Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

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Bacchus01
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:35 pm

Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm

Remodeling a bathroom and basement and thought I'd ask the CF gurus. Got two quotes back. Both are within a few hundred or a few thousand of each other. My wife was way closer to guessing the quotes than my cheap ass was at it. House built in 2004

Bathroom
Full gut, roughly 12X14.
Relocate shower other side of room
Tub, sinks, toilet largely in same spot
Install 7 new LED can lights, 4 sconces, one small pendant light
Built 4X4 water closet
Install 2 fans, one main bath and one water closet
Drywall, paint
Tile floor
Custom cabinets, granite tops ($2K for granite)
4 X 5.5" zero entry shower with frameless glass on two sides with door on one of those sides.
No wall tile except in shower
Free standing air tub
Heated floors
Misc electrical, finish work, etc.
NO fixtures. I supply all fixtures including freestanding air tub, Kohler DTV system for shower, faucets, toilet, sinks, etc. I can get them all at cost.
Price: $45-$47K (excludes fixtures) two quotes within a few hundreds of each other. Fixtures will probably run me $10K.
Good? Bad? Terrible?

Basement remodel. It's currently finished, but I hate it. Was a cheapo job by prior owner. We will be doing part of the basement, not all.
~2,000 sq ft
Demo drop ceiling, remove carpet, demo existing bar, remove all trim and doors
New carpet ($6900)
Drywall and finish ceiling
Drywall and finish 60' X 4' wainscotting that looks like crap.
New millwork, casing, wall cap ($2500)
Create false wall about 10' long for TV with access behind via existing service door
Frame out two support columns
Paintall existing woodwork and doors ($5200)
Install 24 LED lights, boxes, controls
Granite tops front/back ($3250)
Stacked stone on front of bar ($5K)
Relocate sink drain on existing bar about 10' (cut concrete, run line, new concrete)
Custom cabinets for 8' bar front/back with built in fridge, microwave, sink, dishwasher

$73K

I'm at $130K for these two projects. Wife is a go on the bathroom but doesn't think basement is necessary. I want to do the basement because right now it's just not done well, bar is too big and in the wrong spot, and we don't spend any time down there (Kids do).

Plan to be here 8-10 years.

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fortfun
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by fortfun » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:00 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Remodeling a bathroom and basement and thought I'd ask the CF gurus. Got two quotes back. Both are within a few hundred or a few thousand of each other. My wife was way closer to guessing the quotes than my cheap ass was at it. House built in 2004

Bathroom
Full gut, roughly 12X14.
Relocate shower other side of room
Tub, sinks, toilet largely in same spot
Install 7 new LED can lights, 4 sconces, one small pendant light
Built 4X4 water closet
Install 2 fans, one main bath and one water closet
Drywall, paint
Tile floor
Custom cabinets, granite tops ($2K for granite)
4 X 5.5" zero entry shower with frameless glass on two sides with door on one of those sides.
No wall tile except in shower
Free standing air tub
Heated floors
Misc electrical, finish work, etc.
NO fixtures. I supply all fixtures including freestanding air tub, Kohler DTV system for shower, faucets, toilet, sinks, etc. I can get them all at cost.
Price: $45-$47K (excludes fixtures) two quotes within a few hundreds of each other. Fixtures will probably run me $10K.
Good? Bad? Terrible?

Basement remodel. It's currently finished, but I hate it. Was a cheapo job by prior owner. We will be doing part of the basement, not all.
~2,000 sq ft
Demo drop ceiling, remove carpet, demo existing bar, remove all trim and doors
New carpet ($6900)
Drywall and finish ceiling
Drywall and finish 60' X 4' wainscotting that looks like crap.
New millwork, casing, wall cap ($2500)
Create false wall about 10' long for TV with access behind via existing service door
Frame out two support columns
Paintall existing woodwork and doors ($5200)
Install 24 LED lights, boxes, controls
Granite tops front/back ($3250)
Stacked stone on front of bar ($5K)
Relocate sink drain on existing bar about 10' (cut concrete, run line, new concrete)
Custom cabinets for 8' bar front/back with built in fridge, microwave, sink, dishwasher

$73K

I'm at $130K for these two projects. Wife is a go on the bathroom but doesn't think basement is necessary. I want to do the basement because right now it's just not done well, bar is too big and in the wrong spot, and we don't spend any time down there (Kids do).

Plan to be here 8-10 years.
Probably won't recover the 73k on the basement. You'll get more on the bathroom but not all of it. If you think you'll get the enjoyment from both of them in the next 8 to 10 years, and you have the extra money, go for it. Personally, I wouldn't but I'm trying to max our retirement savings. We don't have a huge income either.

I should note that I did a high end remodel on my basement for about 30k about five years ago (did most of the work myself). We didn't use it as much as I figured we would. It's now rented to a nice college student for 1,150 per month. His rent has nearly paid off the remodel now.

Bacchus01
Posts: 2115
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:50 pm

fortfun wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:00 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Remodeling a bathroom and basement and thought I'd ask the CF gurus. Got two quotes back. Both are within a few hundred or a few thousand of each other. My wife was way closer to guessing the quotes than my cheap ass was at it. House built in 2004

Bathroom
Full gut, roughly 12X14.
Relocate shower other side of room
Tub, sinks, toilet largely in same spot
Install 7 new LED can lights, 4 sconces, one small pendant light
Built 4X4 water closet
Install 2 fans, one main bath and one water closet
Drywall, paint
Tile floor
Custom cabinets, granite tops ($2K for granite)
4 X 5.5" zero entry shower with frameless glass on two sides with door on one of those sides.
No wall tile except in shower
Free standing air tub
Heated floors
Misc electrical, finish work, etc.
NO fixtures. I supply all fixtures including freestanding air tub, Kohler DTV system for shower, faucets, toilet, sinks, etc. I can get them all at cost.
Price: $45-$47K (excludes fixtures) two quotes within a few hundreds of each other. Fixtures will probably run me $10K.
Good? Bad? Terrible?

