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.
The average cost to gut and demolish a bathroom is $400 to $2,000. Prices depend on the room size, type of materials, which fixtures are being removed, if walls are being demolished, and if any damage is found in the subflooring or inner wall structure. You can DIY to save money, but hire a professional to inspect your electrical wiring and plumbing.
Once your new materials have arrived, the tearout begins. This involves removing everything from your bathroom right down to the studs. At this point in time, if there are issues with water leaks or mold, they can be addressed. It is at this stage that hidden issues are usually uncovered. Keep in mind that issues can dramatically impact your costs, depending on what is found. For example, mold remediation starts at $500 and water damage can cost as much as $2,700.

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.
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.

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.


With this article being close to 2 years old, I can easily say it is WAAAAYYYY out of date and couldn’t be farther from current outcomes. While some of the occurrences with the difficulty in getting responses from contractors might still be the same, the dollar figures are multiples off! My wife and I have been researching a modest renovation on our master bath (mid70’s colonial MB that was updated once before) and have reached out to multiple contractors over that timeframe. Each time, our revelation into the exhorbitant costs are proof enough we’re not asking either the right questions or the right contractors. The dissapointment in hearing the $30k minimum and 45$k midpoint (again...midpoint) for our studs to simple remodel are enough to send us into the nether-regions of misunderstanding and annoyance and the same time.
My suggestion is when talking to contractor be subtle and ask your questions. Ask if he/she will have a dumpster or trailer to haul away debris. If the don't get dumpster or have a trailer then you probably don't want them to work on your home. Tell them your concern with the only toilet in the house. Unless it is not safe I have always reinstalled the toilet so it could be used at night. A good contractor will work with you in anyway possible because you are the key to more business.
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