Bathroom remodel searches online have increased tremendously over the last five years.  We have determined it is because homeowners are now going to the internet (rather than to a contractor, friend, or family member) to find information.  Most people want to be educated before they reach out to a pro, so they know what to expect.  And why not?  We agree that an educated homeowner is the best type of client to have.  In this article we aim to answer many FAQs from clients we meet with as well as provide some helpful tips to avoid any potential frustrations you may have during the remodel process.

Tip Regarding Online Research:

A lot of homeowners begin their research online, many times entering their name and phone number online so they can “get more information” – and then BAM!  You are on a telemarketer’s list. When you provide your information online to a company – rather than a contractor (ie:  Angie’s List or Home Advisor) you are giving permission for 3-5 contractors to contact you.  This is GREAT if you have reached a point in your research where you want to speak with designers and/or contractors.  If you have not reached that point, however, the calls can be an annoyance and may dissuade you from your goal of a beautiful new bathroom.  We advise you not to enter your information online to any site unless you want your phone to ring (and ring immediately!).

Homeowners generally have a few basic questions they want answered.  1) How much will the remodel cost.  2) How quickly can you get started and 3) How long will the project take so with no further delay – here are those answers!

Bathroom Remodel Costs

Ahhh – the golden question.  Everyone wants to know how much their bathroom remodel will cost.  Again – all the same factors above come in to play!  But this guide is intended to be upfront and honest with the current remodeling prices you are likely to see in San Diego and Temecula.  These are the ranges we can provide you based on what we have seen, but you can also use the Cost Versus Value report San Diego Cost Versus Value Report (which we find very helpful) or you can do some more detailed budgeting by using this great kitchen and bathroom remodel cost calculator (which we believe tends to run a little on the higher side so it is a good way to keep your expectations realistic).

Master Bathroom – Gut and Remodel with no floorplan changes:  $25,000 – $40,000

Master Bathroom – Gut and Remodel with floorplan changes:  $35,000 – $80,000

Hall Bathroom with no floorplan changes:  $20,000 – $30,000

Hall Bathroom with floorplan changes:  $30,000 – $40,000

Partial Master Bathroom Remodel:  $1,000 – $15,000 (not offered by all contractors)

Partial Hall Bathroom Remodel:  $1,000 – $10,000 (not offered by all contractors)

Of course, your remodel prices will vary depending on many factors including the type of bathroom (hall bath or master), location of the bathroom (upstairs or downstairs), scope of work (tearing down walls?), and type of remodeling contractor you are working with (yes, there are several options there as well).  There are other cost factors as well, costs that fluctuate frequently – things you can not control which include the contractor’s current work load (or lack thereof), current material prices, insurance rates, and other economic factors.

Bathroom Remodel Permits

If your project requires permits your price will be driven up, there is no way around it.  Not only will you have to pay for the permits themselves, but you also have to pay for the draftsman to create the plans to submit those papers for permits.  There are two types of permits.  One is “over the counter” permits which is when you just need a singular trade-specific permit (such as electrical moving or plumbing moving).  If you are moving, taking down, or adding a wall and depending on where you live you might not have a choice but to get a full permit.  A full permit will take 6 weeks to get from the city (from the day you submit).  If you live in a condo or high rise you will likely need a full permit as well.

How Quickly Can You Start

Contractor’s timeframes for beginning construction on your project will really depend on a few things (I know, it is very hard to get straight answers.  The reason is there are so many variables in remodeling!)  The contractor’s specialty and business model will affect how quickly they can start on your project (as well as affect their pricing, by the way).   A restoration contractor can usually get equipment onsite the same day.  A remodeling contractor who has no employees may be booked up for weeks or months (if he is available that same week, I would be cautious).  A design-build contractor or a remodeling contractor who is assisting you with the design of your space and the selection of your material will be waiting on you before he can start work.

It is important to understand what type of remodeling company you are working with not only from a financial standpoint, but also from an operational standpoint.  If you don’t need assistance with design, you want to get your material online or shop from Home Depot, and/or you are looking for cheap and quick – you could work with a remodeling general contractor who has no employees (or only has 1 -2 helpers).  If you require design assistance and need help selecting cabinets, tile, and all other materials then you are going to want to find a design builder.  If you had a flood and need to restore your space to the way it was before the flood, then you need a restoration contractor.

Bathroom Remodel Timelines

Bathroom timelines vary depending on many factors including size of bathroom, scope of work, whether the job is permitted, the type of permit, type of contractor you are working with, and materials selected.  If you need a very rough guideline (which is all you can really get online) – these timelines will give you a general idea of how long it will take to not only plan for your remodel, but to get it built as well.

No PermitsWith Permits
Selecting A Contractor2-3 Weeks2-3 Weeks
Finalization of Design1-2 Weeks1-2 Weeks
Obtaining Permits0 6 Weeks
Product Selection & Delivery6 Weeks6 Weeks
Construction3-6 Weeks8-10 Weeks
Total Time12-17 Weeks23 – 27 Weeks

Tips for The Best Relationship with Your Contractor

There are a lot of ways for homeowners to avoid having a bad remodeling experience (we have all heard horror stories).  One of the best ways to avoid problems during your remodel is to understand how to hire the best contractor for your project.  If you go into your bathroom remodel with clear expectations and a clear plan then you should end up with a beautiful custom bathroom without having to relocate.

A few things we think you should know going in to the process:  Contractors do not work 7am – 4pm in an office like you may be accustomed to.  Typically, the contractor will either be picking up materials and tools in the early morning or they will spend the morning in the office coordinating or scheduling and then head to the jobsite.  When you hire your contractor find out from him what times you will typically see workers at the jobsite.

To keep your sanity:  During a remodel, your home is now a jobsite – a construction zone.  That is the best way to think of it & keep your sanity because if no one has told you – construction is smelly, dirty, and takes a long time.  There is no way around it.

Spend some time understanding how to prepare for your bathroom remodel, and don’t be afraid to ask your contractor directly how he thinks you should prepare.

Most homeowner – contractor relationships fail when homeowners try to manage their own project.  You might be surprised to learn that most delays in construction are created by the homeowner.  Don’t forget that you hired a professional because you felt that you were not qualified and/or did not have time to manage the project yourself.  Learning information online or watching shows on television about remodeling is not the same as working on the tools and training in the field for years (and sometimes decades) like your contractor has.  If there was any advice we could pass on to you it is:  hire a professional  – or do the work yourself.

We hope you have found this information useful.  If you can think of anything else we should add, please let us know!  If you are ready to speak with a design consultant and/or get a free estimate – give us a call or fill out the form below and we will contact you to schedule an appointment!