The Washington Post

Bathroom remodel costs can quickly add up

What is a realistic cost to remodel a master bathroom or a typical price range I should be looking at?

We recently wrote a story about home renovation projects, their costs and the returns you’d expect to see. In that story, we found that the average small bathroom home renovation cost is a little under $16,000. However, you should only expect to see a payback of a little over $10,200 on that project if you turned around and sold your home within a year of completing the project.

It’s one thing to renovate a standard-size bathroom of about 5 by 7, or 35 square, feet. If you build larger or more elaborate spaces, you can expect your expenses to increase substantially: You’ll need more tile or other floor and wall coverings. You will have to install a greater number of lighting fixtures. Your labor costs for plumbing behind the walls will be greater. And you will have the additional costs of mirrors, cabinets, shelving and other amenities. If you choose upgraded plumbing fixtures, your expenses also will rise considerably.

Your starting point would probably be at a number substantially higher than the average cost for a small bathroom. You can check out Remodeling Magazine online, which gives examples of additions and renovations to homes, their costs and the cost you might recoup. You should know that Remodeling Magazine shows that adding a bathroom may cost upwards of $38,000, with a return on investment of a little more than half that amount.

While we don’t know what you have in mind for your renovation or the size of your bathroom, you might want to plan on spending between $20,000 and $30,000 depending on what you have in mind.

You might want to look around and see the type and quality of bathroom fixtures you have in mind and the finishes you like. Once you find these items and know their cost, you can estimate some of the expenses you will incur. You can also have a contractor come in and give you an estimate based on the fixtures and finishes you have chosen.

Ilyce R. Glink’s latest book is “Buy, Close, Move In! Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. If you have questions, you can call Glink’s radio show (800-972-8255) any Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact Glink and Tamkin through the Web site


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