According to Remodeling Magazine's 2015 "Cost vs. Value Report," a mid-range bathroom remodel can cost up to $16,700, but you can easily spend about $25,000, depending on the amount of work.
But there’s good news: Cost-effective bathroom remodels do exist, and Remodeling Magazine's report estimates that bathroom remodels recoup 70 percent of their cost at resale. Follow these nine low-cost remodel ideas to keep a bathroom project’s budget under control.
1. Make A List
Before jumping into a bathroom remodel on a budget, make a list of needs and wants for the space. Next, decide which aren't essential and which fit the functionality and design aesthetics desired for the remodel. Certain elements will cost more than others, so you’ll have to give and take a little.
If there’s a desire for high-end bathroom fixtures, for example, you might have to go with a lower-end vanity. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, fixtures are the largest expense in a bathroom remodel. If that gorgeous glass vessel sink is a must, pick a standard toilet. Or if hearts are set on a exquisite wall-mount faucet, opt for a lower-end sink.
2. Facelifts Can Be Powerful
Cosmetic changes can make a big impact on the look and feel of a bathroom without having to completely start over. Purchase new fixtures where they’re necessary to update the room — like a low-flow toilet or a water-saving showerhead — and utilize paint and accessories to give new life to the space.
Replace faucets, towel bars, and drawer pulls. Around the bathtub, add white grout and an even line of caulk to give a fresh look to an older space.
3. Get Social
Social media has provided homeowners with a great resource to get recommendations on designers and contractors from people they trust. Additionally, homeowners can read reviews and compare bids on cost-effective bathroom remodel projects online.
Homeowners can use their online connections to find the two or three most recommended designers and contractors in their area. Better still, ProSource Wholesale® can help locate one from our pool of members.
Homeowners, invite designers and contractors to view your space and provide a quote for the bathroom remodeling project; be sure to review each quote thoroughly, and ask questions upfront to avoid misunderstandings down the road. Designers, be prepared to offer the most cost-saving options and address clients' questions.
4. Plan Ahead
Knowing the potential costs upfront will help plan the budget — and stick to it. One of the fastest ways homeowners go over budget is by getting stuck with costs they never saw coming when they estimated their project; trade pros can help with this by ensuring all remodel selections are classy but affordable, and agreed upon before work begins. Overlooked factors include sub-floor removal and installation costs.
Another factor that can help you stay within budget is to understand which costs can simply be avoided altogether. For homeowners, if your designer or contractor recommends relocating bathroom fixtures, like toilets, tubs, and bath vanities, find out why.
Homeowners, contact your local showroom for a referral to a designer who can show you bathroom floor plans that would allow fixtures to remain in their current locations. Designers, make sure you're in our referral network!
5. Use Accents
Tile can be a major expense in a bathroom remodel, especially if you or your client (if you’re a trade pro) desire a high-end designer tile or also want to install it in the shower, too (not just the floor). Serious money can be saved by limiting the amount of tile from the floor to the tub.
6. Think Outside The Bathroom
Rather than spending a large amount of a bathroom remodel budget on built-ins, opt for pedestal or wall-mount sinks and use furniture as storage. Today’s trend of furniture as cabinetry makes it easy to reduce costs and design a room that looks "of the moment."
Recycle an older bedside table or side cabinet, and add a remnant of granite or marble to the top; small pieces are typically affordable and serve low-cost bathroom remodel ideas well.
7. Do The Demo
While it’s hard manual labor, homeowners, performing the bathroom demolition can save a considerable amount of money in both labor fees and hauling charges.
Painting is another chore that you can do yourself to save money. It’s time-consuming, but not too difficult — beyond that, it’s fulfilling to see the finished project after a hard day’s work.
8. Purchase Fixtures Yourself
You can save quite a bit of money by purchasing your own fixtures, like sinks and faucets. If, as a homeowner, you’re working with a ProSource trade pro member, you can visit a showroom for inspiration and benefit from wholesale pricing.
Whether you purchase the materials yourself or have a contractor do it, be sure they're high quality; your trade pros can help you with this. Low-quality materials might save a bit of money now, but they won’t pay off in the long run, especially in rooms like the bathroom that are exposed to steam, mildew, and mold.
9. Set Up A Payment Schedule
Homeowners and trade pros should arrange a clearly defined payment schedule with installments throughout the project. The final payment shouldn’t be made until the project is completed to everyone’s satisfaction.
Starting a new bathroom remodeling project can be both exciting and intimidating. But approaching the project with the right mindset from the start will keep a budget under control. And that will allow you to focus on achieving your desired outcome — a beautiful new bathroom to be enjoyed.
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