Posts Tagged ‘Bath remodel’

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Really Costs?

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Really Cost?

Bathrooms are easily the most expensive room per SF to remodel. They average bathroom easily contains as many as 30 to 40 different products all with both material and installation costs. Pricing easily varies around the country but in our area the South West, San Diego to be exact. The Cost versus Value report published each fall in the remodeling magazine shares that for a small average bath in our area costs about $19K. This means some are less and some are even more. I tell clients that 12K to 18K is typical and that $20 to $25K is very possible.

What is the Lowest Possible Price for a Small Bathroom?

About four years ago I did a work up for the lowest possible bathroom cost for a simple 8′ by 5′ bathroom and still have it professional installed it was about 8K then probable would cost about 9K now. Obviously we looked at using very economical priced materials that included: a stamped steel tub, plain white tile tub walls a rod and curtain (no shower door enclosure), low cost chrome plumbing fixtures, a simple 24″ or 30″ oak vanity cabinet, the medicine cabinet was the mirror, vinyl flooring and the $89 box store lowest price toilet special. If it was a flip and sell dwelling then maybe but in someone’s own home by the time they add the things they really want and expect in today’s remodeling world the starting price realistically is $12 to $15K.

If it is a shower stall add at least an additional $1K and a shower door adds even more. Many people want the brushed nickel finishes this add at least $500 to even a $1000 to the price tag. Then maybe you want ceramic tile flooring, cherry cabinets or a medicine cabinet and a mirror and a better quality toilet. Well each of these also adds to the price even further.

Can We Do the Bathroom One Area at a Time?

You can break down the bathroom into three major areas and do them individually if needed. The tub shower area is easily the most expensive portion at about 40 to 50% or $6 to $9K+ of the budget or cost. The vanity alcove or corner including: a cabinet, top, bowl, lavatory faucet, mirror, medicine cabinet and light fixture is about 30 to 40% or $4 to $6K+. The rest of the bathroom: the flooring, toilet, accessories and maybe a vent fan is the about 15 to 20% or about $2 to $3K. This break down yields a $12 to $18K total approximate project cost.

Remember this was a simple small bathroom with a single lavatory bowl and a small 30″ or less vanity. If it has a double lavatory bowl add another $2K to $3K+ for additional cabinets, counter top, lavatory bowl and faucet plus more mirror and a bigger or second light fixture or medicine cabinet.

A larger master bathroom retreat; falls into a completely different category and easily start at about $35K and can be $60K or more. Powder rooms or half bathrooms are not very common but do exist can still be remodeled for about $5 to $7K+.

These are typical numbers found in most US remodeling markets. It has been at least 20 or 25 years ago that we could tell a client that there bathroom would only cost $5 to $7K.

Call us if you have any questions we offer No Cost in home consultations where we can further answer any remodeling questions you may have and discuss a realistic price range for your project.

How Long Will My Remodeling Project Take?

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

This is one of the most common questions I hear. It usually comes right after “How much will my remodeling project cost?” As I’ve detailed on my blog, there are four major phases to a sizable remodeling project like a kitchen bath or room addition:

  • Contractor Selection
  • Design, Materials Selection and Planning
  • Ordering Materials and Scheduling Availability
  • Build Out or Remodeling

Let’s look at the realistic time frame to complete each phase.

Contractor Selection

The contractor selection process varies considerably from customer to customer.  Some are able to look at a handful of contractors and make a decision in a few weeks, while others may take years to decide. Experience has taught me that between a customer’s busy schedule and the amount of time it takes the competing contractors to produce their proposals, this process can take far longer than a customer initially estimates.

If you carefully select whom you invite to your home, then three qualified contractors are usually sufficient to obtain a good bid comparison.  (See my blog on comparing remodeling quotes) More than three competing contractors can make the process longer and add more confusion in many cases.

The decision should be more about who is the best candidate for the project than who has the best price.  Accurate prices cannot even begin to be established by anyone until the project has been fully defined and specified.  I would suggest that, on average, at least a month to two months is a reasonable time to compare several candidates and make a decision on who you want to work with.

Design, Material Selection and Planning

This phase can vary depending upon the size, scope and complexity of your project, however, for most kitchen or bathroom projects three to six weeks is a very realistic time frame. Within this phase, the contractor will work with the customer to accomplish the following:

  • Identify project objectives
  • Measure and document existing project conditions
  • Propose and approve a design scope
  • Submit a preliminary budget
  • Provide design revisions
  • Suggest cost saving options
  • Confirm product and material selections
  • Coordinate colors
  • Submit detailed contract specifications

Larger projects, such as a room addition or whole home conversion, could easily require three to six months to complete all the planning.

Ordering Materials and Scheduling Availability

The timing for this phase often varies depending on the types of products selected and the contractor’s schedule.  Some products are what we refer to as “stock product”, which require no real lead time. If the project only calls for stock products, and a contractor is available, the project could get started right away.  This is often the case for rental or flip and sell properties.

Most homes, however, require some lead time to order materials.  Average quality cabinetry can easily take three to six weeks to order. High end cabinets can take four to eight months.  Plumbing, light fixtures, tile or flooring choices may take two to four weeks or more also.

Also, a quality contractor usually stays busy, and it may take four to six weeks or longer before the contractor is available to start construction.   In this economy, however, many fine contractors will have much shorter lead times.

Build Out

Finally, the contactor will actually perform the build out with removal of the existing space, rearranging walls, doors and windows and finally caulking the last piece of trim and sweeping up the last pile of debris.  At the end of the project, the contractor should walk the room with the client, finish the punch list items and turn over all of the product warranty information.  For a kitchen or bath remodel, this phase typically takes three to five weeks. I like to write a four to six week window of opportunity in our contracts to allow for Murphy’s law.   A larger room addition or whole home conversion can easily require three to six months or longer to complete.

Although it is possible to use stock materials and perform a full kitchen remodel in a week or two, the average homeowner should expect a total  timeframe  of about three to six months for a kitchen remodel process  from the beginning to end.