How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost?

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Kate

Subject: DIY-ish bathroom remodel

I acted as general contractor and did all my own demo to remodel my 6x8 bathroom. I hired subs individually to do most of the work - an electrician, a plumber, a drywall guy and a tile guy. I painted the walls and the ceiling. I replaced everything except the cast iron tub. Materials and fixtures cost around $2000 and labor was about $3000. My subs had no problem with me supplying the materials, because I discussed their job scope in advance. This project took 6 months but I did have another full bath to use in the mean time.

Valerie in Virginia

Subject: RipOff Contractors in Virginia Beach/Chesapeake

I have been trying to find an honest contractor to do 1) tar roof vent pipes on a good roof 2) remodel my small 6'x8' bathroom. I was so shocked at what these 'devil people' came up with. The roof guy said he wants $1100 to repair some caulking around vent pipes and fix 6 nails that popped. I told him to try somewhere else and bough my own 24 foot ladder!! The bathroom contractors were worse. I had 3 estimates - first guy wanted already $500 just to come up with a design and it was NOT REFUNDABLE if we did not go with him. I showed him the door. THe next guy asked us to come to his showroom and he was not prepared at all. He did not know how to use the computer to show us details of his/our ideas, but came with a breakdown of items in the bathroom we could buy. He then came ups with a price of $25000!! After doing research, I see such a small bathroom with simple tile and small vanity, new toilet and replace already standing shower with tile and glass door cost max. $18000 in southern California where people earn double in Virginia. This $18000 makeover was absolutely gorgeous and in a huge bathroom with tub, shower and dressing room!! The third contractor came up with the price of $17,000. This was still way over what it should cost because the bathroom is SO SMALL that two people can not fit in there. What is happening to this USA? Because of the crisis back in 2008/2009, these contractors have all become ripoff artists and make the world what it is today.....how about honesty and kindness. This behavior is a vicious circle and will come back to all one day. Beware.

Daniel

Subject: bathroom

I can't even get anyone to look and give an estimate to complete a bathroom remodel- just the bathtub/shower part has to be done as the last person who was doing it died- the rest is complete and have all the items and materials already and paid for. once they hear that they are no longer intrested- what do they expect? me to let them rip out what was already done and repay and redone everything all over again so they get more money? and throw out brand new imported Travertine and Spanish tile?

Frank

Subject: Homeowner's Contract

A friend seeking to remodel a small bathroom asked me for help hiring a contractor. But my help may be scaring contractors away. I'm interested in comments on whether I went too far.

I suggested that in addition to the contract proposal the contractor provides her, she draw up her own contract setting out her terms.

The bathroom to be remodeled is the only one the friend has in her house. She will have to depend on a portable toilet in her backyard and take showers at a friend's house (not mine) for the duration of the project.

I suggested that once the contractor gives her a time of completion, she allow one week's grace period, then impose a penalty of $100 per day until the job is finished.

The remodel is needed due to water leakage from the tub surround into the wall cavity. I recommended she get an estimate of extra costs that cannot be foreseen until demolition occurs but would be entailed if the contractor has to do any structural work like putting in new studs and or has to install new insulation. I urged her to get at least an upper ceiling estimate before work begins lest the contractor make her an offer she can't refuse once the room is gutted. I urged her to be flexible on any adjustment to the estimate that can be made only after demolition begins. But I told her to insist that the rest of the estimate be binding. No surprises.

I suggested that she select in advance the exact fixtures and floor and wall tiles she wants and to go ahead and buy them, overbuying by 25%, to avoid any markup the contractor might add if he buys them for her.

I also recommended certain materials to be used such as Schluter/Kerdi waterproof membrane under all tile. I also recommended she retain the right to have work redone in case of faulty workmanship (like misaligned tile) at no additional cost to her.

Also, I said she should require that the contractor provide on site a dumpster for all debris and that he cart it all away once the job is done.

As you might imagine, I once had to sue a contractor. He demanded payments up front during different stages of work replacing a roof and front porch on my house. When he wanted to cheap out and use inferior materials, i insisted he do the job to specifications I had provided to him in writing beforehand. He walked away from the job, half completed, and I had to hire someone else to finish it. I recovered most, but not all, of the money he had stolen.

So, yes, I'm once bitten, twice shy. But am I being unreasonable here? My friend has found out, after presenting these demands to bidders, they never return her calls. Have I put my friend on some contractors' blacklist? I welcome your feedback.

