Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I looked at 2 bathrooms last night. I told the customer 12K for one and about 8K for the small one. Both complete gut jobs and everything has to be new. I assume even down to floor joists as the sub floor is shot after 50+ years. They said they wanted to spend about $16-17k so I said maybe with cheaper contents. Today I get an email she was told by a ex builder now commercial contractor friend that 6k per bath is about right. Sure.................

Larger bath: 10 x 12. Standard 5 ft tub, 5 ft vanity with dbl sinks & toilet. New drywall, tape finish and paint. Replace & tile 3 walls of tub to 7 ft high. Replace lights over vanity. New 20A electric circuit to panel. Chrome, cheap faucets & shower valve. 3" wood base molding painted and trim the window & paint. Rough # thrown out 12k & 10-12 days

Small bath 4 x 10. Shower base 48 x 32 glass doors and tile 3 walls and ceiling. Add exhaust fan to outside, short 6 ft duct run. Tile entire floor. New drywall tape finish & paint. $100 Pedestal sink and cheap faucet. $150 AS cheap toilet. Rough # 8k & 10 days.

I don't see anyway 12K for both even using the cheapest stuff I can find. At 12k I think i make no money after I pay for electric and plumbing subs, permits, dumpster and finally my helper.

Is this just a sign of the times or are people looking for me to work for less than minimum wage? :sad:
 

·
Bathroom Remodeler
Joined
·
622 Posts
I'd say your right on. 12k and 8k is where I'd probably be. If they want vinyl floors with fiberglass tub/surround and walkin fiberglass with cheap homedepot doors maybe both for 16k, but 6k each no way:blink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,005 Posts
So I looked at 2 bathrooms last night. I told the customer 12K for one and about 8K for the small one. Both complete gut jobs and everything has to be new. I assume even down to floor joists as the sub floor is shot after 50+ years. They said they wanted to spend about $16-17k so I said maybe with cheaper contents. Today I get an email she was told by a ex builder now commercial contractor friend that 6k per bath is about right. Sure.................

Larger bath: 10 x 12. Standard 5 ft tub, 5 ft vanity with dbl sinks & toilet. New drywall, tape finish and paint. Replace & tile 3 walls of tub to 7 ft high. Replace lights over vanity. New 20A electric circuit to panel. Chrome, cheap faucets & shower valve. 3" wood base molding painted and trim the window & paint. Rough # thrown out 12k & 10-12 days

Small bath 4 x 10. Shower base 48 x 32 glass doors and tile 3 walls and ceiling. Add exhaust fan to outside, short 6 ft duct run. Tile entire floor. New drywall tape finish & paint. $100 Pedestal sink and cheap faucet. $150 AS cheap toilet. Rough # 8k & 10 days.

I don't see anyway 12K for both even using the cheapest stuff I can find. At 12k I think i make no money after I pay for electric and plumbing subs, permits, dumpster and finally my helper.

Is this just a sign of the times or are people looking for me to work for less than minimum wage? :sad:
Here is how I would do it.
Figure out how to do the bath for the 6k. Remember you can use tud surrounds and vinyl flooring. Cheapest HD tub and a vanity with sink combo.
Trust me it can be done.

Then after figuring it out take the proposal to them with options they could have.
IE> tile around tub, cast iron tub, tile floor etc.
To me this is an upsell oportunity. If they are still talking to you, that means they are interested.
Sell each and every option. The one time I would break down the costs on a job. After they choose the "options" they want total it up and ask for the order.

Remember as you get the options from them ask for a committment. Enough yes answers leads to a yes on the close.

You can do it!!!!!!!!!!:thumbsup:

Remember, rental houses are full of 2k baths or less, it can be done!
 

·
Balding quickly
Joined
·
954 Posts
You could probably do the bigger one for a little less,I dont always see sq ftg reflected in the price that much. 4K for a 20amp circuit run and like 5 sheets of rock, and 80 sqft of tile. Sounds more like 2k-2.5K to me. Depending on where the electrical box is.
Its actually hard to say are you tiling the floor in the bigger bathroom? You not changing the lights in the small bathroom? Your prices seem about right, I dont know your business I could probably do 7k and 11k with those materials. But I do most of the work myself and I would have to be hungary. Seems fair, 6k for both is weak.
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
It is hard to do, but walk away.

