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Each contractor may price the job differently. Regardless of how many contractors you chose to solicit bids from, it is important that you as the homeowner have a good idea of how much your materials will cost. $12,000 does sound high for what sounds more like a bathroom update than a remodel.
As a practical matter, if you choose to solicit bids from more than one contractor it is important to make sure that you provide each of them with the same specifications for the project to ensure that your bids are uniform. For example: types of mirrors, vanities, bath fixtures, tile, etc. Even if you don't currently have a product selected at this time, at least take time to familiarize yourself with the products and materials that are available so that you can set a budget based on your desired finishes.It is also important for you to have some basic understanding of how the contractor will perform the work. Will your project require walls to be moved, new electrical work, relocation of plumbing or heating and air ducts? Are there environmental concerns (such as asbestos or lead paint)? Will the contractor be pulling permit (building, plumbing, electrical, HVAC)? Are there particular aspects of the job that will make it more difficult to complete? What hours will the contractor have access to the property, and what is your timeline for project completion? All of these elements will affect price. I would suggest creating a document that you can provide a contractor to ensure that all parties are on the same page.Additionally, when remodeling intimate spaces such as bathrooms; selection of design elements can be very subjective. In most cases input from the homeowner is imperative to ensure that the end result captures the desired look and feel.
On a clearly defined project like this, let your projected cost of materials be your guide. If the markup on materials is too high you will know and you can negotiate there. The labor price will likely provide the greatest opportunity for negotiation by the homeowner because the contractor has more control over the cost of this element than the cost of materials.
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