I got the first bid last week and died from sticker shock. I then want on Angie's List and saw that this company was notorious for outrageous pricing. They have 2 nice shiny showrooms, so their overhead must be huge. Seriously. The bid looks like they got the cost (which wouldn't have been all that bad) and simply doubled it to cover their overhead.
Yesterday I had another contractor show up (who had been highly rated on A.L.) and he was much more reasonable. I actually liked his approach of just calculating a labor cost while leaving the purchasing of faucets and lighting up to us. That's how I knew the 1st company was full of shit. I have been to the home improvement stores. I know what the "stuff" costs. The big unknown is the labor. Shit. I think the price they were asking for our small half-bath would have come out to something like $200-$300/hr! The second guy was a much more reasonable $50/hr. We'll see what contractor #3 says today.
And yes. I know I could do it myself and save $$$. No comments like, "Sabot! It's EASY to install a new toilet!" I know. I have seen many home-improvement shows. And had 1 toilet needed replacement, I would probably attempt it. I'm talking about a complete remodel of 3 rooms. I want everything done at once. Once again, I have done the do-it-yourself thing, and it was painful. I did learn a lot of things, but that doesn't mean I want to do it again. Also, I have been to many houses where people have done it themselves. Sometimes it looks great, sometimes it really shows that they did it themselves. And then there's the scenario of, "Hey! Weren't you remodeling this room X months (years) ago?"