t updated the information in years. 😉
The cost range for quartz, also known as engineered stone, is narrower than costs for granite. This is because there are fewer variables in quartz. It is a manufactured material, so quality tends to be consistent, and there are no rare colors or types.
The costs above are divided into low, average, and high. The more of these factors apply to your project, the higher your cost will be on the spectrum.
This year, homeowners are more focused on renovating their houses rather than buying new, especially in places with booming economy like Seattle. Hot real estate markets mean that it’s often too expensive to buy a new place for many people, but it’s a great time to fix up your current home! 😉
If you can’t afford to move, but you are getting bored or frustrated with your house, a properly planned remodel can help make it feel like a brand new place! 🙂 And if you ever decide to sell your home in the future, strategically-done home improvements will help make it more desirable and attractive in the eyes of potential buyers.
No matter whether you’re remodeling to make yourself more comfortable or to entice potential buyers, it’s a no-brainer to lean towards environmentally-friendly design. Most green home remodeling projects result in huge savings on your energy bills, in addition to simply being the right thing to do for the future.
A lot of people are under the impression that green remodeling will cost them a fortune, but that’s not necessarily true. We’ve rounded up a set of 10 awesome (and cost-effective) green remodeling projects for your consideration. Read on to get the scoop on what goes into each project, how much each one might cost you, the kind of return on investment you can expect, and more.
1. Energy-efficient exterior doors
Replacing an old exterior door is a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. If your current door is worn, cracked, or isn’t energy efficient, replacing it with an Energy Star-certified exterior door can result in a savings of as much as 10% on your costs to heat and cool your home.
To replace your door, you’ll need to first choose what kind of new door you want. While there are a variety of options, the most energy-efficient and durable kinds are fiberglass and steel.
Fiberglass doors are often better looking, since they more closely mimic the look of authentic wood doors. They are also ideal for harsh climates (very cold or very humid), since unlike steel, they don’t sweat when exposed to cold or moisture. However, they are more expensive than steel, and easier for intruders to break into.
Steel doors, on the other hand, are cheaper, stronger, and usually more energy efficient in temperate or hot, dry climates. However, they may not be as attractive, and they can rust if not treated properly and exposed to the elements.
Many doors come in pre-hung in a frame and pre-drilled and can be installed yourself, but if you are choosing a door that is not the exact same size as your old door, you’ll need to hire a contractor (usually a carpenter) to install the door.
A new exterior door offers some of the very best returns on your investment. This year, the average cost of a new exterior fiberglass door, including installation, is $3,276, and tends to add an average value of $2,550 to your home, for a 77.8% ROI.
The average cost of a new exterior steel door, including installation, is only $1,826, and tends to add value of $1,368, giving a respectable 75% ROI.
If you want to install or replace your carpet, you should be aware that not all new carpets are the same. A lot of new carpets and their adhesives contain chemicals called VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are not only bad for the environment, but also dangerous to breathe in, causing a host of symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
Still, there is an ever-widening variety of Eco-friendly, non-toxic carpet available on the market today, and there are benefits of carpet over wood or laminate floors: carpet is cheaper and provides comfort, noise damping, and – most importantly – energy conservation. They are a great way of keeping the warmth in your house in the wintertime without turning up your heater.
When picking a green carpeting solution, look for carpets labelled “low VOC” and made from natural fibers like wool, jute, seagrass, or sisal. Choose lightweight carpets without petroleum-based padding – either no padding or padding made from felt is ideal. If the carpet requires adhesive, go for water-based, low-VOC glues, or ask your carpet installer to use these eco-friendly products.
This year, new wool carpet is running about $8-$10 per square foot. Installation is typically between $2.00-$4.00 per square foot. While return on investment data is somewhat hard to find on carpet alone (as opposed to a whole room remodel), there is widespread general agreement that potential buyers are turned off by old or dirty carpet, making replacing carpet a winning resale strategy.
Billions and billions and billions of dollars. That’s what Americans spent on home remodeling projects last year. More like hundreds of billions.
And this year has certainly been following the suit so far! Major home improvements and significant additions to a home are key factors in why that figure is so astronomical! But, if we’re all honest, remodeling is the type of project we all consider doing or want to do.
According to the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI), around 50% of homeowners surveyed in suburban and urban areas say they are willing to remodel their living space, and over two thirds of rural homeowners convey that willingness. While a third of all homeowners consider it easier to just move to a new home than tackle a remodeling project.
People remodel for many reasons, and 75% of us report feeling a major sense of accomplishment as a result of a completed project.
Better functionality and livability, or what we will refer to as the ‘enjoyment factor’, is generally cited as the top reason for why remodel at all. Other factors like knowing better materials are in place, appreciating the beauty of an upgrade and making changes to fit the owner’s feeling of their living space are considerable factors. But it is the joy factor that we wish to emphasize.