Budgeting and estimating costs for your bathroom remodel is difficult. There are a few sources of information about average bathroom remodeling costs in different areas but unfortunately most of these over-simplify the budgeting process .
However, it’s essential that you are able to accurately budget for a bathroom remodel. You need to be able to answer the questions; “Should I do this project at all?”, “Do I need to consider financing the project”, etc. If you don’t have a reasonable budget up front, you can’t accurately answer those questions or any of the other questions that are so essential to properly planning.
Why is it so difficult to find out what it’s going to cost?
It’s essential for planning, but difficult. Costs vary significantly in different areas of the country. Portland will be less than some and more than others. You’ll also find that few actual remodelers talk about pricing on their websites because it’s complicated and they don’t want to scare anyone away. Several services have tried to correlate lists of costs and averages across the nation or different metro areas, but as you review these you’ll find that the information is varies significantly between the lists. Ultimately every remodel is unique and the industry struggles to discuss cost in a way that’s meaningful to you as you’re trying to budget for your project.
How can a homeowner budget for a bathroom remodel?
Step 1 | Define how you want to remodel
Start by determining which kind of remodeling partner is right for you. You could hire a handyman and supply all the fixtures yourself. This could sometimes end up saving costs, but will involve more work on your part and a longer timeline. For large bathroom remodels, it’s a significant job to manage the project and make sure everything happens and arrives on time in order to complete the project on schedule. If you have much more time than money–and aren’t afraid of learning a lot–this could be a good way to go.
You could also hire an architect or interior designer and then bid the project out with several general contractors. This can work well–especially on simple, well-defined projects. The best way to do this, is select a general contractor and get them on board with the project as early as possible so they can advise regarding the budget throughout the planning process. If you don’t do this, I’ve often seen the costs balloon through the design process and a lot of redesign have to be done.
If you decide to work with a Design/Build firm you can expect to have a single entity doing the design, costing, project management and construction. Lamont Bros. even has our in-house remodeling teams that do the majority of the work. Be careful when vetting and interviewing firms. Some firms are mainly remodeling firms that tack on a little bit of design, and some are mainly design firms that subcontract out work. In order to have the best experience, you want a firm that’s fully integrated and has full-service design and remodeling.
Step 2 | Start with a general project definition
Start your project with general definition and then work toward specifics. Don’t get too caught up in the fact you have to have this specific faucet before you really determine if you’re going to gut the bathroom or just going to do a little face-lift. Start by defining if your bathroom remodel fits into one of these three categories:
Partial Bathroom Remodel
A partial remodel is a remodel where you are going to be leaving some of the finishes exactly as they area. A bathroom that has a fine vanity and lighting but you want to replace the shower with a larger shower that brings more light into the space is a good example of this. If that’s the case you’ll want to think about the budget in those parts, plus protection costs. You’re going to have to protect the areas that you want to keep in order demolish and remodel the rest of the area. Think about the isolated costs, and then add about 5%-20% to protect the rest of the space.
Pull-and-Replace Bathroom Remodel
A Pull-and-replace bathroom remodel leaves all of the fixtures, lighting and walls in their existing locations and refreshes them with new, up-to-date products and finishes with a new aesthetic. This is the type of remodel where you feel like you’re stretching the money the farthest because your entire budget goes into things that make a very visible difference.
Major Bathroom Remodel
A major bathroom remodel can involve moving walls, fixtures, lighting and might even involve some structural work. This is the most expensive type of bathroom remodel–you’re making the effort to customize the layout of the space to just what you need. This often involves a significant amount of plumbing, electric that’s expensive and you don’t see it in the same way you do your fancy tile after the project is complete. However, depending on the project fixing a bad layout often makes the most difference in a remodel.
Step 3| Find a partner who will work with you to budget
Find a partner who will help you plan and budget. It’s important you work with a company that’s honest and up-front about the construction costs. There are a lot of companies that will tell you exactly what you want to hear–they don’t make good partners when you’re trying to make significant financial decisions. You’ll also want to work with a company that has a lot of experience in bathroom remodels. If they rarely do the type of bathroom remodel you want, you can’t expect them to be great helping you come up with a budget. We have proprietary budgeting tools that we’ll use to interactively create a budget with you. It makes the process really transparent so that you know exactly what is included in a budget and what isn’t.
Are there any helpful averages?
In my experience–other than the tool we’ve developed–the most helpful general budgeting tool is the one that Remodeling Magazine puts out each year. They title it the Cost Vs. Value report and design it to help homeowners understand what remodeling projects cost in their metro area and how much value they add to the home. I have found their Portland Metro report to correspond pretty accurately to what you can expect to budget for a remodel in Portland. If you’d like a copy of that report, just schedule a call below and I’ll get you one.
Lamont Bros. Average Costs
There truly is no average bathroom–and no average bathroom remodel cost. However, in order to be as transparent as possible here are a couple example budgets:
Example #1 – Hall Bathroom Remodel
A basic 5×8 pull-and-replace bathroom remodel with a tile floor, tub with tile shower surround, semi-custom vanity, Quartz countertop, new plumbing fixtures, new mirror or medicine cabinet and new lighting will likely range from about $32,000-$45,000 depending on a lot of variables. Can it get below that? Sure, but that all comes down to figuring out what compromises you want to make and how to make design decisions that save you money. Can it be above that? Of course–there’s always another cool feature to add.
Example #2 – Master Bathroom Remodel
A basic pull-and-replace master bathroom is typically much larger than a 40 SF hall bathroom, and it often includes both a tub and a larger custom tile shower, either two vanities or a double vanity and sometimes a separate water closet. The cost for this type of project can range anywhere from about $48,000-$75,000. As you work through the design process you’ll find that each decision you make about each aspect of your remodel will push that budget lower or higher in that range.
Create a custom budget
If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, and want some budgeting advice you can schedule an appointment with us and we’ll create an interactive budget specifically for your remodel. Schedule a call or showroom appointment below.