Different Budgets for Different Bathrooms
The first question everyone wants to know is “how much will it cost to remodel my bathroom?” My name is Alexander Rodriguez, MBA I am the founder and owner of Bay Cities Construction, a Licensed General Contractor in Torrance, CA. This article is part of a series of articles that explains the various dimensions of pricing out a bathroom remodeling project. I don’t like so shy away from talking about money, I want my customers to understand how and why things cost what the cost. I wrote an article and filmed a video that goes into detail about how costs are allocated, you can follow this link to see that content. I also recommend reading, “4 things that increase the cost of a bathroom remodel.” Hit the link to read that article and video. Armed with this information you should be ready to make a wiser decision about your project
2021 Update: The Pandemic & 'Texas Freeze' have caused material shortages and an increase in raw material prices. Everything from cabinets, flooring, concrete, paint, adhesives, and lumber have increased in price since 2020. Be prepared to pay 15% to 30% more for a bathroom remodel in 2021/2022. Source: Wall Street Journal
- "People want to know if they can afford the bathroom remodel."
- "They want some way to gauge if they are paying a fair price."
- "They are looking for some price certainty."
One of the biggest fears that people have about construction projects is they do not know how much the actual cost will be because they hear about all these horror stories about projects going over budget. As a Licensed General Contractor, my company has remodeled several hundred bathrooms over the last 13 years we have been in business. It is with this experience that I share a slice of bathroom remodel cost wisdom with you.
Most General contractors consider talking about price early in the sales process a bit taboo. Please understand that most people go about a bathroom remodeling project in the wrong way. They try the revolving door of contractors trampling through the front door. The home owner then tries to formulate a range of price based on the fragmented information that they get from the contractors that show up at their door. Our approach is different, we design to a target budget. That means that the client is completely in charge of the cost of the project. It is common use a target range in the early stages of design so that you can actually see what you could get for the money. Let me explain, you know that a Toyota Corolla is considered an excellent quality entry level car, a Lexus is excellent quality car and a Bentley is well the epitome of luxury. These cars all have different price points, features and different value proposition for the Buyer. Designing a bathroom remodel is very much the same because depending on the scope of work, a Client can spend $5,000 or more than $100k. Let’s be clear I do not think that the $100k is better than a $5,000, simply stated there is just more work. Let’s bring this car analogy home and look at some the price points we have below. Over the past 18 months we have noticed that people are spending much more money. They have decided to add more high-quality faucets, tile and lighting. Many people are moving walls and expanding the bathroom floor plan. These are major cost factors in bathroom remodels. The price points detailed below, reflect trends over the last 12 months. It is safe to say that people are spending about 25-30% more per bathroom remodel in 2017 compared to 2014. Construction prices have gone up slightly nationwide, however the bulk of the increase in cost is driven by people wanting a “spa experience” at home. They are just choosing to go with a design that offers more luxury features and the price tag to boot.
Please keep in mind that Bay Cities Construction is a Licensed General contractor located in California. Construction costs in Los Angeles, California are much higher than other parts of the country. Our office is in Torrance, CA which is within Los Angeles County. Construction prices in Los Angeles, reflect that fact. I would say that all of California’s regulation and higher cost of living, inflates prices by 30%-40% in comparison to the mid-west. My gripes about the cost of doing business is better served in a rant video elsewhere.
Let’s dive into the price points below. Understand that this article was written for you to gain some perspective of potential price points. If you are remodeling your bathroom in the Los Angeles, CA discount 20%-25% of the costs below to
Unexpected hidden pitfalls are commonly, dry rot under shower pans, window sills in showers to have termite damage from water that leaked from window sills. Toilets that leak water will have subfloors that need to be repaired.
Bathroom Remodel Price Ranges:
- Basic level $22,000- $25,000.00- Include low cost plumbing fixtures (type you find in Home Depot, Lowes). At this price range, you can have prefabricated cabinets and porcelain tiles. No walls being moved and no change to the foot print. That means that the vanity, shower and toilet remain I the same location and are replaced in place. Pehaps a recess light in the shower is added with a new vanity light. The vent fan is replaced and venting using the exisint vent pipe. This is a good- quality bathroom remodel with value porcelain tile in the $2 range and many off the shelf items. Good design and good bones.
