Guest Bedroom Hallway Home Gym Master Bathroom

Our Remodel Begins! (Plus, Some Serious Sticker Shock)

Last Updated on June 5, 2021 by Kristi Linauer

I’ve been working away on my pink living room curtains over the last few days. I thought for sure I’d have them finished to show you by this morning, but I didn’t quite get the last panel finished last night. So I’ll finish it up today and show you tomorrow.

In the meantime, I thought I’d give y’all an update on our upcoming remodel. I’m sure some of you are wondering what’s going on with that since I had said that it would start on the 15th, and today is the 19th. That 15th date wasn’t set in stone. That date from our contractor was more like a “probably around the 15th, but we’ll have to see how these other projects go” kind of date.

Anyway, the last couple of days have been filled with exciting news and some “knock-the-wind-out-of-my-sails” news. First, our Phase 1 remodel is starting next Monday. Officially. For sure. I don’t know that there will be a ton of progress next week since that’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S., but at least people will be here, and any progress is progress. That’s the exciting news.

So what was the news that knocked the wind out of my sails? Well, that would be the cost of the bathroom. When it’s all done — the part the contractor will do plus the part that I’ll DIY myself — the cost will be around $30,000 to $35,000. For one bathroom.

I know that that’s not an unusual price for a master bathroom remodel, but it still shocked me. My mom’s bathroom remodel (which I shared in this post way back in 2012) cost $30,000, but her house is on a slab foundation. So that price included jackhammering up the foundation to move plumbing, pouring the new concrete foundation, and moving an entire load-bearing wall. It also included all new custom cabinetry from a local cabinet shop, and everything finished out with the exception of the plaster wall treatment. That was the only DIY project in the whole room.

So when planning our bathroom, and knowing that I was going to do all of the tile installation, all of the trim work, all of the painting, and building the vanity myself, I was expecting it to be quite a bit less. Plus, we’re on a pier and beam foundation with easy access to plumbing underneath. There’s no jackhammering up a slab foundation to run plumbing and having to pour a new foundation. But I had conveniently overlooked two big factors.

First, my mom’s bathroom remodel was twelve years ago, and you can’t really compare two remodels that occur over a decade apart. The cost of building materials is higher now than it was twelve years ago.

Second, I hadn’t taken into account the sheer size of our bathroom. We are, after all, taking the current master bedroom, current master walk-in closet (which is small for a walk-in closet, but a walk-in closet nonetheless), and part of the current hallway…

house floor plan - master bedroom into master bathroom

…and turning all of that into a huge master bathroom with plenty of room for a wheelchair-bound person (i.e., Matt) to move around freely without having to maneuver in small spaces…

turning the current master bedroom, master closet and part of the hallway into a huge master bathroom

That’s a really big bathroom — about 12.5′ x 18′, or 225 square feet. That’s almost 100 square feet bigger than my kitchen. 😀

So when you factor in the sheer size of the room, with the fact that bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive rooms in a house to remodel, even our partial DIY version is going to be very expensive. I’m going to have to sell a heck of a lot of resin petries to cover that cost! 😀

I’m pretty sure we’re still going to do it right now along with the bedrooms and hallway that will be started next Monday, but it just took a few hours yesterday for us to come to terms with the cost.

But I am incredibly excited about the work starting next Monday. It’ll be so nice for those other two bedrooms to finally have new drywall, insulation and windows, and to feel like they fit with the rest of the house. Up to this point, I’ve pretty much just kept the doors closed on those rooms because other than the time I spend in the middle room on my treadmill (which I do at night with the light off and by the glow of my laptop as I watch Netflix or Hulu while walking 😀 ), I generally don’t want to look at them.

The not-so-exciting part will be moving us into the breakfast room, which will be our “bedroom” for the foreseeable future. It’ll be an adventure. 😀

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    November 19, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Bathrooms are sooo expensive. I just recently finished one in my house. The GC was a little weird in that he had me getting pricing directly from all his subcontractors instead of them going through him. So, I didn’t really have a total price up front. My bathroom is maybe 3’x5′ with a 30″x42″ shower bumpout off it, and it was somewhere between $6,000 and $7,000. I got mostly inexpensive materials, as well.