I had a client that wanted 2 full baths and 1 1/2 bath remodeled, I gave them a price, they didn't like it so they had me rebid it to meet their budget, I came down on the price and changed the scope of the work, took things out of the bid and lowered the allowances.

When I was doing the job, the client kept saying we discussed this before and this is what I wanted, I explained to them that yes we did discuss it, but they need to read the contract and the specifications of the job as the scope f work had changed to accomodate their desired budget.

The approved change orders, but ended up deducting them from the payments due, so they ended up ripping me off, but they got many of the things they wanted in the original bid, but at a lower price.

$6,000 per bathroom is not going to be enough money to do the job properly and for you to make any money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,067 Posts
12 for both is low
20 for both might be high
16-17 might be ok
remod is not new construction...too many unknowns.
I only do cost plus on jobs like this. I'm a builder not a frikin gambler.

Agree on a max budget on cost plus, cost plus 20%, then you also get 20% of every dollar under budget. It's a WIN /WIN (your hourly labor is a cost :))
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
12 for both is low
20 for both might be high
16-17 might be ok
remod is not new construction...too many unknowns.
I only do cost plus on jobs like this. I'm a builder not a frikin gambler.

Agree on a max budget on cost plus, cost plus 20%, then you also get 20% of every dollar under budget. It's a WIN /WIN (your hourly labor is a cost :))
You have no clue what the scope of work is, 20k may be what it takes to get the job done properly.

On a cost plus, you only get a percentage on what is spent, not on what isn't spent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,067 Posts
Get a dictionary and look up the meaning of the word "MIGHT". I can only assume the SCOPE of the the job is what the OP said it was. Or I could make alot of guesses and start a new thread and make the scope whatever I want it to be.

You obviously didn't even read what I said.

oh and YOU don't get to dictate what my contracts include or not.
 

·
Pompass Ass
Joined
·
2,090 Posts
Get a dictionary and look up the meaning of the word "MIGHT". I can only assume the SCOPE of the the job is what the OP said it was. Or I could make alot of guesses and start a new thread and make the scope whatever I want it to be.

You obviously didn't even read what I said.

oh and YOU don't get to dictate what my contracts include or not.
Since you are not bidding the job, it doesn't matter what YOUR contract includes, because you don't have one on this job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,067 Posts
You have a problem admitting when you are obviously wrong. I won't bother to post how you were wrong because we both already know that.

Now save face by making a joke about something.:thumbsup:

BTW...typical Cost Plus also doesnt usually include a "budget target". This is also a customized proposal item of my own that my customers like. Especially customers that are construction savvy and know what costs to expect. They know that through additional effort and conciencousness and planning I can save them labor and materials costs and don't mind sharing the wealth for my efforts. It places us in a team relationship rather than an adversarial one. The last contract I fulfilled under these circumstances came in 24 thousand under budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the replies. All of you are from different parts of the country. I'm in NJ where along with NY, CT & CA we have the highest cost of living in the country. Fact is the right guy could get 20k just for the small 4 x 10 bath.

Now, providing and installing what the customer wants adds to the job & I supplying everything, materials and labor.

Larger bath: Americast Princeton tub or Kohler Villager, all ceramic tile for 3 walls surrounding tub including 11 ft of bull-nose, 5 ft double sink vanity with top. 2 faucets and shower/ tub valve, Moen or Delta or whatever will not fall apart in 90 days. Matching tile for the floor & I assume after 50+ years the sub floor is shot so I will be replacing that to "do it right." I know it can be done for less with vinyl on the floor and and fiberglass tub & walls but that is not what they asked for.

Small 4 x10 bath is: 48 x 32 white shower base and tile 3 walls and ceiling in the shower area, about 100 sf plus bullnose. Matching tile for floor. Install new shower valve and matching faucet. Install a cheaper white pedestal sink. Replace 3 light fixture on wall over sink. Some sort of $200 shower doors by-pass although they asked for clear glass.

Bath bathrooms have wallpaper so I either remove it and repair all the areas where it was destroyed or "my way" would be to re-drywall the entire room and maybe salvage the existing ceilings. In the end it has to look like new and be painted. I may tell them to hire their own painter based on what they want to spend with me.

Permits are required or I may be fined and lose my license, this is a tough area. Inspections are required, 6 total, rough & final building, plumbing and electric. As with some inspections and scheduling I allow for lost time and some possible half days.

