We’ve had a number of contractors to our house for a number of items from roof tear off & redo, to gutters and corner boards, whole-house carpet replacement and a basement completion. We know the lingo and the big picture but - whether it’s the timing or the unknown - this has been the most frustrating process ever! If you find a nuts & bolts, studs to baseboards and crown-molding to carpet contractor you can trust, consider yourself one of the lucky 10 across the country. The rest of us are stuck in the wild-west and unfortunately left with an article that’s not even worth updating over the past 2+ years.
The best place to start with any remodeling project is the budget. Not only will it have a big impact on the type of materials you select for your bathroom renovation, it will also help you set the boundaries of your design. Knowing what you can really afford to spend will make it a lot easier to decide what items you want to replace and where you need to get creative!
I have been trying to find an honest contractor to do 1) tar roof vent pipes on a good roof 2) remodel my small 6'x8' bathroom. I was so shocked at what these 'devil people' came up with. The roof guy said he wants $1100 to repair some caulking around vent pipes and fix 6 nails that popped. I told him to try somewhere else and bough my own 24 foot ladder!! The bathroom contractors were worse. I had 3 estimates - first guy wanted already $500 just to come up with a design and it was NOT REFUNDABLE if we did not go with him. I showed him the door. THe next guy asked us to come to his showroom and he was not prepared at all. He did not know how to use the computer to show us details of his/our ideas, but came with a breakdown of items in the bathroom we could buy. He then came ups with a price of $25000!! After doing research, I see such a small bathroom with simple tile and small vanity, new toilet and replace already standing shower with tile and glass door cost max. $18000 in southern California where people earn double in Virginia. This $18000 makeover was absolutely gorgeous and in a huge bathroom with tub, shower and dressing room!! The third contractor came up with the price of $17,000. This was still way over what it should cost because the bathroom is SO SMALL that two people can not fit in there. What is happening to this USA? Because of the crisis back in 2008/2009, these contractors have all become ripoff artists and make the world what it is today.....how about honesty and kindness. This behavior is a vicious circle and will come back to all one day. Beware.
You want a company that has time for you and has long-term relationships with its subcontractors. Make sure you and your contractor have the same expectations about how often they will be onsite once the remodel or renovation kicks off. The contractor should be open with you about how long each stage of the project will take, and they should show a good understanding of what factors could potentially push that timeline out.
Yeah, I feel your pain. I'm in Alabama, one of the lowest income states in the country, and I got a quote from a "big box" hardware store here. $39,000 -- to remodel a 9 x 12 bathroom. I won't go into the details but I'll tell you that the estimate included $3600 for electrical work. Uhh, we are simply switching out 2 'regular' outlets and putting in $20-dollar GFI outlets. The wiring is fine (I know because I've been in the wall before). So don't go to the "big box" stores unless you want the highest possible estimate (oh, yeah ... I had to pay for the estimate as well).
Interior bathroom demolition costs $1,000 to $2,300. Prices can go higher if you’re removing and moving walls to create a different footprint. For the experienced DIYer, this is a good place to save money by doing it yourself or assisting the contractor. However, demo can get expensive quickly if you take out a load bearing wall, cut electrical lines or break a water pipe. Avoid the risk by hiring a pro.
It's so competitive out there. I am a Long Island contractor and I be realized lately that clients give you an impression when you give them there costs that you are doing something wrong. I've been in this Busines about 20 years and that avg cost is right there. Also homeowners should also realize if us contractors are using subs for our plumbing and electrical our costs are hire than the guy doing all the work himself. I only used licensed contractors for all my remodeling work.

The prices you quote do not come close to the prices paid in Chicago. Much depends on the cost of labor and whether the unit is in a high rise. The cost of a licensed plumber to do the simplest task can easily be more than $1000 and often is twice that. Labor has also skyrocketed this year in Chicago due to immigration policy. in addition, any changes in locations in a bathroom, turning a shower into a built in and converting the tub to shower, dramatically raise prices.
As the home owner, I am providing about $8,000 in materials. This includes the cabinetry, fixtures, faucets, countertops, lighting, toilet, glass in-line shower door and tile. Received two quotes. One contractor wants $25,000 to demo the bathroom, convert the existing tub to a tiled walk-in shower, tile the floor, and install my materials. The other wants $27,000. Using the previously mentioned 60/40 labor to material rate, I would be paying more than double for labor...that's insane. Some contractor's need a reality check.
To give you more of an idea of what you'll pay before a contractor gives you an estimate, here are several cost examples for remodels of different size bathrooms, provided by Thumbtack Pro Viewpoint NW, a bathroom remodeler in Vancouver, Washington. Keep in mind each job was specific to that house. The total cost of each project includes all material and labor costs:
I just renovated a 6X12 bathroom. Old cast iron tub removed. Removed and saved existing vanity and vanity top. Removed the toilet and replaced the existing rotten flooring and added on to the existing partially rotten floor joist. Removed the drywall and tile from around the old tub. After the new flooring was in I had to modify the existing plumbing to accommodate the new tub and shower surround. The hot and cold water lines had to be raised to fit the surround because the new tub is taller and the drains had to be installed and moved to fit the new tub. Drywall was finished and painted. New faucets,New tub,Tub Surround, and flooring materials were purchased by the home owner. Labor cost was 4,584.00
I just renovated a 6X12 bathroom. Old cast iron tub removed. Removed and saved existing vanity and vanity top. Removed the toilet and replaced the existing rotten flooring and added on to the existing partially rotten floor joist. Removed the drywall and tile from around the old tub. After the new flooring was in I had to modify the existing plumbing to accommodate the new tub and shower surround. The hot and cold water lines had to be raised to fit the surround because the new tub is taller and the drains had to be installed and moved to fit the new tub. Drywall was finished and painted. New faucets,New tub,Tub Surround, and flooring materials were purchased by the home owner. Labor cost was 4,584.00
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