    I have another bathroom right off my master bedroom. It has a vanity and jacuzzi tub, and has a pocket door into the main hall bathroom. It is my dream to close off that pocket door and turn the weird hot tub room into a proper en suite. But I’m scared to get pricing, haha! If yours is about $150/sf in Texas, I can’t even imagine what it will be here in Baltimore 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tammy (Pa)
    November 19, 2019 at 11:15 am

    I didn’t even read the whole thing yet, I just saw the caption and I’m SO EXCITED for you and Matt…!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Heather Gilett
    November 19, 2019 at 11:40 am

    WOW, redid our bedroom and master bath last year. its tiny in comparison with a very different flavor (antique washstand with vessel sink). GC and electrician totaled to 4500CAN and we painter, trimmed, decorated ourselves.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Vicky Henson
    November 19, 2019 at 11:48 am

    I am so excited for you and Matt!! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jewell Massey
    November 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    First of all, I LOVE you to pieces, but I do have a bone to pick; WHEELCHAIR-BOUND is an outdated classification. Can you imagine Matt without his chair; then he WOULD be BED-BOUND. But as a chair user myself with all weakened muscles from polio before the vaccine, I am joyously (well, most of the time) set FREE by wheelchair!

    Now — I am thrilled by the fact that the bathroom is in GO mode! I am doing the same right now after having to bathe at my sister’s house across the lane for 9 years. GRATEFUL, but yuck. My first contractor turned out to be bi-polar with marital issues. On his last day he stole some of the materials I had bought. So– now I have secured a loan (at least my credit is good) and am ready — unless I die of the heart attack I just had from reading your cost. And I cannot do a darned thing except design and choose materials — and I do have Southern Living taste. My little bungalow has gradually been turning into a delightful castle, but I have not EVEN gotten to the kitchen. In the meantime, my BODY FARM folder (Knoxville was the first to have one right behind UT since it is part of the anthropology department) folder is up to date and I carry their card!

    You will probably be finished before I even start. Just know that I have admired your talent, creativity, and determination to “get it right” since you and Matt first bought the house! Looking forward to your adventure!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Roxie Dimpel
    November 19, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Kristi and Matt, I can’t remember if it was suggested before, but …. I will suggest again….have you checked with Medicare (or whomever you use) to see if they will cover some of the cost? If Matt is “disabled” with Social Security I do believe they will contribute to a big portion of the cost of the “chair friendly bathroom” . This is not a deluxe spa….this is a necessity for a person with his needs. I had a neighbor several years ago and he was in a wheel chair and his entire addition/bath was paid for. I don’t mean to offend with my quoted description. Not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. If you prefer not to publish this on your blog I am totally fine with it….just didn’t know how to contact you without putting it here.

    I’m so excited for you guys….let the demo begin!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    November 19, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Roxie Dimpel that’s good advice! It’s worth a try to see if they will help with costs on the project. And I’m not at all surprised at the cost, considering the size and the costs of ADA compliant items you will need. I would even contact suppliers of specialty items and see if you can get reduced costs. The need is there I assume, not knowing your total incomes. (Not my business to know that!) But meantime, I’m super excited for you both. Sleeping in the breakfast room will be forgotten, or at least laughed about once all is done!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    November 19, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    The price is certainly gasp-worthy but you’re not just doing a bathroom remodel, you are adding a completely new bathroom in a part of the house where no bathroom fixtures exist and it’s a gigantic bathroom at that! I’m very excited to follow along!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    November 19, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I am really enjoying your post. Love your ideas. If u plan to be in this home a long time, be sure and do consider “senior” features like shower handrail. etc. I have recently been diagnosed with a long-term POTS diagnosis and bedridden 98% of day. Only go to dr in a wheelchair and I am only 62. At the time we built our new home we did not install this railing in our shower and too late with marble. Have added by toilet, etc. About 20 yrs ago we bought acreage and built a home. My husband was the general contractor and we saved an enormous amount of money purchasing materials directly vs the middleman. It does take a little longer. We did not move in our house for TWO years as my husband did all the electrical. plumbing, drywall. floors, trimwork, landscaping. In the longrun we have saved MUCH money. We enjoyed the process and still married!!!!! I recently tried to apply for SS Disability benefits with no success. So many changes and, even with lawyer, I was turned down. Much depends on income. If u are on Medicaid it seems so many more resources. Even if your process takes takes longer, go for the quality and get what u want. U will not regret it. Blessings to you and your family. Connie from Missouri

