Bathroom Renovation Budgets - McMullin Designs Haddonfield, NJ

Bathroom Renovation Budgets – A Dose of Reality (NOT Reality TV)

Posted by Bridget McMullin on May 10, 2016

For the next few weeks we will be concentrating on Bathrooms.  This will include small ones, big ones, and even what they cost.

At MDG we find that generally our clients are unaware of the cost of renovating a bathroom.  Misinformed by unrealistic television renovation shows, $10,000-$15,000 seem to be the numbers that most people expect, which leaves them unpleasantly surprised when we discuss the actual costs of these spaces.  We always have to remind our customers that they live in the Northeast and not in Texas where every renovation seems to cost $15,000.

Bathrooms & Kitchens are, hands down, the most expensive renovations in your home. They are also where quality and longevity run hand in hand.  Sub-par work or materials will mean you will be redoing your space in 10-20 years.  A great bathroom should last you 40-50 years!

Budgets allow our clients time to wrap their heads around the project before we start the design and selection process.  I already know that my clients are not going to pick the $2 a square foot tile.  So by budgeting $5-$7 per square foot for tile, they feel they have something to select from.  A budget with breathing rooms allows for creativity!

Here are our general rules of thumb for bathroom renovations-

Budget Bath 3 piece – $10,000 to $20,000

This would be limited to Home Depot and Lowe’s selections.  There is no major electrical or plumbing work to be done.  Items are staying in place, and all fixtures are updated with entry level quality.  Tile flooring, a one piece tub, ready to buy cabinets, counters, and fixtures are part of this budget friendly package.

Most of My Client’s Bathrooms – $25,000- $60,000

This budget range allows for the reconfiguration of a bathroom as well as a general $5-$7 a square foot range for tile.  Stone counters, upgraded plumbing fixtures as well as accent tile details are available.  Square footage will drive the overall price of a bathroom renovation.

Luxury Baths – $60,000 ++

Gorgeous tiles come with sticker shocking prices for many of our clients. Mosaic glass walls popular in TV shows and magazines can come in at $30/sqft up to $125/sqft.  One shower wall can cost well over $6000 for materials.  So knowing where your budget starts will allow you to, or keep you from, falling in love with that really expensive tile!

Just like kitchen appliance, fancy and fun plumbing fixtures add lots of cost.  That Toto Washlet doesn’t “just” cost $2200.  It also needs electrical and a special plumbing hook up not needed with a standard toilet.  That huge soaker tub is on sale for “only” ½ price. Great!  But did you know it also requires you to put in another water heater, add structural support under the bathroom, and purchase a drain system that only works with that tub?  The final deal on that tub is $15,000.  Cha- ching!

Being prepared is part of the process.  Having a professional guide you there allows for less sticker shock and an overall better result.  At the end of the day the plumber or contractor could care less what you pick- it’s their job to install it and to make it work.  It’s your designer’s job to make sure you’re going to love it and use it for a LONG time!

See some great Before & After Bathrooms with budget numbers in our next blog in this series HERE!