DIY & Homeowner Tips Remodeling

Strategies for Limiting Unexpected Costs During a Bathroom Remodel

Whether you’ve been thinking about updating your bathroom for a while or you were struck by inspiration on TV, one question is always top of mind for homeowners—how much will a bathroom remodel cost?

One annual report found that the average mid-range bathroom remodel costs just over $19,000. Move up to a higher-end bathroom remodel and the figure jumps to $61,000. These figures might help you in the early planning stages, but you should know that scope and materials will ultimately dictate price.

There are many variables in the bathroom remodel process. More than any other home renovation, a bathroom remodel can come with unexpected costs after it’s too late to turn back. With the right approach, you can limit these costs.

Common Unexpected Costs of a Bathroom Remodel


We say these are “unexpected costs,” but from a contractor’s perspective, they might actually be expected. Many of the same problems crop up for multiple clients. Still, planning for them can be challenging.

Some predictable problems that create unexpected costs include:
  • Corroded Plumbing: If you’re tearing out the whole bathroom, your contractor might find old, corroded plumbing hiding behind the walls. This will require additional labor to fix before moving forward with the remodel.

  • Improper Wiring: When you’re working with the right contractor, codes will be important pieces of the process. For bathroom remodels in older homes, you may uncover outdated wiring that requires new electrical work to get up to code.

  • Framing Damage: Rot, moisture build-up, termites, and other factors can damage the joists in bathroom walls and floors. Repairing these issues can add extra time and cost to any bathroom remodel.
If the pre-existing issue is severe enough, fixing these problems can completely blow the bathroom remodel budget you had in mind. Getting through the tear-out phase with minimal surprises is critical for avoiding unexpected costs.

However, experts still say to set aside up to 20% of your budget just to fix unexpected issues.

How Contractors Can Help You to Avoid Unexpected Costs

As a homeowner, there’s not much you can do on your own to minimize unexpected costs. That’s why people tell you to go into the project expecting surprises.

Instead of searching for DIY solutions, focus on choosing the right contractor before diving into a bathroom remodel. Hire a bathroom remodeling contractor that has your best interests in mind and develops a comprehensive plan to limit surprises.

Even if you approach a contractor with specific inspiration in mind, there should be more to the process than an informal, short-form quote for the project. Contractors that go through a detailed inspection to create your bathroom remodel proposal will spot more underlying problems and save you from unexpected costs.

There’s only so much you can discover before the tear-out phase. However, it’s still best to have a contractor that eliminates as many surprises as possible.

 

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