Author Topic: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?  (Read 6530 times)

KBecks

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Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« on: June 28, 2018, 06:05:16 AM »
Hi MMMers,

I am finally going to remodel our master bathroom, which needs it, has needed it for more than a decade, and I feel like it is time to move forward.

Right now I am leaning towards hiring full service remodeling firm to do the work, so they will manage the project and secure all the materials and get it done. 

The other option is for me to self-manage and be the designer / general contractor, but I am worried about the details and having gaps in who does what, and a lack of accountability for quality issues if I tried to hire and manage individual subcontractors myself.

Our home is worth, I would guess, $250k.   The average bathroom remodel is apparently approx only $9 - $12k.  A contractor I talked to yesterday said they expect $25k and it could go up depending on materials.  I have read that our max. budget should not exceed 10% of the home value, which puts us at right around $25k.

I do not want to overspend, but I am OK with paying for excellent work and materials.

The tricky part for me is our shower has a window, and so I will need a carpenter for that?  Plus there is all the concern of leaks in the shower and poor work causing problems.

We are not going to do the whole thing ourselves and I don't want our main bathroom torn up for longer than it needs to be.

Any thoughts?  Is it OK to hire a $$ contractor?  I am going to start with 3 bids and try to see what they can give us for the money to make sure it feels like its a value.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 06:14:18 AM by KBecks »

Bucksandreds

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 06:15:40 AM »
From my experience you could save maybe $10-$15,000 being the contractor yourself and hiring out the parts that you cant do.  I.E. most can lay a tile floor but most cant redo plumbing to a proper standard.  When I redo my master bath I'll put in the glass around the shower myself but I'll hire someone to redo the actual shower. There is a high profit margin locked into that $25,000 quote but if it's worth it to you to not worry then $25,000 won't mess up your life.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 06:47:54 AM by Bucksandreds »

jlcnuke

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 06:21:43 AM »
What can you NOT do yourself? It's honestly not hard to do most of it. If you decide to keep the fixtures in the same place (i.e. don't need to move plumbing... electrical's pretty easy to move generally though) then there's no reason you shouldn't be able to do most things yourself, though you may need to rent and/or buy some tools depending on what you have. Hire out the least amount possible would be my recommendation.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 06:24:10 AM by jlcnuke »

KBecks

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 06:26:10 AM »
I have zero construction experience.  One of the goals is to bring the bathroom up to modern finishes so it would be competitive for resale and so I don't want for example, weird gaps, goofy trim or bad caulk jobs.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 06:43:35 AM »
A general contractor usually takes about 15% of the total job plus whatever he can negotiate his sub contractors down on.  A bathroom remodel is a little more involved for the GC so that figure is a bit higher.  If you have no idea what you are doing then hiring a GC may be worth it.  A little leg work may result in you finding a "do it all" type of crew or individual who can take the project from start to finish at a lower price.  I used to work for a crew like this (minus the lower cost part).

I did some tile work for a friend who tried to GC a bathroom herself with no clue about construction.  When I say no clue, I mean she had no idea the plumbers need to come before the sheetrock is up etc.  It was a nightmare and the finished product was terrible.  The "gaps" as you mentioned are what kill a project.  Each sub-contractor will try to do the bare minimum to get paid and there is a logical order to the way things should go.  When they don't go that way, the subs get upset because they waste time waiting or showing up to find that the project is not ready for them to begin. 

Some cost saving and other tips:

-Ask about permits
-Use a standard fiberglass molded shower insert and tile the walls and ceiling above the shower for a high-end look at a lower price.
-If you have a stand-alone shower and want tiled walls in the shower, consider using a fiberglass shower pan on the floor.  Tile shower floors increase cost and although they are beautiful if done correctly, they are a maintenance headache due to grout staying wet and getting moldy.
-Avoid natural stone tile in bathrooms, it is beautiful at first but shows mildew/mold/urine stains etc
-Mount lighting for your vanity mirror at eye level.  It is better for applying makeup (no shadows)
-A good quality exhaust fan on a timer is a good investment
-Heated floors are nice but are expensive to install and very expensive to run (high electricity usage)

If hiring a GC, be a pain in the ass up front.  Ask friends who have done remodels who they have used and what went right/wrong.  Get everything in writing, including anything special you would like.  Detail how they will minimize dust in the rest of the house, how clean they will keep the home and property, where they will set up tools and enter/exit the home and how they will protect those areas from damage.  Do not shy away from any special requests at contract signing.  GCs are salesmen and want to close the deal, they will promise you the world but if it is not in writing you have no recourse when they don't follow through.  Be aware of they guys that lowball and then run into lots of "problems" that they "didn't account for" during the project.  Ask them how they handle a rotten floor board or unforseen electrical issue during the project.  An experience GC will anticipate minor issues and just include some buffer in their price.  Some things that GCs will leave out to bring price down are painting and dumpster/trash removal.  Be aware of that.

