Creating a Realistic Bathroom Remodeling Budget: 3 Rules to Follow

Creating budgets aren’t fun. But you know you need them because they reel in your unrealistic expectations. So you’re forced to cut your “I want”s to keep your “I need”s.

This article will give you the 3 rules to follow when creating a realistic budget for your next bathroom remodeling project.

Rule 1: Budget size should be based on your home’s value

Let’s start with how big the budget should be. Consumer Reports rule of thumb is this: budget about 5-10% of your home’s value for the bathroom remodeling project.

So, if your home is worth $200,000, then your project should cost around $10,000-$20,000. The average cost of a bathroom remodeling project in the Northeastern United States is $17,460, according to the Remodeling Magazine’s 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value Report.

Rule 2: Split your budget appropriately

Not all parts of the remodeling project are created equal. You need to be realistic about where most of your money is going to go. In other words, don’t spend all your money on killer countertops until you know where the rest of the money needs to go.

Here is a bathroom remodel budget template from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA):

  • Labor: 20%
  • Cabinetry and hardware: 16% 
  • Fixtures: 15 % 
  • Faucets and plumbing: 14% 
  • Floor: 9% 
  • Countertop: 7% 
  • Walls and ceiling: 5% 
  • Lighting and ventilation: 5% 
  • Doors and windows: 4% 
  • Design fees: 4% 
  • Other: 1%

How you split your budget exactly is up to you. These percentages work as realistic general guidelines.

But to give you a better sense of how much each part of the project will cost, let’s give an example of how this template would work with the Northeastern U.S average of a bathroom remodeling project ($17,460).

  • Labor: $3,492 
  • Cabinetry and hardware: $2,794 
  • Fixtures: $2,619 
  • Faucets and plumbing: $2,444 
  • Floor: $1,571 
  • Countertop: $1,222 
  • Walls and ceiling: $873 
  • Lighting and ventilation: $873 
  • Doors and windows: $698 
  • Design fees: $698 
  • Other: $18

Rule 3: Don’t skimp on skilled labor

Imagine this: You’ve got the image of the perfect new bathroom in your head. You’ve bought all the quality parts needed for your new bathroom. But once everything is said and done… the final outcome is horrible.

What happened?

Chances are you cut corners with labor. Notice on the NKBA’s budget template how labor is your highest cost. It’s because labor makes or breaks the entire bathroom remodeling project. So spend some time finding quality contractors (or make absolutely sure you know what you’re doing) before getting started.

For more information, use Consumer Reports’ guide to choosing a contractor and also check out their 7 Dos and Don’ts of bathroom remodeling.

And if you need professional help, consider using Nicholson – Framingham’s local plumbing experts. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Our level of commitment to our customer and superior service is the reason you can find comfort in choosing Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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