For many people, the question of cost is one of the first things that comes to mind when they are thinking of renovating the bathroom. It certainly helps to know how much the project will cost upfront so you don’t go over budget. This allows you to plan accordingly and make sure you won’t get any nasty shocks with your bathroom upgrade when you are knee-deep in the process.
So, here’s my take on bathroom renovation cost along with a case study of how much it took me to renovate my own bathroom.
How much does bathroom renovation cost in 2020?
If you don’t know me yet, I own a building company in Australia. I have been into a lot of construction projects including bathroom renovation for more than 25 years now.
Cost of bathroom renovation can vary for various reasons mainly because of location. The cost of labour and goods are few other things to be worried about. Also, it is the type of bathroom improvement you are looking for – Aesthetic changes only, basic remodel or complete remodel with demolition.
From my experience, the total bathroom renovation cost ranges around $30,000 for respectable outcome.
Bathroom renovation cost based on country
Budget bathroom renovation (Aesthetic changes and
Complete bathroom renovation
Luxury bathroom renovation
$5,000 to $15,000
$15,000 to $25,000
$2,500 to $6,000
$6,000 to $15,000
$15,000 to $25,000
|£1,500 to £4,000|
£4,000 to £7,000
£7,000 to £12,000
The bathroom renovation budgeting
There are two ways to approach budgeting. Either you start with a budget in mind and allocate resources accordingly or you have a bathroom renovation idea in mind for which you need to find the cost.
Spotting the areas of expense in the remodel project will help make the best out of your budget. When you have the list in hand you can make the choices depending on your needs and taste.
Here is the list of choices you need to make for bathroom renovation,
- Plumbing – moving pipes or installing new elements
- Finishes – floor and wall tiles, paint
- Shower screen – frameless, semi-frameless or standard shower screen
- Bath & Shower – integrated or freestanding. Bath, shower or both.
- Toilet – standard or in-wall cistern
- Vanity – standard or wall mounted
- Lighting – task, general or mood
- Waterproofing – to make sure your bathroom doesn’t spring a leak
Note: Since the prices of both the labour and material is going to change with city and country, we have not listed any of the rates.
Find the individual prices of all the choices you have made which added to the labour cost should give you a rough idea on the expense.
Construction plans tend to have loop holes, or you might be hit by some unforeseen expenses. So have some room for such expenses – 10% of the total budget is sufficient.
Major expenses throughout stages of renovation:
With my years of experience as a builder, the following are the important money aspects of bathroom renovation that you are required to check for proper planning and a cleaner outcome.
Some of the big costs you’ll have to deal with early on include building, electrical, plumbing, water & asbestos testing and various other minor testing requirements.
These tend to be the cause of major setbacks for many home renovation projects and can take a while to fix, so be sure to factor these into your schedule timing
Get in specialised tradespeople who are there to handle things like getting the relevant permits and ensuring your bathroom remodel is compliant with all government regulations.
You’ll also need to consider the possibility of demolition if it’s necessary to remove anything dangerous.
- If this is the case, you’ll most likely need contractor bags, a dumpster or skip bin, as well as disposal fees.
- Besides lead and asbestos, you might need to take on things like wood rot and mould if found.
The old electricians may have done a poor job with the wiring, too. This is often the case in older buildings so:
- Keep an eye out for things that don’t look right or have damaged parts.
- Consider things like the overall structure of the room
- Check energy efficiency, windows, doors and framing.
Preparation is a big part of any renovation process and means you should get the right contractors in place early on. For example, dumpsters may be required to get rid of old debris.
Finally, take into account the cost of things like poor wiring, outdated plumbing, and even pest infestations. These kinds of problems are relatively common and usually require you to correct them as soon as possible in order for the bathroom remodel to proceed.
Another key element of a bathroom renovation is undertaking the actual work itself.
Hire professional tradespeople who are skilled enough to do the job, and have plenty of experience and references that can be checked. For example:
- Plumbing and electrical work – need fully licensed contractors to complete them.
- Pay that little bit extra to ensure the work gets done right and within government regulatory requirements.