Basement remodel. It's currently finished, but I hate it. Was a cheapo job by prior owner. We will be doing part of the basement, not all.
~2,000 sq ft
Demo drop ceiling, remove carpet, demo existing bar, remove all trim and doors
New carpet ($6900)
Drywall and finish ceiling
Drywall and finish 60' X 4' wainscotting that looks like crap.
New millwork, casing, wall cap ($2500)
Create false wall about 10' long for TV with access behind via existing service door
Frame out two support columns
Paintall existing woodwork and doors ($5200)
Install 24 LED lights, boxes, controls
Granite tops front/back ($3250)
Stacked stone on front of bar ($5K)
Relocate sink drain on existing bar about 10' (cut concrete, run line, new concrete)
Custom cabinets for 8' bar front/back with built in fridge, microwave, sink, dishwasher

$73K

I'm at $130K for these two projects. Wife is a go on the bathroom but doesn't think basement is necessary. I want to do the basement because right now it's just not done well, bar is too big and in the wrong spot, and we don't spend any time down there (Kids do).

Plan to be here 8-10 years.
Probably won't recover the 73k on the basement. You'll get more on the bathroom but not all of it. If you think you'll get the enjoyment from both of them in the next 8 to 10 years, and you have the extra money, go for it. Personally, I wouldn't but I'm trying to max our retirement savings. We don't have a huge income either.

I should note that I did a high end remodel on my basement for about 30k about five years ago (did most of the work myself). We didn't use it as much as I figured we would. It's now rented to a nice college student for 1,150 per month. His rent has nearly paid off the remodel now.
I figure if I even break even 10 years from now we’ll have gotten enough enjoyment, but the costs right now seem insane.

As for doing it myself, Time is something I just don’t have. Not an option unfortunately. I’ve done a lot of this type of work before, but I just don’t have the time to do it and do it right.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:18 pm

These seem really expensive.

I would get 3 more quotes.

Also, if you're putting recessed lights in the basement, make sure you do proper sound proofing.

bluelight
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Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:08 am

Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by bluelight » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:20 pm

Your basement sounds a little over the top for a room you don't use. Do you really need a large bar area with granite, stacked stone and custom cabinets? Move the bar, but use materials will give you function without the excess in price. Custom baths will help sell a house, finished basements are nice to have but they don't need the same finish level as the main living area.

Dottie57
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:21 pm

I would skip the basement if it is finished already. Unless you have a distinct purpose which s not yet fulfilled.

The bathroom sounds scrumptious. I had to look up an air tub. Do the bathroom. It will payback much better than the basement.

I was thinking of bathroom remodel, but now I don’t know. To me you have a large cost.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:33 pm

2,000 square foot finished basement sounds a little excessive. I had an 1,100 sq ft finished (of a 2,200 sf total basement) in a previous house and it was plenty big for multiple uses. Maybe finish just a part of the basement space. I'd also be cautious about dry-walling an entire basement ceiling making access to wiring, plumbing, vents, upstairs flooring, etc. a lot more difficult. You could upgrade the ceiling material to a high quality commercial type suspended ceiling for less than a full drywall job. It will still be a suspended ceiling but it is a basement.

I suggest you act as the general contractor and hire in your own subs to do the work and shop hard for discounts on materials. We did a huge master bath for $27k a few years ago using high end lighting, European faucets,valves, a $5k bathtub, stone countertops, quality tile, etc. but almost everything was bought at discount/on sale. We did live in a city where subs worked relatively inexpensively.

Acting as your own contractor bathroom budget likely $25k max. Full basement refinish should not be more than 50k.

NextMil
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by NextMil » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:26 am

Seems really high to me especially since you are sourcing and paying for a lot of stuff outside of the quotes, that means its even more expensive. I would shop around more as others have said. I also agree with the other poster who asked if you really need custom cabinets.

Bacchus01
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:27 am

jabberwockOG wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:33 pm
2,000 square foot finished basement sounds a little excessive. I had an 1,100 sq ft finished (of a 2,200 sf total basement) in a previous house and it was plenty big for multiple uses. Maybe finish just a part of the basement space. I'd also be cautious about dry-walling an entire basement ceiling making access to wiring, plumbing, vents, upstairs flooring, etc. a lot more difficult. You could upgrade the ceiling material to a high quality commercial type suspended ceiling for less than a full drywall job. It will still be a suspended ceiling but it is a basement.

I suggest you act as the general contractor and hire in your own subs to do the work and shop hard for discounts on materials. We did a huge master bath for $27k a few years ago using high end lighting, European faucets,valves, a $5k bathtub, stone countertops, quality tile, etc. but almost everything was bought at discount/on sale. We did live in a city where subs worked relatively inexpensively.

Acting as your own contractor bathroom budget likely $25k max. Full basement refinish should not be more than 50k.
Don’t have the time to be a GC. Would love to, and have the ability, but don’t have the time.

As for discounts, I’ll be getting all plumbing fixtures, sinks, toilets etc at cost. Probably saves me $15K.

