Can anybody help to ballpark the costs to move a bathroom

12 Replies

I'm looking at a house that would need to add a master bath if it was to sell properly. So, I would need to move plumbing about 10 feet from existing plumbing for the washer/dryer (closest plumbing). It is a slab foundation, so I would assume it would need trenching (perhaps the water lines could run through the ceiling, but sewer would need to be in the floor).

I like everything else about the house, but had originally written it off because of the bathroom issue. However, the place has been on the market for about a year and I'm thinking there might be room for negotiation on price...

If you want the full story:

House is a 4/2 2,400 sf.
List price is $79,900
ARV is around $125,000 (conservative - could go for $150,000)

Roof and foundation are good. Needs an outside A/C unit and needs an electric meter (its an REO and it looks like the bank removed these, they do not look stolen - remaining lines seem too neat). Also, all carpet was removed inside (tile in kitchen still looks good).

Garage was converted and the conversion looks to have been well done.

I estimate that it would need all new flooring. The A/C and electric need work and probably a new water heater. Furnace looks old but could probably be repaired (I'd budget for replacement though). The kitchen needs new counters, fixtures and appliances and paint on the cabinets. Also, new lighting and doors throughout. Upstairs bathroom needs to be spruced up (not a total gut). Needs paint throughout as well.

The major concern is that the master bedroom is downstairs and the bath is the only bath downstairs so is shared with the house. I would want to use the existing bath (its small) as the guest bath and create a new bath in a portion of the converted garage (this shares a wall with the master) to create a master "suite".

I don't have my spreadsheet with me, but rough estimate I had $30,000 just for the necessary stuff (flooring, paint, A/C, etc.) and with the existing numbers, that will not work (much less leave room for the master bath) but if I can get a price reduction, the number might start to look better -- just need to know what costs would look like for the master bath.

Absolute best thing you can do, while under contract BUT BEFORE executing contract fully (ie. buying), get detailed renovation bids. You could throw out an ad that your looking to hire for a bog renovation, and contractors can do estimates on XYZ day between XXX too XXX and to e-mail with credentials for address.

more then getting numbers, you will get free ideas, and possibly a solution you never saw.

A warning on projects like that, most state reg.s state that once you open a structure exposing framework, it is subject to inspection AND must be up to present code. But if you leave it closed, it is "grandfathered" in. This is observed in many features other then framing, like electrical, plumbing, etc.. So point is, a certain renovation can snow ball quickly by having to do unplanned work simply because you opened up an area. Make certain to understand your state bulding codes, and city/ local building codes for the specific project. It can make a good deal ugly real fast.

I would estimate that you would need to get this at approx. $59k as your rehab will cost you the $30k you estimated plus another $5k for the new master bath work for a total of $35k rehab. If the exit is $125k, then 75% of that is $93k less $35k rehab = max offer of $59k. I doubt the seller would take $20k off of $79k list price, but you never know.

Also, if you were to do such a project, you would want to make sure you do it with permits to get the added bathroom on title which will add some value and could get your exit value up to $135k or better making the added spread you need. I would warn that the non-permitted garage conversion could give you trouble with the city inspector so i would be very leary of doing this particular deal with the info you provided.

I would be sure to get all the permits before doing any work.

Also, I would check the permit for the garage conversion, but I am guessing (based on the quality of the work that was done) that they got one -- but that is one my checklist if I decide to move on this.

So, you think that the master bath would only be $5,000 -- I was expecting much more.

Andy, for a garage conversion to be legal here in CA, the builder would need to construct a carport, you need to check if your area has the same rule or simply just pull the previous permits from the city for your subject property.

As to the $5k I estimated, I can do a full gut bathroom job with new toilet, new tub, new sink and vanity, new plumbing fixture, new light fixture, new travertine installed on walls of shower, new bath glass door enclosure, and new bath plumbing fixtures all for $3k. Therefore, since you are using existing sqare footage in the home and just moving some walls (or not) and some piping a small distance, that should not cost more than $2k including the permit fees. What you need to look out for is that you don;t open a can of worms with any thing else that the city inspector could place his eyes on such as an unpermitted gargae conversion.

I'm moving a master bath right now, and I have $1100 in materials. Thats a good place to start from. The thing is.... Depending on the layout, have you considered moving the master suit upstairs... There are a lot of considerations when dealing with the underground in plumbing. I would hate for you to dig up the pipe just to find out that you don't have enough drop to extend it to were you want it. Upstairs would be easy, & I imaging a lot cheaper.

Rusty has offered an excellent option, perhaps something that could work in this house, however, the problem of the list price being way too high remains and unless you can get them down $20k or so, I don't see a deal here.

the numbers are a little far apart but it has been on the market for a while, so it may make some moves - now that you guys have given me some good info on what I'm looking money-wise, I can track it a little better. If it moves down some I might make a stab at it (or if I can't find another good deal, I might go lowball just to give it a shot).

As far as Rusty's idea - I had thought about it, but am not sure - I just don't remember a good area to create a master bedroom/bath upstairs. It would probably end up taking up two bedrooms to create the one master. Plus, the houses in the neighborhood all have the master downstairs and my realtor says that is what sells there (kids upstairs, parents down). I will look at it again though prior to final plans if I decide to move on it.

Thanks for all the help.

Before closing on properties where i know I will be performing major renovations requiring permits I look into past permits. If there was previous work done on the property and permits were pulled it will give you an idea of what was done and by whom. If it passed then unless something major has changed things will usually go smoothly. If major work was done to the property with no permit watch out. You just never know what you will find. Once the inspector is on site anything can happen.

Good Luck

Just to throw it out there --

You can get a "macerator", which is a pump that moves your toilet waste *uphill*. I just got on Home Depot's web site, and they sell one for $623 to give you an idea of cost.

Personally I don't like the idea. It's one more thing that can go wrong with the toilet. But I have no experience with one, and figured others could chime in with their knowledge.

I DYI and extra 1/2 bath similar to your prject. It cost me around $3000. I thought I had ruined the project when I crushed the main drain line. Older pipe is thin on the bottom. :cry: I ended up cutting it with a grinder instead of the tool real plumbers use. :lol: