How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Really Cost?

From on September 23, 2011 in Bathroom Remodel


In the world of food, a great chef is distinguished from all of the average chefs by their ability to prep beforehand. This is called mis en place—everything in its place—and requires careful forethought to produce a smooth gastronomical project and end result. The same is true for a bathroom remodel. The success lies in the planning and budgeting.

Budgeting and planning can be a trial of patience. You want to get started, you want to see that new bathroom finished, like, yesterday. But such thinking is only asking for a sub-par job and minimal satisfaction. And how does your bathroom remodel fit into the flow and financial plan of your overall home. Not to mention the question of what you are wanting out of your new bathroom.

Compare costs for the best price

The great news is that you can get the bathroom of your dreams, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg—or your sanity. The market today offers a huge range of fixtures and finishes to help you get what you want. Such a technical remodel requires professional help at some point, so start looking for a contractor (check out the licensed pros near you). In the meantime: compare pricing. The best way to do so is by clicking here.


Create a lookbook

Research and brainstorm everything in your head. Search through our Bathroom Ideas pictures, check out local home improvement trade shows. Find your all-star contractor. Create a wish list, complete with every detail of function and aesthetics you want. Then, take those dreams and enter into reality, checking manufacturers for availability and cost. When you do meet with a contractor, you will be prepared with your dream and a plan of action.


Yes, this is the time you want to be judgmental. Once you’re ready for estimates from professionals, you should already have the overall budget and estimated costs figured out. You will then be prepared not only to negotiate, but to sound the alarm if one contractor quotes a project at $15,000 when others claim they can accomplish the same job for half the cost. Choosing your materials beforehand will give you a hard number to work around, keeping a $20,000 project from turning unduly into a $45,000 project.


Be flexible

Once you have an estimate, a contract, and a hard financial goal line, you also need to be sure that you’re keeping the overage within reason. A splurge here and there, or an investment that will save you money in the long run, is different than completely throwing that budget out the window in the process. On the other hand, be prepared for the unexpected costs that inevitably arise in remodeling. Plan ahead to add a 30-percent cushion to your budget. The good news is that fall is typically the season for affordable small bathroom renovations, so the sooner you get started, the better.

Average bath remodel costs

Brian Johnson, principal at Collaborative Design Architects, says that a bathroom remodel using a licensed professional designer and contractor can cost $175 to $225 per square foot on the low end. “I tell clients if you add a bathroom, it’s $8,000—that’s where we start,” he says. The DIY-er, of course, can spend more like $75 per square foot. Photos via Houzz