The $32,000 Shower Dilemma or the Never-Ending Bathroom Project

Estimated read time 3 min read

In our quest to complete the upgrade of our basement bathroom, we find ourselves facing what we playfully refer to as the “$32,000 shower.” This ongoing project has taken us on a rollercoaster ride of challenges, unexpected turns, and surprising quotes from contractors. Allow me to share the journey so far.

As I’ve mentioned before, our initial contractor experience was far from smooth sailing. In fact, we had to let them go not just once, but twice, leaving us with nearly $10,000 worth of bathroom materials languishing in our basement. Despite this setback, we were determined to make progress, especially since taking a break from my daily job search routine was a welcomed change. Armed with determination, we embarked on the DIY route, successfully updating the sink, toilet, lighting, and giving the space a fresh coat of paint. But looming over us was the final frontier: the shower.

The shower project seemed both complex and time-consuming, and as life got busier (thanks to my new job), it became clear that seeking professional help was the prudent choice. Our original contractor had initially quoted around $10,000 for the entire bathroom renovation, leveraging the materials had already purchased. Perhaps it’s a case of “you get what you pay for,” but that estimate felt reasonable for converting a standard 5-ft tub/shower combo into a modern walk-in shower.

Our next potential contractor was a familiar local name we had relied on for plumbing work in the past. However, after a rather discouraging encounter where our chosen materials were ridiculed, we were left waiting for a quote that never arrived. It seemed this venture was not garnering much interest from the contracting community.

Then, in a glimmer of hope, we turned to a trusted local company that had previously impressed us with their tankless water heater installation. Their willingness to assist was appreciated, but when the quote finally landed on our laps, the shock was palpable. To bring this shower to life—mind you, with 95% of the necessary materials already on hand—they presented an estimate of almost 10 days of labor and a staggering $32,000. That’s three times the cost of the entire bathroom renovation proposed by our initial contractor. It left us dumbfounded.

For a project that essentially involved a 5-ft shower in a modestly sized bathroom, we couldn’t help but question the rationale behind the steep price tag. While I’m no expert in tiling, shower pans, or plumbing adjustments, the notion of shelling out $32,000 for a single shower felt exorbitant. After all, we’re not talking about one of those lavish four-person walk-in showers showcased on renovation shows; this is a relatively modest undertaking.

Undeterred but somewhat disheartened by the quote, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. In the coming weeks, I’ll be diving into the shower demolition and embarking on the process of constructing the new shower framework. As the journey unfolds, I’ll be meticulously documenting each step, shedding light on whether our decision to tackle the project ourselves was a cost-effective choice or if the experts would have held the key to a more reasonable outcome.

Stay tuned for updates on our journey to transform the bathroom—a journey that has taught us the true meaning of perseverance, creativity, and the unexpected challenges that come with making a house a home.

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#diy #homeprojects #32000shower

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