We will probably do the bath and then GC the basement on our own over a longer time, but wife doesn’t want to do that. She knows I’ll never get it done that way. She’s probably right.

Jags4186
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:37 am

I wouldn’t bother with the basement. You said only your kids use it. That means they’re not in your main level living room/family room messing things up. If you’re going to spend $75k to finish the basement so you and your wife will spend time there, where will your kids relocate to?

That’s a lot of money for a bathroom. How much is your house worth? If it’s a $1.5 million house a $55k bathroom might be returned to you when you sell. If it’s a $500k house a $55k bathroom will lose you at least half of that—especially depending on the current condition of the bathroom.

coalcracker
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by coalcracker » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:48 am

It depends.

In our current home (going on the market today!), we have gutted/remodeled 2 bathrooms, kitchen, and a master bedroom. In our new home, we are nearing the end of what amounts to whole house remodel. In the course of these projects we have used 3 different GCs and, from this limited sample size, we got what we paid for.

The cheapest GC screwed up the electrical (no GFI in the bathroom) and did sloppy work around the light fixtures, tile floor, and trimwork. The tile and trim are cosmetic but bother me when I see them.

The mid-range GC did a reasonable job but tried to cut corners whenever he could. We had to keep on top of every detail, and remind him multiple times. We got no help with design from him.

Our current GC is an architect and slightly more expensive than the mid-range. He is a perfectionist, double checking all our choices and giving his opinions as to what works best. We only have to tell him our choices ONCE. We fully trust him with the project.

I think I would care more about references and the quality of prior projects than the bottom line financially.

bob60014
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by bob60014 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:18 am

The bathroom quote seems in the ballpark, perhaps a tad high, but is logical. The basement needs to be put into context, being that you are looking at 8-10 years of use. What is the size of your home and its total value? Will doing the basement as planned be out of place for this style home? How much time are you REALLY going to spend down there? Initially I suspect a lot, but a year or two down the line? $70k plus for the kids TV room/lounge? It's a pricey project that I would really think through. Been there, done that and in the end we did our basement but not as grand as we originally planned but was nice just the same. We just couldn't justify the expense.

ddurrett896
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by ddurrett896 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:31 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Bathroom
Full gut, roughly 12X14. $2,000
Relocate shower other side of room $1,000
Tub, sinks, toilet largely in same spot
Install 7 new LED can lights, 4 sconces, one small pendant light $1,000
Built 4X4 water closet $2,000
Install 2 fans, one main bath and one water closet $1,000
Drywall, paint $1,500
Tile floor $1,000
Custom cabinets, granite tops ($2K for granite) $5,000
4 X 5.5" zero entry shower with frameless glass on two sides with door on one of those sides. $1,000
No wall tile except in shower $1,500
Free standing air tub
Heated floors tile guy will include in substrate labor
Misc electrical, finish work, etc. $3,000
NO fixtures. I supply all fixtures including freestanding air tub, Kohler DTV system for shower, faucets, toilet, sinks, etc. I can get them all at cost.
Price: $45-$47K (excludes fixtures) two quotes within a few hundreds of each other. Fixtures will probably run me $10K.
Good? Bad? Terrible?

Total: $20,000
I live in an area of the country were the cost of the living is 10% vs the national average and above in red is what labor would be...and I'm leaning very conservative. If you using the general contractor, he's charging you $20-$25k to orchestrate everything.

mw1739
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by mw1739 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:31 am

I spent $75-$80k on a basement finish, which sounds similar to your specs, but included a bathroom with moderate finishes (already plumbed) and adding an egress window. Personally I regret spending so much on the basement and my wife now says she would have rather spent the money on the kitchen remodel she wants.

Your numbers for either remodel don't sound out of line for my area (upper income suburb of low-moderate cost city).

daheld
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by daheld » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:35 am

I suspect you'll get some good feedback here about the price and how reasonable it is, as well as whether you really need to do the basement, so I will skip that. Here's my advice: REALLY think about whether you want drywall on the basement ceiling. Ours is drywall, about 1400 SF worth. You may not think so right now, but it's likely that at some point you will need to access something above that drywall. Plumbing, electric, insulation, something. We just had plumbing and electric done to move a washer and dryer upstairs, and now I'm going to have to patch the drywall ceiling they had to open. The ceiling has texture and there'll be no way to match it. I'll do the best I can but it's always going to stick out. At some point, you may get a leak above that ceiling.

I know some people really hate drop ceilings, but I would seriously consider keeping it a drop ceiling with tiles. The convenience is worth it.

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FlyAF
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by FlyAF » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:48 am

50+ grand for under 200 sq ft? Hard pass.

rich126
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by rich126 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:05 am

People spend too much on most home repairs and won't ever get their money back on them. I've known people who think it is a good idea to spend $75-100K on a new kitchen, etc. Will it help to sell the house, sure, but will it improve the house value to get anything close to what you spend, no chance. If you got the money, do what you want.

Hopefully your basement isn't something that will get water in it. Living mostly on the east coast I assume that every basement will get wet at some point and I really would avoid carpet in the basement.

The last basement (and probably the only one I'd ever do) finishing cost me around $25K. I did a little work, mostly the painting.

Drop ceilings are almost a necessity in most basements, otherwise how are you going to be able to do repairs on the pipes, etc.?

If it is a case where you plan to resell the house, I'd strongly suggest contacting an excellent real estate agent and get a good idea of what buyers expect in your area. I've fixed up a couple of homes and that has saved me a ton of money.

