Bathroom renovations can cost thousands more than you ever expected to spend. They garner this frightening reputation because of unexpected costs, repairs, and the simple fact that bathrooms don’t come cheap.
Especially ones up to par with our modern codes. Luckily for us, there are ways to save money on a bathroom renovation. And not just a few dollars, either. Thousands.
Plan Ahead With A Budget
The last thing you want to do is go into your renovation blind. Literally and metaphorically. Things will flow with much fewer hiccups if you know exactly what you plan to accomplish and how. For example, if you’d like to ditch your old tub and vanity, have a plan for how that will go down.
Will it fit through the door? Will the new tub fit in its place? What’s really wrong with it, or is it just ugly? Answering these types of questions before you get hammer-happy will save you money and time.
Knowing how much you plan to spend, or how little, also helps with each step of your reno. Maybe the sink you love is a couple hundred over budget, or that tile with the sparkles costs a bit too much. You’ll want to firmly establish what’s worth splurging on before you make a single purchase.
Make a bathroom renovation checklist to put things into perspective. With that in mind, you can begin picking out fixtures and determining which projects you want to tackle DIY-style.
Rent A Dumpster
Bathroom remodels are no clean business. As you go, you’ll likely end up throwing away sheets of damaged drywall, sinks, vanities, and even tubs. Disposing of these items can quickly suck the air out of your remodel process, especially as you decide who’s making runs to the dump and who’s staying behind to keep working.
Having a roll-off dumpster rental in your yard solves this problem. Save time and manpower by chucking everything into the dumpster, never needing to deal with it again.
Try To Keep Plumbing In Place
Moving around pipes and drain lines eats up money like flames. If you can, try to plan your bathroom remodel with this in mind. Keeping your tub, shower, toilet, and vanity in the same place will end up saving you thousands.
While two sinks may look better to you you need to forgo plumbing the double sink when saving money takes priority. You’ll also save time by choosing this simplified route. Fiddling with plumbing often requires the skill of a contractor, something you can avoid if you leave it alone.
Refinish, Don’t Replace
It’s easy to fall into the trap of replacing every ugly thing in your bathroom. That faucet, the fading vanity, the stained tub-all hard to ignore if they’re not looking so great. Instead of tossing and replacing consider refinishing. More than you might expect can be refinished in your bathroom, like your tub. A can of paint or stain can give your vanity a fresh look, one you don’t have to pay hundreds for.
Don’t Prioritize The Porcelain Throne
Toilets really only need to do one thing: flush. Try to find models with water-saving capabilities to save you money down the road. Little else should be considered unless you have the budget for fancier bells and whistles. You can cut costs further and just replace the seat and lid if your toilet functions well.
Ever thought of buying a used toilet bowl? The thought of a used toilet might seem a little over the top but your bank account won’t think so! Plus, it’s not like it comes with stinky stuff in it. Make sure to put in a special request to the previous owners to clean the bowl thoroughly!
Opt-Out Of Tile
Tiling is one of the most expensive add-ons to bathroom renovations. This is primarily because of the installation costs, but the tiles themselves can pack a punch, too. Showers with tiled floors and walls eat up a huge portion of money for that reason.
Instead, you may want to buy a prefabricated shower base and install the wall-tiling yourself. Or, choose laminate shower wall panels to give that tiled look without the costs.
Be Mindful Of Glass Costs
Glass gets expensive the thicker you go. If you’re replacing your glass shower or adding one in, choose thinner panes of glass. Thin glass accomplishes all the same goals while steering clear of luxury-width prices. To save even more, a walk-in shower with just one glass wall looks great, and all without the extra costs of a full glass enclosure.
You’d be surprised at what bathroom materials come up on Craiglist or eBay. Tile, fixtures, caulk, grout, sinks, vanity mirrors-you name it, there’s always someone looking to get rid of something. Take advantage of this by scoping out second-hand sites before buying new, or check out garage sales.