The state of your home when workers are on site matters.  If you have clutter and mess everywhere, workers are less likely to be careful and clean because they will assume you don't care.  The more crap you put away prior to work beginning, the less crap you have to dust when they are finished. 

GreenEggs

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2018, 06:56:53 AM »
$25K seems like a huge price for a bathroom.  I'd keep shopping and looking for options.

You can see exactly how every part of the job is done on Youtube.  I'm a DIY type guy, so I'd never consider paying that much for such a small job. 

Have you shopped for the materials and totaled the cost for them?  If the materials are only $2,500 that means the labor is $22,500.  That is a LOT of money for 1 guy to get for a week or two of work.  If he has a helper, that just means the job will go quicker and he'll pay the helper $15 per hour.  The $15 guy probably knows how to do the entire job, but doesn't own a tile saw or a pickup truck. 

I'd get more estimates.  Determine the cost of materials, so you'll know what they're charging for the labor.  Ask how many days it will take to complete, then do the math.  How much per hour are you willing to pay for a job that only requires a high school education? 

You can buy a brand new car for $25,000.  A bathroom is just a big closet with a toilet, tub, and a sink.  Tile is simple to cut & glue down.  Anybody can do it. 

jtraggie99

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 07:03:33 AM »
How big is your bathroom and what all are you talking about doing?  We redid our kids bathroom in our last house about 4 years ago.  Standard sized jack and jill bathroom that was split into two rooms (vanity in one toilet and tub in the other).  I took out the divider wall myself, the old toilet, the flooring (which was carpet), the old tub and tub surround.  That saved us some money right there.  We reused the same vanity (painted it) and counter top (refinished it).  We then had plumbers move the toilet over to make room for a bigger tub (concrete slab so this was not a small task).  They then did all the plumbing work for and installed the new, larger tub I bought.  We then had people do the tile work for the tub surround and floor.  After that, it was painters fixing all the drywall (there was painted wall paper they had to take down, then texture and paint).  New fixtures, lighting, mirrors.  We picked out and bought everything our self (paint, fixtures, tub, toilet, tile, grout, calk, etc).  When it was all said and done, we spent maybe $5k-$6k.  Granted, you throw in a new vanity and counter top and that could jump the cost a couple of grand or more.  The point being, $25k seems absurd to me.  Yes, a big walk-in shower alone can get pricey if done right, but you can get by on much less.

Oh, and if you are concerned about resale value, skip the pre-fab showers.  Most home buyers want tile and will not see that as any kind of added value.  As for the grout and mold, if the tile people actually do proper water proofing (kerdi, red guard, or the like), then that is not really a problem.  Water proofing directly behind the tile will allow it to dry out properly in between use. 

yodella

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 07:07:07 AM »
Agree, get more quotes. Unless you are in Manhattan or something, $25k seems insane. Our home is of similar value and last year I got a quote for a total re-do of our master bath (down to the studs, ALL plumbing and electrical had to move, new skylight framed in, etc), and it was $10k for labor (we had already chosen and paid for materials).

OtherJen

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 07:33:29 AM »
We hired a contractor because we only have one bathroom and needed it done promptly and correctly. Ours was a full tear down to studs/subfloor, with new vent fan installation, beautiful tile on the floor and tub surround, and complete replacement of everything (previous owners had botched a cheap remodel so there was a lot of wall damage). Total cost was about $10K for materials and labor. We added another $2K to have some other plumbing (some of the c. 1950s pipes were causing problems).

bortman

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 07:49:51 AM »
$25k seems high.

DW and I did a remodel on our full bathroom 2 years ago. We decided to take on the role of general contractor. I did most of the work myself, and only "sub'd out" the shower and floor tile.

Our bathroom is 5 x 8 ft, has a tub/shower, toilet, vanity .. pretty modest. Total cost was ~$5000, if you don't count my labor. We opted for nice finishes, but nothing fancy.