WorkToLive
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by WorkToLive » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:08 am

I feel like this is very personal decision. It sounds like you know this business so I think you know whether these prices are out of range or not, but in the end I think you need to consider how much money you have, what your other goals are, and how much you will enjoy the output of this work. I spent over $10,000 for a vacation that wasn’t very exciting but worth it because it got me out of a bad situation at home. I am also on track for a comfortable and early retirement with a decent paying full-time and stable job. I’m not sure anyone can answer this question for you. If you have the money and will enjoy it, do it! Money is a tool.

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Watty
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:30 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Relocate shower other side of room
Moving the shower may add a lot to the cost.
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Tub, sinks, toilet largely in same spot
Moving these even three inches may add a lot to the costs because of moving the drains.
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Built 4X4 water closet
One thing I suggest to people when remodeling a house is that they try to make it as handicap friendly as possible since it is possible that you may need a wheelchair someday especially if they stay in the house as they age. I have also known people that had to use a wheelchair for a while after being in a car accident. You might not want to make a bathroom fully ADA accessible but a water closet like that might make it impossible to use a wheelchair in that bathroom. People will sometimes consider this when shopping for a house especially baby boomers who are looking for a retirement home. This might not matter much if the bathroom is on the second floor but if it is on the main floor you may want to reconsider this since having a somewhat accessible bathroom will be seen as a positive when you sell the house.
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Price: $45-$47K (excludes fixtures) two quotes within a few hundreds of each other. Fixtures will probably run me $10K.
Good? Bad? Terrible?
There is usually a lot of dust during a remodel and the workers may have no choice but to go through the other living areas to access the bathroom and basement. There is a good chance that when the remodeling is done you will also want to do some things like repaint the interior of the rest of the house, refinish flooring, or replace carpets either because they got dusty or they do not look as nice compared to the remodeled areas. You might want to also budget for that too.

Prices are very local but that would be very high in my medium to low cost of living area.

It is very rare for projects like this not have additional costs that are not found until the work is underway so you need to plan for maybe an additional 20%.

You also need to look at the prices as a percentage of your home price. Around here $400K is getting into the McMansion price range so putting $150K+ into a house like that would rarely make sense unless it adds square footage. Putting $150k+ into a two million dollar home would be easier to justify.
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Paint all existing woodwork and doors ($5200)
Painting finished wood is very hard to do well and even if it looks good at first it may tend to peel and chip easily. I would be cautious about this and consider replacing them, refinishing them, or leaving them the way they are.
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Plan to be here 8-10 years.
How long do they expect the work to take? It will likely take longer so you need to be prepared for that.

Regardless of the money I would not want to live in a construction zone for a year unless there was some sort of dire problem if I was pretty sure that I was going to move in 8-10 years. The basement sounds like a good place for the kids to hang out so taking that away for the better part of a year could have a big impact if they are heading off to college in five years and will not get as much use out of it when the remodel is done.

If this was going to be your long term home all then remodeling might make more sense but just for the hassle factor I would tend to not want to do anymore than a quick superficial remodel of the bathroom if I was pretty sure that I would be moving in 8-10 years.

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Watty
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:49 am

daheld wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:35 am
Here's my advice: REALLY think about whether you want drywall on the basement ceiling. Ours is drywall, about 1400 SF worth. You may not think so right now, but it's likely that at some point you will need to access something above that drywall. Plumbing, electric, insulation, something. We just had plumbing and electric done to move a washer and dryer upstairs, and now I'm going to have to patch the drywall ceiling they had to open. The ceiling has texture and there'll be no way to match it. I'll do the best I can but it's always going to stick out. At some point, you may get a leak above that ceiling.
+1000 on this.

Whe have an unfinished basement and when we had our kitchen remodeled it was very easy for them to move some of the plumbing and wiring around. When we had our furnace and AC replaced it was also very easy for them to do some minor ductwork changes and run a new line to drain the condensation.

smitcat
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by smitcat » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:01 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:31 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Bathroom
Full gut, roughly 12X14. $2,000
Relocate shower other side of room $1,000
Tub, sinks, toilet largely in same spot
Install 7 new LED can lights, 4 sconces, one small pendant light $1,000
Built 4X4 water closet $2,000
Install 2 fans, one main bath and one water closet $1,000
Drywall, paint $1,500
Tile floor $1,000
Custom cabinets, granite tops ($2K for granite) $5,000
4 X 5.5" zero entry shower with frameless glass on two sides with door on one of those sides. $1,000
No wall tile except in shower $1,500
Free standing air tub
Heated floors tile guy will include in substrate labor
Misc electrical, finish work, etc. $3,000
NO fixtures. I supply all fixtures including freestanding air tub, Kohler DTV system for shower, faucets, toilet, sinks, etc. I can get them all at cost.
Price: $45-$47K (excludes fixtures) two quotes within a few hundreds of each other. Fixtures will probably run me $10K.
Good? Bad? Terrible?

Total: $20,000
I live in an area of the country were the cost of the living is 10% vs the national average and above in red is what labor would be...and I'm leaning very conservative. If you using the general contractor, he's charging you $20-$25k to orchestrate everything.
I cannot reach just about any of your numbers , not even close.
Perhaps lets just look at one and figure out how this is possible.
"Drywall, paint $1,500"

How can anyone take a totally gutted 12' X 14' bathroom space and hang drywall. spackle and tape, prime and two coat color for $1,500?

