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So You Want To Update Your Bathroom……

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

Bathrooms are a whole different beast than a kitchen. Material choices in kitchen’s have a higher budget, but the labor is about 10% of the project. In bathrooms, it is just the opposite. Material costs might be about 30% of the budget, but the labor is about 70% of the overall budget.

Folks assume that because a bathroom is a smaller space, it will be easier to tackle. Don’t let the size fool you. Most of my clients figure out real soon that there are lots of tiny little details and decisions to make, and they are numerous. This situation can become intimidating and overwhelming really fast.

Since my goal with my remodeling blog is to bring at least 1 piece of valuable information to my readers with every post, I would like to focus this blog entry on some facts about bathroom remodels.

Fact #1: The Labor in your master or guest bath remodel is going to be the biggest part of your budget. It's best to get this number early on. I always tell my clients, start with your budget, because that will determine whether you can actually move forward with the project based on your projected budget. Smaller space does not equal less $$$. If you don't like where the labor costs are for your project, then you better quit now. You will most likely need to adjust. Once you have that final number, add 10%, there will be things that you did not think of that will pop up as you go along.

Fact #2: The updated height for bathroom cabinets these days is 34.5, just like the cabinets in your kitchen. You will not find new homes anymore with the old-school height of 30”for the height of your cabinets.




If you're changing your counter tops, sinks, and faucet, PLEASE change your cabinets to the updated height. If you don’t, you are locking the old ones in, especially if you are putting down granite or quartz. You're also asking your old cabinets to go another 20 years. You're probably talking about 4 cabinets at the most. Seriously, if you're going to do this, then do it right the first time. Think of resale. Think of updating. That's why you are doing this right? You may not


have plans of moving right now, but things can change and you never know. So always keep it in mind when you are updating your home.

Fact #3: If your cabinets go up in height, then so does everything else. What is included in this? Your mirrors, your wall receptacles, your lights, your back splash,


and your counter top. Don’t know what a back splash is? Stay tuned to future blogs. We will cover that subject in kitchens and baths.








Those are your 3 fun facts about bathroom remodels for now, but just know, there are so many more where those came from. These are subjects that I will cover in the future. Lots of great, valuable information.

Really quickly though, I want to list all the areas in the vanity space that need to be considered when developing your “what to update” list.

Vanity Area:

1. Cabinets ( wow there are so many choices in function)

2. Counter tops (granite or quartz? Never marble or travertine!)

3. Backsplash (tile or counter top material)

4. sinks ( under mount or over mount)

5. Faucets (Oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, weathered nickel or shiney)

6. Power receptacles (turn em sideways, move em up, add one in???)

7. Mirrors, 1 or 2 (and do you take out the medicine cabinet or leave it in)

8. Lights, (sconce, drop, or over mirror? Pointing up or down?)

9. Floor (Do you even have to replace it?, big tiles or 12 x 12?, do they have to match the shower?)

This is just the vanity area, this is not even including the other parts of the bathroom, like the shower, (which is a room and a blog post all by itself that I will cover in the future) the toilet room, paint, and any wall construction or deconstruction work.

So you see, there is a lot in a bathroom to consider. Way more than most people initially see when they first start out on their remodel venture.

Like I said, the Contractor’s labor cost is the biggest part of your budget, so it is best to get a look at that number first. In order to do this, you need to have a good game plan, a contractor's scope of work. This way, he can come in, look at your very concise list, and know exactly what to bid out for you. It's always good to have him bid on anything and everything that you may want to see in your initial budget plan. Ask him to do it menu style. This way you can look at that first big number and then trim the fat were needed to get your budget into a more manageable place.

These guys are busy, so the easier you make it for him to create a bid for you, the quicker you will get your answer, and the clearer the project will be for all those involved. I have managed a lot of kitchen and bath remodels, and I will tell you that good communication is key to a smooth successful job well done.

So here is where my service comes in. I can meet with you and help you develop your scope of work, or you can purchase my DIY Project d

Development package. Either way you will be left with a punch list for your project. All you have to do is hand it to your contractor when you meet with him. Believe me, he will love that you were that organized. Most often, this one step or in home appointment is enough to get clients into a confident place and feel like they can go forward and tackle what they need to do. I am always available for drop in assistance during the process, but I find that if you have a good starting plan, this seems to be enough. For more about my services, Click Here

I can also: develop a budget for your project, create your shopping list, suggest cabinet layouts and function, and measure for you and sell you cabinets. I will leave you with resources of where to shop locally, and contractors you can call so you can start getting that first bid. It’s always best to get 3 if you can, but do get at least 2.

If your in the Tucson Area and are interested in my services go to my contact form HERE. I'll get back to you soon and set an appointment.

So remember, You can remodel with confidence, if you start with all the right tools from the Beginning!

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