Yeah, I feel your pain. I'm in Alabama, one of the lowest income states in the country, and I got a quote from a "big box" hardware store here. $39,000 -- to remodel a 9 x 12 bathroom. I won't go into the details but I'll tell you that the estimate included $3600 for electrical work. Uhh, we are simply switching out 2 'regular' outlets and putting in $20-dollar GFI outlets. The wiring is fine (I know because I've been in the wall before). So don't go to the "big box" stores unless you want the highest possible estimate (oh, yeah ... I had to pay for the estimate as well).


As I contractor if I am installing a customers product or supplying my own, I am charging full overhead and profit above the install cost. I try not to allow customers to supply materials and when they do I tack on my overhead and profit in to the labor. Remodeling is one of the most time consuming services and if your not covering your overhead and profit in the materials and labor you will not last long in this business. At the end of the day after all said and done, making a 15% profit is respectable. Think about it, your the designer, the gofer, the physiatrist, the builder, shopper and the banker until you get paid. Never be intimidated to support your price, deliver a quality product and support it with proper pricing. Never let the customer supply there own materials. Movie theaters don't let you bring in your own pop corn, so why should contractors be any different.

I’m in the middle of a small bathroom remodel. Shower only-no tub. I thought I was ready for this, but so many things have come up I didn’t count on. I paid $5000 for all supplies and in stock fixtures at Lowes–just basic stuff. I did have to order a shower kit because the builder thought it would save some labor time. It was high–$3200. The builder charges $50 an hour (includes him and his helper). He estimated his costs between 5 and 7 thousand. My house is 35 years old so he has had to do a lot of work to accommodate the new fixtures. I had an old lighted medicine cabinet so he had to rewire for the new lights. My vanity was too high so he had to move the electrical outlet. Because my attic above the shower had moisture in it, he had to vent the shower to the outside. He had to replace all the subflooring and a lot of the rotted insulation on the sides of the bathroom (leaky roof) . Anyway, it looks like my bathroom remodel is going to be around 10 or 11 thousand. I wish now I hadn’t ordered the shower kit with the fancy tile.
With this article being close to 2 years old, I can easily say it is WAAAAYYYY out of date and couldn’t be farther from current outcomes. While some of the occurrences with the difficulty in getting responses from contractors might still be the same, the dollar figures are multiples off! My wife and I have been researching a modest renovation on our master bath (mid70’s colonial MB that was updated once before) and have reached out to multiple contractors over that timeframe. Each time, our revelation into the exhorbitant costs are proof enough we’re not asking either the right questions or the right contractors. The dissapointment in hearing the $30k minimum and 45$k midpoint (again...midpoint) for our studs to simple remodel are enough to send us into the nether-regions of misunderstanding and annoyance and the same time.

For a small bathroom of roughly 100 square feet, labor costs could run an average of $12,000 or $13,000 on the high end. This would include the labor to completely redo tile, completely install new fixtures, complete any necessary wiring and plumbing, and have everything inspected afterward. Never overlook the importance of having your wiring and plumbing inspected directly after the contractors finish. This can end up saving you a lot of money on repairs in the long run.
Between the two options, pick up one tile design that suits your necessity and budget. Remember to put forward safety for your children in this point. In case your budget is limited, you can partially change the tile. Determine which part of the bathroom that needs new, safer tiles. This will definitely save more money compared to overall tile changing.
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