No way 12K for both rooms. I'm leaning towards fitting in just under their $17k budget and using HD or Lowes $1.50 sf tile and other cheap materials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Cost vs. Value

A mid-range Bathroom remodel in NJ

Was------------- 17,383.00 in 2008

Now------------- 16,142.00 in 2009


A upscale Bathroom remodel in NJ

Was ------------ 55,766.00 in 2008

Now ------------ 562,295.00 in 2009
 

·
bathroom guru
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
There are always going to exist hacks that will agree to try and do what the customers want.

Is it going to work out well for either party...probably not. The hack will moan that he didn't make any money and the HO will moan about the lack of quality.

I do not do full bathrooms (gutted) for less than 10K.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A mid-range Bathroom remodel in NJ

Was------------- 17,383.00 in 2008

Now------------- 16,142.00 in 2009


A upscale Bathroom remodel in NJ

Was ------------ 55,766.00 in 2008

Now ------------ 562,295.00 in 2009
Where were the numbers obtained? I would love to enlighten some clueless customers when they think they have 10k to spend and want high end. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
You are underpricing

So I looked at 2 bathrooms last night. I told the customer 12K for one and about 8K for the small one. Both complete gut jobs and everything has to be new. I assume even down to floor joists as the sub floor is shot after 50+ years. They said they wanted to spend about $16-17k so I said maybe with cheaper contents. Today I get an email she was told by a ex builder now commercial contractor friend that 6k per bath is about right. Sure.................

Larger bath: 10 x 12. Standard 5 ft tub, 5 ft vanity with dbl sinks & toilet. New drywall, tape finish and paint. Replace & tile 3 walls of tub to 7 ft high. Replace lights over vanity. New 20A electric circuit to panel. Chrome, cheap faucets & shower valve. 3" wood base molding painted and trim the window & paint. Rough # thrown out 12k & 10-12 days

Small bath 4 x 10. Shower base 48 x 32 glass doors and tile 3 walls and ceiling. Add exhaust fan to outside, short 6 ft duct run. Tile entire floor. New drywall tape finish & paint. $100 Pedestal sink and cheap faucet. $150 AS cheap toilet. Rough # 8k & 10 days.

I don't see anyway 12K for both even using the cheapest stuff I can find. At 12k I think i make no money after I pay for electric and plumbing subs, permits, dumpster and finally my helper.

Is this just a sign of the times or are people looking for me to work for less than minimum wage? :sad:
Yes, people want you to work for less than minimum wage, they prefer you do it at a loss. Tell them to suck it. If their contractor friend is such a freaking genius and can do it for $6K, tell them to not only have him do it for them but that you want to hire him since you can sub all your work to him and still price jobs under average.

Mid-range bathroom remodel in 2006 for a 5' x 7', replacing all fixtures including tub and ceramic floor, was $10,499. Nationwide.

I'm in Kentucky, one of the lowest (read CHEAPEST) states. We do a package - new ceramic floor, new tub, new tiled shower walls, new commode, lav faucet, tub/shower faucet, lights, paint, vanity, new baseboard if needed, granite vanity top. $7,995. Dirt cheap to try to generate some business. And 2/3 of people have their head explode thinking it's way too much.

Wouldn't touch what you describe for that price. Don't feel bad, don't cheap out and do it. You know the only way to do that job for that price is to do absolute crap work with crap materials and you sound like a guy who doesn't want to do "my friend the wonderful retired contractor" crap work. We've all seen those jobs and that's what we shake our head about.

Some will say "bid it cheap and get the job." At $12K for that job, even doing it with cheap material, exactly how much are you going to make? And have to put up with whiny ungrateful clients and their idiot contractor friend? And take the liability? Isn't your time better spent going to the next client who might be realistic and, if you are really lucky, appreciate having someone of your quality doing the work? You deserve to be paid adequately for what you do. 22 days for 2 people PLUS materials and permits for $12K????? Not to mention the liability and risk you take. If their rusty old plumbing explodes guess who gets blamed and the job of fixing it? If they hold you up beyond the 22 days are they going to compensate you? Hell no. What if you have to pull teeth to get paid?

Sorry for the rant, but I'm tired of good contractors being on the receiving end of stupidity like you're getting. If homeowners are too tight to pay what it realistically costs then they need to do without.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top