Yikes! High ma bath quote

rockybirdApril 5, 2014

The design build firm came back with 85k for this design. (I dont think it is the design I want to go with). It doesnt appear to include any millwork for the closet or tiling the floor. It does include the linen closets between the toilet and vanity. The space is 16x20 ft. total. The current shower, vanity and toilet are where the closet is in the diagram. The cost included:

$10500 for a supervisor (!),
7300 for the contractor fee,
$2250 for general requirements (?),
$1000 for liability insurance,
2100 contigency fee,
$600 cleanup fee

There is about 25k for drywall, demo, paint, electrical, plumbing. The plumbing cost is almost 10k.

They are NOT including the cost to tile the floors or do anything in the closet. The floors are currently concrete and require no demo. It does not appear to include the new guest bath in the pic either.

I totally understand the contractor fee and contigency fee, but otherwise this seems high to me. There is not much to demo, except a tiny old shower and a couple closet walls. The vanity is moveable, and there are no built-ins as I already demo-ed everything in the master bath area before I moved in.

Any thoughts? I will get more quotes...

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The cost seems seems high given what they seem to be leaving out, and the design seems uninspired. With that much space to play with, you can get a much more open, practical, and attractive design. In particular, that corridor past the walk-in closet on the way to the toilet seems claustrophobic to me. Are you limited in where you can place the bathroom fixtures because of the slab?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 2:11AM
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Thanks Kudzu9. No, there are no limitations. The corridor does seem claustophobic. Also, I dont like the toilet on the same wall as the bed. I would like to have more space between the vanity and shower to dry off, etc. There is only 3.5 ft. the way he drew it.

The price does not include permit fees or architectural fees.

Also, his drawing has less linear feet of closet than mine currently does, and mine isnt even finished.

I came up with this plan in the link below, but he did not like it.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 2:34AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Design build. Enough said. They are always the most expensive choice. You pay for the privilege of having everything centralized.

Try getting a design from a local architect or CBD and then bid it out to different contractors. You can probably get both aths done for that, with enough left over for some exotic spa towels and scented candles and champagne to have our own spa experience.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:22AM
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Thanks hollysprings. These guys are supposed to be really good architects. I told them from the beginning that I probably couldnt afford their build services, but he worked up a quote anyway. I emailed the arch. yesterday and he just sent me a new plan. I have to really look at it.

He said bath cost does include the guest bath, which helps some. Still, 85k is out of my budget.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 11:31AM
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My cynical take is that since they are so bad at design they have to charge high enough for few jobs they actually get to make up for the time they spend on the dozen and dozens of uninspired designs where the clients say "ehh. no thanks."

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Hollysprings where were you when I wasted half a year of my time and several thousand dollars dealing with a Design Builder who ended up just giving up on us? LOL When we said no to a $70K estimate for building just to frame stage an ~210 sq ft addition, he said that was the best he could do, we stopped paying him at that point!

Rockybird, I obviously don't know the best way to go about getting quotes, we ended up helping our son buy his first home, and deciding to forgo the addition, and just to renovate our MBR ourselves.

If I was to do it again, since I don't really know anyone locally who has had renovations done recently, is to look on Houzz. I am constantly getting local ads popping up when I go on that site. You can actually see lots of pics of their work, and at least it's one step up from just going through the phone book (colloquial term here, I don't actually get a phone book anymore...)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 12:25PM
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I just wanted to update this thread and say thanks for all the opinions.

I never really got a conceptual plan from the architects that i liked and I didnt feel like wasting peoples' time getting bids until I have a workable plan. I decided that there probably isnt enough space to do everything I want with the ma bath and instead I will build a ma bath addition. I am guessing it will be more cost effective to do the addition than having to move interior walls, add sky lights, move AC ducts, etc. in the current bath/closet area.

There is a piece of property at the end of my house, in front of the pool and hot tub, with amazing views of the mtns and city. It is a much more private location than the current ma bedroom. I have a friend who is a very reputable contractor and said it would be easy to tie into the house.

The bank sent an appraiser over this week (as they are giving me a heloc, but I may wait and pay cash), and she said the neighborhood would support it. I had two realtors also look at it and they agreed. The houses across the street are 8000 sq ft. and 6000 sq ft. This would make my house 4600 sq. ft, much larger than I would like, but not sure what else to do.

I will then use the current ma bedroom/bathroom as a guest room. All I will have to do is retile the shower and the current ma ba room should be good enough for guests.

I am thinking this is the best way to go.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:16PM
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"There is not much to demo, except a tiny old shower..."

As long as you're spending a boatload of money anyway, you might consider replacing that old shower with a more generous acrylic unit. They aren't overly expensive and your guests will love you forever. It sounds like you have at least some work to do in that bath one way or the other, so think about it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 12:35PM
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