10 Tips to Control the Cost of Your Bathroom Remodel
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a beautiful bathing space. Use these 10 tips to get what you want while keeping your expenses in check.
1. Create a Sensible Layout
The first step in avoiding expensive mistakes is getting the floor plan nailed down. Before you get locked into a layout, be sure to consult with your remodeling professional to see what will work in your space. You don’t want to be one of those horror stories where your installed shower enclosure takes up the entire room, or where your layout in reality means the door hits your sink when you open it.
A great suggestion is to take good photos of your space and bring measurements when visiting a showroom. While most bathrooms tend to be on the smaller side, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily easy rooms to buy for.
2. Avoid Moving the Plumbing
Changing the layout of the room to accommodate a different plumbing arrangement will raise the cost of your renovation significantly, especially when it comes to installation costs. It helps to avoid it if at all possible. Try to use existing plumbing and refrain from making drastic changes to the layout of the room.
3. Get Professional Advice
When on a tight budget, it can get pretty tempting to take on the project yourself. However, many consider the DIY path a false economy and actually advise bringing in a bathroom professional in the early stages of the project.
One reason is that a company well suited to your particular project can help in the purchasing of materials and furniture, which should translate into significant financial savings and remove a lot of headaches from the project in general. You’ll still be making the decisions, of course, but the professional can really narrow things down based on your needs and aesthetic tastes.
Also, bathroom professionals often get the best deals from suppliers. From online distributors to brick-and-mortar showrooms, it’s in the best interest of suppliers to build and nurture relationships with bulk buyers. Use this to your advantage and allow a professional to pull their discounts, favors and exclusive offers to give you a wide range of options to meet your budget.
4. Draw Up a Clear Contract
Right from the start, be sure that your contract is clear and that you know exactly where you stand so you’re able to budget accordingly. Make sure all tasks are written down and agreed upon by both parties, and avoid a long list of pesky tasks at the end of your project that will ultimately cost extra.
5. Keep Tiles to a Minimum
It is not required to cover your whole bathroom in tile, unless you’re planning a wet room. Just tiling part of the room will not only be less expensive in labor in materials, it might actually be more practical in the long run. For instance, when a bathroom is only partially tiled, the rest of the walls can be painted, which means future redesigns using different colors can be made easily and on the cheap in the future. In addition, it makes it possible to hang artwork on the bathroom walls, a popular thing to do.
As far as pricing tiles go, ceramic tiles are generally the most inexpensive option. Imitation tiles, like marble look-alikes, can also be an inexpensive choice and give your bathroom a luxury look and feel, as if they are the real thing.
6. Go With Cost-Effective Materials
With technology the way it is today, choosing the most expensive materials is often a waste of finances. An example would be using quality porcelain tiles instead of the more expensive natural stone. Technology has made it so that you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two. Porcelain are not only considerably cheaper, they are also much more durable, less prone to cracking and chipping, and do not require regular sealing to keep from staining. Be sure to choose a through-body porcelain tile, however, so that your tiling professional is able to polish the edges instead of using unsightly trims.
7. Say Goodbye to the Tub
While this option isn’t for everyone, it could be a big money-saver for those who prefer showers over baths — both in the initial financial outlay for the renovation, as well as long-term due to greater energy efficiency.
8. Hunt for Bargains
Keep your eyes peeled for online sales and showroom deals such as discontinued items, clearance items or floor models. Between the two, you might be able to find everything you need at highly discounted prices.
Showroom models are products that have been on display in a showroom, but are most likely undamaged. Discontinued items are stock that retailers must get rid of so are willing to offer them at reduced prices. Both offer considerable savings.
While saving money is great, it’s also important to compare prices and to avoid compromising on quality. Oftentimes the cheapest deals sacrifice quality of design and service. Consider looking at the entry-level ranges offered by reputable bathroom manufacturers to find better materials for less money.
9. Reuse What You Can
By all means, save the existing items that are decent. But keep in mind that you’re defeating the purpose of having a fresh, new bathroom if you hang on to every last tub stopper and screw. After all, the end result is the most important factor. For example, keeping an old ceiling because it’s still in ‘okay’ shape, or cutting out an extractor fan because it costs a bit more, will affect the finished look. Similarly, saving old radiators or faucets won’t help your budget very much when the installer has to spend time stripping them down or cleaning them up to reuse them anyway.
If possible, quality sinks and toilets are worth keeping. If not, they are definitely worth investing in since they need to last without cracking or staining. Cheap toilets especially can lead to big problems in the future.
10. Consider LED Lighting
Often overlooked, lights make a huge difference on the final effectiveness of a bathroom. In general, good-quality LED spotlights are perfect for bathroom use. Although they may cost a bit more up front, you will save in the long-term through energy efficiency and by not having to constantly change lightbulbs.