Cost Breakdown: Labor vs. Materials

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Each cost category of your project is made up of three elements: rough material costs, labor costs, and finishes selections.  The shopping list includes only finishes selections, the other two categories are determined by your contractor.  It is important to realize in choosing selections that they are only part of the cost of the category, as this example illustrates: Total cost of the Tile category in your new bathroom is $3000, you have $1000 as an Allowance for choosing which tile you’d like to install.  If you choose more expensive tile, let’s say it’s $1500 instead of $1000, that’s 50% more than your allowance, which brings the total for the category to $3500.  $3500 is only a 15% more than the original budget of $3000 though, so the 50% increase in the Finishes Selection had a much smaller impact on the category as a whole.  Bottom line: Don’t skimp on the finishes, most of the cost is in the labor and rough materials so you end up paying more for less.