How Much Should A Bathroom Remodel Cost?
Though you may not spend a great deal of time pondering over the functionality of your bathroom, it is one of the most versatile rooms that you’ll find in your home! As a primary avenue that receives the most traffic within your residence, consideration should be given to the role that the bathroom plays in your everyday life.
If you’re already inquiring about the cost of a bathroom remodel, chances are that you know the time has come to undertake a bathroom renovation project
Are you ready? Here’s my detailed planning guide to highlight the factors to consider when remodeling a bathroom, the average cost of a bathroom remodel, a breakdown of bathroom remodel costs, how to create and stick to a budget for the project and tools on how to communicate your design plans with your contractor.
1. The Preplanning Phase: The Value Of A Contractor
The first thing that you should consider for the cost of remodeling a bathroom is whether or not you’ll need to hire a contractor. How big is your project? If you are changing out the décor, or painting the walls, you can safely move forward with your bathroom project without the help of a contractor.
Are you adding a bathroom to your home, changing the structure, modifying electrical or plumbing fixtures? In this case, find a contractor. The expertise of a skilled professional will guide you through taking the necessary precautions, making the best material selections, and educate you on quality care of your new home features after the update is complete.
2. Filing Permits for Your Bathroom Remodel Project
Think of the permit as the gift wrapping of your bathroom renovation. First, you have to consider whether you need it, then you decide on a design and materials. You agree on an estimate, and hire a contractor. After you receive permission for the changes and construction is complete, you are protected by the permit in the event of a future problem.
A contractor can help with determining the permits that are needed, and the locations where they should be filed. Depending on whether you will need a general repair, building, plumbing, or electrical permit, or a combination, the price of each permit is based on the estimate of the project.
Once filed, permits are usually approved within three business days. Upon the completion of your bathroom renovation, you can make an appointment for a code inspector to approve the project, which is usually completed within 24-48 hours.
3. Considering A Bathroom Remodel
Outdated bathrooms can pose risks from water damage, which could lead to mold, rotting walls and floors, and more. Though a total renovation is suggested to occur for most dwellings every 15 to 20 years, the bathroom update, remodel, or addition may be a more frequent venture.
As improvements are made in the world of home building materials, new products are available to withstand the plumbing risks that often lead to water damage, in comparison to what was used even 10-15 years ago. Bathrooms without the proper moisture resistant boards and efficient ventilation are overdue for a remodel to ensure the safety of those living within the structure.
Also, bathroom fixture designs, and accessory styles tend to change within each decade. Though those matching blue tub, toilet, and sink combos are considered retro fabulous today for outdoor garden beds, they can make your bathroom seem outdated and UN-kept.
Sperling’s Best Places to Live ranks Atlanta, GA in the top 10 cities of America for income and living expenses with great home value considerations downtown and regional areas. Atlanta continues to grow with young professionals seeking to reap the benefits of all that the city has to offer, and the demand for efficient and quality housing is high! In the real estate world, bathrooms and kitchens determine the sale.
Someone looking to purchase or rent a new home will imagine themselves in daily routines as they preview the bathrooms and kitchen, more than any other room of the home. Taking the time to repair, update, remodel, or add an additional bathroom could increase the chances of a sale or rental!
According to an HGTV article by Kathy McCleary, considering which home improvement projects pay off in terms of value, bathroom remodels in Atlanta and surrounding areas have over 100% return of the cost when using quality materials. Real estate professionals agree that relevant updates in the bathroom improve the chances of landing the sale.
Maybe you’re not interested in selling or renting, but you are interested in adding value to your home. The complex structure of a bathroom requires quality maintenance and changes with the times to ensure economic functionality. Taking the time to repair small problems like a leaking seal, a small area of water damage, or pealing tile will save money in the long run, if resolved quickly.
In addition to repairs, the Green Building Movement is taking over America, and the communities of Georgia are leading the way. New and existing residents are now aware of the costs and negative environmental effects that inadequate materials have on the quality of life today, and on future generations.
Improving a bathroom with materials like granite, travertine, marble, and other natural elements, allows us to live in harmony with our environment by utilizing resources that eliminate threats to air and water pollution. Glass and porcelain tile has now entered the green material market by adding Eco-friendly manufacturing principles.
