What is this going to cost?
My favorite smart-ass answer is "A bathroom renovation or remodel costs about the same as a new car. A kitchen renovation will cost you two. Do you want a Toyota Corolla or a Lamborghini?" The analogy isn't entirely accurate but it gets the main points across:
Typical Bathroom Renovation Costs in 2023
I'm not going to make you scroll though five screens of text to get to the good stuff. Numbers first, explanations and considerations later! Here's what you can expect to pay for a complete* bathroom renovation in South Delta this year:
Two Piece "Powder Room" - Sink and toilet.
Quick & Cheap 2,500 to 4,000
Budget Friendly 3,500 to 7,000
Average 5,000 to 9,500
High End 9,000 to 16,000
Three Piece - Sink, toilet and Tub or Shower
Quick & Cheap 10,000 to 12,000
Budget Friendly 12,500 to 15,000
Average 15,000 to 25,000
High End 25,000 to 50,000
Four Piece - Sink, toilet, tub and separate shower
Quick & Cheap 12,500 to 15,000
Budget Friendly 14,000 to 20,000
Average 20,000 to 30,000
High End 35,000 to 60,000
New Bathroom Addition, Exceptionally Large Bathroom or Bathroom with Multiple High-End Features
Budget Friendly 35,000 to 80,000
Average 60,000 to 100,000
High End 80,000 to 120,000
*Price ranges are for complete renovations/remodels and include the replacement of all fixtures and finishes, flooring, paint etc.
Tier One: A powder room or guest bath typically found on the main floor of a home. Commonly a small space with a single toilet and sink or vanity and no additional storage. May or may not have a window or fan.
Tier Two: A "common" guest, main or on-suite bathroom with a typical layout. This bathroom will have a one or two sink vanity, toilet and either a shower or a tub/shower combo. It will commonly have a window and, depending on the age of the house, an exhaust fan.
Tier Three: A main/master or on-suite bathroom with vanity, toilet, tub and separate shower. Not "guest accessible" in most homes.
Tier Four: A "new construction" (i.e. addition) or very large/complex bathroom.
Finish Level Definitions:
Quick & Cheap: "Remove and replace" with entry-level materials and finishes. Vinyl flooring, no modifications, basic mirror and light fixture.
Budget Friendly: Some minor customization and mid-range materials and fixtures. Plywood construction cabinetry, basic floor/wall tile, new trim, name brand (entry level) fixtures. Might include off-the-shelf shower/tub glass, basic shelving and one or two custom features (niche, LED mirror etc.)
Average: Quality fixtures and finishes. Quartz countertops, higher-end big box store-brand or mid-range specialty shop materials. A few customizations that might include shower niche, floating vanity, extra lighting, porcelain tile, basic in-floor heat. At the high-end, might include a tub-to-shower conversion or additional shower head. Many accessibility renovations fall into this category.
High End: High quality fixtures from specialty supply stores (e.g. Hansgrohe, Riobel, Kohler.) May involve working with an Interior Designer. Modifications to layout that might include changing plumbing locations and some framing work. Options like quality porcelain or stone tile/slabs with custom niches, linear/hidden drains, bidet, custom floor heating systems, wet-room construction, built-in cabinetry. May include back-painted glass accents, dropped ceilings/alcoves, door replacement, multi-head shower installations and others. Some accessibility renovations fall into this category.
Luxury: Very high quality fixtures and materials. Projects co-managed by Interior Designer or Architect (or both.) Imported stone and tile, custom cabinetry, significant changes to layout and luxury finishing throughout. Projects will involve multiple product specialists. Often will include "feature" items like oversize/jetted tubs, steam showers or saunas.
$$: First and foremost, you need a budget. Once you know what you are comfortable spending, the list above should give you an idea of what you can expect to get accomplished. One mistake I see occasionally is an unrealistic expectation based on a TV show, what the neighbours paid six years ago or what the handy uncle says it should cost. If you want a high-end result without a high-end budget, be prepared for a significant compromise (e.g. poor installation quality, removing a number of "wants" from the project scope.)
ROI: My family and I have completed many "renovate to sell" projects in South Delta. During this time we developed a really good feel for what types of renovations add value and how to maximize Return on Investment (ROI.) There are many factors at play but I'll share a couple pieces of advice:
Bathrooms and Kitchens Sell Houses. This is 100% true however they don't always add investment value. A beautiful bathroom may make your home more desirable than others but it won't always mean more (NET) money in your pocket. If you intend to sell in the short-term, only renovate to the level of comparable properties (or slightly better.)
