Bathtub replacement cost/Home Services?


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Old 11-26-07, 09:44 AM
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Bathtub replacement cost/Home Services?

Hello all,
This may be off topic since it's technically not DIY, but how much should it cost to replace a bathtub, including new tile, plumbing etc? I just had a consultation with a guy from Home Depot Home Services and he put it at over $3100. This is for a normal 60"x33" tub. It's part of a larger remodelling job estimate and that is coming out much higher than I'd anticipated.

Unfortunately, I need to get back to him before this evening to get a 10% discount on the overall cost of the project. The time deadline has me a little stressed at the moment, so any advice about the item above or Home Depot's Home Services department would be really appreciated.

Thanks,
Marcos
 
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Old 11-26-07, 12:48 PM
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Marcos: Welcome to the forums! If the contractor is planning on tearing out the walls (required), removing the existing tub, install a new tub, install vapor barrier, concrete backer underlayment, install new control valves and drain plumbing, including a shower stand pipe, retile the walls, I would say it would be in line, but not knowing where you live, puts us at a handicap since prices for labor vary greatly from location to location. Is he furnishing the tub, plumbing fittings, control valve, drain, etc? When he tells you that you have to get with him at a certain time in order to get a "special discount", that's bunk, and a rapid sales ploy that should never be used on good customers. It is called PRESSURE!!
 
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Old 11-26-07, 01:44 PM
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I would call the guy and tell him to stuff his time sensitive bid. That's nothing but a pressure tactic designed to stress you out. Jerks like that don't deserve your business.

You don't need to use big box contractors to get a deal on material prices. Ask around for legitimate contractors in your area. Get at least three bids on your job.
 
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Old 11-26-07, 02:07 PM
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Thanks for the advice Chandler. I'm in the greater Atlanta area, btw. I should probably update my profile. Dunno about labor costs, but Atlanta's real estate prices and cost of living are fairly cheap compared to most metro areas. It's nothing like New York or California.

The price he quoted was all inclusive, but I'm not sure all that would have been necessary. As far as I know no walls should need to be torn apart, as I'm just replacing a tub with another similar sized tub. I know the greenboards behind the tiles likely need replacing as I have mold issues, but I don't know of any reason why walls would have to be torn apart if the new tub is the same size as the old. I'm assuming the visible fixtures can be changed out without opening up the wall. If I'm off base here, I'd love for someone to enlighten me.

With an overall pricetag of $11K that doesn't even include replacing the double vanity (that would have been another $5K!?!), I'm definately going to look at other contractors. I know, I know, I should do that anyways, but I was hoping to get a deal I could live with from Home Depot and save myself the hassle. The 10% discount thing I know is a pretty common (and effective) sales tactic, but I've resisted it. If I end up going with them after all I'll try to get it anyways, but as of right now I'm going to take my time and gather up multiple estimates.

Ideally I'd like to keep the whole remodel to under $7500, as that would fit under the rule of thumb that dictates a bathroom remodel should be less than 5% the value of the home. This is for a $150K townhouse, so I don't want to go crazy. I'm prepared to go higher, but not as high as this would drive the project. It's hard to know what's appropriate as I keep getting mixed signals between online sources and friends & family. My parents had a slightly smaller bathroom done with top tier materials for $7K in Miami, and my boss's jaw dropped when I told her what the Home Depot estimate came out to (she's already given me the numbers of the contractors she used for her own remodel).

Regards,
Marcos

EDIT: You posted while I was typing up my post, cwbuff. Yeah, I'd been warned about the time sensitive bid crap, but as far as I knew it was a tactic typically used by less reputable contractors. I was surprised to see a big name like Home Depot using this tactic, and to be honest, I wasn't mentally prepared for it.
 
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Old 11-26-07, 05:14 PM
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Actually, you know what, I've been thinking about the overall price he gave me and I can't imagine that $3100 line item included everything about the bathtub. He came up with a list of around 8-10 items, of which that one was the largest. I never asked him to explain what everything else was, but since we'd eliminated the vanity and repainting from the quotes, the only other things items would have been the flooring and a toilet replacement. I find it hard to believe that could have accounted for the other $8000 of the total cost.
 
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Old 11-26-07, 05:40 PM
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Yikes! Just to let you know, Home Depot does not train their employees to pressure customers. They (HD) have sales or promotions that are for specific time periods, so if you did not have your measure done before this date, they do not have to give you the 10% off.

Most managers (MODs) will give you the discount anyways.
 
