Reasonable budget projection?

ineffablespaceNovember 20, 2013

My 50 year old house has two small side-by-side bathrooms on the second floor. One is about a ten year old remodel, middling to low quality fixtures and installation. The other is a "put on the market" nightmare. Both need to be renovated, and I think it makes sense to do them both at the same time.

To this end, I am putting a completely new bathroom in the basement. (Cutting into existing lines, all new electrical, etc.) As there is no timeline I am GCing it myself, bringing in a plumber I like, an electrician I like, and a carpenter I like.Fully permitted etc.

The electrician is very expensive, the plumber is middling expensive, (although I will be using a different, and more expensive plumber upstairs), and the carpenter is rather cheap because he is moonlighting (from a very expensive GC I like).

This bathroom will take something along the lines of 6 months, and I am using very basic materials, but the quality will be much better than average. I think it is going to top out at about $15,000. I live in an area where costs are about 30% higher than national average

I *think* once there is a full bath in the house, we could tolerate another prolonged project

Do you think, given the fact that there is preexisting plumbing connections and such, and it is upstairs rather than a basement, that I could do two more bathrooms in the $30-35K total ballpark, given small size, good quality but not extravagant materials (Daltile, AnnSacks Basics, Kohler cast iron and faucets)?

I am seeing substantial savings, I think, in the basement bath by utilizing the carpenter as an individual, and not expecting a quick turnaround. If I were using the GC I used in my last kitchen I think these baths would be $50K total, anyway. They would want to do it as time and materials since I am designing myself and spec'ing materials myself and they bill out at an hourly nearly triple what the carpenter charges on his own (of which he gets paid less than he is charging me per hour).

Maybe this is a hard question for someone to answer, but does this seem reasonable?

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All three of our bathrooms came to roughly $20,000 each. it sounds like our set-up is similar to, or the same as yours. We converted an existing half-bath on the ground floor of our bi-level house, into a full bath (guest bathroom) with a shower stall a few years before renovating our two upstairs bathrooms. Then, a couple of years later give or take, we did the two upstairs bathrooms at the same time, since we "stole" a foot of space from the hall bath in order to make the MB slightly less minuscule

We had a contractor frame out the guest bathroom shower stall (~$10,000), DH did the remainder of the construction. We used our plumber (he did all three of our bathrooms) and a tile guy (who had done our kitchen backsplash a few months prior, and would end up doing the tile in our other two bathrooms). The remaining $10,000 went to the plumber, tile guy, and materials. We got some decent discounts on our bathroom fixtures, tile, and paint, and had a local guy build the vanities for all three bathrooms. We splurged on some things (Sonia sinktop, border tile, BM Aura paint, starfire shower glass), and saved on others (cast iron shower receptor instead of tiled shower floor). We painted the room ourselves.

For our other two bathrooms, DH did all of the demo and construction. Our plumber had to move/add/remove some of the pipes, while some others did not require relocating (although they might have been replaced with new pipe?). We used the same tile guy. He isn't cheap, though not outrageous, and his work is stellar. We had him tile our entire ground floor a coupe of years ago. Would never consider using anyone else.

In addition to using DH's labor, good shopping, and very good relationships with our sales people and vendors, once again helped to make some items and materials more affordable. A couple of splurges for those bathrooms; floor heat from Nu-Heat in both, and the border tile in the MB (although we did get it at a heavily discounted price). As with the guest bathroom, we did the painting ourselves.

We are in southern NYS. Labor and materials in our area might be higher than in yours.

You can find links to our bathrooms/materials lists via this forum if you want to see them, or let me know if you have trouble finding them.


This post was edited by cat_mom on Thu, Nov 21, 13 at 18:10

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Thanks for the input. The baths are very small (Two are in a 12 foot x 6'8" footprint), and the materials will be pretty basic, although I am using Toto toilets and porcelain/cast iron fixtures. I tend to get fixated on small details that add to the labor expense though.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Our bathrooms are very small also. Our hall bathroom is about 6" or so deeper than the MB. I'd be thrilled to have an add'l 6" in depth in the MB!

Like I said, we saved where and when we could not only on labor, but on some of the materials, which allowed for the splurges on some of the other materials. We didn't go overboard, but did end up up with three very nice bathrooms with some very nice touches.

It sounds like you've got a good handle on things.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 11:18PM
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