- Mid-Level $25,000- $33,000- This bathroom is outfitted with superior quality fixtures usually found at stores like Fergusons. Heavy brass faucets for the sower and vanity are offered. The shower system may have multifunction diverted, temperature setting and hand wand. An upgraded shower head is tops off these new fixtures. Tile options for walls usually are either porcelain tile or travertine. The vanities can be higher quality prefabricated cabinets or smaller custom vanities. At this price point, the tub/shower combo is replaced in the same place with a shower only. The shower may have some niches for custom storage, a bench with a stone top surface and a frameless shower enclosure. A lighting upgrade is also included with new circuits for lighting and counter plugs. A Panasonic ventilation system with a moisture sensor is added. At the higher end of this spectrum vanities may have been move or custom made. This is truly a beautiful bathroom with higher quality materials and craftsmanship.
- Luxury Level $35,000- $45,000- These bathrooms are truly amazing! e point we build truly majestic bathrooms. Luxury level bathrooms are designed and built to give clients a “in home spa experience.” Imagine a shower with wall jets and ceiling rain showers. Jet tubs with built in heaters are also commonly installed. In many cases, the custom vanities are comparable to a piece of fine furniture. The cabinetry offers custom storage layouts and cubbies to store your bathroom toiletries. Wall tiles can vary form limestone, marble, granite, or natural stone. Custom benches topped with exotic stones and wrapped by a frameless shower enclosure.
- Bathrooms that require a lot of changes to the foot print can will also hit this price point without sporting all the Spa type fixtures and luxury. Moving toilets, walls and showers can have a major impact on price. Check out this article that explains 4 things that can blow you budget. This is a lengthy article that goes into the
Bathroom remodeling Costs Factors:
- Finish costs- this includes the bathroom tiles, countertop material, quality of the plumbing fixtures, custom cabinetry, and shower enclosure.
- Changing bathroom foot print- These alterations require labor to complete. They raise the cost of construction- Moving walls, moving toilets, and sinks from one place in the room to another. Move these fixtures, triggers massive infrastructure costs to relocate the waste and feed plumbing lines.
Bathroom remolding typically include the following trades:
- Masonry- Tile of shower/tub walls, bathroom floor and walls. Countertops and backsplashes also fall in this category if they are made of stone. Un
- Plumbing- shower valves, bath tubs, vanity faucets, toilet, shower head and body sprays, vanity faucets and sinks.
- Drywall- drywall patching or in some cases the entire surface of walls and ceiling.
- Electrical- LED recess lighting, new switches, motion sensors, new ciructus to separate the light from the counter outlet at the vanity.
- Ventilation (HVAC)- Ventilation motor that vents to the exterior of the house.
- Painting- walls, ceilings and baseboards will need to be painted at the end of the project.
- Shower Enclosure- On the cheap a shower curtain and rod, frameless shower door and inline panel or bi-pass glass doors.
Finish Materials Costs:
These items represent what the bathroom will ultimately look like. Bathroom tile can range from a cheap Home Depot special of $ 0.79 per foot to a gorgeous $15 per foot Carrera Marble.
- Tile costs represent about 10% of the bathroom remodeling cost (Installation not included). Most high-quality porcelain tile and deco strip is around $1,500 for a 75 square foot bathroom (typical small 1950’s house).
- Custom cabinets run about $2,500 for units up to 48” long.
- Pre-fabricated vanities are approximately $1,200 if constructed with plywood sides.
- Expect to spend around $2,000.00 in mid-level plumbing fixtures (Kohler).
- Frameless shower enclosures can range from $1,200- $2700 depending on size and complexity of the installation.
Changing bathroom foot print:
Some bathrooms are so poorly configured that we need to change the existing layout. The fact that I point out that costs will increase should not diminish your intent to fix issues with undesirable floorplans. Adding square footage and reconfiguring the floor plan of a small bathroom can result in a functional use of space and fantastic aesthetic appeal. Let’s recap the possible effects of changing the following:
- Moving a toilet or bathtub affects the hidden plumbing.
- If your bathroom has a concrete slab, it gets even pricier because concrete cutting is labor intensive. This part alone can cost about $3,500.00- $5,500.00.
- Moving walls is also expensive. Installing new beams and posts will run you $1,300.00 in engineering and as much as $2,500.00 in framing costs!
We have covered a lot of content about bathroom remodeling costs. Our best content comes for question that you as our Client asks. What else would you like to know about bathroom remodeling costs? Do you think we did a respectable job explaining bathroom remodeling costs? Don’t forget to download you BATHROOM REMODEL CALCULATOR. It is easy to use, just put in your “Target Budget” and it will compute your budget allocation for all of the trades. Download it today!