Costs of a Bathroom Remodel

Finished Bathroom for About $2 Grand

Home, sweet home has a clean, dry, safe, functioning bathroom!  Life is good!
Home, sweet home has a clean, dry, safe, functioning bathroom! Life is good! | Source
The bathroom's wire shelf is a thrift store find.
The bathroom's wire shelf is a thrift store find. | Source
A new one-piece tub surround in white makes everything pop!
A new one-piece tub surround in white makes everything pop! | Source
The old fixtures look grand against the new tub surround.
The old fixtures look grand against the new tub surround. | Source
New flooring and new toilet.
New flooring and new toilet. | Source

Costs of a Bathroom Remodel

For someone who is overhauling ( not enlarging) a bathroom with sink, toilet, bath/shower – following are the costs I encountered when doing this. This description takes into account that I am semi-skilled, own some tools, and provided some of the labor. Furthermore, I feel that I am in a rather low-cost part of the United States. It is all relative, however, and hopefully you can develop a ballpark estimate for your own contemplated bathroom work based on my descriptions.

Already owned:

Wooden vanity unit with sink – being fixed and re-used

Bathtub and its fixtures including showerhead

Oval mirror

Scrap lumber

Nails, screws, some caulk, paintbrushes, etc…

Sewing machine

A Good Choice for Bathroom Readers

Labor I did:

Demolition of walls – removing useless plastic panels and drywall

Small caulking jobs

Painting (lots and lots!)

Mold remediation

Installing insulation

Re-installing baseboards

Cleaning what could be cleaned

Sewing a fabric shower curtain

Costs for Me

Costs in 2012/2013 south-central PA market - approximate

Trash removal by a small owner-operator $68

Plumbing contractor – installing a new toilet, removing and

disposing of the old one, and work on tub drainage $200

Replacement bathroom window installed, Home Depot $700

Handyman #1 – replacing old ceiling light with 2 working light

fixtures moved from another room $40= 3 hours of work

Handyman #1 – installing new flooring, new drywall and green board,

fixing sink plumbing, related work $160= 12 hours of work

Cost of remnant piece of vinyl flooring $ 47

Drywall, green board, plumbing supplies, caulk, cornerstrips,

etc. $170

Big box store online tub surround with delivery $170

Bleach, borax, whitewash $20

Primer and high-gloss paint $55

2 rolls of R-13 faced insulation $44

Dollar Store: shower curtain liner, towel hook bar, hair-catching

mesh filter, 2 bunches of silk flowers, cereal container to

be used as a very narrow wastebasket $6

Thrift stores: retro steel shelf unit, used drawer handles,

tin flower pitcher, bolt of fabric for shower curtain $10

Handyman #1 is a very skilled person who did work for me when he could squeeze it in after his regular day job and another client. Situations arose which prevented him from finishing the job. I needed to hire a “closer” professional handyman. Fortunately, I have used Handyman #2 in the past and have been extremely pleased with his service. He does charge a higher rate… $355= 6 hours plus some materials

TOTAL DOLLAR OUTLAY = $2045.00 approximate

Timeline for Bathroom Re-Do

This work was started in August 2012 and completed in March 2013. The toilet replacement was the first priority. Fortunately, the plumbing company recommended by my neighbor is a fantastic outfit – professional and very responsive to emergencies. I like that in a plumber.

The next priority was ripping the bathroom floor apart because one week of daily toilet flooding (after 4 years of the house being empty and accumulating moisture damage) does not lead to anything good. After removing wet, rotted flooring and filling in huge gaping holes left by a prior Mr.DIYer owner, the floor was at least dry and stable.

After that, ripping the walls down and doing mold treatment, as well as replacing a wonderful bathroom window which had been covered up, were the tasks at hand.

This was a very frigidly cold, uninsulated room for the winter of 2012-2013. I guess God wants me to appreciate heat and running water. I DO! I DO!

Photos of Bathroom Before Fixing

Pulling off walls to learn that there was no insulation and a covered up window.
Pulling off walls to learn that there was no insulation and a covered up window. | Source
I know each stud by name.
I know each stud by name. | Source
The birds found a way to squeak in to the space where a window had been.
The birds found a way to squeak in to the space where a window had been. | Source
Former leaking toilet and drenched flooring.
Former leaking toilet and drenched flooring. | Source
Discovering holes in the bathroom sub-floor.  I'm talking holes through to the basement below.  This was scary to discover.  Imagine falling through one night!
Discovering holes in the bathroom sub-floor. I'm talking holes through to the basement below. This was scary to discover. Imagine falling through one night! | Source

Bathroom During Remodel

Green board is a drywall which is moisture and mold resistant.
Green board is a drywall which is moisture and mold resistant. | Source
I painted my little heart out.
I painted my little heart out. | Source
Get the Liquid Nails specific to Tub Surrounds - other types may melt the plastic -- eeuuuw!
Get the Liquid Nails specific to Tub Surrounds - other types may melt the plastic -- eeuuuw! | Source
The plastic Tub Surround is glued and held in place by braces for a day.
The plastic Tub Surround is glued and held in place by braces for a day. | Source
I love having  natural light.
I love having natural light. | Source
Construction waste.
Construction waste. | Source

Do not forget – when you are doing much of the labor yourself after coming home from work, you will have a longer time period of not having either a working sink in the bathroom or a work-able tub. Or both. But, as long as the toilet is functioning and the kitchen sink is available for sponge baths and hair-washing, it can be done. So now, please excuse me, because I am going to put on a recording of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and take a shower in a spiffy, clean, watertight bathroom.

Photos and text copyright 2013 Maren E. Morgan

THANK YOU FRIENDS AND HANDYMEN WHO MADE THIS POSSIBLE!

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Comments 6 comments

B.T. 3 years ago

Where did you find the time to write all these anecdotes while you were re-habbing? Do you do contract work?


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 3 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

BT, I am a writer availabvle for hire. :D


Green Art profile image

Green Art 3 years ago

Wow, what a wonderful transformation. I too redo rooms and love to see and live with the results. I love the photographs you've included here showing before and after shots of areas that needed work. You did a wonderful job!! Thanks for sharing, voted up and awesome!:)


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 3 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, Green Art. Some of my other hubs related to this house show more "interesting" before shots.


Bishop55 profile image

Bishop55 3 years ago from USA

We actually bought our 2nd home in November of 2011, it's a rehab project. We will be starting a bath update probably this year. This was a great hub to read. We don't have much material to "re-use" but have been stock piling new parts in the basement, we've been buying them as we can. I plan on hubbing about our remodel when I get to it. Right now though...I'm stuck on what color paint and flooring to put in. We don't have those supplies yet. This hub has given me some great ideas. Voted up!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 3 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Bishop55, I am glad this helped. Do you have a Habitat for Humanity store near you? We do. It has salvaged building materials and great prices. Good luck!

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