Kitchen and bathroom renovations are amongst the most highly valued investments you can make in your home. They’re messy, costly, and time-consuming to change since they aren’t rooms that can be just dressed up with a fresh coat of paint. Which makes them projects that home buyers sometimes like to avoid. When you’re dealing with dated fixed finishes, there usually isn’t an easy update that doesn’t involve some major work. In fact, when clients ask us if there’s anything that they can do to modernize their bathroom without breaking the bank, the answer is usually a resounding no. We often suggest that they hold off until the budget is all there to get the work done properly. Partial renovations like replacing just a vanity or the wall tile can look like putting a band-aide on the problem that just made it worst. It often will accentuate the old, as the old elements now probably no longer relate to the new ones.
Okay, so you’re on board with a full gut bathroom renovation and now you’re wondering what it will cost! It seems like the cost of renovating a bathroom has increased significantly over the years as costs of labor and materials have increased. It often happens that a client who had experience renovating a decade ago will assume that they can get their bathroom done for $10,000-15,000, but in reality, the actual cost is much higher. We renovate on average twenty-two bathrooms a year and we do not make any more or less money based on the price of the bathroom renovation so believe me when I tell you we’d like to see it as low as possible as we advocate for our clients. We’ve worked with many different contractors and trades and we’ve played around with how we can reduce the cost of renovating a bathroom countless times to fit into our client’s ideal budgets.
After all of this number crunching and shopping around, I can tell you that we’re lucky if we complete a bathroom renovation for under $25,000. It’s a big number, we know, especially considering that it’s a starting price and it only goes up from there. However, once you take into consideration labor performed by a certified RBQ contractor and the cost of replacing all of the tiles, plumbing fixtures, and lighting, it adds up easily. Now you might be thinking that you’re okay with inexpensive, simple tiles (like a subway perhaps?), and that you’ll pick up a store-bought vanity (from IKEA maybe?), and you’ll be able to bring that price right down. Maybe. But the reality is that the vast majority of the cost of renovating a bathroom comes from the contractor, and that’s not something that you want to compromise on – trust us!
Just the construction fees alone can range from $16,000-$30,000, including labor and roughing material, but not including any of the finishes. Of course, finishes can definitely drive the cost up from there. We’ve seen some pretty elaborate installations; gold leaf ceilings, all marble everything, all of which definitely won’t help your pocket, but if that’s the wow you’re looking for, we sure won’t stop you! Setting the finishes aside, if we consider the fees associated with the actual labor, when you break it down it makes sense. We’ve had this conversation with multiple contractors and had them explain why bathroom renovations are so expensive and this is what we got;
COST OF A SMALL RENO
When doing one room at a time, the overall cost to the contractor increases versus when a bathroom renovation is included as part of a larger home remodel. The plumber or electrician who they hire for just a couple of hours may still charge them half a day or a full day since they still consider the time they take to get to the site and set up their tools. When something is missing that stops the trade from continuing their work, they have to leave and come back another day, instead of moving on to other work like on a larger job site to fill the rest of their day. There’s a cost to that. Waste disposal is even an issue on a smaller renovation, you may save the cost of a container if it’s for a small bathroom that doesn’t require one, but that still means that you’re paying someone to load the garbage into their truck and haul it off to a dumpster at the end of every day during demolition. The ideal situation is to combine your bathroom renovation with other work that needs to be done in the house. The actual expense of renovating the bathroom will be reduced if the contractor is able to combine it with other work.
Plumbing and electrical work are up there with some of the more costly trades that contractors subcontract to, and a bathroom may have a lot of it. You can easily increase a bathroom renovation budget by 25% if we’re moving a toilet to a location where the roughing is not easily accessible. Alternatively, sometimes moving a toilet no less than 3 feet in the right direction can be easy and it may only cost between $300-$500 more.
Heated flooring is all the rage. Once a homeowner has had a taste of what it feels like to step onto a heated tile, they’re usually sold on incorporating a heated flooring system in their bathroom renovation. This electrical work alone can add an additional $800-$1500 to the electrician’s quote. Then of course the other considerations include optimizing the rest of the lighting.
That pretty much sums up my bathroom renovation rant. If you’re interested in renovating your bathroom in Montreal (or its surrounds), give us a shout! Contact us today to set up a complimentary discovery call with one of our specialists.