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).
My bathroom is about 8X8. Received a quote for 17,000.00 just for labor only. Granted they would be gutting entire bathroom. Also plumbing fixtures will be in same place accept toilet moved 4"inches to the left. Air tub will replace current cast iron tub -no separate shower. My material cost will be about 9500.00 . They want half of the labor cost upfront ($8500.00 Demo will be done in one day and I must pay for dumpster. My home is worth about $200K This bathroom will cost a total of approximately $26K Is this a reasonable quote and I this too much overall to spend based on home resale?
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.
When you use a bold accessory like an animal skin, you need to make sure that it isn't lost in a bunch of other decor elements. This bathroom uses its neutral, modern design to really give space to the zebra skin rug here. And the great thing about this kind of design is that you can change this one decor element as often as you wish, without having to spend thousands remodeling every time. If you are just updating a bathroom, you will probably not need plumbing or electrical work. Since this article is referenced to a small bathroom, the costs here are way too high for labor unless you are in Manhattan. $9k for general labor is insane. A small bathroom should cost you $1-2k labor for reframing, concrete board, tile, toilet, vanity and accessories install. Texture and paint should be another $400-600 tops for a SMALL bathroom.
It's so competitive out there. I am a Long Island contractor and I be realized lately that clients give you an impression when you give them there costs that you are doing something wrong. I've been in this Busines about 20 years and that avg cost is right there. Also homeowners should also realize if us contractors are using subs for our plumbing and electrical our costs are hire than the guy doing all the work himself. I only used licensed contractors for all my remodeling work.