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:03 am

I’m doing 3 bathrooms soonish. I sure hope they don’t cost me $55k each. :oops: :moneybag :annoyed
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Bacchus01
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am

bob60014 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:18 am
The bathroom quote seems in the ballpark, perhaps a tad high, but is logical. The basement needs to be put into context, being that you are looking at 8-10 years of use. What is the size of your home and its total value? Will doing the basement as planned be out of place for this style home? How much time are you REALLY going to spend down there? Initially I suspect a lot, but a year or two down the line? $70k plus for the kids TV room/lounge? It's a pricey project that I would really think through. Been there, done that and in the end we did our basement but not as grand as we originally planned but was nice just the same. We just couldn't justify the expense.
Great question. Home value around $575K. 5,400 sq ft.

The basement would get a lot more use if it wasn't done poorly and organized poorly. But I think we can get it under $50K. It's a big space, and this does not include renovating the bathroom, a bedroom already down there, an office, and a home theater that is already in place.

smitcat
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by smitcat » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:05 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Remodeling a bathroom and basement and thought I'd ask the CF gurus. Got two quotes back. Both are within a few hundred or a few thousand of each other. My wife was way closer to guessing the quotes than my cheap ass was at it. House built in 2004

Bathroom
Full gut, roughly 12X14.
Relocate shower other side of room
Tub, sinks, toilet largely in same spot
Install 7 new LED can lights, 4 sconces, one small pendant light
Built 4X4 water closet
Install 2 fans, one main bath and one water closet
Drywall, paint
Tile floor
Custom cabinets, granite tops ($2K for granite)
4 X 5.5" zero entry shower with frameless glass on two sides with door on one of those sides.
No wall tile except in shower
Free standing air tub
Heated floors
Misc electrical, finish work, etc.
NO fixtures. I supply all fixtures including freestanding air tub, Kohler DTV system for shower, faucets, toilet, sinks, etc. I can get them all at cost.
Price: $45-$47K (excludes fixtures) two quotes within a few hundreds of each other. Fixtures will probably run me $10K.
Good? Bad? Terrible?

Basement remodel. It's currently finished, but I hate it. Was a cheapo job by prior owner. We will be doing part of the basement, not all.
~2,000 sq ft
Demo drop ceiling, remove carpet, demo existing bar, remove all trim and doors
New carpet ($6900)
Drywall and finish ceiling
Drywall and finish 60' X 4' wainscotting that looks like crap.
New millwork, casing, wall cap ($2500)
Create false wall about 10' long for TV with access behind via existing service door
Frame out two support columns
Paintall existing woodwork and doors ($5200)
Install 24 LED lights, boxes, controls
Granite tops front/back ($3250)
Stacked stone on front of bar ($5K)
Relocate sink drain on existing bar about 10' (cut concrete, run line, new concrete)
Custom cabinets for 8' bar front/back with built in fridge, microwave, sink, dishwasher

$73K

I'm at $130K for these two projects. Wife is a go on the bathroom but doesn't think basement is necessary. I want to do the basement because right now it's just not done well, bar is too big and in the wrong spot, and we don't spend any time down there (Kids do).

Plan to be here 8-10 years.
There is way to little detail to give a good opinion but in our area (NE) this is mostly inline with what higher end work would costs given your fixtures and design. Wheter or not it is worth it to you is purley a personal call.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:06 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:31 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Bathroom
Full gut, roughly 12X14. $2,000
Relocate shower other side of room $1,000
Tub, sinks, toilet largely in same spot
Install 7 new LED can lights, 4 sconces, one small pendant light $1,000
Built 4X4 water closet $2,000
Install 2 fans, one main bath and one water closet $1,000
Drywall, paint $1,500
Tile floor $1,000
Custom cabinets, granite tops ($2K for granite) $5,000
4 X 5.5" zero entry shower with frameless glass on two sides with door on one of those sides. $1,000
No wall tile except in shower $1,500
Free standing air tub
Heated floors tile guy will include in substrate labor
Misc electrical, finish work, etc. $3,000
NO fixtures. I supply all fixtures including freestanding air tub, Kohler DTV system for shower, faucets, toilet, sinks, etc. I can get them all at cost.
Price: $45-$47K (excludes fixtures) two quotes within a few hundreds of each other. Fixtures will probably run me $10K.
Good? Bad? Terrible?

Total: $20,000
I live in an area of the country were the cost of the living is 10% vs the national average and above in red is what labor would be...and I'm leaning very conservative. If you using the general contractor, he's charging you $20-$25k to orchestrate everything.
Sure, but you understand that a frameless shower enclosure of that size is over $5K in material, right?

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by ddurrett896 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:12 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:06 am
Sure, but you understand that a frameless shower enclosure of that size is over $5K in material, right?
I've got a 40 sqft shower with a glass wall that's 70' wide, 60" tall , 28' of it is a door that cost $1,500 installed...material and labor. I misread the double side and was accounting for one piece of glass + one glass door. That shouldn't cost more than $2,500. It lines up with a general contractor price if you are using one - twice the cost to have him.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:14 am

Thanks for feedback. Total project would be about $130K.

We're already working on some different things like building an alcove shower with a step entry, standard frameless glass door and cast iron base instead of one with two custom glass sides, and a zero entry with added install due to raising the rest of the floor. This likely shaves $10K off the cost. In the basement, moving the bar so that you don't have to cut the floor for the drain cuts $10K as well. Just in two things we've cut $20K.