Nick

Subject: Homeowner's Contract

I agree with everything you said. I think the trick is to convey those concerns when discussing what work will be needed. Everyone will have concerns but if you come across as too needy or pushy they may think you will be a pain in the butt homeowner. I have seen this before where you have to come back 3 or 4 times for something not dealing with the work, but you are trying to be polite and helpful for business. Word of mouth is the best way to get more buisness, in my opinion.
My suggestion is when talking to contractor be subtle and ask your questions. Ask if he/she will have a dumpster or trailer to haul away debris. If the don't get dumpster or have a trailer then you probably don't want them to work on your home. Tell them your concern with the only toilet in the house. Unless it is not safe I have always reinstalled the toilet so it could be used at night. A good contractor will work with you in anyway possible because you are the key to more business.
The things that may scare someone away is agreeing on cost and deadline before they could know what they are getting into. The last thing they want is for this job to cost them money. I think a good way to talk about deadline and reimbursement it to tell them your concerns. Be honest, tell them it is costing you time and money having to shower somewhere else. Ask them if it would be possible to be reimbursed if it goes over deadline. If they agree put it in contract. What I think the trick is, is to bring up the topic and let it be their idea or have them agree to an idea rather than coming to them with something seeming like demands. Offer a drink or something, seem friendly and easy to work with. Kindness goes a long way. Their reputation is on the line not yours.

I hope this helped or even put it in a different perspective to help. Good luck to your friend.

Kyle

Subject: Thoughts on complete tear out.

New to this site. My first thought is to the "DIY throw a bathroom together in a weekend" comment makers. Your comments about how much it cost you 2,000 to do a bathroom in your home correctly or incorrectly without a picture of the finished product is invalid in this forum. I had a customer spend 2k on a complete vanity, dumb comment. Second, I've agreed to the home owner supplying all the materials (one time mistake) and it was a total disaster after getting into the project. We know what we need when we go for supplies....plain and simple. A homeowner that purchases materials for a remodel they CAN'T handle for a contractor that CAN complete the task is like a mechanic ordering a transmission for a rear brake job....irresponsible. A good contractor listens to his customers, is given a budget, and decides if it is profitable for his company. If we give you a $7,000 price for a bathroom and you think it should be done for $5,000, I encourage the customer to get 2 more bids. I have faith in the quality of work I do, and if the customer doesn't see that from the very beginning, the transaction will be a nightmare. "JOE" your comment stuck out because its the unseen labor hours of modifying the old to fit the new that customers don't and will not ever understand. If you want something done right in your beautiful home, have the money set aside and then hire a contractor you trust to make your happy.

Steve Navetta

Subject: Costs

It's so competitive out there. I am a Long Island contractor and I be realized lately that clients give you an impression when you give them there costs that you are doing something wrong. I've been in this Busines about 20 years and that avg cost is right there. Also homeowners should also realize if us contractors are using subs for our plumbing and electrical our costs are hire than the guy doing all the work himself. I only used licensed contractors for all my remodeling work.

J Sloan

Subject: Realastic cost of remodeling

As I contractor if I am installing a customers product or supplying my own, I am charging full overhead and profit above the install cost. I try not to allow customers to supply materials and when they do I tack on my overhead and profit in to the labor. Remodeling is one of the most time consuming services and if your not covering your overhead and profit in the materials and labor you will not last long in this business. At the end of the day after all said and done, making a 15% profit is respectable. Think about it, your the designer, the gofer, the physiatrist, the builder, shopper and the banker until you get paid. Never be intimidated to support your price, deliver a quality product and support it with proper pricing. Never let the customer supply there own materials. Movie theaters don't let you bring in your own pop corn, so why should contractors be any different.

mike

Subject: Customers should be able to

Customers should be able to choose whatever they want for materials...they are the ones shelling out hard earned cash. sounds like your charging retail price for items your purchasing at contractor rates...nice racket!

Joe

Subject: Complete bathroom renovation

I just renovated a 6X12 bathroom. Old cast iron tub removed. Removed and saved existing vanity and vanity top. Removed the toilet and replaced the existing rotten flooring and added on to the existing partially rotten floor joist. Removed the drywall and tile from around the old tub. After the new flooring was in I had to modify the existing plumbing to accommodate the new tub and shower surround. The hot and cold water lines had to be raised to fit the surround because the new tub is taller and the drains had to be installed and moved to fit the new tub. Drywall was finished and painted. New faucets,New tub,Tub Surround, and flooring materials were purchased by the home owner. Labor cost was 4,584.00

Portland Remodeling Company

Subject: The customer determines the price.