- It’s easy to forget to include these kinds of things and get caught out down the track when the budget blows out.
So make sure you take into account the cost of labour and the amount of time it will take to complete the bathroom project.
You have to factor in the big item costs of the overall project too, such as plumbing and electrics. As two of the main jobs in a typical bathroom refit, you’ll need to be prepared to go back and forth with contractors and suppliers to get the job done.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t just work off the flat cost of the job – you also need to include materials and labour costs.
- Plumbers and electricians don’t come cheap – so be prepared upfront for any additional costs related to their services.
- You’ll also have to pay someone to do the fittings: lighting, fixtures like sinks and vanities, storage space, faucets, shower and bath, and potentially a toilet.
- You should consider hiring an architect to create your bathroom floor plans.
Another major element of a bathroom remodel is the finishing touches. This is the part of the project that many renovators love the most as they can start to see their creation come to life. It’s also the final stage and includes everything from decorating, grouting, and painting the walls.
There’s a lot of little jobs you might think will only take minutes to do, but they can actually take hours, even days to complete. For this reason, it’s best to work with various tradespeople to get a better idea of what each job entails, how much time they’ll take and the cost.
For in-depth information on the 5 stages get my free bathroom renovation course e-book.
How much did I spend on renovating my own bathroom?
We renovated this bathroom back in 2011 when we first purchased our property and combined these works as part of our initial freshen up of the existing dwelling before we actually moved in after the purchase. This renovation was done before we started our major renovation back in 2014 on the “Small Space Big Build Project”.
I know it is a decade old, which is why all of the costs – labour and material are matched to the same/similar product costs that are in the market now.
Below is a photo of the bathroom before we started work.
Bathroom Renovation Costs: A detailed Case study
- Demolition – Rubbish removal cost – Skip Bin (note – no labour costs as we did this ourselves) $650.
- Plumbing – Run new services including relocating drainage and sewer in the concrete slab, cost also includes the fit off of all new fittings upon completion. $3177.
- Electrical – New wiring to services such as heat lamp, exhaust fan, heated towel rail, floor heating and LED strip lights. Cost also includes fitting all of the above items upon completion $1460.
- Carpentry – Build wall frames for concealed plumbing, fit toilet roll holders, robe hooks, hang door and fit new lock $1,120
- Plasterer – Sheet new wall frame and patch the existing ceiling $720
- Waterproofing – New membrane to floor and walls (2 coats) $600
- Tiling – Full height wall (3.1 meters) and floor tiling in subway tiles (brick pattern) $2,200.
- Painting – Ceiling, window and door Inc frame $940
- Cabinetry – Custom made mirrored shaving cabinet, Inc installation $1,850.
- Shower screen – Frameless glass unit, Inc installation $1,400.
Materials supplied for the project
- Plumbing fittings – Wall hung toilet, taps, basin, 2* shower roses, heated towel rail, underfloor heating $3,488
- Tile supply – Wall and floor $1,575 (my wife has expensive taste…)
- Light fittings – IXL heat lamp/fan and LED strip lighting $650
- Door and handle – $240
- Miscellaneous building materials – Bagged concrete, timber framing, tile angles, cornice, nails bolts and screws etc $680
A few weeks of work and spending $20,750 later, this is how the bathroom was transformed.
So, how do you like it?
Now if we were to factor in what you would pay a builder or bathroom renovation company to take care of this for you, you need to factor in their profit margin.
Most builders will apply a margin of between 20% – 30% on top of their contractors and material cost totals to cover their overheads of running the project and their profit. So, with the above example 30% on $20,750 = $6,225 Therefore the total would be closer to $26,975.
With all of the above costs laid out, you need to factor in that I am a builder myself and I have good relationships with my trades and suppliers which mean I also get good pricing as well as being very hands-on.
In my professional opinion, most people would be looking at closer to $30,000 to get the same result as what we have above.
So with the above said do you need a builder to help manage your bathroom renovation? No, you don’t, but it will come down to how much time and effort you are willing to put into managing the entire process from start to finish including time on-site to troubleshoot and problem solve if needed.
CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process