We got four estimates that ranged from $12 k - $20 k before deciding to DIY.

I gutted the room of everything except drywall. There is an outside window in my shower too. After tearing out the original cement board I discovered that the studs beneath the window were rotted and provided no structural support. I completely re-built the outside wall.

All of this is to say:

* If you act as general contractor then you should be pretty comfortable with all the trades that you'll have to manage. You'll do more than scheduling and logistics .. you'll need to understand and inspect their work, including "surprises".

* Coordinating between my work and the tile installers was sometimes challenging. As general contractor you'll have to coordinate between plumber, tiler, painter, maybe others?

* Get at least four estimates. Estimates can vary wildly from contractor to contractor for a multitude of reasons.


jax8

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 08:02:31 AM »
I spent $1,000 on a DIY powder room.  I will NEVER attempt such a project again.

The project started because the toilet seal leaked and the water damage popped tiles all around the toilet.  We ripped everything out down to the subfloor and started over.  Ripped out wall paper, repaired walls, painted.  The new fixtures (all clearance items, mind you) and tools we had to pick up along the way pushed the total bill up more than I wanted to spend.  It also took well over a 2 months--including 1 week of vacation time--and calling in favors from friends to complete.  It's still not 100% complete because we need to nail the quarter-round back down around the floor molding.

I even "cheaped out" by mixing some old paint remains to create my own custom lilac-greige and picked up a beautiful brand new mirror for free from work.  I didn't tile or do anything fancy because I couldn't afford it.  And the room looks...basic.  It needs the fancier upgrade trims that I just don't have the time, money, or inclination to go for right now.  But I'm also not selling, so I'm not too concerned about it.

Since you're doing this to sell, I would go with a cheaper contractor.  But check out Pinterest for some staging tips, first!  This internet stranger who has never seen your bathroom suggests trying to list it with some small, cheaper upgrades like new fixtures and a good, hard scrubbing.  How about listing it a little lower and counting on a buyer who will want to take on the new bathroom project themselves?  Clean-to-the-point of pristine and a $10K lower price may sell faster than a new $25K contractor remodel.  Just depends on your market!

Adam Zapple

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2018, 08:04:57 AM »
$25K is not insane for a master bathroom in a HCOL area.  Not at all.  For that price I would assume it would be a larger bathroom with high end finishes that needed some plumbing moved around a bit.  Given that your home is $250K, I'm going to assume you are not in a high cost of living area.  Get a couple more prices.  If the goal is for resale, I would do the bare minimum to make it presentable or you are just throwing money away so somebody else can enjoy it.  These "flip" shows make it seem like hiring a contractor to upgrade your house will somehow make you money.  Those shows are total bogus with completely made up numbers.  Cleaning the grout, upgrading the vanity and lighting and some paint might be enough.  You'll never recoup 25K.  Not even close.  I worked in the construction field for 7 years doing almost exclusively bathrooms. 

When people throw numbers around, they need to realize you can buy 2 dollar tiles or 20 dollar tiles.  You can buy a $200 vanity or $4000 vanity with a $1500 marble counter.  Inset soap dishes, seamless shower doors, whirlpool tub, beadboard/crown moldings etc etc etc all cost money. 

KBecks

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2018, 08:11:54 AM »
We are going to live here for a while, so we want to enjoy and use the bathroom, but, someday we may sell and if we do, we need the bathroom to be a plus. 

I do want some upgrade items, I want a custom solid surface shower with a nice window in it. I want a solid surface countertop and nice but not crazy expensive fixtures.  We want to add a vented bathroom fan, and want decent quality for the cabinets and flooring.  The lights might move, there may be minor electrical and plumbing, we are going to replace the tub with a new acrylic or cast iron tub, so there is some work, but it is not crazy.  I plan to still have a shower curtain. We want some new doors as well.

I think the contractors in my area are overall more expensive even though we are not in a HCOL area.  We are in a northern state in the upper midwest and I think our labor and materials are higher than other areas.

I am looking for something that is a little better than a "builder bathroom", but not crazy luxury. 

The current bathtub is harvest gold, and the window and shower surround are ugly, crappy (but functional).   The current bathroom as is is a negative if compared to the neighborhood, but other houses in the neighborhood generally have more basic, functional updates bathrooms, no amazing tile or anything like that.  I want the solid surface shower for its durability / ease of cleaning.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 08:14:49 AM by KBecks »

accolay

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2018, 08:13:41 AM »
For the record, unless they're Tom Silva or Mike Holmes, I fucking hate contractors.