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Old 11-26-07, 06:25 PM
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Marcos: I am close to you (N.Ga), so I agree with the COL thing. But I just finished a bathroom and I know what my part was, and know they put $40k in it. But that is an extreme. My thinking on your job is R&R the tub, remove all the wall covering in the wet area and replace with vapor barrier and cbu, install tile on walls and on floor, furnishing materials would be around your figure, but I am not sure what all else you are planning on the job, and what HD was going to do, aside from the tub R&R. Anyway, get your 3 estimates. It is always best. I even encourage my clients to do so, even if I am first on the job for estimate purposes. I'd rather them know what to expect. Sure, I get lowballed, but make up for it when the customer calls me to the job to redo what the lowballer failed to do.
 
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Old 11-27-07, 08:24 AM
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My understanding was that HD contractors are not HD employees. Has that changed. I had a set of french doors installed 10-12 years ago by a contractor arranged through HD. He was independent but had a percentage arrangement with HD.
 
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Old 11-27-07, 01:03 PM
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Marcos

There are a lot of variables to consider from job to job. That might be a good price or it might not be. No one here can really tell you if it is or it isnt. You already have the right advice. Get a couple more estimates from reputable contractors in your area. Its the only way youll know if you are getting what you need and getting what you are paying for. That HD contractor already has a strike against him in my book. The discount if you sign now crap is as low as low can get.
 
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Old 11-27-07, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cwbuff
My understanding was that HD contractors are not HD employees. Has that changed. I had a set of french doors installed 10-12 years ago by a contractor arranged through HD. He was independent but had a percentage arrangement with HD.
You are correct, the contractors are not employeed with HD.

Like any other large retailer, these jobs go to the lowest bidder and has a high enough insurance policy. Since these contractors are not getting paid alot, they often do a poor job installing.
 
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Old 11-27-07, 09:41 PM
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If I understand correctly, Home Depot recently aquired a contractor company named Jubilee, and it was renamed Home Services. I believe he mentioned they'd been around 8 months or so. So actually, he and the contractors that would have come in actually were Home Depot employees. He stressed that they would all be drug tested and background checked.

The "sign right now" discount wasn't the only thing that raised my suspicions about what the guy was telling me. I've heard a couple sources say a bathroom remodel should stay under 5% the value of the house. I told him that and he said, no no it's 10-15%. He took one look at the wallpaper in the bathroom and said that I probably would need to remove all the drywall. Didn't offer a particular reason, he just made it sound as if it was standard procedure. He said maybe, I could get it off by renting a steamer and using it to loosen the adhesives. A little odd that 3 times he mentions the older, more difficult, and mostly obsolete technique without saying a word about using chemicals. That wasn't part of the bid, btw, as we decided to leave that part off.

I'm no expert, so maybe I'm just misinformed but there was too much about this that didn't smell right. By the end it was quite obvious I wasn't dealing with a "consultant" but a salesman. If I'd known that I would have gone into it with a different frame of mind and wouldn't have let the deadline pressure affect me.

Another big turn off was that they only deal with a limited selection. You can't just ask them to use whatever Home Depot sells. His selection of granite was a whopping 6-7 pieces, whereas if you actually go to the store there's dozens. It was the same thing with the vanity. I had decided to go with one that I'd seen in their store, and he told me that if I did that, they would actually charge me the same as if they had custom built the vanity themselves, on top of actually buying the vanity from the vendor. That's why we removed that from the bid as well. Of course he kept stressing that all their offerings were all higher quality than... anything Home Depot sells in their stores apparently.

Anyways, thanks for the advice all.
 
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Old 11-28-07, 07:01 AM
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Marco - I hope you've reached the point of walking away from this guy. The granite thing is absolutely dishonest. He sounds like the reason many of the posters here are inveterate DIYer's. There are way too many guys like this in the home improvement field.

Your best bet is to ask around for legitimate contractor's. There are probably dozens in your area that will give you an honest bid for the work you want done. Option 2 is to act as a GC for the work and sub out those trades you aren't comfortable doing yourself. Plumbing and electrical come to mind.

Stuff like installing vanities, tiling etc are all weekend warrior work.
 
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Old 12-02-07, 09:50 AM
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Just had a partial bath remodel. new tub and surround and toilet. The contractor remover the old Fiberglas tub, replaced the shower/tub valve and drain, modified the studs to accommodate a larger tub replaced sheet rock in tub area and re-installed wall tile that had to be removed for the size modification. 4 days and $2650.
 
 

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