Welcome to our guide to the costs associated with renovating a family room.
There’s some distinction between what rooms are considered living rooms and which are family rooms, but the terms are actually quite fluid. It’s really in homes large enough to have more than one large gathering room that the distinctions begin to matter.
Otherwise, the terms are typically used interchangeably to refer to a large, all-purpose room used for visiting, watching TV, playing games, and any other activity.
When distinguishing between a living room and a family room, location is the most important factor. While living rooms are typically at the front of the home, near the foyer or entryway, family rooms tend to be tucked away from the front of the home, and may be adjacent or connected to the kitchen.
In an open-concept home, the two areas are typically connected, if not separated by a small dining area.
While you’re more likely to see antiques and artwork in a living room, family rooms tend to have very comfortable, functional furniture and more often have family photos displayed.
Think of the family room as a place for the kids to hang out and play. It’s not a show room, and messes will accumulate over time. That’s why family rooms are typically chock-full of storage solutions including bookcases and storage ottomans.
When designing your family room, remember that the space should be cozy enough to spend a lazy weekend, chic enough to entertain your grown-up friends in, and have the flexibility to move the seating.
Popular fabrics for the oh-so-comfy sectional sofas and armchairs popular in family rooms include leather, chenille, and microfiber, which are easy to keep clean and wonderfully cozy.
However, the perfect family room may take some renovations and cost a pretty penny, so we’re going to break down the costs associated with renovating the perfect family destination room in your home!
Overall Cost of a Family Room Remodel
If your family room really only needs a few cosmetic upgrades, like new technology, new carpet, a paint job, or even one or two new pieces of furniture, you can get away with a cost of between $345-$3,657. (Source: Red Beacon)
However, if you plan on building an addition onto your home that will become your new family room, the costs associated with the room skyrocket. If you’re totally renovating the space, moving structural walls, or building an addition, expect to pay $8,000 at the very lowest and as high as $100,000. On average, homeowners pay between $21,000 and $63,000. (Source: Home Advisor)
When it comes to pricing a family room renovation or addition, what you’ll end up paying will vary so widely depending on your choices that family room costs should really be broken down by tiers of luxury.
An inexpensive family room renovation will cost anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000. This should allow you to repaint, replace flooring, and invest in a new set of furniture. This level of renovation is typically adequate for most families, particularly those who don’t want high-end sound systems or other entertainment electronics. A mid-range family room will cost between $11,000 and $23,000, which will allow for a full renovation with high-grade materials and a few fun extras like a fully-stocked entertainment center.
A luxury family room will likely run anywhere from $24,000 and up, and these family rooms are full of anything and everything you could ever want.
So let’s break that pricing down a little farther.
Cost of a Family Room per Square Foot
Family room costs are hard to break down, but using the metrics we outlined above, we can start to give you a good basis for creating your budget.
Small Family Rooms (150 square feet)
- A small, inexpensive family room will cost between $7 and $67 per square foot.
- A small, mid-range family room will cost between $74 and $154 per square foot.
- A small, luxury family room will cost between $160 and $667 per square foot.
Medium Family Rooms (200 square feet)
- A medium, inexpensive family room will cost between $5 and $50 per square foot.
- A medium, mid-range family room will cost between $55 and $115 per square foot.
- A medium, luxury family room will cost between $120 and $500 per square foot.
Large Family Rooms (300 square feet)
- A large, inexpensive family room will cost between $4 and $34 per square foot.
- A large, mid-range family room will cost between $37 and $77 per square foot.
- A large, luxury family room will cost between $80 and $334 per square foot.
Extra Large Family Rooms (500+ square feet)
- An extra large, inexpensive family room will cost between $2 and $20 per square foot.
- An extra large, mid-range family room will cost between $22 and $46 per square foot.
- An extra large, luxury family room will cost between $48 and $200 per square foot.
Family Room Cost Calculators
There are tons of different factors that go into creating a family room, from simple renovations to adding architectural details like exposed beams. We’ve assembled a list of a few cost calculators that may help you estimate the costs for some common projects.
The family room is all about the right furniture. Ditch stuffy, formal furniture in favor of casual sofas, sectionals, and armchairs. Have a place for video games, watching tv, and reading books. Whatever you like to do in the family room, make sure it’s a space that the whole family will enjoy.
Sectionals can be more expensive than other types of sofas, mostly due to the size, but they work well for casual rooms like family rooms. They offer more seating than standard sofas, and may include a chaise. However, a sectional isn’t as customizable as a standard sofa. Look to pay $500 at the low end of the spectrum and up to a few thousand dollars for a more pricey option.
Entertainment centers are a must-have for many family rooms, because they add storage and provide a focal point for a television and for other electronics. Built-in options can cost over $5,000, but more traditional entertainment centers can range from a few hundred to a thousand.
Ottomans are versatile and useful pieces of furniture. If an ottoman is right for your room, it can provide extra comfort and storage. On the lower end you can expect to spend around $50 for an ottoman. The higher end of ottomans cost nearer to $250.
Recliners are a popular chair for family rooms, because of the relaxed atmosphere. While recliners are a little tacky for a formal living room, they are right at home in a family room. Pick a favorite recliner and you won’t regret it during movie time! Expect to spend $200-$800 on a recliner, depending on the style you pick and the brand.
End tables are the unsung heroes of a family room. They hold lamps, drinks, snacks, and anything else you might need for family time. Expect to pay between $50-$200 per table, depending on your preferred style and size.
