I have a miserably small master bath with a particle board subfloor (house built 1969), so I must guy it. I bought toilet made for small bathrooms, and plan to pull the cabinet sink, replace with pedestal, raise storage like lighted bulkhead, demolish tile, and widen doorway from 28" to 32". I might gain 6" from tile removal alone, plus but another 6" on entrance with cabinet sink removal. Since large expense is in demolition, I could do that. But, install showers is tricky given the drain leveling so I'll hire a pro for that. Question: gutting, updating and repairing master bath is necessary, but to what extent should I go i, terms of resizing, which would entail bumping out wall into adjoining small room, which then adds expense of finishing that where window placement restricts encroachment. It's a nice older brick house that I bought before I realized the made of lapses and oversights by the home inspector (who also is a local top police official in a town with highly subjective law enforcement). I need to fix, list, well and leave. Any thoughts (and prayers much appreciated).
It's totally legitimate for a professional to charge you for a design, at least in some situations. If the contractor has a book of ready-made designs and just pulled one out to show you, then you're right that s/he shouldn't charge you. But if someone does a design that conforms to your room's dimensions, with the features that you want, then that person has invested time in creating a work product. Some contractors and architects think that's just the cost of doing business, but many others consider that their time is worth something, and they charge for it. You just need to let contractors know that you're not looking for that kind of custom work, and not willing to pay for it.
And then the apples to bananas procedure of reviewing non-like proposals is just as frustrating. Some bring everything. From the paint to the tile to the fixtures and cabinetry. Others point you in you’re own direction for each of these and expect you to know what questions to ask when buying never-before, behind the scenes purchases that are required for a bathroom remodel. And you’re expected to review the costs a la carte vs as a package and come to a whole conclusion as soon as possible ‘cause if you want the remodel done in 5 months, we have to start in 3 and we’re booked for the next 6...wait, what??!?!?