Are you looking to improve your home by introducing some changes to your dining room? The dining room is a place where the whole family can meet and sit down to talk and share a meal. For some families the formal dining room is reserved for upholding traditions and celebrations. For other homeowners, the dining room is wherever the family sits down for meals. Regardless of the type of dining room you have, it’s a room that occasionally needs upgrades or renovations.

Remodeling the dining room can be a major project or a minor one, and will depend entirely on what you need to do. For the sake of this discussion, we’re going to discuss the dining room as a separate room from the kitchen or living room. Here are some common factors that will help you set the right budget for your dining room remodel.

Know what a typical renovation costs in your neighborhood

We all want a dining room that meets the needs of our family. However, it’s a good idea to be aware of neighborhood costs are as well. When it’s time to sell your home, you’ll feel more confident in your budgeting decisions. To get neighborhood info, visit Porch to claim your home. To view neighborhood homes for sale, visit

and download the free Porch Home Report.

What does it cost to remodel a dining room?

The size of your dining room, and the overall scope of the remodel, will be the main cost factors. A typical 200 square foot dining room that merely requires a new coat of paint, new hardwood flooring and new lighting fixtures could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. A 200 square foot dining room with major electrical upgrades, fireplace insert, new windows and other details will carry a greater cost.

What you’ll find in a typical dining room

Dining rooms are usually straight-forward in their function and fortunately require few items to renovate. Most dining rooms require lighting from several sources; having them on dimmers is ideal. Flooring is usually a hard surface like wood or wall-to-wall carpeting. Decorative additions such as wainscoting, coiffured ceilings, and moulding are often added to make a dining room feel more formal. Windows are often, but not always, part of the dining room. Doors, either open doorways or pocket doors are sometimes incorporated as is the occasional fireplace. The rest of the dining room is usually outfitted with furniture like table, chairs, buffet or china cupboard.

Make a list of dining room priorities

Considering that the costs of remodeling will depend entirely on the scope of the project, it’s imperative to do some research and pre-planning before you begin. Make a list of absolute needs for the room, note the desired material choices and who would perform the work. If your budget is somewhat flexible, add the high cost and low cost for each item. For example, if the dining room needs more lighting, add “track lighting” for the low-end cost and “recessed lighting” for the high-end cost. If you need wood flooring, add “laminate flooring” for the low-end and “solid hardwood flooring” on the high-end. Remember that in general, the higher the cost of material, the higher the installation cost. Labor can sometimes equate to 50% of the overall cost of a project so thoroughly researching your list will help you set a realistic budget.

Shipping, delivery and installation of materials

Once you’ve decided your materials for your dining room renovation, keep track of shipping, delivery, and installation costs. Some vendors lump all of these costs into the total purchase price, other vendors do not. In order to not have any budget surprises, get all the information upfront before you order. And don’t forget to calculate taxes.

Permits cost money

Not all dining room renovations require permitting but if yours does, be prepared for the additional cost. For example, if your dining room renovation requires that an exterior wall be moved, your local governing agency may require a permit. It’s best to do the permit research during the planning stage, not during the work stage. If you are hiring a contractor, he or she will be able to advise you on the necessity of permit filing.

Be prepared for unexpected costs

Like with any home improvement project, there are almost always unexpected costs. You may need to pay for rush delivery, the electrician may need to upgrade your circuit box, your family may be inconvenienced enough to temporarily move out or eat out at restaurants. Experts recommend allocating 20% of the budget towards unexpected costs.

Monitor your timeline

Setting a realistic budget and sticking to it is an important part of managing your home improvement project. So is managing the timeline. There are many ways a project can come to a halt and it’s important to know the factors that may slow down the work. Read this article on how to keep your dining room renovation on schedule.

Top image credit: Colleen Knowles Interior Design