Apartment Floor Plan Change Process, Costs, and Pros & Cons

If you love your apartment’s location and neighborhood but aren’t thrilled with its floor plan design or layout, then changing your apartment’s floor plan can be an option to consider.

Open Space Apartment 3D Render

Here is Why a Floor Plan Change Can Be a Viable Option:

  • While floor plan changes can be pricey, the cost is often less than the cost of paying a realtor and moving fees and the price of an apartment that’s already been updated and upgraded.
  • Changing your floor plan rather than hoping to find one you prefer means you have design freedom to craft the space to be a custom fit for your tastes and lifestyle.

While it’s most important that you create a floor plan that meets your ideal, it might get your creative juices flowing to know what trending apartment floor plan changes also make long-term sense.

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  • Bedroom suites with their own bath and sitting area become retreats from everything outside their doors.
  • Making two cozy, kid-friendly bedrooms out of one large bedroom is a hit with families with small children, and the partition wall can be permanent or moveable.
  • Taking space from a living room or hall to create a bathroom is sometimes a must for growing families that want to stay put.
  • Removing a wall or two to integrate an isolated dining room or living room into an open floor plan allows a more casual and interactive experience for families, friends and guests.
  • Carving a small office out of adjoining space is growing in popularity as working from home becomes more common.

To apply an ancient proverb, without counsel, floor plan changes fail, but with many advisers, they succeed. Use a variety of “advisers” from neighbors to pros.

Ask apartment owners in your building if you can have a look at what they’ve done. If they’re happy with the changes, they will enjoy showing them off. You’ll also hear some “we wish we’d done that differently” stories that will help you avoid mistakes.

3D Floor Plan of Apartment / Home

Browse sites featuring apartment floor plan changes, and bookmark or copy pictures from those that inspire you.

Ask the opinion of friends who have style sense you admire. Consult an interior designer that specializes in apartments – the advice will be worth the fee. Then, sketch out your ideal floor plan and visualize it in 3D.

Once you are happy with the proposed design drawings, shop around and interview several contractors with a proven track record of successful apartment floor plan change. You can use their input to refine your initial plans to a tailored fit.

When these steps are followed, you’ll know that fabulous feeling that comes with a successful “before and after” story you’ll love coming home to!

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Common Apartment and Condo Floorplan Changes, Cost and ROI

Walls are used to form spaces, so removing and adding them are key elements in changing any floor plan. We start there before moving to the most common floor plan changes, considerations, their costs and return on investment/cost to value.

Removing a Wall to Open the Floorplan

This is a basic change for projects such as creating an open floor plan or making a master suite or large family room.

Considerations: Removing a wall seems like a small thing, but there are several considerations

  • You should have a licensed architect examine your dwelling’s structure to determine if the wall is load bearing and, if so, how removing it can be compensated for with a beam, beam and pillars or building a replacement wall in a different location
  • Changing a load-bearing wall will require a building permit and electrical/plumbing permits if applicable
  • If your condo or apartment is part of a HOA (homeowners’ association), you might need its approval of the plan
  • Wiring and plumbing should be removed by a certified contractor, if you don’t have experience with such work
  • Removing a wall leaves gaps in flooring, so you might be faced with replacing flooring throughout the affected rooms

Costs of removing a wall:

  • $40-$75 per linear foot | Non-load bearing wall demolition with all permits, fees, cleanup and disposal included
  • $240-$425 per linear foot | Load-bearing wall demolition and installation of a load-bearing beam or beam and posts with all permits, fees, cleanup and disposal included

ROI in terms of costs recouped when removing a wall: 65%-75% when considering the total cost of removing the wall and making other necessary changes such as replacing the flooring.

Installing a Wall to Create Basic Rooms

While the trend is toward opening the floor space, there are times when making two smaller bedrooms out of one to accommodate a growing family, separating out an office or den from a larger room or creating a storage room is desirable.

Considerations: Installing a wall involves framing the wall, adding electrical and plumbing if required for the project, and finishing it with drywall. Adding backer board and tile, for example in a bathroom, will cost more.

