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45 Tips on How To Save Money On Your Bathroom Remodel

How To Save Money On Your Bathroom Remodel
Remodeling your bathroom can be an expensive proposition but can also increase your home’s value. From materials to labor the cost can quickly spiral beyond what you first thought. Don’t give up though, there are a lot tips on how to save money on your bathroom remodel that you might not have thought of. We’ve put together the best tips and tricks to keep your costs down and your remodel successful.

Plan, plan, plan: This is probably the most important way you can save. By researching, making, and keeping to a plan you avoid putting money into a bad decision. Coming up with a good plan means you have explored your options and made decisions to allocate your funds to the right places.

Keep the footprint: One of the biggest tips to save money is to keep the current layout of your bathroom. Some of the largest cost you will encounter are in moving plumbing, wiring, and structural elements. So keep things where they are and save big time.

Use accessories: When you can’t afford a total remodel make wise choice on your accessories. You can often pick more standard choices for toilet or showers and jazz it up with good accessories to distract the eye from these choices.

Paint not tile: One of the easiest ways to save money is to use paint on the walls instead of expensive tiles. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looks though. You can make paint decorative by using patterns and styles instead of a single color schemes. Make sure you use a paint that can stand up to the humidity in the shower.

Change the showerhead: Often a good cleaning and a new showerhead can make a shower look brand new. The money you save by cleaning the shower to like new can be put into an upscale shower head that makes your shower seem brand new.

Shop around: Taking the time to look around for the best deals will pay off. Consider both big box stores and your local building store. Either of them may have the best deals. Look into discounts and coupons that may be available through special offers.

Use remnants: To save a bit more money see if you can find remants that will work in your remodel. Often building supply stores will sell remnant material at a fraction of the cost. Countertops of remant material can be a great buy, this works well for smaller countertops.

Limit tile: An easy way to save some costs is to not use tile in everything. Even if you tile halfway up a wall, you have saved half the cost you may have incurred. Look at the style you are shooting for in your remodel and see where you may be able to scale back tile use.

Repurpose old furniture: A great way to reduce costs, that fits with current design trends is to reuse old furniture. This design trend lets you take an old table or cabinet and refurbish it to turn it into a cabinet. Sticking with this idea can save thousands of dollars in the cost of cabinetry.

Remodel only what is necessary: If there is only an aspect of your bathroom you feel needs to be updated, or something breaks only remodel that part. By only remodeling one area of your bathroom you can put higher quality material into it. Take care not to make your bathroom look patchwork by pursuing this sort of remodel.

Use a curtain instead of an enclosure: On average a glass shower enclosure can run around $1,500. You can avoid this cost entirely by deciding to use a shower curtain instead. A shower curtain can also add style to a bathroom by coordinating it with other design elements.

Choose chrome not nickel: To save a bit of money choose chrome instead of nickel. While not always considered a high end finish chrome still gives a great look. Brushed nickel may not be in your price range, but a good chrome still gives a clean sharp look.

Get more space with smaller cabinets: Grab some additional square feet of floor space by selecting smaller cabinets, or getting rid of one completely. This can give you more room without the cost of pushing a wall further out.

Use light tubes not a new window: A window can cost over a thousand dollars to put in. A light tube can cost 500 dollars and bring some natural light into your bathroom. A skylight may be another option as well instead of a costly change to the exterior of your home.

Find recycled material: An interesting way to save money is to find recycled materials. Habitat for humanity and even contractors often have materials that they retained from other remodeling jobs. Finding your sink or toilet in these places can save you a lot of money.

Donate: While you won’t save thousands by donating your cabinet or toilet you can save around $100. This small cost could be the difference between a low end shower fixture and a more upscale version.

Do the demo: Even if you have no handyman skills you can save money on the demo. By doing the demo work yourself you can often save almost $500 dollars. Don’t be afraid to do the demo yourself, there are many online guides to help you accomplish it safely and quickly.

Look to the long term: Instead of looking for a cost saving in the short term think long term. Low flow faucets and showers may be as or more expensive than other fixtures at the time of purchase. The savings you gain over the long term can more than make up for this initial cost.

Find new sources: Be inventive when looking for materials. Do you have a friend or relative that is or has remodeled recently? Is there a friend who is a contractor that might sell you that sink at cost? Think outside of the normal place and you may be able to find amazing deals.

Limit recessed lights: Although recessed lights can be great they are a more expensive option. Using wall mounted lights is a more economical option. If your design just must have recessed lights, try to limit them and use both recessed and wall mounted lights.

Consult an architect don’t hire him: When you are not doing a full scale remodel that requires a completely new architectural design don’t hire an architect to plan out the entire remodel. Some architects will give design sketches for a few hundred dollars that a drafting service can turn into the required planning documents.

Don’t hire a contractor, consult: Along with not hiring an architect consider if you can do some of the work with some help. Not all contractors will provide this sort of over-the-shoulder assistance but if you can find one you can find a significant savings. The contractor will explain the work, give a step-by-step guide and you do the hard work on your own.

Make your time count: Even for those who aren’t up to demo work, and are too dangerous to do work yourself you can save some costs by doing things yourself. Even doing the simple cleanup work at the end of your contractors workday, and doing the final cleanup yourself can save hundreds of dollars over the time of the job.