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda Pawloski
    November 19, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Are you going to have a curbless (or zero entry) shower with a linear drain? I really really want that, even with a remodel. Universal Design, baby!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    November 19, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Oh WOW!!
    DD and SIL will be embarking on a total kitchen remodel (with new cabinets (semi-custom, I believe) and all new appliances) and 3 bathrooms (one a master and one a tiny half bath – but I believe all new cabinets) and all new flooring in the WHOLE house. I’m guessing their remodel is costing more than I imagined! It would seem from SOME of the quotes you’ve listed before, that some of your costs are less in your area than they would be here. (Insert frustrated rolling eyes)
    Good Luck to you and Matt. Hope the marriage survives – just kidding!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl S-B
    November 19, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t know if this is a possibility, but could you not move into your beautiful studio to sleep, temporarily. Bath room right there, if Matt can use it, Or not that much farther to the hall bath. All you’d need would be curtains/blinds, till the reno is finished. Just trying to help!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      November 21, 2019 at 9:15 am

      That was my first suggestion to Matt, and he was not on board with it. He says that the studio is too big, too cavernous, and too “cold” to be comfortable. I’m kind of glad that he wasn’t on board because I use that room to work in every day, and a bed is big and takes up way too much space. I think we’ll be perfectly comfortable in the breakfast room, and there are already shades on the windows in there, so no scrambling for last minute purchases to make the room work for us in the next few days.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rene' Marie/ Lilburn, Ga
    November 19, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    I don’t know if you have mentioned it or maybe I have missed it but will you be living in the house while the remodeling is being done? If so, make sure all your fabric items are protected from dust and particles from wood, drywall, cement and insulation. Also, make sure all the vents in areas you are living in have been closed off so that, all the dust particles don’t travel in the areas you are living, sleeping and especially breathing in. All the above types of particles are really a stinker to deal with, especially on velvet type fabrics. I’m super excited for this renovation for y’all !

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    nicola rotchell
    November 20, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I love your site! Can’t wait to see your bathroom. We did ours last Oct/Nov in our 1930’s Semi-detached house here in the UK (West Yorkshire). It is a very expensive job – we waited 11 years as after each quote decided that we could have a couple of really nice family holidays with the children instead (which they would remember more than a fancy bathroom!!). With much research on the most cost effective way of getting the bathroom we wanted, we completed it last year and are really pleased. We had a double sink unit with quartz marble effect top, undermounted sinks and 4 grey built in large drawers underneath. It’s only a small room and the loo is separate so we had a wide but short 1500 bath with a shower above. We saved on decorating ourselves and I made Roman blind window dressings. Good luck with yours. I can’t wait to see it………

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    November 20, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Kristi, I understand the ‘sticker shock’. I recently got a quote on my master bathroom at it came out to around $30,000. Now, my bathroom is not huge, requires no moving of plumbing, and if it does it is over an unfinished basement with easy access to everything. Needless to say I am getting additional quotes and I’m hoping they get more realistic.
    I am so excited for you and Matt and will be closely following your adventure.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lori Jones
    November 20, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Wow! I totally feel you pain in how much it is going to cost! We had some one come out and give us an estimate on either getting a new shower, putting it in where the tub is cause it doesn’t work, but then ended up getting the estimate for a new walk-in tub……. 🤭🤭it would cost 17k! And that was just the tub and of course installation!! Yeah, we said no thank you.
    Glad you are getting you dreams to come true!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Carmichael
    November 20, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Instead of moving into the breakfast room, could you move into the music room?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      November 21, 2019 at 12:07 am

      I don’t know that there would be a benefit in doing that. In the breakfast room, we’ll have privacy and be removed from the work going on. In the music room, we’d be right next to it. The music room is also visible right through our glass front door.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Elaine Carmichael
        November 22, 2019 at 5:08 pm

        I hadn’t thought about being right next to the construction work. I was thinking that you’d retain the functionality of the breakfast room for eating and table-based activities. I’m really looking forward to living vicariously through your renovation!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    November 27, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Wait… Is the studio complete? I must have missed it.