Maybe investigate what It'll cost to have a plumber, electrician, handyman and tile setter etc. do the work for you. Start looking at big box stores to see what types of stuff you'd want and add that to the price including lights, fan, sink, toilet, shower, bath, faucets, tile, any special switches i.e. timing switches for fans, vanity, floor heater etc. Doing bathrooms will always pay off in home value, but it doesn't have to be gold plated. In my area, if a licensed trade person does work they are responsible for permits i.e. city inspections to make sure things are right.

It will take longer this way....but $25,000 for one bathroom in a $250k house is insane. Maybe the contractor read the same thing about the cost of the remodel being 10% of your home value? Who writes that stuff anyway? The remodel can be as much or as little as you want, but make sure you use quality fixtures and materials so it will last a while. If you've waited to remodel this long, think about it and investigate a little longer.

The shower window makes me think this is an older home. You can have them remove the window from the shower, put in a glass block window or you could use an extra shower curtain or claw foot tub curtain rod enclose the shower.

KBecks

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2018, 08:24:49 AM »
So if I did it on my own in terms of organizing the project, here is where I am at -- I feel like I am close to having the right things, but not all the pieces of labor needed.

1)  I know a plumbing / electrical company that does decent work
2)  I can hire a local flooring company, or any flooring company
3)  I can order a vanity and sink and counter from a big box store
4)  Fixtures can come from big box or plumber
5)  Accessories can come from anywhere

But...

6)  I worry about this shower window leaking. That is not OK I think I need a handyman for that.  The window needs to be installed so the plumber can handle the surround.  Maybe the plumber knows someone they can recommend who can install the window and cabinet.

7)  I would like some nice solid surface work.  An experienced solid surface place should be good but if I am going though a big box they mark it up, and they don't work with individuals, only big box or contractors.  Maybe the plumber can organize.

8)  I would like nice trim, doorways updated, doors updated, and nice floor mouldings.  I would like an amazing carpenter to get a great finished look, but I don't know where to find a great carpenter and would be rolling the dice.

9)  I think I can find a drywaller, but not sure about evaluating quality.

So, I am almost there, but not quite there in terms of getting all the pieces together, and I wonder how much it would save.  I can start working on that and see how it compares.  But how much would it save, and would I lose the savings in errors and frustration lost with a torn apart bathroom?

Note, I have money available to fund the project, and our net worth is solid.  It's just a matter of whether the contractor experience is worth it.  I am interviewing 4 full service contractors and it will be interesting to see how the prices come out and what their attitudes are like.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 08:28:07 AM by KBecks »

accolay

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2018, 08:28:35 AM »
Depends on what the savings will actually be, and remember, this is the MMM forum. If you save just a measly $10,000, wouldn't it be worth it?

I had a quote for a plumber to do just the gas lines in one small house- $4000. Another equally qualified plumber did it for $1400.

KBecks

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2018, 08:39:13 AM »
The shower window makes me think this is an older home. You can have them remove the window from the shower, put in a glass block window or you could use an extra shower curtain or claw foot tub curtain rod enclose the shower.

I had been working on a spreadsheet for some time with prices for various items, but I don't have bids for the big things, like a custom vanity from Lowe's, I hear they have a nice cabinet brand, and the corian shower, etc. 

The window in the shower lets in a lot of nice light. I am thinking of going to a fixed pane window just to let in the light. I really don't want an ugly transition between the shower surround and the window, and I don't want tile, because grout is a PITA.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2018, 08:45:53 AM »
We are going to live here for a while, so we want to enjoy and use the bathroom, but, someday we may sell and if we do, we need the bathroom to be a plus. 

I do want some upgrade items, I want a custom solid surface shower with a nice window in it. I want a solid surface countertop and nice but not crazy expensive fixtures.  We want to add a vented bathroom fan, and want decent quality for the cabinets and flooring.  The lights might move, there may be minor electrical and plumbing, we are going to replace the tub with a new acrylic or cast iron tub, so there is some work, but it is not crazy.  I plan to still have a shower curtain. We want some new doors as well.

I think the contractors in my area are overall more expensive even though we are not in a HCOL area.  We are in a northern state in the upper midwest and I think our labor and materials are higher than other areas.

