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Costs of a Bathroom Remodeling Job

Choices are Important

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Costs of a Bathroom Remodeling Job
Project Costs

To remodel a bathroom, so much depends on three factors:

  1. The size and scope of the project
  2. The part of the country you live in
  3. Building code and permit requirements

For example, a turnkey basic bathroom remodel with a standard tub, toilet, double-sink vanity top, medicine cabinet, ceramic tile floor and tub shower surround in a 5 x 9 foot area, averages $9,500, but can range from 7,400 - $12,500. Enlarging it to 100 square feet and finishing it as an upscale bathroom can raise the price to as much as $25,000.

Self contracting will lower the cost by at least 15% – 20%, which would be the profit going to a contractor if you had one. How much lower you can get the price will depend entirely on your skills as a self contractor.

A do-it-yourself project will have the lowest price tag by the time you finish. Exactly how much lower depends on where you live, how much you shop for bargains, the extent of the project, and specific building codes and permit requirements you have to deal with. But it’s safe to say that your total outlay would be at least 50% less than a turnkey project.

Cost of Products

Prices of lumber can vary by 20% to 30% from one lumber supplier to another over as short a distance as three miles.

The same can be said for vanities, faucets and mirrors. At just one home improvement store, prices can range from $69 to an upscale $2,000. Better quality vanities and more interesting designs are sometimes less expensive on the internet. Towel bars, towel rings, and toilet handles can also be found in a wide range of prices.

There’s one final thought to consider. Don’t be afraid to remodel your bathroom because you might not get your investment back when it’s time to sell. You will recover 85% to 95% of the cost at resale – and that’s if you choose a turnkey job. If you choose to self contract or do-it-yourself, you’ll get back more money than you put into it.

Here is a sample breakdown of the costs for a self-contracted 50 square foot powder room renovation with no shower:

  • Labor Charges
    • $800 - Handyman - He'll do the studs, drywall, and painting. $20/hr x 40hrs
    • $800 - Plumber - He'll move the water supply lines and install the toilet.
    • $800 - Electrician – He'll replace the switchbox and install 3 can lights and a bathroom fan.
    • $150 - Tile Installer – He'll install 50 square feet of tile at $2.00 per square foot.
  • Cost of Materials
    • $400 - Drywall, studs, and incidentals
    • $240 - Tile - Ceramic 60 square feet at $4 per square
    • $300 - Toilet - A comfort height oval style
    • $850 - Vanity with integrated top
    • $150 - Mirror
    • $130 - Faucet
    • $200 – Lighting, 3 cans
    • $75 – (or fan with light combination)
  • Permits
    • $600
  • Architects Plans, if required
    • $1,000
  • Total
    • $6,495

That is a real bargain- $6,495 to turn your guest powder room into a showcase.

Why Bother With Permits?

The main reason to get required permits is safety, particularly regarding electrical work. Building codes and permit requirements vary from city to city and state to state. It may even be necessary to submit multiple copies of building, electrical, and plumbing plans that have been drawn up by an architect for your project.

In some locales, building codes insist that you hire a licensed electrician at a rate of $75 – $135 an hour to simply change a $2 wall switch. If there are simple items like this, you may choose to do the work yourself, if only to bypass the permit requirement.

Doing a remodeling job "under the table" or off permit can result in fines. You might even be forced to demolish the entire project and start over. It is best to avoid contractors who suggest working without a permit.

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