Armchair Builder

Cost to Add a New Owner-Built Bathroom

Add a New Bathroom

Add a New Bathroom

I’m in the process of converting a closet into a full bathroom for a customer.  The question I get on a daily basis about virtually all possible new home projects is… “How much would this cost?”  Because remodeling is so dependent on your existing conditions I first like to meet with the mechanical trades to determine what is involved and the cost. How much drywall will need to be cut?  Will a one piece shower unit fit up the stairs or will we need a 3 piece unit.  Will everything fit within existing framing or will we need to adjust walls?  If we need to adjust the walls, what other wiring, plumbing or ductwork is in the way?  How will we get the plumbing down to the main stack?  Will the existing floor framing support the new tub? In my case, all I needed to do was move one wall 6″.   So we needed to adjust the wiring in the wall and patch carpet from where the wall was moved.  We are adding the bathroom to a closet on the second floor of a home with a basement.  So, we needed to cut a few holes in the ceiling of the first floor to run the plumbing.

So, when we start talking about costs it’s necessary to clarify the specifications (i.e. types of finishes) in order to totally understand the details.  For example, if I were to compare the extremes of kitchens I have built, I would tell you the cabinets in the most expensive job cost more than the entire kitchen remodel on the least expensive job.  So, the type of finishes can affect project cost in a big way.

The bath addition I am finishing up is a low cost third bath for an expanding family.  Our specifications are as follows:  5′ by 10′ bathroom, standard size production vanity (30″), standard size cultured marble top with integral sink, builder grade vinyl flooring, sheet mirror, fiberglass three piece tub/shower surround, vented fan per code, builder grade light fixture and faucets, painted colonist trim (we will use the existing door from the closet).  My total cost to add this new bath into an existing home = $5422.  Keep in mind, the homeowner did all the demolition and painting themselves to save money.  Is there any other skill that you have that could further reduce the cost?  In addition, you would also have some costs associated with the permit and inspection process.  Check with your local building department to determine these.

Have you ever thought about building your own home?  Be sure to stop by the Armchair Builder How to Build Your Own Home resource page.

Costs of Adding Bath to Master Closet (Finished Home)
Work To Complete
Demolition Demo Drywall/Base and remove door/shelves at closet:No cost, labor provided by homeowner
Plumbing Add full bath (includes labor and material)


Rough Carpentry Adjust framing (move wall)


Electrical Wire for fan, add GFI, add vanity light wiring, and vent


HVAC Add bath fan ductwork to exterior


Drywall Repair Drywall and paint


Cabinets 30″ Vanity Cabinet


Marble Tops 31″ Cultured Marble Vanity top and sidesplash


Mirrors 30″ x 42″ Mirror & reinstall shelving in closet


Hardware Privacy Lock, T.P. Holder and Towel Bar


Light Fixture Standard 3 bulb brushed nickel finish


Vinyl Flooring Sheet Vinyl material and installation


Lumber Underlayment and framing lumber


Carpet Repair Carpet where wall was moved


Trim Carpentry Set vanity, set door, install base/shoe, and underlayment


Interior Paint Caulk, Putty and paint trim:  No cost, labor and material provided by homeowner
Total =


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13 Comments for Cost to Add a New Owner-Built Bathroom

Author comment by armchairbuilder | August 14, 2011 at 7:15 am

Thanks for the comment Geri. Good luck with your building project!

Gertrude | August 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Gosh, I wish I would have had that inforamiton earlier!

taotao567 | September 8, 2011 at 7:08 am

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What Remodeling Your Bathroom Can Do For Your Home | Home Improvement | November 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm

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Add Space to Your New Home: 50% Off- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | January 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

[…] First, we didn’t add any complicated angles to the home.  When we start chopping up the home and adding angles, we add cost for extra waste and labor.  Think about it.  The more cuts we have to make, the longer the job takes and the more material we go through.  The other reason we got such a good deal on the space we added is because we didn’t add any of the expensive home components.  We basically added 12 feet of 8 foot high framed wall and the additional area of carpet, floor framing, basement floor, ceiling drywall, roof…etc.  We didn’t add any cabinets, countertop, plumbing, HVAC (the sizing of the furnace and A/C stayed the same), windows, doors, or hard surface flooring which are the big ticket items. If you are looking for information about costs to add a bathroom to your existing home, check out this post titled Cost to Add a New Owner-Built Bathroom. […]

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