remodel cost??

lisams58October 20, 2008

Hi, We were planning on remodeling our master bath. It is a small room, just 5x12. We are planning on gutting the entire room and replacing the cabinetry, countertops, sinks, toilet, custom tile shower and flooring. I have gotten estimates on the fixed costs and have priced the cabinetry, fixtures, and tile out at around $10000. We have gotten 1 estimate to do the work and the contractor estimated about 25,000 in labor in addition to the $11,000. This was way more than we thought it would be. I can't decide whether to get another estimate or scale back my plans drastically.

A couple of weeks ago I watched a show on hgtv that said the average bathroom remodel cost $12,000 - $15,000. I can't believe our small bathroom is double that! Can anyone give me any ideas what their bathroom remodel cost?

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5x12 may seem like a small room to you, but it's larger than most of the bathrooms I renovate here on Long Island. Most bathrooms I do are 5x8, and they're the largest in the home... Master baths can be as small as 4x6.

With $10K in finish materials, it sounds like you're going rather high-end... A ballpark idea for labor is 2-3 times the cost of materials, so it sounds like you're contractor is right on.

Ignore anything you see on HGTV or DIY network.. They're there to make everything look simple, so the Big Box store sponsors get more business. I do watch Amy Matthews on Bathroom Renovations just to laugh... She has to be the worst hack I've seen on any of those shows.

I'll leave you with this... Do you really want the lowest bidder to be the one to install $10,000 worth of tile and cabinets? Get another estimate from a reputable contractor, and dont be shocked when it comes in around the same as the first guy.

Good luck...

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 9:53PM
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We just did ours last yr., replaced everything in the master bath, a little larger than yours. The contractor charged us for labor and some materials (wood for cabs and vanity, sheetrock, etc). We bought the tub, sinks, faucets, tile, toilet, lights, hardware, paint - I figured if I had to shop to choose the fixtures, I might as well buy and have them delivered. And that was fine with the contractor.

Our total job for labor and materials priced out at about $18,500. HTH

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 11:20PM
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Don't know where you are geographically, but for what its worth my total gut of a 7' x 8' (plus 3x 5 tub converted to a walk in shower) cost $37,000 -- $22,000 labor and $15,000 materials. Admittedly, I went very high end on materials and the labor included capturing a closet for additional space (the room was originally 4 x 7 plus tub). And my contractor was not the cheapest, nor highest bid.

Honestly, I sometimes wonder where HGTV gets its pricing estimates because sometimes they seem high, and others absurdly low.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 3:49AM
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Let's see, my master bath is about 10x9 maybe. I would have to look at the actual figures, but I can remember a few. Marble, around 3,000, travertine, hummm I don't even remember, but at least 3, crocodile tile, gad 2 maybe, and the cabs were over 20. Add in the tub, toilet, fixtures, plumbing, labor to build, ohhhh ya the shower glass, that was more than the counters, and we're somewhere around fourty five grand.

And after two's still not done, and probably never will be (ok I'm upset about this can you tell). Despite the costs (which were much more than I anticipated) I don't regret a single penny. You use this room every wake to it and go to sleep with it as one of the last places you see at's truely lucious to have a wonderful wonderful space of your own.

Now if I could just get the danged toilet paper roller hung....

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 4:51AM
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Yes, always aim for 3 bids.

We did a complete gut of a bath about your size in a high-labor cost area -- ~$75/hour for licensed plumbers and electricians. You'd be surprised at how much labor goes into a bathroom (small ones can be the worst, actually!).

We got 95% of materials, DIY'd a lot to keep costs down, and ended up bringing in our own subs for several parts, but yeah, spendy per square foot.

IIRC Bill Vincent puts labor costs for building an average, 3x5/3x6 tile shower at ~ 3-5K depending on the complexity of the tiling. So if you're tiling walls as well as your floor you could easily be looking at 5-7K for your *overall* tile labor, and if you're doing frameless glass for the shower doors ~ 2K. Which could bring you to 9K+ for tile work and shower.

So that's a big chunk there, but unless you're moving plumbing it should be one of the most complex parts.

***Rest of numbers based on labor costs in my area***

If you're not DIYing, you can probably figure another 1-2.5K for start to finish plumbing, plus 1K and up for electric.

Drywall: 1-2 K.

Add in TBD costs for demo and dump fees (and/or time to take to salvage yards).

Ditto for cabinet install (I'll take a wild guess at 1K for your GC's crew).

[Anything I'm leaving out....]

To me, those are your true "hard costs" and there's room for variation with what remains (GC's charges etc). Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:51AM
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Just finishing up a remodel of our very small (a little less than 5x7) Masterbath - complete gut; medium-to-high end fixtures; larger shower (no tub) with Starfire glass; inexpensive tile. Total is hovering around $24K all in - about $11K for fixtures and $13K for labor. In an effort to maximize space, some things cost more (like building shelving space betwen studs with a "hidden" beadboard cabinet door). Good luck on your remodel. Will post photos when everything is all done.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 7:16PM
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Iglochic - you need to drink more beer -- I also see mine in the middle of the night!!! Well, maybe not see ....

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 9:07PM
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We just got our master bath totally remodeled and it turned out great. The materials cost us 12 k and the labor was $8.5 k. The bathroom size is about 12' x 7'.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 2:56PM
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