Happy New Year!
2014 was a big year for me, opening up my own design business. I have to say, it has been a good decision so far. I've had the pleasure of working on several homes in Alameda and beyond in the last six months. Hopefully I will have some new pictures to share with you very soon!
One project many homeowners want to tackle in the new year is a Bathroom remodel. Let's face it, older, dated bathrooms are no joy to live with day-in and day-out. Chipped tile, dirty grout, pitted metal or plastic faucet handles and (gulp) carpet in the bathroom are the most frequently sited problems with an older bathroom.
But how much should one budget for a bathroom remodel? The costs can vary greatly.
First, you need several contractors to bid from real plans - your rough sketches, or better, from an architect or designer who works in AutoCAD. Show them your list of materials and plumbing (see next paragraph) you wish to use. Labor is usually the largest cost involved in a remodel. Inquire whether your project will require a permit, and let them handle the legwork. Permits are typically a percentage of the labor cost, and can range from a few hundred dollars to $1k.
Secondly, when it comes to materials and plumbing fixtures, educate yourself. Spend some time browsing online retailers or Google fixtures you find on Pinterest. If you have time, visit some tile, stone and plumbing showrooms. Faucets can range from $50 (Ensen Ikea) to $2,000 (KV1 Vola), and there are hundreds of options in between. Toilets can be $300. or $4,000. Bathtubs can be very basic or super hydrotherapy chakra-aligning spas. Go try some down at Tubz to find your favorite. Cheap ceramic tile, on backed sheets, can be found for as little as $2.50 a square foot. Porcelain tile is typically less than $10. a square foot. Stone and mosaics can be in the $20.+ square foot range. With a little research and math you can probably figure out your plumbing and materials comfort zone without too much trouble.
Last year we did a modest remodel on our circa 1986 bathroom. It did not start out modest. I wanted to gut the whole thing, move the shower, buy a new tub, fabricate a new custom vanity, update the lighting and fans and put in all new tile and stone. Our budget was $25,000. with a tiny bit of wiggle room. As a designer, I drew up my own plans in AutoCAD and invited two contractors over to give me some bids.
Turns out, our budget wouldn't even cover the labor! We had to seriously rethink the scope of work and focus on more cosmetic upgrades, rather than replace everything.
So we went back to the drawing board. We left the shower alone for now (sadly), painted the old vanity, and kept the old tub, toilet, and counters. Anything that would have triggered a permit was deleted from the scope. Instead, we replaced the flooring with new porcelain tile, replaced the faucets, mirrors and sconces, repainted, and added a new window shutter. We hired a handyman and his crew for the tile work and painting, and a local plumber to switch out the faucets.
And you know what, it looks a million times better now even though we only spent $5k instead of $50k. It won't be featured in Architectural Digest, but it feels fresh and renewed. We still have some money in the piggybank, so we might do the shower this year - fingers crossed!
What did it cost? (Vendor in parentheses) Costs are approximates/rounded.
Tile for floor (Dicks Carpet One) $900.
x2 Faucets (Overstock.com) $375.
x2 Sconces (Restoration Hardware) $450.
x2 Mirrors (Room and Board) $1000.
Paint (Pagano's) $300.
Shutter (Slats Blinds Alameda) $300.
x7 Knobs (Anthropologie) $100.
Plexi replacement for ceiling light (TAP Plastics) $100.
Painting and Tilework labor (Handyman Miguel Gonzalez) $1,200.
Plumber (AT Weber) $300.
New towels and accessories (Target, Creative Growth, World Market) $275.
Total cost: $5,300. give or take.
You can find all our selections on my Pinterest board Modern Cottage Master Bath.
Peace to you in the new year,
Want to find out more? Here are some great resources for bathrooms:
Tile/Stone: Dicks Carpet One, Import Tile Co., Cal-Tile Alameda, Dal-Tile, Heath Ceramics
Plumbing: Jack London Kitchen & Bath, Tubz, Amazon.com, Overstock.co, Wayfair, Home Depot, Lowe's
Paint: Benjamin Moore through Pagano's Alameda
Lighting: Restoration Hardware, Circa Lighting, Lumens.com
Hardware and Accessories: Anthropologie, Target, World Market, Creative Growth, Ikea, Schoolhouse Electric
Mirrors: Room & Board
Window Treatments: Slats Blinds Alameda