I think If I can get them both done under $100K, we'd be in good shape. Working on that now.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:15 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:12 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:06 am
Sure, but you understand that a frameless shower enclosure of that size is over $5K in material, right?
I've got a 40 sqft shower with a glass wall that's 70' wide, 60" tall , 28' of it is a door that cost $1,500 installed...material and labor. I misread the double side and was accounting for one piece of glass + one glass door. That shouldn't cost more than $2,500. It lines up with a general contractor price if you are using one - twice the cost to have him.
I agree, going to a standard install will cut the cost a lot. Custom glass pieces are not "just double." It's a LOT more.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:19 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Home value around $575K. 5,400 sq ft.
It would be good to talk to a real estate agent to find out how the remodeling will impact your homes value.

If the other homes in your neighborhood are selling for around $575K then it will be hard to sell the house for much more than that no matter how nice the bathroom and basement are.

Moving to a $700K home now might be a better option than remodeling.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:30 am

Watty wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:19 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am
Home value around $575K. 5,400 sq ft.
It would be good to talk to a real estate agent to find out how the remodeling will impact your homes value.

If the other homes in your neighborhood are selling for around $575K then it will be hard to sell the house for much more than that no matter how nice the bathroom and basement are.

Moving to a $700K home now might be a better option than remodeling.
If there was one available, I would. Inventory is terrible.

We have land and are considering building, but builders right now are so backlogged for big projects.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 am

Seems a bit high expenditure on the basement for such a relatively short occupancy time. 73k to remod a basement vs from scratch is a lot, though a lot can get done for that much, indeed. But, if funding is not a priority, why not enjoy.
Generally, kitchen remods reap the most resale benefit, then bathrooms, etc. . .
Have fun with it.
j :D

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:13 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 am
Seems a bit high expenditure on the basement for such a relatively short occupancy time. 73k to remod a basement vs from scratch is a lot, though a lot can get done for that much, indeed. But, if funding is not a priority, why not enjoy.
Generally, kitchen remods reap the most resale benefit, then bathrooms, etc. . .
Have fun with it.
j :D
Basement shocked me. Gonna have to come down a LOT for us to do it. But I think we can get it well under $50K. The bar alone was over $15K of the cost, so that is a lot of cost. And in Wisconsin, you have to have a bar in your basement. The house just would never sell without one in this price range.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by smitcat » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:55 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:13 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:33 am
Seems a bit high expenditure on the basement for such a relatively short occupancy time. 73k to remod a basement vs from scratch is a lot, though a lot can get done for that much, indeed. But, if funding is not a priority, why not enjoy.
Generally, kitchen remods reap the most resale benefit, then bathrooms, etc. . .
Have fun with it.
j :D
Basement shocked me. Gonna have to come down a LOT for us to do it. But I think we can get it well under $50K. The bar alone was over $15K of the cost, so that is a lot of cost. And in Wisconsin, you have to have a bar in your basement. The house just would never sell without one in this price range.
"Gonna have to come down a LOT for us to do it."
These are the items which tend to drive the prices higher than a typical basement finish....
New carpet ($6900)
Drywall and finish ceiling
Paintall existing woodwork and doors ($5200)
Granite tops front/back ($3250)
Stacked stone on front of bar ($5K)
Relocate sink drain on existing bar about 10' (cut concrete, run line, new concrete)
Custom cabinets for 8' bar front/back with built in fridge, microwave, sink, dishwasher

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Watty
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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:16 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:30 am
If there was one available, I would. Inventory is terrible.
It only takes one. If you get everything organized and are ready to move quickly you can wait six months or a year for a good house to come on the market then you can snap it up. It sounds like your house should sell quickly too.
Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:30 am
We have land and are considering building, but builders right now are so backlogged for big projects.
That probably explains why the quotes you are getting are so high.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by lthenderson » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:16 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
I'm at $130K for these two projects. Wife is a go on the bathroom but doesn't think basement is necessary. I want to do the basement because right now it's just not done well, bar is too big and in the wrong spot, and we don't spend any time down there (Kids do).
Right now with a booming economy, it is a contractors market. All the contractors I know have more than enough work to keep them busy for years so if you want something done, they are going to make it worth their while. So with that said, it doesn't surprise me that you are being charged what I feel is a very high price for those projects.

For the bathroom, $340 (including fixtures)/sqft is just insane. I would guess the average for a high end bathroom to be closer to $250/sqft. I'm neck deep in my own project of adding an addition to our house and redoing the entire kitchen and our quote is $20k less than your quote. Our quote includes all the fixtures too.

For a basement I would expect a quote to be $100 to $150/sqft for a high end remodel. You mentioned your basement is 2000 sqft and if true, is a huge basement so if you are only paying $73k for 2000 sqft, that comes to around $36/sqft which is a steal. I'm guessing you don't have a 2000 sqft basement if your quote came back only $73k.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by randomizer » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:32 am

Seems like a lot of money to me, but I've never done a remodel.
87.5:12.5, EM tilt — HODL the course!

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:45 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:16 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:52 pm
I'm at $130K for these two projects. Wife is a go on the bathroom but doesn't think basement is necessary. I want to do the basement because right now it's just not done well, bar is too big and in the wrong spot, and we don't spend any time down there (Kids do).
Right now with a booming economy, it is a contractors market. All the contractors I know have more than enough work to keep them busy for years so if you want something done, they are going to make it worth their while. So with that said, it doesn't surprise me that you are being charged what I feel is a very high price for those projects.

For the bathroom, $340 (including fixtures)/sqft is just insane. I would guess the average for a high end bathroom to be closer to $250/sqft. I'm neck deep in my own project of adding an addition to our house and redoing the entire kitchen and our quote is $20k less than your quote. Our quote includes all the fixtures too.

