Leading Edge Homes - Home Remodeling Budget Reality


Like I have said many times, being an educated consumer is very important before beginning a home remodeling or improvement project. There are many posts on this blog about Hiring a Home Remodeling Professional.

People are sometimes confused by the pricing they see for remodeling projects on the reality television shows or on the websites to find remodeling companies online.

There is more to the cost of hiring a remodeling professional than materials and labor. Determining the cost of your job is much more complex than you think.

Last week I received a call from a potential client about remodeling his bathroom. He thought the job should cost no more than $7,000, when in reality it would cost about $20,000. Were we over-charging or was the potential client living in the 1960s?



Assuming the average worker makes $20 an hour, if you have three employees working 50 hours a week for two weeks on a bathroom—which is typical—you’ll have 240 hours of regular pay (3 employees x 40 hours per week x 2 weeks) for $4,800, plus 60 hours of overtime (3 employees x 10 overtime hours per week x 2 weeks) at 1.5 times the regular wage, which adds an extra $1,800. Add it all up, and the cost of labor alone is $6,600.

But, there is more to the labor charge than just the worker’s hourly wage. There is general liability insurance, workman’s compensation insurance, and the cost of the employee’s health and other benefits.


Costs for materials can vary, and in most cases, the home remodeling contractor adds a mark-up to the costs of materials. Why? It covers the time to order the materials, pick up the materials, deliver the materials, and replace materials if there are problems with them.

Now, I know what you are thinking. I can save money if I purchase the materials myself. I strongly recommend that you DO NOT do this.

For example, if the faucet you purchase doesn’t work properly, it is the plumber who is responsible to replace or repair it. If you supply the faucet, you will have to pay for the plumber to disconnect the faucet you supplied and then come back and install the replacement faucet.


Home remodeling shows make it look like there is nothing involved to change where the toilet, shower or sink are located in a bathroom.  It is not as simple as you think to relocate fixtures.

Floors need to be cut up, walls have to be opened, and in some cases, sewer lines need to be moved. Once the relocation is completed, floors and walls need to be patched.  This is very labor intensive and adds significant cost to a bathroom remodel.


Besides materials and labor, the following items may go into the price of a bathroom remodeling job: bringing the rest of the house up to the current National Electric Code for smoke detectors, trash removal/disposal, floor and dust protection, final cleaning, portable toilet rental, fuel surcharge based on distance to a job site, permit fees, builder’s risk insurance, and advertising costs.


Remodeling contractors also have to pay for other things to keep their companies in business such as secretaries, legal services, truck maintenance, office supplies, and similar expenses. Most people don’t think about that when they see the final price of the bathroom remodeling project, but it adds up quickly.


Understanding the true costs of hiring a professional home remodeling contractor to complete your home improvement project will help you weed out low-quality contractors. In the case of the potential client who believed he could remodel his bathroom for $7,000, if he finds a contractor that will do it for that price:

  • he is in danger of getting an unprofessional job
  • he probably will end up with added costs later or
  • a bathroom with which he is not really happy

If you get a “great low price” you should ask questions to determine why the price is so low. Compare quotes… make sure “everything” is included.

Speak to a home remodeling contractor to get an idea of what your project might cost. Ask questions and understand what is included. If you have two quotes, compare them line-by-line to make sure that you are getting the same materials and level of service.

If you want a professional remodeling experience, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc.

Want to see some of our work? Visit our website or view our online book.

Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.

If you have questions about a home improvement project, call Leading Edge Homes at 561-795-2551 or email Todd at: todd@leadingedgehomes.com and he’ll be happy to share his knowledge with you.