Bathroom remodels are known to be expensive, but they don't have to be. This is especially true if it's a cosmetic makeover. That’s because a good chunk of the expense often comes from changing the plumbing. If you forgo major changes, you can give your bathroom a fresh look at a low cost.
To do so, consider these ten cost saving tips for your next bathroom remodel:
Create a Budget
Many homeowners struggle with creating a budget for their bathroom project, simply because they're unfamiliar with the cost of materials and services.
Before creating your budget, put together your bathroom wish list. Then, visit home improvement stores and make note of what each item costs if purchased new. Often times the big-ticket items will present the biggest opportunities to save money.
Browse thrift and resale stores, like either of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Restore locations, to find items at affordable prices.
Keep Plumbing in Place
The time might seem right to relocate a toilet, tub, or shower, especially if your bathroom is cramped for space. However, plumbing is expensive and labor-intensive. Unless something is in need of repair, consider changing fixtures to give your bathroom a new look.
Toilets, tubs, and showers represent your biggest investment in a bathroom project. If they're made of fiberglass, cast iron, or porcelain, they can be refinished with a kit. You may have to invest in supplies — a sander, spray gun, facemask — but, we assure you, it will cost less than buying new.
It may seem like a necessity, but homeowners can quickly go overboard with tile during a bathroom upgrade, causing expenses to skyrocket. It's practical for such a wet room, but focus on necessary areas (like the floor) and look for places to cut back or eliminate tile (like the walls). Or use tile for accents, or as a border.
Unleash the Power of Paint
As long as you're looking for places to reduce the presence of tile, ramp up your appreciation of paint. It's one of the most inexpensive upgrades you can make to any room in your home. It can be used virtually anywhere in a bathroom remodel project, including the walls, floors, trim, and door.
Go with an Alternative to Granite
Try not to be lulled into the notion that granite is your only choice for countertops. It's not. Granite looks sleek, but it's extremely expensive. And alternatives such as stainless steel, concrete, and even cork can add a creative touch to your bathroom at a more affordable price.
Think Outside the Box
Even the most expensive vanities are really no more than (short) boxes with drawers. And they lack the personality of a taller antique dresser you can find at a resale store. Elevate worn pieces with a fresh coat of paint or stain, and you can create a signature piece that will wow your guests.
Choose Open Shelving
Wall cabinets populate showrooms, but they can be as expensive and even unnecessary. Open shelves are simple to build and hang. They will also make the room feel more spacious.
Ponder New Reflections
That dull, builder's grade mirror may be one of the highest items on your bathroom remodel “hit list,” but consider leaving it where it is and framing it. You can even use molding to make a custom frame. Between the dresser/vanity and the mirror, you will have created the focal point for your bathroom remodel project.
Skip Some Fancy Details
Light fixtures, towel racks, toilet paper holders, robe hooks, and drawer pulls should be considered as optional finishing touches, not finish off what's left of your budget and leave you reaching for more cash. If you already have these items and they’re in good condition, consider refreshing them with spray paint in silver, gold, or even a solid color to save hundreds of dollars on your bathroom project.
You don't have to break the bank to restyle your bathroom. Set a budget, shop resale, and find creative ways to update what you have. The same can be said for any room in your house. Need guidance or inspiration? Stop by! We love helping customers design remodels.