For a basement I would expect a quote to be $100 to $150/sqft for a high end remodel. You mentioned your basement is 2000 sqft and if true, is a huge basement so if you are only paying $73k for 2000 sqft, that comes to around $36/sqft which is a steal. I'm guessing you don't have a 2000 sqft basement if your quote came back only $73k.
When we looked at new construction, most builders in our quality range said, without even looking at plans, “budget for $200/sq ft excluding lot and improvements.” I think the bath is high and we can get it to $250, but probably not lower.

As for basement, it is most definitely 2,000 sq ft. The house is 5,400. That said, most of the drywall and electrical is already done. This doesn’t include the bathroom either, which is done. It’s 73 for carpet, ceiling, demo, and bar mostly.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by lthenderson » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:44 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:45 pm
When we looked at new construction, most builders in our quality range said, without even looking at plans, “budget for $200/sq ft excluding lot and improvements.”
I think that is fairly reasonable in many places for new home construction averaged over an entire house. However, bathrooms and kitchens are the two costliest rooms when considered by themselves and bedrooms the cheapest which is why they average the price. Then when you figure in tearing out the previous work, that is why it will mostly likely be higher than the cost per square foot of new construction.

On another note, like others I would never drywall a basement ceiling. It just makes life more difficult in the long run. I commonly hear the reason people consider this is because they think their only options are that or a drop ceiling and they want the headroom. In case you didn't know, they make a hybrid system these days. It looks similar to a drop ceiling in that it comes in panels, but it clips directly to the bottom of your ceiling joists giving you only about 1/2" less headroom than drywall. (Drywall is typically half inch and these systems run about an inch deep) Best part is that they can be removed as needed to access the joist bay spaces and put back when done. I have that in the third of my basement and haven't regretted it. Best part is when a toilet overflowed upstairs and stained a couple tiles, I tossed them and inserted new ones in about 15 minutes.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by multiham » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:00 am

Only 2 comments from me

1. Agree with everyone that said a drywalled ceiling should be avoided. We have one and it has been a pain whenever work has need to be done.
2. I'm assuming you want to do these projects more for your enjoyment than return on investment. If this cost gets you what you want and YOU feel this is the best spend of your $, than I'd be all-in.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by HereToLearn » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:58 am

I could not bring myself to spend that much money renovating a master bath and basement in a house that is worth less than $600K, but as others have said, if it will bring you enjoyment for the next ten years and you have the money....then you should do what you want. However, that expensive bathroom will be a ten year old bathroom when you go to sell, so you have to be doing this for your own enjoyment.

I have carpeting and a sheetrock ceiling in the finished, walk-out half of my basement. Probably should not jinx myself, but haven't needed to cut into the ceiling in nearly 20 years. The carpet salesman would not allow me to buy the lovely wool carpet I wanted, but instead had me install acrylic carpet without padding. While water never came in from the outside, the ejector pump failed a couple of times, sending 25 gallons of soapy water from the washing machine onto the concrete, which eventually leaked over to the finished bathroom and carpeted basement. If padding had been installed, I would have had to rip up & replace the carpeting.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by open_circuit » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:29 am

multiham wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:00 am
1. Agree with everyone that said a drywalled ceiling should be avoided. We have one and it has been a pain whenever work has need to be done.
I'm confused by this. I don't know anyone who puts a drop ceiling on first or second floor of a house, yet I've lived in several houses with plumbing in between floors. What's special about a basement? Houses with slab foundations and no crawlspace or basement are often this way.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by multiham » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:44 pm

open_circuit wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:29 am
multiham wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:00 am
1. Agree with everyone that said a drywalled ceiling should be avoided. We have one and it has been a pain whenever work has need to be done.
I'm confused by this. I don't know anyone who puts a drop ceiling on first or second floor of a house, yet I've lived in several houses with plumbing in between floors. What's special about a basement? Houses with slab foundations and no crawlspace or basement are often this way.
If I need extra electrical run or work done on plumbing or vents, they now have to cut the ceiling and you have to do a drywall repair. So much easier if you had a drop ceiling. Just an extra cost unless you are really good with drywall repairs and blending in the patch.

For example, I have just asked for a quote on putting some speakers in my basement ceiling. While it won't be much more expensive, they now have to cut drywall to run the wire. Not difficult, but I will have to pay someone to come in and do the drywall repair as I can never get it to blend properly.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:12 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:44 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:45 pm
When we looked at new construction, most builders in our quality range said, without even looking at plans, “budget for $200/sq ft excluding lot and improvements.”
I think that is fairly reasonable in many places for new home construction averaged over an entire house. However, bathrooms and kitchens are the two costliest rooms when considered by themselves and bedrooms the cheapest which is why they average the price. Then when you figure in tearing out the previous work, that is why it will mostly likely be higher than the cost per square foot of new construction.

On another note, like others I would never drywall a basement ceiling. It just makes life more difficult in the long run. I commonly hear the reason people consider this is because they think their only options are that or a drop ceiling and they want the headroom. In case you didn't know, they make a hybrid system these days. It looks similar to a drop ceiling in that it comes in panels, but it clips directly to the bottom of your ceiling joists giving you only about 1/2" less headroom than drywall. (Drywall is typically half inch and these systems run about an inch deep) Best part is that they can be removed as needed to access the joist bay spaces and put back when done. I have that in the third of my basement and haven't regretted it. Best part is when a toilet overflowed upstairs and stained a couple tiles, I tossed them and inserted new ones in about 15 minutes.
I understand the average, price, which is why I didn't think the bathroom charge was THAT far out of line.

