Master Bath Remodel – Planning and Budgeting

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Master Bath Remodel – Planning and Budgeting

Answering the question, “How Much Will it Cost to Remodel My Master Bathroom?”, is difficult. There are many variables that could significantly impact the cost of the renovation. Many of these variables are hidden at the start of the process. To answer the question and find these hidden variables we’ll segment the project into manageable sections.

First – Setting Your Expectations

If you are considering a major renovation of your master bathroom be prepared to spend 5-10% of the value of your home to remodel your master bath. That is certainly a lot of money, which means you want to be smart about your approach to the renovation project. Certainly minor and more limited renovations will cost less. By focusing on the major renovation project we’ll cover all of the necessary bases for major or minor renovations.

Second – Examine the Essentials

Before exploring the aesthetics of the bathroom it is best to start with the mechanicals. A beautiful, but nonfunctioning bathroom doesn’t provide value to anyone. The mechanics are also an area where the hidden surprises could appear. First, consider the age and condition of your home and whether or not the plumbing needs to be replaced. You don’t want to replace leaking pipes two months after you remodel your beautiful master bath.

The next mechanical element to consider is the electrical system. If you have an older home you might need to upgrade your electrical system in the bathroom to meet current code requirements. While you are looking at the electrical system you will also want to make sure that your bathroom is properly ventilated to remove the excess moisture that is created in a bathroom. Excess moisture in a home can allow mold to grow. Excess moisture slowly rots your home. Any unwanted water or moisture is the enemy of your home; it needs to be properly controlled.

Third – Exploratory Work

If possible you will want to do some exploratory work to make sure your floor and walls are sound; especially around showers, sinks and toilets where water could have created damage over the years. You’ll want to replace any subflooring or walls if they are damaged. If you find mold you will want to remediate. Mold remediation could be simple or more involved. It just depends on the seriousness of the mold growth.

Fourth – Changing the Bathroom Layout

If you think you want to relocate electrical outlets, exhaust fans, showers, tubs, toilets, etc. Now is the time to explore the cost of doing so. Even if these systems do not need to be replaced simply relocating them could add significant costs to your renovation.

To replace or move the plumbing and electrical lines it might be necessary to remove portions of floors, ceilings or walls. This is the work that varies from home to home and makes it difficult to create general statements about the cost of renovating your bathroom. These improvements could add quite a bit to the cost of your project, but you need to make sure the mechanics are sound before you do any cosmetic work or you could be wasting a lot of money.

Fifth – Get Qualified Estimates

It is best to get multiple estimates for the cost of the essential bathroom mechanicals. Contact your kitchen and bath specialist or remodeler to arrange for an evaluation and to receive estimates for bringing your master bath mechanicals to up to standards.  Remember that price is only part of the equation.  What is most important is the value that is received for price paid.  What appears to be a bargain could wind up costing you a lot more by the end of the project.

Next Steps

Now you know the cost of the basic functions of the master bath. At this point you can start to create a solid budget and get to the more exciting aesthetic elements.  This is where a qualified bathroom designer can provide tremendous value.  A qualified bathroom designer has completed many bathroom projects and has seen what works best and where the pitfalls located.  Share your desired goals for the project as well as your budget with your designer.  A great designer will be able to accomplish your goals within your desired budget and provide guidance if any refinements are needed to the project or budget.


1. Be prepared to spend 5-10% of the value of your home to remodel your master bath.
2.  Examine the essential mechanicals.
3. Conduct exploratory examinations to determine the existing condition of the room.
4. Consider changing the layout and the associated costs.
5. Get estimates from qualified kitchen and bath specialists.


With proper planning you can turn your bathroom from ordinary to extraordinary:







Related Article: Get the Most Value When Remodeling Your Kitchen Part III – Choosing Kitchen Components

This article was contributed by Patrick Kennedy of Superior Woodcraft.

Superior Woodcraft, Inc.
160 N Hamilton Street
Doylestown, Pa 18901

Superior Woodcraft is a local custom cabinet maker from Doylestown, PA – historic Bucks County.

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