Setting a budget for your bathroom remodel is one of the most critical steps in the entire process. It is important to note that we have placed this section before the section on interviewing and selecting your Contractor. Knowing what you want to spend and knowing what the remodel will cost are obviously two different things. However, with a little research, various websites will be more than happy to chime in. The problem with quick online searches is that there is no context for your specific bathroom remodel.
We would like to help you give your bathroom remodel some context. This will enable you to set a budget range you are willing to work within. When we go out to look at a bathroom remodel, the question of a budget is usually broken down into one of two answers.
“That is why we called you.” That is the most common answer to our question of “Have you considered a budget for this project?”
The issue with this logic is that Contractor’s don’t know what a given remodel will cost either. There are 1,000 different variables to any remodel project. The primary two variables are the design or layout of your bathroom and the material you pick out. These two things will have a major affect the cost of the project (either up or down). The Contractor should take the time to listen to your plans for your bathroom remodel. They should offer up design ideas and insight into your wants and needs. Trust me, the Contractor doesn’t “know what these things cost” anymore than you do at this phase of the game. They need information, and a lot of it, in order to give you any sort of accurate cost.
This misguided statement has caused more headache for homeowners doing a remodel than anything else. The root of the thought is that if you give the Contractor your budget, it might be too high. Then the unscrupulous Contractor takes the job and buys a jetski with all that extra money you didn’t have to spend. This is a reasonable fear for a homeowner to have. To allay this fear, I encourage you to take a quick glance at the Cost vs Value report put out by Remodeling Magazine. This report is done every year and will give you a rough idea of what a typical project cost will be. This will help you understand if your budget is high, low, or right where it should be.
If the Contractor you are interviewing is able to provide a budget range for your project, that’s a great sign. You should understand that the budget range may be wide. But it will give both you and your Contractor a place to start the design process. A Contractor will only be able to give you an accurate budget range if they listen carefully to you. Do they ask questions and do they understand the full scope of the project you want to do?
If so, they will sit down with you and help you set a budget. A good Contractor will give you a “ballpark” of what the remodel will cost. A great Contractor will sit down and help you set a budget for the project based on what you want to do.
You may find that the budget is too high. If this is the case, then the Contractor should be able to help you make a few changes to your plans to get the cost down. The alternative is that you really want this dream bathroom: you need to wait until you have the correct budget available or get the project financed.
Alternatively, what if you discover that the budget range is below what you want to spend? You can either pocket the difference or upgrade your choices!
The table below outlines what budget ranges you can expect for the different types of bathrooms in your home. These numbers are not gospel. They are starting points to give you an idea of what you can expect to spend on a bathroom remodel.