Expensive Bathroom

Why is bathroom remodelling so expensive?

So you’ve finally had it with your outdated bathroom. You’re ready to say farewell to your rust-stained tub, your water-damaged vanity, and your avocado-coloured toilet. You want a bright and beautiful new space with ample storage, a pleasing colour palette, and a spa-like feel. But how much will it cost?

If the bathroom remodels cost figures you’ve been quoted have shocked you, you’re not alone. Remodelling can be shockingly expensive, and price ranges for a bathroom can be especially so. 

When remodelling a bathroom to save money, what you should avoid is often as important as what you should do. Avoid these bathroom remodelling pitfalls that are guaranteed to drive up the budget, slow down the timetable, and result in added maintenance down the road.

At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.

All the trades are involved.

Most contractors work with licensed, bonded, and insured trades contractors to complete many aspects of a project. These specialists are experts at what they do and guarantee their work. Even though a bathroom may be small in square footage, nearly every tradesperson who would be involved in a larger renovation will still have a hand in your project. Here is a shortlist of tradespeople that may be involved in your bathroom remodel:

  • Demolition Crew
  • Carpenter
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Drywall Installer
  • Painter
  • Countertop Installer
  • Cabinet Maker
  • Flooring Installer
  • Tiler
Expensive Bathroom

No economy of scale

The typical bathroom in a Seattle home is 5′ x 8′. With only 40 square feet to work with, your cost of materials will be relatively low. However, the skilled labour required to install it will be a large percentage of your total project cost. Each of the above tradespeople incurs a minimum cost just to bid your project, travel to your home, set up their equipment, do the work, and perhaps return one or more times to complete the job.

Coordination required

To effectively schedule and coordinate the work of all those subcontractors takes time and focus. Some contractors juggle multiple small projects, making incremental progress on one and then hopping to the next. This can lead to even the most basic bathroom remodel dragging out for an unacceptable length of time. A better approach is to hire a remodelling company that will assign a lead carpenter or project manager who is working only on your project. When you have a builder’s undivided attention, your project will almost surely be completed faster and with fewer setbacks and unwelcome surprises.

Dust protection

Another consideration is keeping the parts of the house that are not under renovation free of dust. With drywall being removed, cabinets being installed, mortar and grout for the tile being mixed, wall studs being drilled out for new electrical wiring, even the smallest bathroom remodelling project can produce a lot of dust. Responsible remodelers will put up plastic wall systems and lay down floor protection. This extra effort may add slightly to the cost, but your goal, after all, is to beautify your home, not make a mess of it.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Remodeling Your Bathroom

Remodelling the Bathroom With No Plan

Jumping into the bathroom, remodel haphazardly is a sure way to spend more money than is necessary. Even though bathrooms tend to be rather small, their dense cluster of services within that small space means that you cannot afford to do anything impromptu and absent a clear plan. For example, if you install the toilet and then decide that it should be moved a few feet to the left, the project will be more expensive than if you have situated it correctly the first time around. So, layout a firm bathroom design even before you call up the contractor or design company.

Choosing Expensive Options When Simple Ones Work Better

Assuming that the expensive bathroom remodel option will take care of all of your problems is not always the correct assumption. Contractors, home improvement stores, supply houses, and many others may drive you toward purchasing higher grade and more expensive materials and services. While their intentions might be honest, it results in a higher overall cost to you.

For example, a frameless glass shower is solid and attractive. Often resulting in higher resale value for your home, a frameless shower dresses up your bathroom more than other types of shower stalls. However, frameless glass showers are more expensive than framed glass showers or other shower stall units. If a framed shower unit can work for you, consider how much the extra cost of a frameless version is worth to you. This applies across the board with natural stone counters, quartz counters, stone floors, solid wood cabinets, designer paint, and a host of other premium products.

Replacing Items Rather Than Repairing Items

Maybe the tile shower surround needs regrouting rather than a full replacement. Or the vanity can be painted rather than ripped out and replaced. Everything is more difficult to replace when you are remodelling a bathroom. For one, bathrooms are embedded deeper into the house than other rooms, making it harder to extract demolished materials. Similarly, it is much harder to bring new building materials into the house. And you often have to carry items through rooms that you want to keep clean.

Bathroom materials, too, tend to be more expensive. So, if you can keep any item and refurbish it, you save money. Some examples include the following:

  • Refinish your bathtub or shower
  • Reface or paint cabinets
  • Reglaze the sink
  • Refinish the countertop
  • Regrout the tile

Ignoring Bathroom Ventilation

A bathroom fan is often the last on the list of priorities when remodelling a bathroom. But poor ventilation has a domino effect. Moisture-laden air in the bathroom can cause pervasive mould or mildew that can ruin other remodelling work. Newer bathroom ventilation fans are a vast improvement over old ones. They are quieter, more powerful, and more effective. Heat lamps are another way to reduce moisture in your bathroom.

