One of my brothers and I had a brief e-mail exchange last week concerning a bath renovation project that fell into his lap last week. The brother in question is the king of the do-it-yourselfers. He knows what he's doing and over the years, he's done a great job on his and his family's home.
The bath project in question started out as an expedition into a wall to fix a slow leak. The home in question is 100-year-old-or-so former school that he's converted into a home for his large family. As is usually the case in an older building, fixing a simple leak is never simple and such a job rarely consists of a quick fix.
In the course of cutting into a wall to find the bad water line, he ended up with a full-blown construction site on his hands. It happens. What really got him though was how much money he ended up spending on what was supposed to have been a minor repair in a secondary bath.
I sympathized, but it's not as if there's anything I could do about the cost part. Bathroom renovations are expensive and quick fixes either don't exist or they are not something that will really improve what's already there. I get called on a lot of bath jobs, but I don't end up working on most of the rooms people call me about. I live in a part of the world with somewhat older housing stock. Older housing stock means small bathrooms. Unless a bath is being expanded or it's part of a larger renovation project, I can't make enough money on the job for it to be worth my time. That may sound haughty or cold, but so what. Even a small bath remodel requires a lot of my time, generally the same amount of time it takes to work on a larger job. I make more money on larger jobs, so it makes no sense for me to take on a time-intensive small bath.
I'm not alone in this either. Anybody who's ever tried to find a contractor or designer willing to work on a downstairs powder room knows what I mean.
Anyhow, the great Kelly Morisseau from KitchenSync had a link on Twitter yesterday and it led to a blog called Confessions of a Tile Setter. Confessions is written by a man who goes by the name of Suntango, and Suntango's Texas-based blog is filled with all kinds of insight regarding the renovation business form the perspective of a skilled tradesman. In Suntango's blog entry from last Friday, I found this:
You can pretty much hang your hat on these figures gang. In my experience, they are dead on. If you're thinking about a bath renovation sometime soon, keep these numbers handy as you work out a budget for it.
According to an annual construction cost survey by RemodelingOnline, a mid-range remodel of a 5x7-foot bathroom averages $11,585-$14,889; for an upscale expansion of a 5x7 bathroom to 9x9-feet within the existing house footprint, costs run $35,111-$43,050. These are averages; actual costs may be higher or lower.According to an annual construction cost survey by RemodelingOnline, a mid-range remodel of a 5x7-foot bathroom averages $11,585-$14,889; for an upscale expansion of a 5x7 bathroom to 9x9-feet within the existing house footprint, costs run $35,111-$43,050. These are averages; actual costs may be higher or lower.According to a construction survey by RemodelingOnline, a mid-range remodel of a 5x7-foot bathroom averages $11,585-$14,889.Here in Texas that is a bit high. However, you could easily shell out $30,000 in a small bathroom with upscale materials like a heated floor, heated toilet, heated towel bars, gem quality Natural Stone Tile, upscale fixtures, TV Monitor in mirror, etc.For an expansion of a small 5x7 bathroom to 9x9-feet or larger within the existing home, cost can easily get into the high teens to close to $30,000. Again this can escalate with added features and trades.