Virtually every homeowner wants to remodel their home at some point or another, provided they live there for an extended amount of time. There are a number of reasons why people choose to remodel their homes, or at least parts of their homes. Some people simply want a new look, which is more suited to their needs and wants. This is especially true for those that invest in houses expecting to make some kinds of renovations. Many people, in this day and age, create the houses that they want by investing in lower-cost “fixer upper” homes understanding that they require renovations. With that being said, a lot of people simply grow tired of what they bought, even if they were originally happy with it. Many others want to add value to a house that they see as a long-term financial investment. Remodels and updates often count as major value-adds for houses, and can ultimately lead to the homeowner making a higher profit at the time of sale than they would have without the renovation. No matter what your reason for wanting to remodel your home, chances are that you’ll either be looking at a limited remodeling job, which will only remodel one or a few parts of the home; or you’ll take on a long-term, gradual renovation which will remodel the whole home room by room. Few homeowners can remodel an entire house at once, due to financial and practical reasons alike. Many start with the bathroom, as it’s a smaller room but can add a ton of value to your house if it’s remodeled. The question is: how do you remodel your bathroom on a budget?
Most of us can’t simply spend a lot of money at once on most things, especially in light of the recent economic struggles on a national level. But just because you’re on a limited budget, doesn’t mean that you can’t remodel your bathroom. In fact, a bathroom renovation is really the perfect place to start if you’re on a budget. As the average family in America only has $3,800 in their savings accounts, it’s important that you don’t over-extend yourself financially and stress yourself out in an effort to change your bathroom. You can make a lot of great changes without going into debt, both practical and aesthetic. Much of this can be done by prioritizing certain parts of your remodeling project over others. Let’s look into how to remodel your bathroom on a budget, and how you can alter your approach to suit your specific needs.
1. Have A Dialogue With The Professionals
Bathroom renovation jobs should never be attempted by amateurs, for a number of reasons. Both on a practical and aesthetic level, it’s important that you work with the pros even if you’re trying to save money. Professional general contractors, plumbers, and interior designers understand how to work within your budget to accommodate your wants and needs as much as possible, without skimping on quality or inflicting damage. Many people find that when they attempt renovations on their own, they actually cause more harm than good. You may think that you’re doing something right, but are actually leaving damage that will grow over time, and ultimately result in you spending more money on repairing that damage than you would have had you hired a professional to begin with. When attempting to remodel your bathroom on a budget, you should start by consulting with different professionals and essentially collecting bids for your project.
This will involve talking to everyone from those offering plumbing services to those who can help with the aesthetic aspects of remodeling. You need to be honest about your budgetary limitations, and up front about what you’re looking for. It’s important to be measured and realistic; you might not want to work with the person who promises you everything on a shoestring budget. If something appears to be too good to be true, they may very well be. Of course, it’s also important to rely upon online reviews, as well as word of mouth. If you can get recommendations from people who actually live in your area, that would be the best possible option. Online reviews on Google or Yelp can at times be inflated, but if you’re looking at reviews from people you know or for that matter community groups online, you can have a better idea of their authenticity. Now, different people may have different requirements in terms of payment plans and working around your budget. But ultimately, you need to work with the pros that you know you can trust, and feel the most comfortable with. This may mean stretching your budget, or for that matter changing your expectations. But in the long term, it’s worth it to work with someone you can be sure about, versus the cheapest nearby plumber or contractor.
2. Put Plumbing First
You wouldn’t be the first homeowner to prioritize aesthetics over practicalities. But if you’re trying to remodel your bathroom on a budget, you need to be sure that you’re actually taking care of plumbing renovations before anything else. You may want to have a specific type of tub in your bathroom due to its look or features. But if your residential plumbing expert indicates that it’s actually not a great fit for your home’s plumbing system, you should listen to them. With that being said, a lot of people attempt to put plumbing second when renovating their bathrooms, in part because plumbing repairs can be so expensive.
