When remodeling a bathroom on a budget, think about how much it will cost and what the return is. It depends on the size of the bathroom.

Q: What is a realistic cost to remodel a master bathroom or a typical price range I should be looking at?

A: We recently wrote a story about home renovation projects, their budget costs and the returns you’d expect to see. In that story, we found that the average small bathroom home renovation cost is at little under $16,000. However, you’d only expect to see a payback of a little over $10,200 on that project if you turned around and sold your home within a year of completing the project.

Certainly, a standard size bathroom of about 5 by 7 (or 35 square) feet will have less space to cover in tile or other floor and wall coverings and the fixtures you put into a room that size. Once you build larger or more elaborate spaces, you can expect your expenses to increase substantially.

As you choose upgraded plumbing fixtures, your expenses will rise exponentially. In addition, you can usually see increased costs to install a greater number of lighting fixtures, greater labor costs for plumbing behind the walls and, obviously, you have the additional costs of mirrors, cabinets, shelving and other amenities you might choose for your bathroom.

Your starting point would probably be at a number substantially higher than the average cost for a small bathroom. You can check out Remodeling Magazine online where they give examples of additions and renovations to homes, their costs and the cost you might recoup. You should know that Remodeling Magazine shows that adding a bathroom may cost upwards of $38,000 with a return on investment of a little more than half that amount.

While we don’t know what you have in mind for your renovation or the size of your bathroom, you might want to plan a budget between $20,000 and $30,000 depending on what you have in mind.

You might want to look around and see the type and quality of bathroom fixtures you have in mind and the finishes you like. Once you find these items and know their cost, you can estimate some of the expenses you will incur. You can also have a contractor come in and give you an estimate based on the fixtures and finishes you have chosen.