Design Chick  

Real cost of renovating

This week, we’re pulling back the curtain on renovation costs.

The world of interior design is filled with complex budgets and numbers, and sometimes clients are surprised (maybe even shocked) to find the cost of turning their design dreams into a reality doesn’t match up with what they thought their overall budget would come in at.

And who can blame them, really? There is still a lot of secrecy and semi-transparent business practices prevalent in the construction and design world unfortunately.

But we’re all about transparency in our firm, so today we’re taking a mid-level master ensuite renovation with average cost breakdowns, and hash it all out, line by line…

Let’s get started!


A 255 square master ensuite including walk-in closet, built in 2000 and in need of a total facelift.

No supporting walls will be removed; all existing fixtures, finishes, and cabinetry to be removed and replaced.


A combination of contemporary and organic; clean, bright elements with natural wood tones, stone, and glass accents.


Update and modernize with the addition of a free-standing tub, open up shower enclosure with glass panel, maximize closet storage and functionality, replace all tile and plumbing fixtures, replace vanity millwork and counter tops, new paint, new interior doors and trim.


Design Fee                      $7,500* – consulting, drawings, materials and finishes selection (*Starting from)


Plumbing Labour             $6,500

Plumbing Fixtures           $12,000 — tub, sinks, sinks/tub taps, shower faucets/valves, toilet

Drywall Repair/Patch       $1,200

Paint Ensuite/Closet        $1,500

Walnut Veneer Vanity       $2,500

Stone Counter                  $1,800

Counter/Vanity Install       $1,200

Tile – Shower/Splash       $4,200

Shower Tile Install            $4,000

Electrical                           $3,000

Light Fixtures                    $1,000

Glass Shower Frame        $3,000

Ensuite Floor Tile              $1,800

Floor Tile Install                 $2,500

Cabinetry Hardware           $350

2 Interior Doors                  $650

New Base & Case              $500

Vanity Mirror                       $400

Master Closet Fittings        $11,500 – melamine towers, hanging systems, pull-out drawers

TOTAL                               $67,100

Once you start itemizing all the elements in the renovation, things add up pretty darn quickly, don’t they?

Keep in mind, we haven’t included any builder or general contractor fees, permit costs (if required), or allowed for any variable contingencies.

But don’t let the numbers or complexity of a renovation like this keep you from pursuing your dream space.

A good designer can meet you where you’re at budget-wise, and walk you through the entire process start to finish before any trades even ring your doorbell.  


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Design Chick articles

About the Author

Crispin Butterfield is the creative force and mastermind behind Urban Theory; a graduate of Mount Royal University in Calgary, her engaging personality and design-commerce savvy make her a valued and well-respected professional and mentor within her field.

She’s able to uniquely see the parameters and vision of each project in ways her clients often cannot, and has honed the process and proficiency required to grow incredible long-standing client relationships. 

Crispin embraces a life full of ingenuity and imagination, fueled by raw ambition and a desire to leave her mark on the world. Her impeccable design style, expertise, and a rock-solid business acumen is the foundation which allows Urban Theory Interior Design to provide full scale services with authenticity, innovation, and ample amounts of personality.

Featured in Style At Home Magazine, Covet, Canadian Retailer, and The National Post – www.urbantheoryinteriordesign.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories