It's totally legitimate for a professional to charge you for a design, at least in some situations. If the contractor has a book of ready-made designs and just pulled one out to show you, then you're right that s/he shouldn't charge you. But if someone does a design that conforms to your room's dimensions, with the features that you want, then that person has invested time in creating a work product. Some contractors and architects think that's just the cost of doing business, but many others consider that their time is worth something, and they charge for it. You just need to let contractors know that you're not looking for that kind of custom work, and not willing to pay for it.

However, if you plan to add more square footage to your bathroom, that's where the expenses can really add up. Expanding the size of an existing small bathroom increases the total cost of a bathroom renovation project and lengthens the job's timeline. Some expansions may require permits, too, which may cost an additional fee and take time to secure.


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.
And then the apples to bananas procedure of reviewing non-like proposals is just as frustrating. Some bring everything. From the paint to the tile to the fixtures and cabinetry. Others point you in you’re own direction for each of these and expect you to know what questions to ask when buying never-before, behind the scenes purchases that are required for a bathroom remodel. And you’re expected to review the costs a la carte vs as a package and come to a whole conclusion as soon as possible ‘cause if you want the remodel done in 5 months, we have to start in 3 and we’re booked for the next 6...wait, what??!?!?
I have a miserably small master bath with a particle board subfloor (house built 1969), so I must guy it. I bought toilet made for small bathrooms, and plan to pull the cabinet sink, replace with pedestal, raise storage like lighted bulkhead, demolish tile, and widen doorway from 28" to 32". I might gain 6" from tile removal alone, plus but another 6" on entrance with cabinet sink removal. Since large expense is in demolition, I could do that. But, install showers is tricky given the drain leveling so I'll hire a pro for that. Question: gutting, updating and repairing master bath is necessary, but to what extent should I go i, terms of resizing, which would entail bumping out wall into adjoining small room, which then adds expense of finishing that where window placement restricts encroachment. It's a nice older brick house that I bought before I realized the made of lapses and oversights by the home inspector (who also is a local top police official in a town with highly subjective law enforcement). I need to fix, list, well and leave. Any thoughts (and prayers much appreciated).

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.
While it's easy to replace a light or faucet at a later date, you should have your contractor do the larger tasks at the same time. If you plan to replace the tub and install tile floor, it's best to do that all at once. You may save on labor charges if they can do a few tasks in one day instead of doing these tasks on separate days a few months apart.
Going "green" is not only good for the environment; it’s also good for you. Green products have great design, tend to function better, which lowers utility bills, and they’re also chemical-free, making them better for your health. Having an eco-friendly approach to remodeling isn’t just about buying new products, doing something "green" can be as simple as painting a cabinet instead of tossing it in a landfill.
I agree with everything you said. I think the trick is to convey those concerns when discussing what work will be needed. Everyone will have concerns but if you come across as too needy or pushy they may think you will be a pain in the butt homeowner. I have seen this before where you have to come back 3 or 4 times for something not dealing with the work, but you are trying to be polite and helpful for business. Word of mouth is the best way to get more buisness, in my opinion.
We own a kitchen and bath company. If you are going to do the work yourself, you will save money....if you act as the GC, that is great as long as you have the time to manage the project. If you are using a guy out of his truck, the job will be less expensive. BUT check their references and insurance. WE run a legitimate business and a showroom. We are not inexpensive but are not high priced. YOU MUST have realistic expectations of what things cost, both in material and labor costs. We pull permits also....all this costs money. We have 30 years in business. Do not expect a full demo of a bathroom to be $11,000 in CT. If someone gives you a price like that RUN, it is too good to be true. You are looking at 18,000 and up. Cheaper does not mean better. If you are buying all the materials at HD or Lowes, good luck. You will redo your space one more time before you move. Spend a little more on a good, experienced contractor now....in the end it will be worth it.
Ventilation. Ventilation. Ventilation. Moisture is your bathroom’s greatest enemy. Mold and mildew will make quick work of any renovation you’ve done so be sure to install a vent fan of appropriate CFMs for the square footage of your bathroom. The rough guide is one CFM per square foot for bathrooms of one hundred square feet or smaller. New designs are quieter and more stylish than ever and are a must have for any bathroom remodel.
The Home Depot is a great place to buy your bathroom essentials and remodeling materials. We also provide top-rated design and installation services for homeowners across America. Besides undergoing full background checks, our hand-selected remodeling experts are local, licensed and insured. The Home Depot also offers a great selection of flexible finance options.

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.

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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