Cost of bathroom addition in San Francisco?

Asked by tyegul, 94117 Mon Oct 7, 2013

I've looked at many websites, watched many renovation shows on TV, and even read books about construction. It appears that one should be able to get a bathroom added for 20-30K, but when we got multiple quotes last year to add a master bathroom to our house in San Francisco, the bids were all at or above 100K (one came in at 200K!), so we couldn't proceed with our plans as our budget was 60K.

I'm wondering if I'm just not able to find the right contractor or if this is just the way it is in SF. If you've added a bathroom to your house in SF or the Bay Area, could you tell me how much it cost?

By the way, we have a really old Victorian with not much space, so the bathroom will be quite small with a 60" double vanity, a toilet (there is no existing sewer line where we want the bathroom), and a double shower head shower with white subway tile.


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Ryan Rudnick’s answer
Ryan Rudnick, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sun May 18, 2014
You're final price will all depend on the finishes you choose, as well as any major modifications you want to make (ie: moving plumbing, electrical, structural walls etc).

TV shows are very inaccurate in their pricing, especially for someone who lives in an expensive area like San Francisco, so I would not suggest using them as a reference point.

Bathrooms in SF can cost upwards of $50K, but can also be much less expensive if you choose cost over finishes in your design decisions. Of course, adding a bathroom outside of the current footprint of your home will be much more expensive than adding one within your current home.

I regularly work as an independent contractor with a LLC that designs and renovates homes, and work closely with architects and general contractors in SF to do similar renovations. I'd be happy to give you some recommendations and referrals. Feel free to contact me at any time.

0 votes
tyegul, Home Owner, 94117
Tue Mar 25, 2014
I will answer my own question- hopefully this can help others in my situation. We just completed our bathroom addition to our single family Victorian home by taking half of a large guest bedroom and converting it into a master bathroom. Our bathroom has bianco carrara subway tiles for the shower and a basketweave marble tile for the floors which are heated. We have a double shower with Grohe fixtures and a custom double vanity with Robern medicine cabinets. We also have a large stained glass skylight. The plumber had to dig in to the concrete garage floor to connect the new sewer line. We also added a tankless water heater that serves only the master bathroom. Finally, we added 4 new closets. All of this cost about $55K. I had to get many many many quotes (not the standard 3-4) before I found 2 contractors with reasonable quotes. Then I went and saw 3 similar projects each had completed and talked to the owners for reference. They both seemed great, so I flipped a coin and picked one. I highly doubt that I would have had a better bathroom had I picked one of the first 5-6 contractors who gave me 6 figure quotes (I couldn't have picked them anyway since we couldn't afford those prices).
4 votes
Hi Tyegul,

I am in a similar situation and am putting together some quotes. I'd really appreciate it if you could share your contractors. Glad everything worked out for your addition!

Flag Fri Jan 15, 2016
Tyegul. I'm in the same boat right now looking for a contractor that can gut and renovate 2 tiny bathrooms for an affordable price. Would really appreciate getting the names/contact info of your contracts if you are comfortable doing so.
Flag Mon May 26, 2014
Tyegul: First off you showed both a willingness to do a large amount of research rather than just give up after two or three bid requests. You knew what you wanted which helps a lot. Sharing those two contractors names could really help others benefit from you efforts, as well as helping reward the contractor you chose.
Flag Thu May 15, 2014
Congratulations on finding contractors that fit your budget and keeping my remodeling hopes alive! Would you mind sharing their names/contact info?
Flag Tue May 6, 2014
Rich Bennett, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sun Apr 20, 2014
Hi Tyegul-

This response may be coming a bit late but thought I would share my thoughts. I have found over the years that contractor bids can be all over the board and span the $$ horizon. I know people who organized the various workers for their own bathroom remodels who spent $10k-$15k. I had another client who just installed a bathroom where one did not exist previously (so they had to dig up the sidewalk/garage floor and install lines) and it was well under $30k. Finishes also play a role in cost.

Contractors' estimates can also vary depending on how busy and how hungry they are. I have found the busier they are, the higher their estimates. The slower they are (like tin the 2009-2010 downtown), the lower their estimates.


