5 Factors in the Cost of a Luxury Bathroom Renovation in NYC
What does the average NYC bathroom renovation cost? That’s one of the more common questions we hear during initial phone consultations. It’s also a deceptively simple question with no simple answer.
You can find useful sources that aggregate data and project national, regional, and local average remodeling costs, such as a cost versus value report. But none of these sources will take into account your project’s specific circumstances, so they’re oftentimes misleading.
Before a contractor can give you an accurate estimate for your luxury bathroom remodel, he or she has to know a few specific things about your project. For instance, these five factors will always affect the cost of renovating or remodeling your bathroom, especially in New York City, and can’t be included in an average estimate:
1. Is your home private, or is it an apartment or condo?
Remodeling a bathroom in a New York City apartment or condo building will almost always cost more than the same project in a private home. That’s mainly due to two factors: time constraints and requirements imposed by condo and co-op boards.
For example, most residential buildings in NYC impose curfews for when a project must begin and end each day. Having to stop at 3:30 p.m. each day extends the project’s duration and, therefore, increases its cost. Factor in the price of parking and tickets, and you can expect to pay significantly more than you would if you lived in a private home.
2. If it’s in a building, what are the board requirements?
In addition to time constraints, most co-op and condo boards also impose specific material requirements for any renovation. For instance, in most cases, any unit above the first floor will need waterproof membranes to prevent leaks into the apartment or condo downstairs.
Another common requirement is to replace the plumbing in all wet areas up to the riser, instead of just up to the valves. These and other considerations can add upwards of $10,000 to any renovation that occurs in an apartment or condo building rather than a private home.
3. Are you replacing or reconfiguring specific features?
Though it seems obvious, the difference between replacing and reconfiguring bathroom features is often overlooked. Reconfiguration or expansion brings several additional challenges, such as architectural fees and additional plumbing costs for changing the bathroom’s footprint.
Simply converting a tub into a walk-in shower requires a lead pan, waterproofing, and carpentry just for the frame. Depending on the level of reconfiguration or amount of space added, you should budget for an additional $5,000 to $20,000 on top of what a direct replacement would cost.
4. What are the bathroom’s conditions?
Whether or not you plan on reconfiguring your bathroom, the condition of the site will also play a large role in your project’s cost. Many residential buildings in NYC are pre-war buildings, which means they’re made of plaster. If you decide to plaster it again, then you might expect to pay a few thousand dollars more, compared with waterproof cement board and moisture-proof sheetrock.
If you choose sheetrock, then it will require framing, which takes away from the usable space in the bathroom. Because space is at a premium in New York City, you might not be willing to lose it and would rather pay extra for re-plastering. Other considerations include whether the walls are plumb, the bathroom is up-to-code with ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets, and so on.
5. What finishes and fixtures do you want to install?
Lastly, the greatest factor in your NYC bathroom renovation cost will be the fixtures and finishes you choose to install. If the high-end toilet you’ve been eyeing is $12,000, then you can forget about keeping the project under $50,000.
This might not be a common selection — though we’ve certainly had customers request such items — but there are other, more common ones to consider. Tile can range from $8 to $80 per square foot. Panels, doors, shower curtains, fixtures, and more all have dramatically different price ranges depending on the material and finish.
To narrow it down and reduce many of the costs, consider utilizing a full-service design and build firm. Our firm has relationships with several established vendors, which helps you eliminate the unnecessary expense of an independent designer and the risk of overspending, especially on fixtures and finishes.
To sum it up, too many customizable, personal factors exist to warrant a generalized bathroom renovation cost breakdown. All in all, most NYC bathroom renovations can run between $25,000 and $75,000. It’s a wide range, and the five factors above will determine where your remodel will fall on the scale.
Want to discuss your bathroom remodeling ideas with a professional? Contact us to set up a call today.