One client may want vinyl flooring and another may want heated floors with custom tile. Do you want a custom shower the most costly or a tub with tile on the walls? Solid surface counters, high-end fixtures or big box quality. Small 5x7 bathrooms can cost almost as much as a larger bathroom. The time to properly build a watertight custom shower is the same regardless of how big a room is or how much your home is worth. Have it done right rather than choose the lowest cost contractor. A years from now when your shower is still working perfectly you will be glad you spent a little more and gave your contractor the time to do excellent work. VInce

Alt Property Maintenance Ltd

Subject: Bathroom cost ,remodel

Hi
all the prices for the bathroom refurb , depends from area and
finish quality, the cost of a standard bathroom can go from 3000 labour only to 50.000 ,if you are a Simon Cowell :)
please search and look for different companies and quotes ,some of them they just want to take your money for nothing.

always search web and find info about the company, meet ,talk, show the work, and choose the company which suits your needs.

Good luck

Steven Garbarino

Subject: Small bathroom remodel 8 x 8

As the home owner, I am providing about $8,000 in materials. This includes the cabinetry, fixtures, faucets, countertops, lighting, toilet, glass in-line shower door and tile. Received two quotes. One contractor wants $25,000 to demo the bathroom, convert the existing tub to a tiled walk-in shower, tile the floor, and install my materials. The other wants $27,000. Using the previously mentioned 60/40 labor to material rate, I would be paying more than double for labor...that's insane. Some contractor's need a reality check.

Mike Sealander

Subject: Labor/material cost

The typical split for labor/material is 60/40; a little more than half the cost is labor. The labor cost includes general contractor overhead and profit.
$17,000 sounds like a reasonable average for a master bathroom remodel. A smaller powder room or guest bath could of course be much less.

Sandra Ross

Subject: Cost of Complete Bathroom Remodel

I got three estimates for a complete bathroom remodel: from the gutting to the finished details. Two were around $60,000 and the third was $72,000. This would include wheelchair accessible shower, toilet and sink. Extra grab bars included and tiled floor. I could get a cosmetic makeover for around the price that is quoted as average.

Louisa

Subject: Master bath remodel realistic cost

We did all our own demo, acted as our own general contractor and hired our tradesmen that we knew who worked "on the side" for cash.
It still cost $23K and would have easily been $35 to $40k had we gone with a contractor or remodeling company where they did all the work. It also took 3 months.

John R Foat ckd, cbd

Subject: The average cost is like looking for a average potatoe

Each room is different and each homeowners dreams and wants are different. I have seen milkhouse paneling on shower walls done by homeowners to ceramic tile on shower walls your pick, your budget.
Unfortunutly none are your house so you the home owner are still confused after reading articles like this...

Ed Stewart

Subject: Bathroom Remodel

20% labor price ---out of the question----I'm a Building Contractor, If you are totally remodeling a bathroom, where is the cost for demo of existing???? Demo can easily run an extra 10%- factors: 1) Age of existing---many factors here to adjust price, 2) Accessibility ---Getting materials out of and to the bathroom, and protecting present surroundings of owner. 3) Cost to dispose of debris 4) Where is the Contractor's O & P ???
The avg price stated may be true but the breakdown surely is not correct.

Dave

Subject: I agree 110%!! Not only is

I agree 110%!! Not only is the labor off, there's no overhead & profit, or demo cost, theres no cost associated with the shower tiling or glass!! I'm new to Angieslist but if this is the caliber of advice.....(:<((

rose

Subject: prices in article

Those prices are way too high. I redone my bathroom and didn't spend anywhere near that.

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?

This part of Don's answer follows my thoughts exactly: 

"You want to deal with a professional person that is selling you a bath that was not working as a cashier a few months ago."

 

Do you go to the gracery store and ask for someone to cook your steak?  Of course not.  So why would you go to a building supply store and ask for someone to remodel your bathroom?  Rarely will you see a legitimate contractor take jobs from a retailer.  Why?  Because they don't pay much.  Speed is the most important thing to them, along with getting it done cheap so they can maximize profit.  About 10 years ago I worked on a few contracted structures (sheds, garages, etc.) from Home Depot.  They contracted to another company who then contracted people to build them.  At that time they paid a flat $250 for a contractor to pick up the supplies, build the structure on site, paint it, and use their own tools.  By the time the cost of a helper, fuel, tools, etc. was factored in there was nothing left for the contractor.  Anyway, the point I'm making is that the guy who will eventually show up to do the work will be so far down the line that everyone else has already taken the profits (Home Depot, ReBath, possibly someone else, and finally the guy working) that he probably isn't going to care what kind of job he does for you, quality or not.  He likely won't have much experience due to a high turnover rate and any experience he does have will probably be limited to his teachings at that job.  He probably can't answer any building code questions or identify other hazards once things are taken apart and he certainly won't do anything he doesn't have to while it is apart. 