I am looking for something that is a little better than a "builder bathroom", but not crazy luxury. 

The current bathtub is harvest gold, and the window and shower surround are ugly, crappy (but functional).   The current bathroom as is is a negative if compared to the neighborhood, but other houses in the neighborhood generally have more basic, functional updates bathrooms, no amazing tile or anything like that.  I want the solid surface shower for its durability / ease of cleaning.

Given your explanation, your price seems quite high.  The way you describe it you are replacing a tile floor, new toilet, new tub and enclosure, new window, new vanity. Am I missing anything?  Basically just leaving everything where it is but replacing with better looking stuff?  If that is the case then I don't think a GC is necessary.  The only mildly tricky thing is the window in the shower.  The plumber can do 80% of the work.  Ask him if he has someone who can do the window and you are set.  He will be responsible for setting all fixtures correctly and caulking etc.  Tile where I live is about $10/sq ft for installation plus materials.  Labor for the window should not be more than $500 and that would include having to mess with the siding outside.  Replacing doors is about $100 per door plus material cost.  What do you mean by "solid surface" shower?

For reference, my parents have a huge master bath, around 7'X12' that they completely gutted.  Completely reconfigured all plumbing, moved a closet, very high end marble tile floor, double sink marble counter with high end cabinet for a vanity, heated floor, moved electrical around, gutted everything and installed new seamless glassdoor shower enclosure with inset soap dishes in shower and floor to ceiling tile, new stand alone tub, new window that caused them to have to pull off all vinyl siding outside and reinstall, high end "quiet fan".  HCOL NYC suburb.  Hired a GC.  $29K. 

Cranky

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2018, 09:33:14 AM »
Ask around. Who do you know who has had remodeling done and has been happy with the result?

We had our bathrooms remodeled 3 years ago by a guy who had done some work for a friend.

The basement bathroom is still a basement bathroom - nothing fancy, but all the things that annoyed me have been fixed.

The main bathroom was a gut job. We replaced the bathtub with a walk-in shower with a rain shower. All new tile. Moved the plumbing. New vanity and sink. New lighting. New fan, paint, etc.

We picked out and ordered all the "stuff". All in, including labor, it was a shade over $12,000 for both bathrooms.

MrsDinero

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2018, 09:52:13 AM »
We are 3 weeks into a $30k bathroom remodel right now.

For the last few years we have been living with a half-demoed bathroom connected to the master bedroom.  Some walls were completely ripped out others still not done.  Mostly because we weren't sure what we wanted to do with such a large space.

Once we figured out the layout.  We decided to hire a contractor to just get it done.  Both of us work full time and have 2 toddlers.  My husband also travels for work a lot so we realized it would take us over a year to get it done. 

We are moving every plumbing fixture except the vanity, carving out his/hers closets, adding lights where none existed and not reusing any of the previous fixtures.  At first I almost had a heart attack over the cost, but considering how quickly they are doing everything and how hard it has been living without the necessary closet and bathroom space for just this short amount of time, I'm glad we did it this way.  We probably would have ended up divorced trying to do it ourselves.

The basement will be done differently because it is not such an important room in our life.  We plan to start working on the basement this winter in our free time and are ok with it taking as long as we need to take.

Khaetra

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2018, 10:32:21 AM »
Have you thought about checking with plumbers?  When I had to have my main bathroom done many moons ago we had a plumbing company come in and do the big stuff (tub/shower, tile, etc.) and we did the easier stuff like the sink and vanity.  I will probably go that route again when I do another upgrade in a couple years (going from tub/shower combo to just a shower with a seat/bench).

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2018, 11:30:25 AM »
We're probably a few years away from committing to a bathroom remodel,but luckily we're going to keep it reasonable no matter what:

1) Redo shower tile with new shower door
2) Rip up carpet (blech), and lay down tile
3) retile the area around the separate tub. New fixtures for the tub
4) new vanities, mirrors, light fixtures, and new faucets

So overall it's just cosmetic stuff. We won't be touching the plumbing or electrical. The one thing we may splurge on will be laying down heating elements to heat the future tile floor. It would be so luxurious but not sure if we'll pull the trigger on that. Luckily our floor plan is awesome so that keeps things down without having to replumb and rewire everything.

katsiki

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2018, 01:44:28 PM »
I'm in the middle of a bad bathroom reno right now that we decided to do ourselves.  ie act as contractor.  Ran into issues with the plumber and tile person.  I feel like some of this would have been avoided by going with a pro to organize and manage the job.  Hope you have good luck!

inline five

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2018, 03:11:02 PM »
For tile in our bathroom I used peel and stick luxury vinyl and grouted it. It's nice because it's not cold like tile and goes down super easy. It looks good and can be replaced very easily if damaged.

