One client may want vinyl flooring and another may want heated floors with custom tile. Do you want a custom shower the most costly or a tub with tile on the walls? Solid surface counters, high-end fixtures or big box quality. Small 5x7 bathrooms can cost almost as much as a larger bathroom. The time to properly build a watertight custom shower is the same regardless of how big a room is or how much your home is worth. Have it done right rather than choose the lowest cost contractor. A years from now when your shower is still working perfectly you will be glad you spent a little more and gave your contractor the time to do excellent work. VInce
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).
As you might imagine, I once had to sue a contractor. He demanded payments up front during different stages of work replacing a roof and front porch on my house. When he wanted to cheap out and use inferior materials, i insisted he do the job to specifications I had provided to him in writing beforehand. He walked away from the job, half completed, and I had to hire someone else to finish it. I recovered most, but not all, of the money he had stolen.
Everyone wants to save money, but when you start by questioning material costs or markups it can indicate that you may be under budgeting for the project, or will question every choice the contractor makes in the hopes of saving $100. Time is money and when you have a customer who may cause interruptions because they want to buy something themselves to avoid "markup" it can cause major delays. Many times a customer ends up getting the wrong material anyway. This again slows down a contractor that may already be too busy.
There are so many beautiful things to notice about this bathroom that it's hard to know where to start. The concrete sink? The wallpaper? The sconce lighting? The tarnished mirror on the door, reflected in the main mirror? The barely-there ultra-modern faucets? Whatever you notice first, though, you can't but admit that this space is a masterpiece.
Want to save some big bucks remodeling your bathroom? Consider refinishing existing items such as your bathtub, shower, sink or tile. With refinishing, you’ll only pay a small fraction (as little as 10 percent) of the cost of replacement. Your bathroom won’t be torn up for weeks, you'll avoid the big renovation mess and you’ve put one less big ol’ tub in the landfill
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.
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.

Having an onsite dumpster should be your responsibility if it is something you are going to demand. They aren't cheap. Make suggestions or request a dumpster be included in the bid, but I would never start demanding anything when requesting proposals. They may have their own suggestions. We own a dump trailer and we bring it during demolition to handle the large debris. We have the trailer to avoid having to rent a dumpster on the job. If asked we can share this information, but if you require a dumpster instead we would have to take the time and research getting a dumpster to your house and add in costs we aren't accustomed to adding. That takes time and effort we may just not want to expend to give you a quote. Good contractors are generally very busy.


As a contractor I can tell you that most reputable contractors probably don't need your job, and if you make things too complicated or troublesome, they will move on to other jobs that don't throw up red flags. Much of what you ask for here is reasonable, but bringing a second contract into the equation can set of some alarms that you may be a difficult customer to work with or even a litigiously minded person who is likely to try and bring a lawsuit whether deserved or not. Anything you want covered should be in the original contract.
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:
The remodel is needed due to water leakage from the tub surround into the wall cavity. I recommended she get an estimate of extra costs that cannot be foreseen until demolition occurs but would be entailed if the contractor has to do any structural work like putting in new studs and or has to install new insulation. I urged her to get at least an upper ceiling estimate before work begins lest the contractor make her an offer she can't refuse once the room is gutted. I urged her to be flexible on any adjustment to the estimate that can be made only after demolition begins. But I told her to insist that the rest of the estimate be binding. No surprises.
There are a wide range of costs associated with remodeling a bathroom, including size, the type of materials, its current condition, and the location. Homeonwers spend on average between $15,000 and $25,000 in their bathroom renovation. For example, the average cost of a 100 square foot master bathroom with tile walls and flooring, new fixtures, double vanity, and walk in shower with separate tub is around $20,000.
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