Installing the Wrong Type of Bathroom Flooring

When remodelling, think in terms of flooring that is appropriate for bathrooms. Ceramic tile, porcelain tile, luxury vinyl plank, and sheet vinyl flooring tend to work best in the bathroom because they shed water. Solid hardwood, engineered wood, and laminate flooring rarely are your best options for bathrooms. In a pinch, site-finished wood flooring can be made to work for a while, but decay is inevitable. Any kind of stone in the bathroom will need to come pre-sealed or be sealed by you. Plus, natural stone will need occasional resealing to keep moisture from permeating into the surface of the stone. Choosing the wrong type of flooring for bathrooms compromises not just the flooring, it compromises the underlying structure of subflooring, underlayment, and joists.

Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

Entirely Doing the Bathroom Remodel Yourself

Suppose you are handy with common household tools. In that case, you can probably take on projects like installing bathroom flooring, laying ceramic tile, painting walls, installing bathroom vanity, adding a GFCI outlet, and even running branch circuits.

But when it comes to advanced activities such as building an entirely new shower stall, installing whole-bathroom wiring, or doing a premium-quality tile surround job, consider whether you are truly up to the job. Many bathroom remodelling projects will, in the end, be less expensive and less frustrating if you call in the professionals from the start.

Starting With the Master Bathroom Remodel

If your house has two or more bathrooms and all need remodelling work, it makes complete sense, to begin with, the largest, most heavily used master bathroom. Or does it?

Unless you are a highly experienced do-it-yourselfer, your first bathroom remodelling project will be a learning experience. Mishaps will happen. The paint will spill. Toilets will leak. Instead of starting with the most visible bathroom, start with a smaller one: a powder room or a kid’s bathroom. The smaller spaces in these bathrooms mean that they are easier, cheaper, and faster to remodel.

The Most Expensive Part Of A Bathroom Remodel

While remodelling your bathroom, it’s important to remember that no two things will cost the same, for obvious reasons. For instance, the cost to replace your vanity will be vastly different than the cost to replace your shower or bathtub. With such different values, how can you plan a budget? Hence why people start by factoring in the most expensive aspects of a bathroom remodel. In most bathrooms, it’s labour costs.

Labour can cost around 20% of the total budget. Based on the project, contractors can charge anywhere between $40 to $100 an hour. Whether it is the plumbing or tile work, installation and labour charges eat up most of your budget. Since labour costs aren’t limited to a single aspect of your bathroom, the cost associated with different elements differs as well. For example, a plumber might charge you between $40 to $150 for an hour while an electrician will charge around $40 to $100 an hour. You will need to hire various general contractors, plumbers, electricians, painters, and even drywall installers.

Thinking of DIY-ing it all to save costs? Stop. Remember the intricate plumbing work we’d mentioned earlier? Working with the plumbings and other fixtures is not an easy feat. It’s best if you hire a professional who has the experience to tackle a bathroom remodel. You don’t want to do a rickety job and ruin your new fixtures now, do you?

Now, let’s talk about tiles. This is one aspect some are able to DIY. This is because when you remodel your bathroom, you will probably redo the tiling of your entire bathroom. Even if you ignore the material costs, tiling requires a lot of labour hours. And if done correctly, tiling takes roughly two weeks from start to finish. The preparation work is typically four days, and the tile installation itself generally takes five days. If you have the necessary tools and experience with this kind of thing, you can give it a shot.

There’s more to a bathroom remodel than the labour cost. Your materials will end up costing you around 60% of your total budget too. For instance, the average price of a bathroom cabinet and its hardware is approximately $1,050 – $3,400, and the average cost for fixtures is around $1,000 – $3,200. These are the top 3 expensive parts of a bathroom remodel. Be aware that these are only national averages and real prices may differ based on what you choose. Your requirements will be different, and the cost can vary based on your unique requirements too.

What Are The Other Factors That Affect The Price?

Now that you’re aware of the most expensive part of a bathroom remodel, you should also know that you’re probably going to end up spending in the mentioned range. You should also know other factors that can drive up costs so that if needed, you can work around them or avoid them.

Moving Plumbing Fixtures

There’s a set layout in your bathroom, and if you wish to change the design, it will cost you money. And plumbing is a significant factor in determining the cost of a bathroom remodelling project. Moving fixtures like toilets, bathtubs, showers, and sinks can cost quite a bit. For instance, the average price of relocating a toilet or sinks can be $2,500-$3,500 per fixture.

Moving Walls

Walls are a significant factor when you’re remodelling a bathroom. You may choose to move a wall or alter it to improve the functional value or appeal of the bathroom. In most cases, it is often a necessity as it improves the overall footprint of the space, and the benefit it provides outweighs the cost. Speaking of cost, moving a wall can be as little as $2,000 or as high as $8,500.