Different People, Different Tastes. Again, if you plan to sell short-term, you'll want to make sure that your renovation is "common and clean". Not everyone wants a bidet so don't throw that money away. Likewise, don't break the bank on a fancy tiled eagle inlay - great for a Harley store but not great for resale.
Of course you can ignore most of this if you plan to stay in your house. In fact, any renovation more than around 10-15 years old no longer adds value to a home.
"Site Conditions": Occasionally I'll meet someone in a social setting and they'll ask me what they should budget for a certain reno. The numbers seem like they'll work and everyone gets excited so we set-up a consultation. Then we arrive at the home only to find it's on the top floor of a three story house ($$,) in a Strata complex ($$,) is on a major street with limited parking ($$)... There are many other circumstances that can impact cost (limited work hours, noise restrictions, secure storage requirements etc.) so manage expectations accordingly.
Tips & (Corrected) Misconceptions
If you have never gone through a renovation before (or even if you have,) you are probably doing a lot of research. You might even be a little nervous about "price creep" or being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous contractor. Here's some advice and a few "corrections" to consider:
Most of what you see on TV is imaginary. We've had some of our own projects featured on shows (including "Love It or List It Vancouver".) I can tell you from first hand experience that the project budgets they present are (often) fabricated and, in many cases, do not include labour or other significant costs. You cannot get a spa-like bathroom renovation done in three days for $10,000.
Prices have increased significantly in the past couple of years. Between global (and regional) supply issues, labour shortages and rapid inflation, renovation prices are climbing. It's no longer possible to use the cost of a two year old bathroom renovation as a basis of cost comparison for a new project.
Insurance and Warrantee are important. In the past, you could tell the difference between a Handyman, Renovator, Contractor and Construction Company by their cost, warrantee, quality and insurance/licensing. This is no longer always the case. Regardless of what a person or company might call themselves, make sure that there is appropriate insurance ($2M general liability,) a valid business license and a comprehensive warrantee (minimum 2 years for most projects.) A reputable company will provide you with copies of these on request. Also confirm who will be managing your project and whether or not that person will be on the job site.
You need to get referrals. Ideally from someone you know who will allow you to inspect the company's work. If that's not possible, ask for local references and make sure you contact them! Also remember that people who supply personal references aren't getting paid to do so. Contact them only as a "last check" once you've decided on a builder and pay it forward by offering to act as a reference yourself if you have a great experience with your own project.
Pick someone you are comfortable with and who is responsive. It's really important that you get a "good vibe" from the person who you will be doing most of your communication with during the project. Most bad experiences result from bad communication and your first few meetings with your primary contact will set the tone.
A professional contractor will require a booking deposit and will provide you with a payment schedule. There is lots of advice out there from people who will tell you to never pay a deposit. A good contractor will be a busy contractor and will need a financial commitment from you in order to book your project in their calendar. This protects you by securing your place in their project list and it protects the contractor from "unpaid holidays" that can occur when a client cancels or delays their project. The amount of your deposit will vary and is typically 25-50% for a bathroom renovation or remodeling project. Larger scopes (e.g. a whole home renovation) typically require smaller deposits.
There are exceptions to deposit norms. For example, our company will often soften our deposit requirement for returning customers or those whom we have had other business dealings with.
Prepare for the possibility of additional costs. I recommend that clients set-aside 15-25% of their project budget to address unforeseen issues (e.g. mold behind a wall, incorrect plumbing/electrical etc.) and to cover off any changes or additions they may want to make as the project progresses. A good contractor will discuss potential issues with you and can even provide you with likely remediation costs in advance.
If you are happy with your project, spread the love! There is nothing better than having a happy client - except perhaps when that client leaves you a great review and refers their friends and family! I can promise you (again, from experience) that your contractor will be thrilled if you help them build their business with your referrals and you can expect preferential treatment in return.
I hope you've found some of this information useful!
If you are looking to have a bathroom (or any other) renovation done to your South Delta home, I hope you'll feel comfortable touching base. I'd be happy to pop by and chat about your plans. You can take the first step by clicking here.
Steve Timuss is a professional residential renovator with decades of hand-on and project management experience. As a long-time South Delta resident, former marketing executive and partner with Bordertown Construction, Steve is uniquely qualified to provide project advice that spans design, construction, management and return on investment in the local market. You can reach him directly at email@example.com.