Rich Bennett, Realtor
Zephyr Real Estate
2 votes
I don't think it really matters that your comment was a little late, because it's still helpful for those of us that need similar things. I found your comment to be really helpful. I'll have to get some estimates, like you suggest, before starting at all.
Flag Tue Jul 22, 2014
Hugo Aparicio, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Sat Apr 25, 2015
Hi Tyegul,
My message might be too late for you but there might be others in San Francisco who are looking into remodeling a bathroom. I'm 90% finished in my 12' by 6' master bathroom. I found this contractor that has a good helper and they have both done all the work. One thing to keep in mind is that no contractor can give you a final estimate of the cost of the project. In my case, as the old walls were removed, there was a lot of dried rot (extra $3,000). I wanted all the plumbing new with 3/4" copper (extra) new electrical (extra). Overall, my project is about $58,000 but I am very, very satisfied. Labor and material has been about 55%. I chose high end features (20%) and marble (20%). I designed every detail and that saved me in getting a designer (around $4,000). Remember, the contractor is not a designer. There's a lot of work to pull a project like this together. Just selecting colors for walls, tiles and features takes a lot of time and arguing with your partner (we still talk to each other.)
My bathroom is considered a high end bathroom: double shower, rain shower and body jets, magazine built in rack, 4' x 3' mural (expensive but a beautiful addition), fans with built in speakers (wifi), lots of insulation (walls and floors), new drainage pipes, heated floor (Ditra system) with programmable thermostat, Robern medicine cabinets, Kohler features with lifetime warranty, Juno cabinets, Proline drain body system (rectangular drainage), new circuit breakers (110v and 220v for floor and tower warmer), many switches for different lighting moods, replaced all old pipes with 3/4" copper pipes all the way to the main valve (about 25') etc.
I my opinion, find a contractor that is CAPABLE of doing what you want him/her to do. I found many contractors like to do standard work. Once you start explaining what you want, they don't like or they just increase the price so much to discourage you. It is very important to find a good vendor for the features and tile. I had a bad experience with a tile consultant that agreed with a tile with stainless steel leaves that I like for the shower walls (around $18,000 extra.) When I check with the manufacturer, the tile was not recommended for humid places. Needless to say that tile vendor was out...
Summary: You get what you pay for. Start with drawing an exact floor plan before you talk to any contractor. It will cost you around $300 to $500 but it is essential. I did it myself using Excel. Get a good bathroom designer and bring him/her to your place to give you ideas (around $75 to $150.) I was my own designer. San Francisco is just a very expensive place to do remodeling!
Good luck
0 votes
Gerald Vonbe…, Home Buyer, Jackson Springs, NC
Fri Feb 13, 2015
It probably depends quite a bit on how easy your house is to integrate new plumbing systems into. I'd imagine that would be the most significant cost for adding a bathroom besides the fixtures. I would ask around to general contractors and they might be able to refer to you some plumbers that would do a good job. From there, you should be able to get some accurate bids.
0 votes
Gerald Vonbe…, Home Buyer, Jackson Springs, NC
Wed Feb 4, 2015
Your bids could depend on a lot of different things. Like you said, it could be the area you live in. It could also be that your bathroom might require a bit more plumbing work than the average addition. That might not explain the $100,000 bid, but it certainly plays a role. I also like what Rich said. Sometimes bid can range depending on how available the company is for the work.
0 votes
Caleb Hart, Renter, Orem, UT
Wed Feb 4, 2015
It all depends on the materials you want to use and the contractor you go with. I would start by asking some contractors in your area. It would be great if you could get some quotes from them. Then you have a rough idea of what it's about to cost you.
0 votes
cathlieny, Home Buyer, East Bayside - India Street, Portland, ME
Tue Dec 23, 2014
$30k is worth for it. I think within $15k, it can be done if you don't have much budget. For bathroom remodeling three levels of remodeling can be done, depends upon the house owner budget cost can be negotiated.
0 votes
Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Sun Oct 12, 2014
If you want a permit, added on yes it will cost that much.
You are confused with material added into an existing bath....
My impression is your budget will not get you what you had in mind.
0 votes
Zeda Jackson, Home Buyer, Fullerton, CA
Thu Oct 9, 2014
My husband and I just moved into a new home and it is absolutely perfect for us. The only thing that is not so perfect is our bathroom. I spend a lot of time in there getting ready and I don't like the way it looks. I am trying to convince my husband that we should remodel it. Hopefully we can do this at an affordable price.…
0 votes
Jerzy, Agent, Orinda, CA
Wed Sep 17, 2014
The simple solution to the problem in question would be to change the approach! Instead of asking several people for an estimate and trying to make sure that all of them are pricing the exact same thing, why don't you simply try this - mister contractor, I have $25,000.00 budget (including labor, materials, permits) and want to add a bathroom to my house. (having a plan would be very helpful - you will need it anyway for the Building Department permit). Can you do it with those (provide a list) finishes?
That, in my opinion is very straight forward: I, as a contractor already know how much money I can get from you (it does not matter if you have more - that's how much you are willing to spend on this particular project. Than it is just a matter of my decision - am I willing to do this work for what is left after buying required materials? All I can do is say yes or no or suggest a cuts in your request to keep it within budget.
Then you will have the opportunity to increase your budget if you do not want to compromise on your "wish list".
For some unknown to me reason people think that if they ask several contractors for a bid, they will find one which will "save" them money from their established budget. Usually, this kind of "saving" comes at much higher cost overall. Simply, I have that much money for exactly this, will you do it or not?