Transport the materials yourself: Another way to save some money is to do the transportation of material and debris yourself. Taking the time to do this picking up and dropping off can save hours of labor. If you don’t have a truck, rent one and you can still end up saving some precious room in your budget.

Consider wall prep: When you keep your current drywall it can often have significant work that needs to be done to it before you can repaint or place tile. The time that you spend doing this may be able to be avoided. There are several wall covering options that are made of fiberglass and adhere to the current walls. These coverings can save hours of work, and hours of cost for that labor.

Use look-alikes: Marble is great, and also expensive. Porcelain can give you the look of marble, at a much lower price point. When looking for materials for your bathroom take a look and see if you can select a look-alike. Modern manufacturing and materials can give you a wide range of options that give you the look of much more expensive options.

Time it right: If you have the option wait for off season to do your bathroom remodel. By selecting a part of the year when contractors are more in need of work you can save. Some contractors give up to a 5% discount for jobs they get in the off season. This will vary depending on location but is often the months after the new year.

Don’t move the toilet: To save on plumbing keep your toilet where it is. Moving the toilet often reroutes your entire plumbing system. The toilet is usually directly connected to the sewer vent, which is shared by the rest of the plumbing in your bathroom. Keeping your toilet where it is avoids the large cost of relocating the whole plumbing system for your bathroom.

Plan with available sizes in mind: Save money by trying to plan spaces that use widths that are easy multiples of your materials. If your flooring comes in 6 inch squares, try to have your bathroom a width that either is a full foot, or on the half. This saves you from using extra tiles to make up the difference.

Buy supplies at auction: Occasionally you can find an auction where they are selling building supplies. This can be a great place to pick up some materials for the lowest price possible. Take care to look at the material closely to ensure it is useable.

Make a builder grade mirror better by framing it: A standard inexpensive builders grade mirror can be made to look much more expensive by putting it into a frame. A custom built frame doesn’t have to be expensive.

Only replace the seat and lid of the toilet: Another way of saving money is to keep the toilet in your bathroom. Unless it doesn’t match the color, or is obviously of a different style your toilet doesn’t need to change most of the time. By replacing the seat and lid you can make your toilet look new again.

Open shelves can save you money: Open shelves have two advantages. They are usually less expensive than full cabinets, and they make your bathroom look larger.

Choose wisely for best impact: Carefully consider your options when it comes time to select material. Spend money where it will have the most impact. This doesn’t always mean visual impact, spending more money for fixtures that are more durable will save you money in the long run.

Use inexpensive tile with expensive accents: Save money by using more inexpensive tile for the large expanses of your bathroom. This can be broken up with more expensive tile in accents. This makes your tile work less expensive than using your expensive tiles throughout the room.

Consider one sink: Two sinks seemed to be a great idea the last time you remodeled. Yet how often do you actually use both sinks? If you only use one of the sinks regularly get rid of the one you don’t use. This saves the cost of a sink and offers more counter space as well.

Go green for long term savings: While it might be the same cost or even slightly more expensive initially to go with a green option, long term savings make up for it. Also this decision can may help the eventual resale value.

Shop online: Don’t forget that you can sometimes find great deals online. Before you make any final purchases look through online sources to see if you can find any last minute deals. Traditional big box stores will also occasionally have online only deals, that you can pick up at the store.

Consider size: Be realistic about your needs. Buy what you will use, and save yourself the extra cost. If you never use a tub avoid the cost and don’t purchase one. Do you truly need the spa tub when a soaker tub is enough? Buy the sizes of the fixtures that you need.

Refinish don’t replace: Depending on your fixtures it may be more economical to refinish them rather than replacing them. This applies to your sink and bathtub as well. There are professionals who can come in and refinish these in place, saving the cost of demolition and installation.

Gain space through non-load bearing walls: If you are looking to gain some floor space by expanding your bathroom try to do so through non load bearing walls. Moving these walls is much less expensive and easier to do.

Replace only the drywall that’s bad: It is not always necessary to replace every scrap of drywall when you remodel. Inspect the drywall and take out the sections that are damaged. Replacing only these sections will save you not only the cost of the drywall, but the labor involved with removal and replacement.

Consider premade shower stall: Unless you are going for a luxury remodel you should consider a premade shower stall. This option is often easy to install and much more economical than the tile needed to put a shower stall into place.

Double check the need to rewire: If your contractor says that your house needs to be rewired treat it as if it was a bad diagnosis from a doctor. Get a second opinion from a non-involved contractor, while this may seem insulting it is your money in the end.

Get multiple bids: Obtaining multiple bids for such a large job is the best idea. Competitive bidding can bring your contractors in at a lower cost overall. Use care to not simply take the lowest bid, properly research contractors to ensure they have good reputations.

Now you know how to save money on a bathroom remodel!

References
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1186851,00.html
http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/bathroom-remodel/bathroom-remodel-splurge-vs-save
http://porch.com/advice/tips-save-money-bathroom-remodel/
http://www.remodelista.com/posts/expert-advice-15-secrets-for-saving-money-on-home-renovation
http://homerenovations.about.com/od/bathrooms/a/artsavebathcost.htm