Get Real about Renovation Costs

Liz-Home-8Get Real about Renovation Costs

TV Show Craze

We all love DIY tv shows where a designer completes a home renovation in one episode or a house is flipped and little or no money is spent. Such shows build false expectations as to the time it takes to organize and complete a renovation and the relevant costs. Most people do not have a team of designers and contractors (paid by the show), sponsor contributions of product, and film editors to make things look seamless.

Wouldn’t you like to know what it really costs to renovate your bathroom? How long will it take? And what should you leave to the experts?

The cost of materials and range of products can significantly impact your bottom line. I always advise on upgrading the quality of the existing space but spending too much money can have minimal return and spending too little can take value away.

What you buy and where you buy it can also have an impact. Product from a big box store may look similar to that from a boutique but can be built to different specifications and even come from different countries. Designers prefer boutiques that supply great service and information, but always negotiate on price.

How do you budget your bathroom renovation?

  • You need an existing floor plan showing: locations of plumbing, electrical, cabinets etc
  • New layout plan that is dimensioned, so you can calculate by lineal feet and by square footage.
  • Reputable contractor who does bathrooms (not all want to do them) to price construction
  • Shopping list of all fixtures, finishes, accessories

Recently I had the opportunity to do two bathrooms renovations at the same time in one client’s home. My cost in design time was much lower because I could design and shop for two at a time.

The main bathroom was a tub/ shower combination and cost less than the master bathroom not just because of size but because the master had a separate tub and shower..

Costing for this project was: Main bathroom: $22,000 Master bathroom: $29,000. These bathrooms were lovely but not over the top. This is what you should expect to spend on a $600,000 plus home.

 I am always asked how long will it take?

Bathrooms are complicated and time consuming. They are usually upstairs and away from exit doors, so moving products in and out is not easy. Count on 8 weeks minimum and you won’t be far off. My suggestion is to have all products onsite prior to starting your project. Nothing is worst then finding out a product is delayed or not available and you have to reselect.

What is better left to the experts?

This is easy! Electrical, plumbing and anything structural needs an expert. Your qualified trade will organize the required permits and should something unforeseen happen; your insurance company will love you. You don’t need to hear “Sorry you are not covered”.

When deciding on a contractor make sure that his skill level is suitable to the size and scope of your job and that he treats your house as a home not a construction site.

Think like a Designer!