In the desire to get the work, many contractors will readily quote a price or price range for a bathroom remodel without knowing any of the details. In most cases, the homeowner envisions a Ferrari while the contractor is pricing a Fiat, and once these unrealistic expectations are set, they are hard to undo. As negotiations grow more serious and the job specs begin to take shape, contractors start backpedaling with excuses about "hidden conditions" or expensive fixture "upgrades." Alternatively, they wait until the job has started and try to make up the shortfall by overcharging for change orders. In the worst cases, the contractor simply walks away from the work. All of these options leave the homeowner with a low regard for contractors — all contractors. To avoid being lumped in with "all contractors," never provide a quote or give an estimate of any sort unless you are sure that you can and will do the work for that amount. Save your ballpark estimates until after you have thoroughly inspected the job and you know all of the specifics.

The age of the existing plumbing will greatly affect the cost of the upgrade work. Many cast-iron drain systems are on their last legs, but because cast iron comes in varying grades, its deteriorated condition may not be obvious. Cast iron rots from the inside out, so it may look okay but actually have very thin walls that could fail at any time...

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