When constructed by a skilled professional, natural stone, glass, and porcelain tiles used for cladding, back-splashes, and flooring are proven to outlast the lifespan of any structure, while adding a valued artistic feature to your home.
The number of bathrooms in a dwelling is such a huge factor in choosing a home, that even short real estate listings show numbers like 3/2, and you automatically know that 3 is for bedrooms and 2 is for bathrooms. As families grow, more bathroom space is needed, and the needed space must be suitable for the demands of children, teens, hard-working parents, and visiting guests. Young children are more likely to require a bathtub, while teens and parents may prefer the convenience of a shower.
Always think ahead in terms of what role the bathroom’s design will play in your everyday life throughout the radius of about 10 years. Understanding the role that the bathroom will play can help you to address key factors for your remodeling project.
4. How Long Will A Bathroom Remodel Take?
The size and scale of your project plays a role in determining how long your bathroom remodel may take. Once you decide on the features that you would like to change or enhance, you will request an estimate from the contractor. Depending on the schedule of the contractor, you could expect the estimate to be submitted between 24 hours and one week.
After proper permits are received, the ordered materials are delivered, and construction starts, you should allow about a week for demolition or removal of existing materials, and an additional two weeks to two months for the actual process of the bathroom remodel to be completed.
The length of time may vary depending on the size of the room, the time needed for an artisan’s skill, and any unforeseen complications hiding in your bathroom (ex. mold, water damage, and busted pipes). The contractor should be able to give you a general estimated time for project completion, but as with any construction project, always allow 1-4 weeks of additional time for unforeseen circumstances when considering how long your bathroom remodel will take.
5. Average Cost For A Bathroom Renovation
According to a national HomeAdvisor survey, the average cost of remodeling a bathroom across the country is reported to be about $9,247, with most homeowners spending between $5,615 and $12,879.
The average cost for a bathroom remodel in Atlanta is $7,482, with most residents spending between $5,500 and $9,000. However, to accurately answer how much a bathroom remodel should cost, a great deal of consideration should be given to the specific type of bathroom renovation project that you are undertaking. The cost of a bathroom remodel could range from $1,000 for small updates to over $30,000 for luxury bathrooms renovations.
For smaller renovations like changing counter-tops or lighting, the cost of quality materials will be the biggest determinate of how much you will spend on the project.
For major renovations, the cost of materials and labor play a significant role. The more intensive the remodel, the more labor is needed, and the skill of the contractor is a necessary demand in carrying out the design.
In regards to material, the universal understanding that you get what you pay for is accurate for bathroom remodels. The quality of moisture resistant materials will cost more than items that pose a risk to water damage. The scale and rarity of high-end materials may cost more for the remodel project, but higher quality materials typically produce a greater return on increasing the value of your home.
In a national survey produced by ImproveNet, members were asked to report the cost of the major projects within their bathroom remodel budgets. The biggest expense reported was floor repair and installation. Moisture collection can pose risk to damaging the floor, so moisture resistant materials are needed for most all bathrooms.
- The average cost of reported flooring repair and installation, including the proper raw materials and the choice of vinyl, ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tile was $3,652, which varies significantly by the size of the bathroom, and the cost of the material.
- The average reported cost of cabinetry was $6,600 for special orders and installation, but this number drops drastically for store-bought and co-op priced cabinets.
- Average reports on a new bathtub or shower ranged from under $1,000 for standard quality, to over $5,000 for custom built and tiled showers.
- For standard toilets, the average spent on materials and installation ran between $465 and $541.
- Sinks were dependent upon the materials and skillset needed for installation, but averaged between $2,284 and $3,580, with standard sink installations costing much less.
Always consult with your contractor about your desired approach to the bathroom remodel, because their resourceful connections can help to cut costs on quality fixtures and materials that tend to be higher in large retail stores.
6. Breaking The Costs Down
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) offers an estimated allocation breakdown of each factor within the cost of a bathroom renovation, remodel, or repair as follows:
- Labor/Installation: 20% – (Labor and time invested into the project by your contractor and his employees).
- Cabinetry/Hardware: 16% – (Towel, medicine, vanity, and storage cabinets, handles/hinges, towel racks, and toilet paper holders).
- Fixtures: 15% – (Tub, toilet, and sink fixtures).