 

Another problem I've heard of repeatedly is that if (when) there is a problem there is always someone else you need to speak to.  You might have to talk to 4 or 5 different people before you can even get to someone that can address the problem.  Now multiply that due to having (at least) two separate companies involoved.  "You need to call ReBath."  "No, you need to call Home Depot."

 

You hire a general contractor for a reason.  We learn, understand, and keep up on building codes.  We are the one point of contact for all questions and issues on a project.  There is no manager in some other store, state, etc. to call.  You contract a GC and deal directly with that GC, or a site supervisor in some cases.  There isn't a huge chain of command to get through to reach the main decision maker for the business.  In a bathroom remodel you need someone who can do the plumbing, repair and/or move any electrical, install tile/flooring, drywall and paint, trim carpentry, and someone to coordinate all of that.  Sometimes you can find a qualified contractor to do all of those things and sometimes he will sub-contract out certain components (especially due to licensing laws) but you will always have that one definitive person to go to for any questions or issues.  A salesman in a store doesn't visit your home throughout the project to check on the status.  Even if he did, he likely wouldn't now what he is looking at.  The same goes for a retail manager.

 

Hire someone who specializes in taking care of your home.  Hire based on reputation & knowledge/experience.  You are right that not every customer can be happy so an occassional bad review can be found on just about any business.  Read the reviews, not the grades (they are always biased).  Look to see if the contractor attempted to rectify the problem, not ignore it.  Lastly, unless you want cheap, sloppy work and a whole heap of other troubles, don't hire based on a low price.

?

You gave a good description, but without seeing some photos and maybe even the space itself it would still just be a guess.  

 

A few years ago we replaced a significant load bearing beam to raise it up a foot in the new kitchen.  It was nearly 17' long with a new LVL beam.  For us this was pretty reasonable.  The LVL was about $250.  And maybe 12-15 2x6s, to temporarily support the ceiling joists, were probably like another $75.  The labor was $800.  There was also some finish work done afterward, but that was worked into a much bigger job for the entire floor. 

 

Technically speaking, it is likely that you need to have something spec'd out by an engineer or architect, to calculate load, etc.  I don't know your area but in most places "a mere contractor, GC, or carpenter" is probably not allowed to just rip out a load-bearing wall without someone who is qualified to do the load calculations (which will be VERY conservative.  A brand new LVL will be VASTLY stronger than it really needs to be, but it won't be expensive.  The typical contractor will be like "hey we'll sister up two 2x12s", and not really know if that'll do the trick or not.  I'm not saying that all guys are like that, but ... it is what it is. 

 

What you are talking about is probably at least a bit more involved and I'd love to give a good estimate but it's hard to say without a better understanding of the space. 

 

You may be looking at $1500 - $3500?  It depends on too many specifics that we just can't know without a bunch of photos, and maybe even opening up a wall or ceiling to see exactly how temporary supports could be installed, and where the permanent beam/header could be placed and properly supported.  Your span isn't all that big so if at all possible I would do it without columns - it'll be much nicer. 

 

If I were you I would first have a quick consultation with a "professional engineer".  They are qualified to calculate load etc - and cost a lot less than a full architect.  In my experience, an engineer just wants to provide a quick, proper solution without a lot of extra BS.  My experience with architects has been less than favorable.  Too much drama and expense and he actually spec'd things wrong and my carpenter had to pick up on it. 

 

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.  Good luck!!!

?
Hair spray is one of those things that is really bothersome.  We've run into this alot unfortunately.  And NOTHING we've found will actually clean it off.  The problem is that if you just paint over it, you still see shiny spots wherever the hairspray was.

Our companie's policy is to prime the area with any bonding primer.  This will seal the hairspray in and not let it affect the next coat of paint.  It would also be a good idea to lightly sand the area first.

Our recommendation for primer would be Zinsser's BIN Spray (red can) and can be bought at most paint stores or home improvement stores.  Other than that, any thing that specifically says "bonding" for a primer should be adequate enough. 
?
What I always ask my customers regarding this question when remodeling bathrooms is how good they will be about maintaining and cleaning the new bathroom, especially when the old bathroom is obviously neglected.  If you are one of those people who wipes the glass down after a shower and cleans your bathroom every week or two you really don't need to spend the extra money.  If you are at the other end of the spectrum and clean it when it finally bothers you enough it may not be a bad investment.  I've had customer tell me they can tell a difference compared to their old glass without it and others say it made no difference at all.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
www.thomeservices.com