Bookshelves and other shelves are perfect. If you don’t have an entertainment center, you can build your own, or purchase pre-assembled shelves. If you DIY the shelves, expect to spend $20-$25 per square foot. If you buy, look to pay between $100-$300+, depending on the extent of shelving you need and want.
You may want a desk in your family room if you have older kids. Even if not everyone is at play, it’s nice to spend time together. Having a desk, even a small one, is a great way to keep everyone in the same room, but still get some work done. You can pay as little as $100, or as much as several hundred depending on the size of the desk.
While there aren’t a lot of expensive appliances like there are in the kitchen area, you might say that the electronics are a type of appliance. Televisions or projection systems vary in cost depending on size and quality. On the low end, a television might cost you $300. Larger, high-end televisions or projection systems may cost upwards of several thousand dollars.
If you or your children play video games, a console or two may be a great way to add functionality and fun to your family room. Used or older gaming systems may cost as low as $100, but the newest and most advanced console may cost upwards of $500.
Sound systems are a cost factor as well. Stereos may be as inexpensive as $50, and as expensive as $500 for a top-of-the-line system.
Cost of Family Room Lighting
While remodeling, you may want to add new lighting fixtures to your family room. Installing new lights may cost between $130 and $350. You’ll probably want to add a few pot lights throughout, but if you’re looking for a more expensive fixture for a themed room, you may be spending more. (Source: Homewyse)
While it may be difficult to put in new windows if your family room is located in the basement, windows provide natural light and are typically the best way to add light to your home. Windows can range from $330 to $1463. (Source: Red Beacon)
Cost of Family Room Flooring
There are quite a few flooring options for family rooms, although the most common are definitely carpet and wood. Because the family room is a casual space for family, more expensive design choices, like stone or marble, aren’t usually chosen for family rooms.
Wood flooring is a good choice, and it can be painted or finished to suit any design. Softwoods cost around $3 to $6 per square foot. More durable woods, such as oak, cost more. Hardwood floors cost between $5 and $10 per square foot. If you seek professional installation, you can expect to spend an additional $3 to $10 per square foot. (Source: Cost Helper)
Carpet is less expensive, and helps dampen sound, which is great in a large room, or in a family room where you will be watching movies or playing video games. Inexpensive carpet costs around $2 per square foot, although most can expect to pay anywhere between $19 to $38 per square yard for carpet. (Source: Cost Helper)
Wood floors are classic and easy to clean, and don’t tend to get as cold as stone or tile flooring.
Carpet is inexpensive, soft, and great for families with small children.
A rug can keep a hardwood or tile floor nice and cozy. Source: Zillow Digs™
Tile flooring is easy to clean and is great for rooms that are connected to the backyard.
Cost of Family Room Custom Ceilings
You won’t see many custom ceilings in family rooms, but when you do, they’re sure to be grand. Most common is probably exposed wooden beams, which fit well with rustic styles homes.
When pricing an exposed beam ceiling, the number of beams is important. Up to 5 beams will cost you around $482. Between 5 and 10 beams will cost around $916. Ten to 15 beams will cost up to $1362. The price for an exposed beam ceiling is also dependent on the size of the beams. Beams up to 10 feet in length will cost around $320 to install. Beams between 10 and 15 feet will cost around $410 to install. Beams between 15 and 20 feet will cost around $570 to install, while beams above 25 feet long can cost upward of $1400 to install. (Source: Red Beacon)
Tray ceilings are another great option, because they can easily hide lighting fixtures or a projection system. It tends to be difficult to estimate the cost of a tray ceiling, as the depth and size can vary widely.
You may also see vaulted, coffered, or domed ceilings, although these are rare.
Dark, rich wooden beams add architectural interest to any contemporary family room.
Here, the lighter pine beams support the vaulted roof of this attic family room.
Tall ceilings give this family room a sense of space that’s perfect in an attic family room and playroom. Source: Zillow Digs™
A two-tier tray ceiling gives this spacious family room a bit more height, and serves as a convenient place to create more lighting. Source: Zillow Digs™
A coffered ceiling adds elegance to a family room, allowing it to double as a more formal living room.
Decorative tiles may be used as a sound-proofing measure in large family rooms or home theaters.
Skylights are a great feature, and let plenty of light into rooms that might otherwise be dark due to a lack of sun exposure.
Cost of Family Room Wall Treatments
While most family rooms have very typical wall treatments, some themed family rooms can have unique features on the walls. The standard is, of course, drywall, which costs around $1-$2 per square foot for installation, and can be dressed up with several features.
Wallpaper is a great way to add interest to a plain wall, and costs around $2-$8 per square foot. Paint is another popular option, and it will cost between $3-$6 per square foot.
Wood paneling has fallen from contemporary fashion, but is still an option for your family room and costs around $3-$6 per square foot.
Other, more expensive and rare wall treatments include stone accent walls, brick, or even concrete. Tile has seen a resurgence recently, and is an interesting addition to a family room.
The curved tray ceiling of this family room hides lighting that works well as ambient lighting during a movie night.
Simple, neutral paint is a casual, low-key wall treatment for a room that sees a lot of action.
Using brighter colors, like blue, as accent colors is a great way to add a bit of fun to a family room. Source: Zillow Digs™
A brick wall is an industrial feature that looks great in family rooms, regardless of if you have young children or older children. Source: Zillow Digs™
The wallpaper in this family room gives it a more ornate look, almost contemporary-Victorian in style.
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