Everyone wants to save money, but when you start by questioning material costs or markups it can indicate that you may be under budgeting for the project, or will question every choice the contractor makes in the hopes of saving $100. Time is money and when you have a customer who may cause interruptions because they want to buy something themselves to avoid "markup" it can cause major delays. Many times a customer ends up getting the wrong material anyway. This again slows down a contractor that may already be too busy.


Now, we can jump into factors you can and should control throughout this adventure. No matter what house project you're undertaking, whether it be DIY or not, you need to have a budget. Before the project begins, you need to have a range, if not know exactly, of what you can spend on every little aspect. That means setting a number for your new cabinet hardware, shower head, shower stall, glass shower door or even material delivery and sticking to it.

As the home owner, I am providing about $8,000 in materials. This includes the cabinetry, fixtures, faucets, countertops, lighting, toilet, glass in-line shower door and tile. Received two quotes. One contractor wants $25,000 to demo the bathroom, convert the existing tub to a tiled walk-in shower, tile the floor, and install my materials. The other wants $27,000. Using the previously mentioned 60/40 labor to material rate, I would be paying more than double for labor...that's insane. Some contractor's need a reality check.
You’ll spend $3,000 to $8,000 on the typical remodel. Anywhere from 40 to 65 percent of a bath upgrade cost comes from labor. However, doing any project yourself means no insurance and added fees if something goes wrong. Hire a professional for any work you’re not comfortable doing, such as the plumbing and electrical. Consider the pros and cons of DIY vs professional bathroom remodeling.
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??!?!?
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