- Faucets & Plumbing: 14% – (Shower, tub, and sink faucets, and the plumbing materials necessary for water hook-ups).
- Floor: 9% – (Moisture resistant raw materials and preferred finished flooring: vinyl, ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tile).
- Counter-top: 7% – (Optional countertops for vanity and sinks).
- Lighting and Ventilation: 5% – (Electrical materials and light fixtures. The ventilation fan aids in preventing damage from moisture in the bathroom).
- Walls/Ceiling: 5% – (Wood materials, sheetrock/drywall materials, and hardware such as screws, nails, and paint or ceiling texture).
- Doors/Windows: 4% – (Access doors from the home interior walls to the bathroom and windows on exterior walls).
- Design: 4% – (Some major renovations require architectural blue prints for permit approval. Your contractor will be able to advise you on whether this is a needed expense for your project).
Other: 1% – (Any décor modification for your bathroom remodel).
According to interviews from contractors in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, these estimates seem accurate, with one additional factor to consider. Always add 30% to the budget after you have completed the estimate of materials and labor. The additional 30% will cover any unforeseen complications that arise during your remodel project.
7. Creating Your Personalized Budget
Now that you have an idea as to the average cost of remodeling a bathroom, and the breakdown of what percentage each project deserves from your budget, you may be curious as to determining how to personalize your own budget.
The budget for the cost of your bathroom remodel may be a set number of savings that you would like to contribute to the project, or you may want to seek information about the materials that you prefer to use for your bathroom make-over. Since the cost of labor, permits, and unexpected funding all rely on the estimate of materials, and the cost of said materials vary significantly across the scale of your remodeling project, the best place to start in getting a personalized budget idea is to look at completed projects, and to get advice from your contractor.
Materials range from standard to high-end models, and time should be given to researching the best selections for the specific projects that you want to complete! Begin by searching the internet for styles that you like, and research the best prices for your favorite materials.
One great resource for ideas is the portfolio of your contractor’s past work. This not only exposes your mind to ideas for your personal bathroom remodel, but it also allows you to see the proven skill of your contractor’s work.
Check out Ensotile on Instagram to see some amazing bathroom renovation ideas constructed in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Marietta, Lawrenceville, Sandy Springs, and nearby Georgia areas!
An item list to consider for previewing the price of materials includes:
- Shower doors
- Bathtub casing walls
- Medicine Cabinets
- Tile flooring
- Towel bars
- Toilet paper holders
- Bathtub/Shower faucets and handles
- Sink faucets
- Light fixtures
- Exhaust/Ventilation fans
- Wall tile/Wallpaper/Paint
- Heated seats, flooring, and towel cabinets
- Custom built showers
- Walk-in His and Her Closets and custom vanities
- Free standing tubs
- Rain showerheads
- Custom architectural features
- High-end stone flooring and counter-tops
- Glass tile, granite, stone, and marble walls and backsplashes
- Crown molding and ceiling medallions
- Chandelier lighting
8. Helpful Tools for Bathroom Remodeling Budget
Free Bathroom Remodel Budget Estimator Download – This free Microsoft Excel download will help you to get an idea of the cost for various materials needed to complete your bathroom renovation. The best feature is that this estimator can be modified to fit your needs! This tool starts out with standard estimates, and after modified, you should use it throughout the planning process to keep track of your costs, which will help you to stay on budget!
Free Home Designer Download – Though this tool should be used with caution in cases where major renovations require architectural blueprints, and when considering that plumbing pipes and electrical wiring factor into acceptable fixture locations, this free home design software download is a beneficial tool in helping you to relay your desires with the contractor.
With HomeByMe, you can build your dream bathroom from the ground up, and compare fixtures, colors, and textures with the personal style of your home. Starting with the 2D feature, you can make the layout of the room, windows, and doors, and moving to the 3D feature, you can compare different designs to see what fits you best!
A Day in the Life of Your Bathroom Worksheet Planner – A bathroom renovation is a big deal, and you want to make sure that you have no regrets in your choices for the design. Your contractor will help you with determining the best materials and designs, but you must be able to visualize the use of your bathroom design for the next 10-15 years.
Check out the HGTV Worksheet on “A Day in the Life of Your Bathroom” to get a better idea of the considerations for functionality that should go into your bathroom remodeling design. Link to