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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Am I being taken advantage of - OR - Is this quote high?

    New to this forum.
    We are in Massachusetts. Just purchased a home from my Mother's Estate.
    The house was originally purchase by my parents in 1974 and renovated.
    Now some 40 years later, everything still works but needs updates.
    I thought I was making a good move purchasing the home with my husband but now I am wondering if I did the right thing or maybe we are just out of touch with today's labor costs. We do have money saved for projects but now it seems like we didn't consider the labor being as high as it is.

    I recently received this quote to renovate the bathroom.
    Yes it is a total gutting of the room but we are not changing the layout of the fixtures.
    Does anyone think this quote is high - I know I should get two more quotes as well.
    This contrator did work on the house about 3 years ago so I know their work ethic and quality is good. Any comments, advice or encouragement would be welcome.

    Gut existing bathroom down to framing
    Remove existing window
    Reframe window opening for smaller window
    Install new window
    Replace and repair siding on exterior window wall to accommodate for new window
    Install new post for beam beneath floor
    Frame wall at end of tub area
    Install all rough and finish plumbing for new tub, shower valve, toilet, pedestal sink, and faucet
    Update electrical in bathroom to code
    Insulate exterior walls
    Install new subfloor
    Install cement board to walls of shower area
    Install blue board and a skim coat of plaster to exposed framing
    Install tile and grout to shower area, and floor of bathroom
    Install bead board paneling three feet up on walls to remainder of bathroom
    Install medicine cabinet, and over toilet cabinet
    Paint walls, ceiling, and trim in bathroom with two coats of paint
    Remove debris created
    Allowance for tub, shower valve, toilet, sink, faucet, medicine cabinet, and over toilet cabinet would be $1200
    Estimate does not include changing of vent pipes for plumbing


    Total cost for all labor, materials, and trash removal would be - $20,000.00

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Am I being taken advantage of - OR - Is this quote high?

    i'm a massachusetts contractor and so far this year we've already done 9 bathrooms. this seems to be the year of the bathroom remodel around here. without seeing the bathroom and not knowing the size of it i can't tell you if $20,000 is a rip-off or not. what i can tell you is the following.

    the bathrooms we've done to date have ranged from about $6,000 - $7,000 for a non-gut remodel up to about $22,000 - $23,000 for a gut remodel on a larger than normal bathroom. if you're bathroom is about the standard size of 5'-6' wide x 8'-9' long and you're not going crazy buying expensive fixtures, i would think that you should be paying somewhere in the $15,000-$16,000 range +/- $2,000 for the work you described.

    please keep in mind that i'm just speaking in very general terms and i haven't seen your bathroom. his estimate could be right on the mark but it feels like it's about 10%-20% on the high side to me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Am I being taken advantage of - OR - Is this quote high?

    Usually we don't discuss or comment on prices, for a few reasons.

    20K could be high or not, depending on a lot of factors, which I don't think I have to list right now. See if you can change a few things to get the price down a little. Remember, there's a price for materials and a price for labor. Don't hesitate to call other contractors for more estimates.

    For me a total bath reno today should be less, but then again I'm dealing mostly with rental properties. Years ago I built luxury homes for specs, in which 20K for a bathroom was small amount. So you see my point?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,195

    Default Re: Am I being taken advantage of - OR - Is this quote high?

    Just make sure that your other bids match the same exact scope of work and finish level so that you can compare them accurately, you can't ask for vinyl floors and a fiberglass shower from one guy and tiling every surface from another guy and expect to see the same bid submitted. Make sure EVERYONE is working from the same page, then you can use the subsequent quotes to double check the first guy.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Am I being taken advantage of - OR - Is this quote high?

    Please make sure whomever does the work properly waterproofs the tile in the wet ares of the bathroom. Cement board + tile + grout + sealant is NOT water proof

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Am I being taken advantage of - OR - Is this quote high?

    If you are handy, and can find a willing contractor, you can do some of the work and bring down the cost. Some contractors will not allow this because they dont want to be responsible if you mess up and they are right cant blame them if you do a poor tile or paint job. When doing some smaller renovations, I have had a carpenter let me do what I can. For example, He put down the cement board, but I did the tiling. Last floor I did, I did the cement board too. I let an expert do the shower though like Houston said, it needs to be properly waterproofed and that really is more than cement board and tile and grout.

    I have done the priming and painting. Ive been my own contractor and coordinated the subs myself can be challenging. I helped lay the laminate flooring in my laundry. I have ripped out old floors and did some demo in the kitchen. Ive removed baseboards and primed and painted and back primed new ones when needed, and reinstalled them. Ive caulked and filled nail holes and then painted window trim. Ive removed toilets. Taking stuff to the dump is easy here but might be more challenging there. I usually draw out and design my own projects. I am not an architect. I just have a nice tape measure, lots of graph paper and double and triple check everything. (My neighbor had a remodeler who forgot to include 4 inches for wall thickness um seriously?)

    If you have a whole house to update then you might want to think about how good are your own DIY skills. It can be very rewarding or frustrating or probably both. Experts for the really tough stuff and stuff that requires specific knowledge but there is a lot you may be able to do too. I would never do the electrical, but I can install a light fixture. In an old house, be wary of asbestos.

    It is certainly faster and easier to have a good contractor come in and get things done, but I did most of the above as a petite over 40 lady with kids.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Am I being taken advantage of - OR - Is this quote high?

    Quote Originally Posted by violet holly View Post
    This contractor did work on the house about 3 years ago so I know their work ethic and quality is good.
    There's a lot of value right there which you may not get with someone else- just saying. Making sure everyone is doing the same things with the same products, always get at least 3 bids from people or companies who you feel comfortable with. You may have to call in ten to get those 3! If your favored choice from the past is in the same price range, go with them because the peace of mind is worth a lot. If they are way off, then ask them why the difference- they may be onto something the other guys missed or don't do. Before inking the contract with whoever you select, see if you can find some of their previous customers and see how satisfied they are.

    In this business, nobody can be too careful no matter whether you are the do-er or the do-ee!

    Phil

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: Am I being taken advantage of - OR - Is this quote high?

    Quote Originally Posted by violet holly View Post
    New to this forum.
    Yes it is a total gutting of the room but we are not changing the layout of the fixtures.
    ...
    Install all rough and finish plumbing for new tub, shower valve, toilet, pedestal sink, and faucet
    Estimate does not include changing of vent pipes for plumbing
    Seems to me that if most of the rough plumbing is being replaced, there wouldn't be much difference in price between moving the fixtures versus keeping them in their original locations. Most of the cost in moving fixtures is in the removal and replacement/repair of wallboard and subfloor, which you are doing anyway.

    You can probably reduce the cost considerably by doing the demolition work yourself. Of course, that means that you'll probably have to order dumpster service (instead of the contractor ordering it) unless you have a pickup truck and plan to hall the debris to the solid waste facility yourself, in which case you'll have dump fees. I don't know how it is where you live, but where I live dump fees are around $85/ton. So even if you did that work yourself, your savings will be somewhat less than the reduction in your contractor's bid.

    If you do the demolition work, be careful not to remove any structural materials; let the contractor do that.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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