Cost Estimate for Bathroom Rough-in

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by spetrucco, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. spetrucco

    spetrucco DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Southeast PA
    Hello,
    I am putting in a bathroom on the first floor. I had a contractor in to price out the job. The bathroom is 5x6. I wanted him to quote me a number for the plumbing rough-in. He said any bathroom he does is $4,000 for the rough in (as long as it is typical).
    Here are some of the specifics...a 2 inch vent pipe is already in place in the room (not a waste stack). The main pvc waste line is directly below the room in the basement. The $4k will include the shower supply lines and drain , vanity supply lines and drain and the toilet supply and drain. The price also includes setting all the fixtures after the room is finished but no materials are included. Does this sound right? I am putting in a 1-piece fiberglass shower/tub, standard 2-piece toilet and a typical vanity.
    Thank You
    Shawn
  2. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    For the difficulty level it sounds high to me. However I'm not there looking at the job. I find that generally a contractors price is dependent on so many variables. He may not want your job and may bid it high. If they have to much work they may give a high bid. Lots of variables.

    Tom
  3. pay slow, hold back enough so he does a good job at the end, and then it will be worth it. I think he is OK to quote a flat rate not knowing whether it will take three times less or three times more effort. The rough is just one part of the whole picture; that part might be easy to eyeball quote over the internet if you posted a lot of diagrams. Getting a rough done just right so that the finishing is a breeze is hard to manage; requires a lot of thinking, or experience, or both. Also, some fixtures require a lot of time. That's as much as i can add. :)

    david
  4. ChuckNJ

    ChuckNJ Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Somewhere near the Soprano's
    Shawn,

    When you say contractor, are you referencing a renovations contractor or a licensed plumber? Did he include permits? Does your town require them?
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2007
  5. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Sounds like a ballpark, not a quote.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bathroom

    pay slow, hold back enough so he does a good job at the end,

    Pay slow, and I will make sure the job progresses slowly, because I will start getting the impression you do not intend to make the final payment, or you do not have the money available. My supply houses do not like me to pay slow regardless of how the customer pays. And the customer had better pay me what I invoice to him, or the same thing will happen.
  7. if he is invoicing you every day, then that was only a ballpark figure. How you handle it is your business if it looks like he is going to go way over that number.

    If he gave a number and said what he said so you'd let him do it for that number, then it is a firm number, and that is often called a quote. In that case, what fraction is payable when, is still negotiable, and is best done NOW, assuming you accept the overall number. E.g. $1200 for this, $800 for that, another $800 at the following milestone.... etc. This is how you can pay in stages, which is to me in short-hand speech, pay slow. Otherwise you can be left in the lurch after paying 80% of the stages, and he makes it look like you aren't conceding to valid points he makes about unforeseen reasons why it should cost more. He is a pro; you aren't.

    The worst thing is to let a guy start and then find out later that he interprets all the un-negotiated parts of the deal to his advantage. Suddenly the number is no longer meaningful; imagine that, you have an open ended contract and you don't even know his hourly rate yet.

    It does seem stange that he would just toss out a figure.

    David
  8. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    I'm a plumber, I do jobs like that.
    I often "throw" estimates on the spot to let the customer know what the "hit" is gonna be. Then I'll submit something in writing after the fact.
    I have a list of prices that could be considered "ballpark" or as some plumbers call it, "flat rate".
    The price for your bathroom could be a little high...or a little low.
    Without seeing the condition of existing pipe, what needs to be altered and how accessable the pipes are, there's no possible way to tell...even pictures of the area may not do it.
    I suggest you play it smart...get other estimates, also ask for references.
    Pay careful attention to what each plumber tells you needs to be done and what type materials they use.
    A good plumber can give you options on the materials and explain what advantages there are for each option.
    Then you will know what prices are high vs low, and what work is necessary vs redundant.
  9. spetrucco

    spetrucco DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Southeast PA
    The quote was a fixed price from a gc. He said his plumber gives him a flat rate of $4,000 for a bathroom. (his plumber never even looked at the bathroom)

    As it turns out my neighbor is a retired plumber. He stopped over and gave me his 2 cents. He said it woul take him a 1.5 days to rough in and another .5 day to finish. He estimated the cost of this work to be around $1200.

    I think either my neighbor has been retired waaaaay too long or
    that gc was gonna profit highly from my bathroom install.

    Thanks for everyones advice....as it turns out I have hired my neighbor as a consultant and I will be doing the plumbing!
    Thanks for everyone's advice.
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