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Old 01-26-2013, 12:28 PM  
CallMeVilla
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One data point missing ... How much of their estimate is materials versus labor/profit?? If you are choosing very high end fixtures, the costs is going to rise. I did a complete bathroom remodel which included relocating the sink, new cabinets, shower to replace funky tub. Did it to the studs and joists. and it was much easier for new plumbing and electrical/lighting AND outside wall insulation . . .



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Old 01-26-2013, 01:53 PM  
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Originally Posted by CallMeVilla View Post
One data point missing ... How much of their estimate is materials versus labor/profit?? If you are choosing very high end fixtures, the costs is going to rise. I did a complete bathroom remodel which included relocating the sink, new cabinets, shower to replace funky tub. Did it to the studs and joists. and it was much easier for new plumbing and electrical/lighting AND outside wall insulation . . .
We're working on the materials cost. The more we look, the more options open up. I'd think for the same ZIPcode, the profit/(total job cost) follows the same curve across many companies in the same business.


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Old 01-26-2013, 11:16 PM  
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Drew, I thought of something that could both save you some money AND get the job done the way you want it. You can tear out the old bathroom yourself, and then get a price quote for building back what you want. Any of the estimates you got so far obviously (or maybe not so obviously) include the cost of removing and hauling off old fixtures (and wall covering, if a tear out was included). Our local dump charges $75 a ton for disposing of construction waste. If you have a truck, you can tear stuff out of the bathroom and haul it yourself. If you don't, you can rent a "construction dumpster" and then call the company for a pick up after you have finished removing everything from the bathroom. You don't have to be a professional to demo your bath. A few wrenches and pliers will remove the toilet and vanity. A sledge hammer and some prybars/wrecking bars/crowbars will make pretty easy work of the wall coverings. Pull off all wall coverings and then take up your flooring down to the subfloor. If the tub is cast iron, an 18 pound sledge will demolish it in about 20 minutes (WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES!!! - a trip to the emergency room will offset any money you just saved!). Vacuum up the floor, and then get your contractor to give you a price quote to put the bath the way you want it. Good luck!

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Old 01-26-2013, 11:24 PM  
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You could also go to Lowe's/Home Depot/Menard's and pick up a toilet, vanity, faucets/shower fixtures, the shower you want, tile, etc. Of course you will pay retail, but you will have what you want and won't be paying a contractor mark up.

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Old 01-27-2013, 07:28 AM  
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You won't be paying contractor markup but you might be paying more for an inferior product.

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:17 PM  
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Joe; true, you just need to do some research before purchase. Consumer Reports has ratings for a lot of items. Sometimes the store people can tell you what's good and what's not (if somebody buys something that's crap, they will at the least go back to the store and complain. You usually want to avoid items that have a lot of returns, too.)

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:24 PM  
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You can also let the contractor pick everything out. You may pay some markup, but if you're unhappy with the performance of anything it's up to him to make it right (including labor). The downside to buying stuff yourself is that if they install it and you don't like it, you will have to pay them to remove it and replace it. Could be a real "crap shoot" if you don't know what you're buying. I've never been disappointed with Kohler or American Standard, but that's personal preference. Like most things though, if you buy "cheap", you get "cheap".

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Old 01-27-2013, 10:05 PM  
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On occasions I have had plumbers offer to do work for labour only and material at cost. They just gave me the invoice to pay the wholesaler. It turns out, his wholesale price was higher than any plumping or big box store. It is reasonable for any small business man to mark up product that he is supplying. It really puts the contractor in a bad place.



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