I think I can get my head around that, and my wife can too, as that's a big part of the cost driver.

That said, anyone had any experience with more attractive options than your typical 2X2 system? Any drop-ins that are more pleasing to look at while also holding the noise down well?
Last edited by Bacchus01 on Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:14 pm

HereToLearn wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:58 am
I could not bring myself to spend that much money renovating a master bath and basement in a house that is worth less than $600K, but as others have said, if it will bring you enjoyment for the next ten years and you have the money....then you should do what you want. However, that expensive bathroom will be a ten year old bathroom when you go to sell, so you have to be doing this for your own enjoyment.

I have carpeting and a sheetrock ceiling in the finished, walk-out half of my basement. Probably should not jinx myself, but haven't needed to cut into the ceiling in nearly 20 years. The carpet salesman would not allow me to buy the lovely wool carpet I wanted, but instead had me install acrylic carpet without padding. While water never came in from the outside, the ejector pump failed a couple of times, sending 25 gallons of soapy water from the washing machine onto the concrete, which eventually leaked over to the finished bathroom and carpeted basement. If padding had been installed, I would have had to rip up & replace the carpeting.
I will tell you I have also never had to get into the ceiling in a basement in 20 years of home ownership, with both drywalled and drop ceilings, across 4 different houses that ranged in age from built in the 1980s to brand new. It's incredibly rare.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:16 pm

open_circuit wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:29 am
multiham wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:00 am
1. Agree with everyone that said a drywalled ceiling should be avoided. We have one and it has been a pain whenever work has need to be done.
I'm confused by this. I don't know anyone who puts a drop ceiling on first or second floor of a house, yet I've lived in several houses with plumbing in between floors. What's special about a basement? Houses with slab foundations and no crawlspace or basement are often this way.
To be fair, most of that plumbing runs in the walls, not across the floors.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by lthenderson » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:56 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:12 pm
That said, anyone had any experience with more attractive options than your typical 2X2 system? Any drop-ins that are more pleasing to look at while also holding the noise down well?
I've used CeilingMAX systems several times and those are available in many of the big box hardware stores. The nice thing is that they can take just about any tile you find. I did one in stamped tin, one in standard office soundproofing tile and another one that had plastic designs in some of the tiles along with standard soundproofing tiles for the rest.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by dekecarver » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:32 pm

My experience with basements is that they really don't get used enough to warrant the cost of a high end job nor recoup the cost when selling. There is a cool factor that kids love and dig about basements but adults, not so much. I'm also a bit biased in that when I turn off the lights I don't want to walk up the steps to go to bed and I ain't old.

In regards to bathrooms, yeah a really nice one is cool, but daggon thats a lot of money for a stocked brown trout pond....Again I'm biased as I see a bathroom for SSS and outta there which doesn't require a spa like experience or the cost.

If you are gonna do it, DIY, as much as possible.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by HereToLearn » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:38 pm

dekecarver wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:32 pm
My experience with basements is that they really don't get used enough to warrant the cost of a high end job nor recoup the cost when selling. There is a cool factor that kids love and dig about basements but adults, not so much. I'm also a bit biased in that when I turn off the lights I don't want to walk up the steps to go to bed and I ain't old.

In regards to bathrooms, yeah a really nice one is cool, but daggon thats a lot of money for a stocked brown trout pond....Again I'm biased as I see a bathroom for SSS and outta there which doesn't require a spa like experience or the cost.

If you are gonna do it, DIY, as much as possible.
I agree about not spending a ton of money to finish a basement but I do think it can be valuable space. I probably spent $50K nearly 20 years ago, but that took it from poured concrete and 2 x 4x to completely finished: a full bath, built-in wall unit with pocket doors to hide TV, five closets with lots of storage space, carpeting, heat, and a new staircase. The children used it for years and years, and still use it for movie or gaming nights with friends, even though they are in college.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Cycle » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:31 pm

I unfinished a basement that was poorly done and not to code. It was a really horrible non-conforming 3rd unit. I needed to get the ceiling down anyways, since I was putting in two new kitchens and baths in the other two units.

I installed many very bright lights and made a large convenient laundry area in the basement. It's a basement now, not a deathtrap apartment, meeting it's orginal design intent.

So anyways, if you don't like something you can tear it out and not replace it with anything.

These numbers are pretty crazy. I spent $105k completely gut rehabbing a foreclosed duplex, putting in two premium kitchens, baths, new soundproof ceilings, exterior trim, new electrical and panels, plumbing, boilers, hot water heaters... Granted I had a lot of free personal labor in there, but hired out the majority of the labor myself.

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Re: Bathroom and Basement Remodel Costs

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:39 am

dekecarver wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:32 pm
My experience with basements is that they really don't get used enough to warrant the cost of a high end job nor recoup the cost when selling. There is a cool factor that kids love and dig about basements but adults, not so much. I'm also a bit biased in that when I turn off the lights I don't want to walk up the steps to go to bed and I ain't old.

In regards to bathrooms, yeah a really nice one is cool, but daggon thats a lot of money for a stocked brown trout pond....Again I'm biased as I see a bathroom for SSS and outta there which doesn't require a spa like experience or the cost.

If you are gonna do it, DIY, as much as possible.
I guess that depends on where you live. Ours gets used extensively and would get used MORE if it was nicer and better laid out. We live in Wisconsin. Winters drive inside activity.

Our basement also has full exposure on the south wall, with windows pretty much every inch left to right. Doesn't feel so much like the basement.

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