Staging a Home

Ideas, costs, tips and plans - the information you need for a successful Home Staging project

March 2015

Homeowners have many important questions about their Home Staging Project. How much will it cost? How long will it take? What problem areas do I need to watch out for? Can I recover my Home Staging investment when I sell? Can I do some of the work myself? What can I do to make sure that the work is done right?

Costs, materials and best practices for the example Home Staging project will help you answer these questions. Use this information to develop a budget, bid requirements, hiring contracts and a project plan.

Home Staging - Project Overview

The approximate costs and value of a typical Home Staging project are summarized below. Use higher estimates for larger metropolitan areas and the lower estimates where home prices are below the national average. Adjust costs for substitutions or refinements in the last section. For size differences of up to 25%, scale total costs in direct proportion to the size of your project. Use the adjusted costs as a basis for setting a material budget and for comparing contractor bids (if you choose to have a professional perform the work).

Project descriptionDecorate home for resale. Update entry components. Replace common area flooring, switchplates and decorative hardware. Install new window treatments.
Project size1700 square foot home
Material and labor cost$3,843 - $4,484
Material cost$2,205 - $2,573
Do-it-yourself assessmentThe typical Home Staging project can be completed by a moderately skilled do-it-yourselfer; as with any project, high quality Home Staging requires attention to detail and careful planning.
First year Return on Investment - ROIResults vary widely and can be affected by the range of home prices in your neighborhood, the overall condition of your home and sensible design choices. A high quality Home Staging project in an appropriate neighborhood can return 93% or more of its initial cost.
First year Return on Investment - ROIReturns will be impacted by the range of home prices in your neighborhood, the overall condition of your home and sensible design choices. A high quality Home Staging project can return as much as 67% - 78% of its initial cost
Green ratingHome Staging projects can incorporate renewable or sustainable resources and environmentally friendly materials.

Home Staging - Project Plan and Details

The following list includes major work tasks commonly performed during Home Staging. Use this list to understand the timing and sequence of different steps in the Home Staging project. Click any Task name for a complete written specifications, FAQs and quality checklist for the task - this essential information will help you control Home Staging project cost and quality.

Do you expect to spend more than $250 on your Home Staging project? If so, it is important create and manage a detailed plan for all project activities.

TaskService ProviderTimeDifficultyBasic Cost Range
Create Interior Decorating PlanInterior Designer5 to 15 d$355 - $594
Specify MaterialsInterior Designer2 to 15 d$178 - $297
Repair Ceiling CracksDrywall Contractor1 to 2 d$100 - $170
Repair Plaster CracksDrywall Contractor1 to 2 d$65 - $111
Install Exterior ShuttersFinish Carpenter1 dLevel 1 - Basic$61 - $107
Install Cabinet HandlesFinish Carpenter1 d$11.77 - $19.69
Paint Window TrimPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$1.96 - $3.33 per linear foot
Paint KitchenPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$3.83 - $6.53 per square foot
Paint Entry DoorPainting Contractor1 to 3 dLevel 2 - Challenging$85 - $143 per door
Paint Wood PanelingPainting Contractor2 to 4 dLevel 3 - Complex, Difficult$1.61 - $2.77 per square foot
Repair Hardwood FloorWood Flooring Refinisher1 d$167 - $284 per repair
Regrout ShowerTile Contractor1 to 2 dLevel 2 - Challenging$10.80 - $18.06 per square foot
Install Kitchen BacksplashTile Contractor2 dLevel 3 - Complex, Difficult$22.33 - $39.09 per square foot
Install Wall SconceElectrician1 to 2 dLevel 2 - Challenging$248 - $449 per fixture
Replace ReceptacleElectrician1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$36 - $61
Replace Switch PlatesElectrician1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$11.00 - $18.56
Install Bathroom FaucetPlumber1 dLevel 2 - Challenging$142 - $249
Install Toilet SeatPlumber1 dLevel 1 - Basic$42 - $74
Reglaze BathtubPainting Contractor1 to 3 d$715 - $1,206 per fixture

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Home Staging - Proven Ideas and Project Tips

Review these tips, design suggestions, options and lessons learned before finalizing your Home Staging project plan.

  • To maximize return on the Home Staging project, limit cost to no more than 1.25% of home's total, post project value
  • For best home resale value, follow a consistent design and decorating theme throughout the home
  • For best resale value, select components, appliances, finishes and fixtures of comparable quality
  • For best resale value, select a taste neutral design for your Home Staging

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