Luxury Additions

Who can say no to some luxe in their bathroom space? While enchanting, luxury attachments and fixtures come with their price tag. Not only do the materials cost more than regular ones, but the cost of installing them is also higher. Luxury fixtures are more delicate than regular fixtures, and they require more time and precision. This will pile up on your labour costs as well.

Size Of The Bathroom

The size of your bathroom will affect the final estimate of your bathroom remodelling project. Typically, there are three variants; small, full, and master. If you’re remodelling a small bathroom, the average cost is around $2,500 to $10,000. The same costs $6,000 – $15,000 for a full bathroom and $10,000 – $30,000 for a master.

Other Factors

Even after all of these factors, there are some small and big elements that you should consider as a part of your budget before remodelling your bathroom. Factors like the quality of materials used, changes in the bathroom layout or hiring specialists like designers will make a difference in your final budget.

What is the Most Expensive Part of a Bathroom Remodel?

The most expensive part of a bathroom remodels tile work and plumbing typically. Both of which are found in the most expensive area in the bathroom remodel, which is the shower. But there are other aspects of a bathroom remodel that can be just as expensive if not more depending on the scenario. Keep reading as we cover each of these scenarios in more detail.

One thing that you will notice as we cover the more expensive aspects of a bathroom remodel is that when we break down the steps involved with each task, you may realize that there are a lot more moving parts to completing a bathroom remodel than you may have initially considered or thought about. 

Before we move into other expensive aspects of bathroom remodelling, I would like to add one task that often goes along with a new shower, and that is a glass shower enclosure. And in many areas, a custom frameless glass shower enclosure is the standard. 

What makes its custom? Because there are no prefabricated panels. Everything is measured and cut to size. First shower glass walls are measured after all the tile work in the bathroom is complete. Then the glass is then ordered and then fabricated in the glass shop. Finally, the glass panels are brought to the site and installed. This process is the same regardless of whether you choose to use framed or frameless enclosure. The frameless enclosure is usually incrementally more, and in some bathroom layouts, the framed enclosure makes more sense. There can also be a huge range in pricing for this type of work. Some companies may charge several times what other company charges.

Now let’s discuss some expensive bathroom remodelling tasks that may be unique to your job. 

When we talk about a bathroom, remodel we have to first set some parameters on the scope of work. There are design elements that can be very costly, but that may not typically be apart of most bathroom remodelling projects.

For example, moving walls. Moving walls can be necessary in order to increase the size of an existing bathroom or to create space for a new bathroom in a location where there has never been a bathroom. In these scenarios, you may have to move or alter load-bearing walls. This line item can be expensive due to the labour to tear out and modify the framing, as well as any plans or drawings that may be involved with completing this scope of work.

Which brings me to another structurally related task-rotten wood repair. If your property is built on a wood-framed floor system, there is always a chance that you will have water damaged framing members that have been damaged by water leaks. Some common locations for these types of leaks are tub surrounds, and bathtub drains, bathroom sink drains and water supply lines, and last but not least, the toilet flange. These repairs can vary greatly in severity. In some instances, the issue can be resolved by replacing a section of the subfloor, and in worse cases, the floor framing system may have to be cut out and replaced. Yes, you read that right. Water and moisture can damage a home worse than anything else. And one of the main reasons for this is that a slow leak doesn’t make any noise, and there isn’t any catastrophic event to draw your attention to it, which means that the problem can go on for months and years undetected. As a property owner, it’s a good practice to inspect your property for these types of issues periodically. Even if, you have not been diligent with inspecting the property up to this point, now is an excellent time to start. If you have exposed framing in an unfinished basement ceiling or a crawlspace, this can be an excellent place to start. You can also look for signs of water intrusion in the bathroom. By doing this type of close inspection, you are more likely to gain awareness of moisture issues before you begin working, and therefore you won’t be caught totally off guard. 

Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.

How to save money on your bathroom remodel

There are lots of ways to save money on your bathroom remodel, like choosing your finishes carefully and keeping your existing layout. There are corners you don’t want to cut, like hiring an unlicensed contractor or handyman. The most recommended way to save is to combine projects to achieve overall cost-per-square-foot savings. If you have two bathrooms that could be remodelled, it will cost far less to do both at once than to space them out. Likewise, if you are also contemplating a kitchen remodel, an addition, or some other renovation, it makes sense to explore the option of batching your projects together to save.

Now that you know about the most expensive part of a bathroom remodel, and the factors that affect the overall budget of your remodelling project, you should be able to make a more informed decision about such an essential aspect of your home remodel. If you need help financing the project, there are plenty of options available — start with what you need in your bathroom, make a budget according to it, and then think about your course of action.

There’s a lot creating a bathroom that you will love for years to come. Thoughtful design plays a huge role in your long-term satisfaction. If you are contemplating a bathroom remodel, please feel free to reach out. We would be happy to answer your questions and share our ideas.

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