You've decided that you want to settle in your present home for at least a few more years, but that grungy, outdated bathroom has to go. Or maybe you're putting the house on the market and you figure that updating the bathroom can boost your home's appeal among prospective buyers. However, substantial costs a associated with even a modest bathroom remodel.
Contracting and Labor
Unless you're very skilled at do-it-yourself renovation work, one of the major expenses associated with renovating a bathroom is hiring a contractor and staff to execute some or all of the work. The contractor obtains necessary permits and supervising the laborers actually performing the work. Depending on how extensive a remodeling job you're considering, you may need to hire plumbing specialists and electricians along with workers to lay flooring and install tile work, fixtures, a vanity and a bathtub, shower enclosure or both.
Sinks and Vanities
If your bathroom sink and vanity were last replaced during the 1960s, you may wish to replace either or both of them. Installing a standard porcelain sink and wood veneer vanity cabinet in the same location as the original setup will cost much less than fitting out an antique solid wood cabinet to accommodate twin marble vessel sinks. Many bathroom remodeling projects also involve replacing the mirror and medicine cabinet with fixtures that match or coordinate with the sink and vanity.
Tubs and Showers
Replacing bathtubs and shower enclosures can represent the lion's share of your bathroom remodeling budget, even if you settle for standard issue replacement fixtures. Opting for high-end features like full-body spray shower fixtures or a sunken bathtub large enough for two will add significantly to the price tag. A very heavy bathtub or shower enclosure installed in an upper-floor bathroom may require reinforcing the floor in the bathroom. Heated floors, towel warmers and high-end tile work will also add to the expense of a bathroom renovation.
Wiring and Plumbing
Especially with older homes, wiring and plumbing can represent a major portion of a bathroom remodel's expense. Even if you replace your sink, tub and shower with similar fixtures placed in the same location as the originals, existing wiring and plumbing may need to be replaced to meet building code requirements or because they're simply worn out. If your bathroom remodeling involves major reconfiguration of the room, the job may require an entirely new plumbing system along with a total rewiring job.
- Remodeling Magazine: Cost vs. Value Report 2011-12 -- National Data -- Bathroom Remodel -- Midrange
- Remodeling Magazine: Cost vs Value Report 2011-12 -- National Data -- Bathroom Remodel -- Upscale
- Bankrate.com: Top Five Projects to Boost a Home's Value for Resale
- Zillow: The Value of Home Improvements
- Renovation Design Group: Adding Bathroom Adds Value
- HGTV: Budgeting Your Bathroom Renovation
- HGTV: Plan Your Total Bathroom Remodel Budget
- National Association of Home Builders: NAHB House Price Estimator
- Remodeling Magazine: Cost vs Value Report 2011-12 -- National Data
- Bankrate.com: Quick Rules of Thumb When Your Remodel for Resale
- HGTV.com: Remodeling Cost Estimator -- Bathrooms
- AllBathroomDesigns.com: Bathroom Remodeling Costs
- Cost Helper: How Much Does a Bathroom Addition Cost?
Chris Blank is an independent writer and research consultant with more than 20 years' experience. Blank specializes in social policy analysis, current events, popular culture and travel. His work has appeared both online and in print publications. He holds a Master of Arts in sociology and a Juris Doctor.