Several projects in the Cost vs. Value report cover the same part of the house but at different levels of fit and finish. We call the baseline or standard version a midrange project and the higher-priced version an upscale project.

For example, take the major kitchen remodel. The midrange version has a plastic laminate island countertop and the upscale version has a stone top. The midrange version specifies just general task lighting, while the upscale version adds under-cabinet lighting. As these and other differences add up, they can make for a price difference of 40% or 50% … or even more in some cases.

When you’re comparing a client's project or your project to what's in Cost vs. Value , make sure to double-check whether the midrange or upscale version is the best match for what you have in mind.