Jerzy - Lamorinda Contractor
0 votes
Info, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Fri Apr 11, 2014
Try DuGarry construction . They do amazing work and there prices are fair
0 votes
Info, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Thu Apr 3, 2014
I am a contractor in San Francisco all my work is in Noevalley . The name of my company is Dugarry construction You definitely can remodel a bathroom for 60k . Fell free to call me if you have any questions 415 702 6055
Thanks patrick
0 votes
Patrick John…, Both Buyer And Seller, Portland, OR
Mon Nov 25, 2013
It may not feel like it but you are really in control for the cost to add your bathroom! I live in the bay area and SF is certainly an expensive place to get work done but $100k for a medium size bathroom addition is getting close to top of the line. Were there any construction issues - like a hill side or other issues? that can easily add $20k just for extensive foundatin work. yes, who the contractor is and the designer makes a huge difference. If you got a quote from an architect who charges you and then a high end contractor with lots of overhead and is super busy then that adds a lot to the cost. Your $20k is probably on the low side but $30k should be achieveable...i found this at the bathroom addition cost calculators at A few suggestions...1. pick out the items you want to use..vanity, sinks, toilet, tile, etc. You have to make these decisions eventually and if you make them now you can get a much more accurate estimate from contractors - they dont have to add "allowances" which can drive up the price because they may assume you want a $1000 toilet when you are OK with a $200 toilet. 2. talk to different types of contractors - smaller companies with no sales people and where the owner does most of the work and big companies with employees and sales people. You will likely see a BIG range of prices - varying by $50k! You can then choose the company who offers all the services you want and need and know you are paying the "right" price.
0 votes
sadfr, , 94110
Sun Nov 17, 2013
hire labor yourself,hire carpenter,plumber,electrician make sure they are licenced,buy materials yourself,
0 votes
sadfr, , 94110
Sun Nov 17, 2013
hire labor yourself,hire carpenter,plumber,electrician make sure they are licenced,buy materials yourself,
0 votes
Peter Verpra…, , Moraga, CA
Thu Oct 10, 2013
Hi tyegul,

You may want to check out the new Real Cost Finder,, that Houzz launched, which is a partner of Trulia. It has costs for remodeling across the US based on actual projects that homeowners recently completed - it shows a:

bath remodel in SF averages $25k with the most expensive 5% costing $69k.

Given the scope of your work it may be at the higher end of this, but sounds close to your $60k target budget.

Houzz also has a pretty extensive list of contractors and you can search for bath remodelers in SF. Good luck!
0 votes
tyegul, Home Owner, 94117
Mon Oct 7, 2013
Thanks for the answers so far. Just wanted to add that we're not increasing the square footage of the house. We're taking half of one bedroom and making it into a bathroom. Also, there is already a sink there, so there is plumbing for water, but no sewage line for a toilet.
0 votes
George Langf…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Oct 7, 2013
The $100K range is more realistic. You are adding a master bathroom and depending on if the existing structure can handle this along with the existing plumbing and electrical. Obviously different finishes can make the job less or even more. Although it doesn't sound like that was the goal. Usually a bathroom addition will start in the low $75K on up and typically you will see a recouped value of 73% (depending on market conditions. i think you might be getting confused between a bathroom remodel vs. a bathroom addition. Updating a pre-existing bathroom is going to be a lot less expensive then adding something that was never there to begin with.

Best of luck!

Climb Real Estate
Senior Sales Associate
0 votes
Thanks for your response. Unless I see different responses from others, I'll assume that "this is the way it is in SF". I'm definitely not confusing bathroom remodel vs addition as my best friend just remodeled her bathroom in Ann Arbor, MI for 5K and they moved everything around. Also, my sister in law owns a 3 bed/2 bath house in Jacksonville, FL that only cost 125K (the whole house, not the master bath).
Flag Mon Oct 7, 2013
Michael Young, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Oct 7, 2013
Just remember that everything is negotiable. Some contractor's will overbid in expectation of a counter, while others will quote a real price without much, if any, room for negotiation.

Depending on whether you're extending the footprint of your home, moving walls around inside the existing structure and also taking into consideration the plumbing and electrical needs, a bathroom could be added for anywhere from 15-100K.
0 votes
It's good that you're asking questions now, We can't know though, until the OP gives us more info. If I am wrong, and the house remodeling is biggest issue and that big problem to created many remodeling worker found that the user can make different.
Flag Tue Feb 3, 2015
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