You can see what it looks like grouted here.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/STAINMASTER-1-Piece-12-in-X-24-in-Groutable-Oyster-Travertine-Peel-and-Stick-Stone-Luxury/999957697

I also used it in my kitchen but would not again due to the wearing aspects of it. Because it's cheaper the wear layer is rather thin and it tends to get scratched and dinged. But in our bathrooms it looks good still two years later.

jlcnuke

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2018, 04:40:07 PM »
Just an FYI - grout doesn't have to be a PITA...

1. Install proper ventilation - most bathrooms have massively inadequate ventilation. You're remodeling so get it right. A separate shower should have a separate vent fan and you should have it on a timer switch (leave it running for an hour after showering is a decent guideline).

2. Keep the grout sealed. This is an annual chore but doesn't take much work and no expertise.

3. If you do get some mold/mildew forming, clean it immediately then use a preventative 2-3 x per week (like Tilex spray).

4. Ensure the tile is installed properly (slopes to drain, doesn't let water pool on it).

calimom

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2018, 10:19:03 PM »
A $25,000 bathroom remodel in a $250,000 house sounds mildly insane, especially since you're looking at non-custom things like vanities and fixtures from Lowe's. Do some of the work yourself! Get other quotes! You can end up with a nice result and not spend so much money - unless you have it to burn. Last year I upgraded 2 bathrooms in my 1970s era house for less than $10,000 and was very happy with how it turned out.

MrsDinero

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2018, 07:09:55 AM »
I'm in the middle of a bad bathroom reno right now that we decided to do ourselves.  ie act as contractor.  Ran into issues with the plumber and tile person.  I feel like some of this would have been avoided by going with a pro to organize and manage the job.  Hope you have good luck!

This!  The guy managing the projects has been very vigilant about keeping track of the plumbers and the electrician.  The electrician was 4 days late and in my opinion the only reason he wasn't 5 days late was because the contractor went to his house and was like "DUDE!" .  We live in a small town so everyone knows everyone.  All the good, reputable people are booked solid through summer. 

Cranky

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2018, 09:13:28 AM »
And if you are patient and wait for the next recession/housing slump, it will be a whole lot easier to find someone interested in doing a modest job for a modest price.

J Boogie

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2018, 09:19:50 AM »
On instagram I follow a lot of GC's who tend to have a finish carpentry/carpentry background and then go on to wear almost all of the hats (except where it's required that a licensed electrician/plumber/structural engineer perform a specific task, in which case they set them up for a quick in-and-out visit). These guys will frame, trim, tile, paint/finish and install fixtures.

This seems to work very well for fast turnarounds, clear communication, and clear accountability. I'd see if you can find one of these types.

accolay

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2018, 02:08:16 PM »
And if you are patient and wait for the next recession/housing slump, it will be a whole lot easier to find someone interested in doing a modest job for a modest price.

Or those workers will quit the market and find something else to do like they did after 2008...

ejbowlin

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2018, 12:03:43 PM »
Hiring a contractor really depends on your goals.

A full-service contractor will cost more money, but you'll get more service (hopefully, assuming you choose a good one). Managing the project yourself means you are coordinating multiple contractors (plumber, electrician, carpenter) and scheduling all inspections (rough-in, and final generally).

If you are very busy at work and can't handle an extra headache, a full-service contractor is the way to go.

If you have the time available and want to save some money, you can definitely hire the multiple different tradespeople to get the job done.

Just a bit about my background - I used to own a remodeling crew and I'm a real estate investor whos done quite a lot of projects.

partgypsy

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2018, 10:57:37 PM »
Where i live, there is a place called east coast granite. They also sell solid surface, or rather engineered quartz. They offer a kitchen remodel for 7995 includescountertops, cabinets, and sink). If there is something similar near you, be worth getting a quote to do a bathroom. Usually the most expensive thing is relocating plumbing and electrical, or big structural things, which you don't need. At the very least I'd get additional quotes for the components of the job.

ps being our own contractors, we re-did both bathrooms, In one the bathtub was relocated away from window, plus window was replaced with smaller transom window. In the other bathroom the larger window was removed and replaced with a row of glass blocks that sealed and are just above the tile walls of the shower/tub surround so that the rooms gets light but don't have to worry about wet sills.