You shouldn’t spend less, on, say, a new water heater installation. But if you’re attempting to remodel your bathroom on a budget, you may want to consider overhauling your plumbing system first, provided your plumber recommends it, and take some time before having a contractor work on, say, adding a new closet to your bathroom, or spending on your dream sink. Of course, you may also be able to save on your favorite fixtures by buying them secondhand. There are a variety of resources online for those who want to buy antique or secondhand bathroom fixtures, though you’ll want to make sure that you only shop at reputable online stores. It’s important to consult with your contractor before making the final purchase, as you don’t want to spend money on something that ultimately wouldn’t suit your bathroom. The good thing about making updates or repairs to your plumbing system is that it essentially allows you a blank space to work from when you start making aesthetic changes to your bathroom. You can do much more to a bathroom that is completely up to date and in working order on a practical level, versus one that is lacking and needs to be worked around.
3. Save On Your Counter Tops
When attempting to remodel your bathroom on a budget, you’ll probably find that one of the easiest ways to save on the aesthetic parts of your bathroom is simply substitution. Rather than going for your absolute dream material, seek out a lesser-known, but still appealing substitute. You may be surprised by how many different options available when you do your research. One of the easiest places to save money is on your counter tops. Bathroom counter tops are really purely aesthetic. Though we need them, we don’t need them to look any particular way, or to be made of a particular type of material. While a lot of homeowners expect to install granite counter tops right off the bat, this is actually something of a splurge. Granite is one of the more expensive materials to use for counter tops, with many homeowners failing to realize that they can get a similar look for a lot less provided they do their research.
Now, if you’re really committed to granite counter tops, you can potentially buy them without spending as much money as you would on the typical mainstream granite counter tops. Consider the most popular colors first; these typically include those in the beige and tan color families. This makes these colors the most expensive, which means that if you’re open to something less popular you can probably save some money. Granite is also sometimes flawed. This means that though the granite is still sturdy and usable, it might not look exactly perfect, and for that matter probably isn’t as in demand as alternative types of granite. Talk to your contractor about sourcing these “off brand” types of granite, rather than seeking out the most popular types. You’ll be glad that you did, and may even prefer your more unique-looking granite counter tops, as opposed to the more mainstream types.
4. Consider Long-Term Efficiency
If you’re attempting to remodel your bathroom on a budget, you’re obviously conscious of spending and attempt to save money. So why not try to save money for the long term as well? You can do this by installing more efficient versions of necessary fixtures and features in your bathroom. The more efficient your fixtures, the less money you’ll need to spend on bills in the long term. Of course, there will probably be some obvious ways in which you can update your bathroom and make it more efficient for the long term. This will include using water-efficient shower heads and sink faucets, as well as efficient toilets. But you can save on more than just water in your bathroom.
If you’re considering window replacements as a part of your bathroom remodeling job, you should think about installing energy efficient windows. These windows reflect heat and ensure that less cool air escapes your home. What this means is that you’ll spend less money on heating and cooling your house. As a lot of air and condensation collects in your bathroom, it should certainly have energy efficient windows in place. Of course, if you’re installing windows in your bathroom you shouldn’t forget to install blinds as well. This not only keeps your bathroom cooler but obviously is an important measure for privacy, just as much as secure bathroom doors. Taking these types of steps will ensure that your bathroom is as comfortable and up to date as it possibly can be, and doesn’t require that you spend a lot of money overall.
5. Don’t Overdo It With Tile
Tile is one of the most obvious types of materials that homeowners lean towards when remodeling their bathrooms. Typically, tile is relied upon for bathroom floors, and even showers and walls. But if you’re attempting to remodel your bathroom on a budget, it might not be the best option available. Tile gets expensive very quickly, especially when you’re paying a contractor to lay it down, as you probably should. So what are the alternatives available?
If you’d like to remodel your bathroom on a budget while at the same time incorporating tile into your home, you may want to consider saving tile for high impact portions of the bathroom. Rather than adding tile to your floors and your shower walls, stick to the floors alone. And if you really want this one specific expensive type of tile, use that as an accent to cheaper tile, rather than relying upon it exclusively. While this may be a compromise, you’ll still be able to enjoy what you want this way, without over-spending.
In general, it is important to remember that attempting to remodel your bathroom on a budget does involve compromise. You probably won’t be able to do every single thing that you want, at least not all at once. You must be open to remodeling gradually, or going for less expensive products, or products that are used rather than new. However, if you are open to these possibilities, you may be amazed by how good your renovation will end up being, especially when you work with the pros. You might have to think outside the box from time to time, but you’ll be able to get what you want, for the budget that you want, if you’re ready to put in the time, effort, and creativity necessary into your project!