Remodeling the bathroom can be a great way to breathe new life into an old room, add value to your house, and improve your overall experience living in it. But bathroom remodels can also be expensive.
What steps can you take to save money on your next bathroom remodel, without sacrificing quality?
Setting the Right Priorities
Your first step is making sure you’ve set the right priorities. There’s nothing wrong with being interested in saving money on your remodel, but your health and safety should be more important. You may also want to consider priorities like potential return on investment (ROI); if the remodel costs twice as much, but also adds twice as much value to your home, could it be worth splurging?
You’ll need to plan your priorities carefully if you’re going to make the right decisions for your needs.
How to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel
These are some of the best strategies for saving money on your next bathroom remodel:
- Keep the same size and general layout. Bathroom remodeling jobs quickly become unaffordable when they increase in scale. If you’re interested in increasing the size of your bathroom, completely changing the layout, or taking out load bearing walls as part of the project, you should expect to pay much more. If you keep the same size and general layout for your bathroom, you’ll reduce the number of potential complexities that could interfere with your project and lower the overall costs you’ll be expected to pay. You’ll have fewer plumbing and electrical issues to sort out, but you’ll still have many potential upgrades you can easily make.
- Focus on inexpensive upgrades. If you want to refresh your bathroom on the smallest possible budget, focus on making inexpensive upgrades. For example, you can install a bidet in almost any bathroom if you choose the right model and follow the instructions carefully. You can swap out a standalone vanity for a newer, more attractive version. Even simple upgrades, like replacing your towels or purchasing new bath mats, can make a big difference in the bathroom environment.
- Do the work yourself. Not many of us feel experienced or competent enough to tackle a full bathroom remodeling job entirely by ourselves. But if you have at least some DIY experience, you should be able to do at least some of the bathroom work on your own. For example, you might be able to swap out the toilet for a newer one or rip out the old shelves and put in new ones. If you feel capable of tackling this job safely, take it on; just be ready to call in a professional if you hit a snag.
- Shop around for better contractors. If you aren’t going to do the work yourself, make sure you shop around for better contractors. Get quotes from multiple different people and compare them closely so you can figure out which contractor offers the best deal. You’ll also want to consider factors like previous work done, ratings, and reviews.
- Ask around for leftover materials. People doing bathroom renovations typically finish their projects with tons of leftover materials. If you’re willing to shop for used materials and/or pick up leftovers from previous renovations, you might be able to save significant money.
- Refinish instead of replacing. Instead of replacing everything in your bathroom, consider simply refinishing it. Refinishing is typically a less expensive and less complex job than full replacement, and it allows you to keep what you already have.
- Install a prefabricated shower/tub. If you’re planning on installing a new shower or tub, get a prefabricated one. These are already put together, making them simpler and less expensive to install.
- Choose a simpler toilet. There are lots of toilet options available these days, so you might be tempted to splurge on a “top of the line” model. But most people are better off with something simple; they’re cheaper, easier to install, and much cheaper to maintain over time.
- Avoid costly electrical rewiring. If your house is somewhat old, you may be forced to commit wiring upgrades to remain compliant with current electrical code standards. Plan your remodeling strategically so you can avoid this – or take measures to ensure your bathroom is “grandfathered in.”
- Apply a fresh coat of paint. People are often amazed at how transformative a single coat of fresh paint can be when remodeling a room. Don’t forget to refresh the walls; it won’t cost much.
With these strategies in place, you should be in a position to give your bathroom a significant makeover without bankrupting yourself in the process. Be sure to inspect the work closely so you can feel confident that it was done adequately.
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