Creating Your Bathroom Remodel Budget

Written by bprescottFebruary 1, 2012
Water flowing from a fauvet tap to the sink bowl

Creating a Budget

Making a budget for the project is a bit like forecasting the weather. If everything is on schedule, the cost will probably be close to your estimate, if not right on target, at least for the material portion. But not all remodeling projects go per schedule.

When you compile your cost figures, don’t use sale costs. The item may not be on sale when you actually get around to purchasing it. It’s better to list the everyday price and then be under budget if you can take advantage of sales. Also include any extra charges, such as shipping or special handling, if you plan to use special-order items.

Use the Bathroom Worksheet (see Figure 6-1) to compile cost data for materials if you plan to do the remodeling yourself, or use it to compile subcontractor bids if you’re going to hire out some of the work.


Figure 6-1: Use this worksheet to keep track of the cost of materials and track contractor bids.

A general contractor that does the whole job manages the subcontractors, so the overall bid for the project is entered in the total column. In this case, use the worksheet to list the materials you want, such as fixture styles, colors, style of tile, and wallpaper. By presenting this specific information to a subcontractor or general contractor, you can expect to receive bids on exactly the same materials. You get more accurate bids, and you know the bids are for the same work and can be compared for the price differences.

Some items in the materials column on the worksheet in Figure 6-1 will show “1” for the unit and “1” for the quantity (for example, a toilet). Other items, such as tile or drywall, should have units such as square feet. The amount will be the square footage of the surface being covered, and the cost will be the cost per square foot. Or, use the total column to enter the total cost for the materials you have priced out at your supplier. Many home centers list the cost per square foot of many materials on the cost label displayed on the front of the shelf.

All estimates must account for waste, and contractors build this into their bids. If you plan to do the project yourself, allow for mistakes. An allowance of 20 percent or more for these contingencies is not out of line. Consider this extra expense as tuition as you work your way through the DIY school of hard knocks.


From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



Hey thanks. This Looks like some valuable information. I'm in the middle of a renovation of my house and your articles are really helping me out. Thanks again

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