Help! Hall bath remodel quote makes me faint...

kmarie365January 17, 2014

Hello. This is my first post here but I have been reading for a while now. We recently bought a house and are doing many projects. One we were hoping to start soon is a remodel of the hall bathroom my three daughters share. It is a long and narrow bath with typical shower/tub, toilet, and 8' double vanity. The plan was to replace all the tile (tub walls and ceiling and floor), replace all fixtures in place, replace vanity and counter, and have soffit removed above the vanity. We also are considering adding 3x6 feet of space for linen closet and vanity which would be coming from a closet on the other side of the wall. The wall is not load bearing. We have been working with a GC for other things in the house but this was the largest project so far. The price they want for the whole project is $37,200. This includes a fixture and tile allowance of $9500, tile labor, plumber, electrician allowance of $7452. The balance, or $20,200 is all going to the GC for their carpentry work, labor, materials (drywall, wood and tape?), 25% markup on labor and materials, $750 for a dumpster, cleanup, etc. If we take out the alcove space, so it is a renovation in place they said it would be $27,000. The allowance for tile was $7/sq ft but installation was $18/sq ft plus 25% markup on both those figures. . . Am I crazy or is this insane?

We were thinking it would be $15-$20K for an in place renovation figuring mid level fixtures and porcelain tile. Up to $25K if we did the closet addition. The room is 7x11 sq ft. I am so frustrated right now. We were planning on doing a lot of work with these guys - total master bed and bath renovation, adding a staircase etc. I was told when interviewing them that a master bath in the range of $50K would get us everything we wanted in a 10x11 ft space including moving and adding plumbing fixtures. How can that possibly be true if this is $37K?? We are in a high cost area of NJ, so I expect some price inflation but this seems like we are being taken for a ride.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Holy cow...that seems like a ton of money...especially for a kid's bath which I assume is not going to be all high end.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 12:28PM
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It seems a little high, but cost also depends on the tile, fixtures, cabinets, countertop and lighting that you've chosen.
You should bring in 2 other contractors for estimates in order to get an average cost of the job, but be sure the contractors are given a list of everything you intend to use.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 5:36PM
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$15K would be very low for the area (I am in a similar area): That is about what my standard 5x7 cost with basic fixtures and finishes. (Daltile Rittenhouse Square, Daltile Octagon and Dot, American Standard fixtures and a surplus Kraftmaid vanity cabinet from eBay.

However, $37K seems high for what you are describing. I am not sure why adding the closet space adds $10K to the project.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 7:07PM
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Contractors are shocked at their prices sometimes; there is a whole thread about it on another website. When you know your costs, you know what you have to charge. You need to check out this guy's reputation. I'll bet he gets rave reviews and has been in business a long time.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:10PM
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In my area (mid-south), I would expect to pay around $8-10k for labor plus another $10k for moderately priced materials (tile, cabinetry, tub, sinks, counters, faucets, lights, etc) to gut and rebuild a 7x11' hallway "kids" bath. Naturally, the most expensive elements are the cabinets, counters, and tub.

I'd say you need to question the $7200 for electrical work -- unless you're adding a ton of outlets, pot lights, and other perks, this seems way out of scale.

Also, it never hurts to get 3 bids. We're about to start our master bath remodel (will run about $34k) and almost lost hope when the first contractor came in at $47k!!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 2:54PM
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As several others have suggested, call in a few other guys to get bids. Call in an electrician to get a bid as well.
I am doing a major home renovation, and I've had 4-6 guys in for every part to get bids on their parts. Sometimes the cheaper guys seemed good, sometimes not. I always looked them up online afterwards and compared the quotes. If a guy gave me only a number, I put it on the bottom of the stack, I prefered the guys who gave me AT THE LEAST a material and labor number, so I knew what was going where. I would go to Lowes and estimate what they need and if something seemed horribly off I would ask. I have secured several good guys over the past couple weeks.

FYI, I am having a 12x12 office wired from scratch, with two lines from the main panel, for $400 in labor + materials. That's two switches, 5 can lights, a ceiling fan, 8 outlets, and a series of LED counter lights.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:55AM
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For $7,200, I'll put in a new 200 Amp service panel, run all new branch circuits, complete all terminations, install all receptacles and light fixtures in a 2K sqft home that currently has Knob and Tube wiring.

That's labor and materials.

Ask more about what you're getting for your money. Call some other contractors.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:06PM
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That seems high to me. Definitely get other bids.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:57PM
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The labor multiplier for NYC is 1.6, meaning the labor will be 60 percent higher than the national average, and where I live it's 1.3, so you are in between, probably close to 50% higher than the national average for labor.

I *think that the $7000 labor was for tile, plumbing and electrical, not just electrical.

I think it is the 20,000 for the rest, going to the GC that sounds high.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:04AM
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Thank you for all the input. I appreciate it. ineffablespace, you are correct-
That number included all the sub work and it is the 20k (or 30k) going to the GC that seems so outlandish. I did not phrase it very well. We are contacting other people now to give us quotes. It's a bit complicated as we have the original GC in the house working on projects through the next month already. So we are holding them off on an answer for awhile. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 12:06PM
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Your last post, about the GC currently working in the house resonates with me. I'm doing a lot of work in a second house; the painter I hired to do a difficult job was the most expensive in town because he is very particular. I asked him to bid on the kitchen--painting existing cabinets and so on. He was easily a thousand dollars more than another well-qualified guy. I just let him go, thinking that I have a lot of work in the house down the road, and where I want A+ work and can afford it, I'll ask him again. Where A is good enough, I'll go elsewhere. Everything costs so much money, that I hate to get stuck with loyalties that are not necessarily returned.....

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 3:33PM
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