I also think that tile is pretty classic. Yes there is grout but you can use larger tiles and have small grout lines and seal the grout. Or you can have other shower surrounds that are considerably less expensive than your initial idea that may not be upscale but are still decent.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 02:00:16 PM by partgypsy »

kimmarg

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2018, 11:41:09 AM »
Are you able to poop in your current bathroom? Yes? Great. Don't spend $25k

nara

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2018, 07:11:36 PM »
We had 3 bathrooms remodeled (all with custom vanities and heated floors) and the total for all three was still below $25k.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2018, 07:26:12 PM »
We are going to live here for a while, so we want to enjoy and use the bathroom, but, someday we may sell and if we do, we need the bathroom to be a plus. 

I know you said you wanted to remodel now but... overall it's a terrible time to be hiring contractors (given that I don't know anything about your market). In my markets everyone who is not awful is fully booked or jacking their prices. However, there's been a ton of great remodeling stuff on my craigslist lately. Example- full kitchen worth of quartz for $100. Yes, please!

So, could you hold off a bit while you get your higher priced supplies off of craigslist/nextdoor/fb? And wait for the contractors to be competing for your business instead of being willing to have 20 potential customers shocked at the price because there will be five more phone calls for quotes tomorrow?

Papa bear

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2018, 06:14:04 AM »
WTF. 25k for a bathroom "upgrade?"  I haven't said this before, because to each their own, but this is MMM forums. 25k is INSANE to update the space.

FFS, get more quotes or figure out how to do some yourself.  Even the 30k bathroom above is insane with moving the plumbing.

You won't get all your money out on these jobs. This is facepunch consumer sucka levels. 

I'm doing a gut job on a 900sf rental, including a new kitchen with full plywood cabs and wood doors, stainless steel appliances, new electric and all fixtures, plumbing stack and waste lines from cast iron and lead to pvc, bathroom with fancy ass tile and new fixtures, AND I'm paying labor for a lot of this. And it's going to be 15-20k

I've done a 1000sf remodel including all doors and windows in an entire house, had to replumb everything, moved a bathroom 15 feet away and did stupid expensive finishes for 33k.

Seriously, this is insane money. 

Go remodel your bathroom. But holy hell shop around.


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calimom

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2018, 08:02:25 PM »
@craiglepaige , your bathroom remodels look great AND frugal! Also, your little boy is a total cutie pie. But that wallpaper, oy. Great move getting rid of that.


Inzanedrop

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2018, 02:44:19 AM »
25k is quite a lot for a remodel of a bathroom.

hdatontodo

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2018, 03:59:52 AM »
I spent $1K on my bathroom and 2nd sink area plus $950 for tub/tile reglazing.

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KBecks

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #39 on: July 07, 2018, 08:13:51 AM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I am going to reduce the budget and try to find ways of doing it cheaper.

Bernard

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #40 on: December 27, 2019, 03:35:25 PM »
I'm not a wealthy person, so I would have to be FIRE'd in order to spend $25K on a new car or to remodel a bathroom. My old 3+2 house in a HCOL area is worth about $685K now, and I'll have to remodel the master as well.

I'll start by making a blueprint of the room, where I want what. Then I price materials. Afterward, I figure how long what job will take. I'm a big fan of the cash is king method, so I don't pay a company $75 and hour so that they can pay the dude who actually does the work $35 and keep the other $40 per hour for doing pretty much nothing. Thus, I hire people who actually do the job, pay them cash as they perform the work, and probably save at the very least 50% of what the usual sucker would pay.

I did that with my rafters repair using a general contractor, with my built-in, with the drywall guy, my electrical work, my new siding, and so on. Pay cash, save 50%. That's how I do things. I do not expect to spend more than $5K to $8K for a killer bathroom remodel, with everything new, with good quality materials and detailed tile work.
Everyone his one.

mozar

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2019, 08:48:49 PM »
So how did it go?

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2019, 01:22:11 PM »
So how did it go?

Agreed. I love me some reno stories.
@KBecks how did your project go?

ender

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Re: Bathroom remodel - contractor worth it?
« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2020, 09:23:36 PM »
Quality of the spam is increasing!