  • You won’t need an architecture’s drawing, a site plan or HOA approval, but check with your local planning office and your HOA bylaws
  • Most building codes require electrical outlets every 6-8 feet, so you’ll probably need building and electrical permits for the work, and a plumbing permit, if applicable

Cost of building a wall:

  • $48-$85 per linear foot | Building a wall with just electrical
  • $65-$135 per linear foot | Building a wall with electrical, plumbing and/or gas

ROI in terms of costs recouped when adding a wall: 50%-60% when only used to create smaller rooms of the same type such as bedrooms or a home office, rather than a bathroom (see below)

Creating a Master Suite

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Enlarging the master bedroom and adding a master bath creates space away from the rest of the home that can become a haven of relaxation. This project involves knocking out a wall to expand into an adjoining space, usually a bedroom, and adding a master bathroom. Money can be saved by reconfiguring walls to make a hallway bath the master bath, but this is only realistic if the remaining bedroom(s) have another full bath nearby.


  • If removing walls, you’ll need an architect’s assessment, approval and drawing
  • If a load-bearing wall is removed, you’ll need to replace it with a beam or a new load-bearing wall in a suitable location
  • If your apartment or condo is in an owner’s association, check its bylaws on the permissibility of changing the floorplan as planned
  • A building permit will be required and, if applicable, electrical, plumbing and mechanical/HVAC permits
  • Keep in mind that reducing the number of bedrooms below the neighborhood average might make your apartment or condo harder to sell
  • Where your master suite remodel falls in the following cost ranges will be determined by the quality of the flooring, bath fixtures, windows, closet organization, lighting, etc., that you select.

Cost of a master suite:

  • $16,000-$24,000 | Midrange master suite remodel using an existing bathroom
  • $28,000-$50,000 | Midrange master suite remodel with new bathroom
  • $48,000-$70,000+ | Upscale master suite remodel with new bathroom

ROI in terms of costs recouped when creating a master suite:

  • 57%-66% | Midrange, no new bath
  • 57%-62% | Midrange, with new bath
  • 55%-59% | Upscale with new bath

Kitchen Extension

Perhaps you’ve got a dining nook, back hallway or small storage room that you’d rather use for a large kitchen complete with a food prep island, more cabinets, a walk-in pantry or an extended countertop with a breakfast bar. Enlarging the kitchen of your condo or apartment can make that work.


  • Review the considerations above for removing a wall, if that’s part of the plan, and for getting permits and permissions where needed
  • Whether you have access to the space below you might determine whether you can run electric, plumbing and gas to a kitchen island
  • The cost of your kitchen expansion will be determined by the extent to which you remodel it too, the quality of the materials and appliances used and whether plumbing, electrical and gas line are installed

Cost of expanding the kitchen:

  • $3,500-$8,000 | Expanding the kitchen with minor remodeling such as new flooring
  • $22,000-$40,000 | Expanding the kitchen with midrange remodeling of flooring, cabinets, countertops and more
  • $60,000-$100,000+ | Enlarging and upgrading the kitchen with upscale remodeling of all features

ROI in terms of costs recouped when upgrading the kitchen:

  • 77%-83% | Minor remodeling
  • 63%-68% | Major midrange remodeling
  • 60%-64% |Major upscale remodeling

Adding or Expanding a Bathroom

Older homes were often short on bathrooms, or the bathrooms were small. Growing families can always use a bathroom, and enlarging a bathroom to add a jetted tub or steam shower is a luxury anyone would enjoy.


  • Review the considerations above for removing a wall, if that’s part of the plan, and for getting permits and permissions where needed
  • Whether you control the space below the bathroom might determine whether you can change the location of plumbing
  • Consider how taking space from another part of your home, such as a bedroom, will affect functionality and resale value
  • The quality of the materials and fixtures used will ultimately determine the cost of a bathroom enlargement or addition

Cost of adding a bathroom or expanding the existing bathroom:

  • $3,500-$6,000 | Expanding a bathroom with minor remodeling
  • $14,000-$26,000 | Expanding a bathroom with major midrange remodeling
  • $44,000-$67,000 | Expanding a bathroom with major upscale remodeling
  • $21,000-$33,000 | Adding a midrange bathroom
  • $48,000-$72,000+ | Adding a luxury bathroom

ROI in terms of costs recouped when adding a new bathroom or expanding the existing bathroom:

  • 62%-67% | Expanding a bathroom with minor remodeling
  • 63%-67% | Expanding a bathroom with major midrange remodeling
  • 57%-60% | Expanding a bathroom with major upscale remodeling
  • 64%-70% | Adding a midrange bathroom
  • 55%-58% | Adding a luxury bathroom

How are you planning to change or update your apartment’s floor plan?

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