Bathrooms and kitchens are the main areas of the house that most homeowners would love to change. Both projects tend to be expensive. When it comes to savings, bathroom remodels’ cost overruns can be simple to control. Because of the smaller space, it can be easier to implement cost-saving measures. Plus, do-it-yourself work will reduce the costs of any contracted project.
Everybody’s day begins and ends in the bathroom. The way you get ready each morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. And the environment in which you get ready for bed sets the tone for how well you can sleep at night. A cluttered, unattractive bathroom doesn’t exactly invigorate you to take on the day’s challenges. And an unwelcome bathroom won’t be the soothing oasis you deserve to help you unwind at the end of the day.
A beautiful bathroom — with features you love and where everything has a place — will help you feel more at ease each day. But you might be discouraged because you think a bathroom remodel outside of your budget. Instead of letting go of your dream, use these tips for a less-expensive, but beautiful, bathroom remodel.
When homeowners think about bathroom remodelling, the cost is likely the first thing that comes to mind. That is because kitchens and bathrooms are well-known to be the two most expensive rooms to remodel. However, your bathroom renovation doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Here are a few money-saving tips to help you get your remodel done on a budget.
At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.
Ways to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel
Retain the Bathroom’s Size and Layout
Enlarging or rearranging a bathroom often means moving plumbing pipes, which can be expensive. The toilet discharge and sewer pipe are particularly expensive to move.
Resize or alter the bathroom only if it is necessary to accommodate your needs. Moving objects that aren’t easily movable is the single most expensive aspect of bathroom remodelling. You can alter the size or layout of your bathroom during a remodel. But you do need to weigh the benefits of that change against the financial impact of that change.
Keep the Bathroom’s Load-Bearing Walls in Place
Load-bearing walls hold up your second floor if any, and the roof. Moving or removing a load-bearing wall is a major project involving structural changes. As a rule of thumb, exterior walls are load-bearing. Interior walls that run parallel to ceiling joists tend to be non-load-bearing.
Explore the possibilities of expanding through non-load-bearing walls—walls that do not bear weight. Non-load-bearing walls can be removed or moved with moderate cost and effort.
If you do want to move that load-bearing wall, it is best to hire a contractor. But you can even do it on your own if you are especially motivated. Materials such as laminated beams are inexpensive, but much labour is involved.
Save the Bathroom’s Drywall If Possible
Drywall often must be completely replaced in bathroom renovations, due to the high moisture levels in this environment. Drywall replacement is common enough and should be anticipated. Any drywall that is even remotely affected by mould should be removed.
The more walls you open up, the more walls you will need to close up later on. Each closed-up wall means more drywall and paint and associated labour.
If any section of drywall is in good shape, keep it. Clear out and replace only the bad sections. Drywall near or behind showers and bathtubs often requires replacement. But drywall in other areas of the bathroom may still be in good shape.
Refinish Bathroom Elements Instead of Replacing Them
Removing and replacing existing plumbing fixtures and tubs or shower bases or surrounds adds to the cost of the replacement fixtures. It may also include demolition work and construction changes, as well as a new installation.
Ask yourself if any of these items do need to be replaced. Are you replacing them for functional or for aesthetic reasons? If they are unattractive but operable, you may have options for dressing them up or for renewing them rather than replacing them.
You can refinish your bathtub with an attractive, protective coating instead of entirely replacing it. You can paint your bathroom cabinet instead of sending it to the landfill and buying a new cabinet.
Not only does it make financial sense to refinish bathroom items, but it also makes environmental sense.
Install a Prefabricated Shower or Bathtub
Tearing out an old prefabricated shower base and surround and replacing it with a custom tiled base and walls is one of the most expensive bathroom improvements you can make.
Consider using a pre-formed, one-piece shower stall rather than a tiled shower. It will be considerably less expensive because you won’t be hiring costly tile setters. Also, prefabricated shower stalls go up in hours, while tiled showers take several days.
As an alternative, you might start with a prefabricated shower base and tile the walls yourself. Tile materials can be much cheaper than a one-piece stall; it’s the labour that makes most tile expensive.
Install a Standard-Type Toilet
It always makes sense to replace an old water-wasting toilet with a new water-saving model. But new toilets often come with lots of features that can be surprisingly expensive, and they may need costly maintenance down the road.
Unless you have special needs for a toilet with lots of extra features, choose a well-designed, simple toilet that offers good flushing performance with little water. Toilets do not have to be expensive to do the job right.
Also, toilet installation is a common do-it-yourself project that, for many homeowners, may seem more difficult than it is. Installing your toilet will save some money on plumbers’ bills.
Keep the Bathroom’s Electrical Circuits in Place
Bathrooms that get remodelled usually need wiring upgrades because the existing wiring does not meet the current electrical code standards.
If your bathroom wiring is functional, your local permitting office may be able to tell you if your system can be grandfathered in. If it needs to be brought up to code, it may need some changes. One common example is to replace non-grounded outlets with GFCI (ground-fault current-interrupter) outlets. If the electrical wiring is safe and fits your needs, keep it in place.
A Simple Way to Update the Toilet
Did you know you can often give your toilet an updated look without completely replacing it? Instead of replacing the whole unit, replace the lid and seat. This will give you a crisp, modern look for a fraction of the price.
An Easy Spa-Like Update
You can get the feel (and the look) of a spa with a simple change in the showerhead. A rain or massage showerhead will give you luxury for a relatively small price. And you can save money on labour by making the change yourself.
Think Outside the Tile
Tile up to the ceiling is beautiful — there’s no doubt about that. But you can create a less-expensive beauty with a variety of other materials. Save tile for the shower, and try beadboard or reclaimed wood, instead, for a unique, warm look on your walls.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
It’s easy to overlook this simple and inexpensive remodelling tool. Paint can transform the look of your bathroom, and when done right, it can even draw attention away from the elements of your bathroom you can’t afford to replace right now.
Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Shine Some Light
Builder-grade lighting in a bathroom is rarely sufficient — and rarely beautiful. Update your fixtures for an immediate impact in your bathroom.
Choose Your Splurges Wisely
You don’t have to splurge on every element of your bathroom. Think of the focal point of the room, and focus your splurges in that area. Is it your vanity? Spend a little extra for granite countertops or an upgraded vessel sink, but buy the cheapest toilet. Want the shower to be the focal point? Spend your money on custom tile, while simply upgrading the vanity with a framed mirror and new faucets.
Don’t buy the first vanity or fixture you lay eyes on. Compare prices and watch for deals. You can also use old items in new ways. An old dresser can become a new vanity for a fraction of the cost. And when it comes to your countertops? Start at granite shops, and ask if they have any bits of granite leftover from bigger jobs. You may be able to negotiate a price you love.
Keep Plumbing Where It Is
It may at first seem like a good idea to renovate your bathroom’s design, but unless you’re willing to shell out about $5,000 each time you move plumbing fixtures, you might want to keep your existing fixtures in place. Check out this bathroom makeover on a budget.
Frame Your Mirror
The focal point of your bathroom is likely the mirror over your sink, so why not fancy it up? Not only will adding a frame around your mirror make for an elegant look, but it will also hide any age-related wear around the mirror’s edges. Here’s how to remodel your bathroom without destroying it.
DIY a Vanity
To save during a bathroom renovation, hit up those antique stores, flea markets and resellers for a beautiful old dresser you can spruce up and reuse in place of your outdated bathroom vanity. It makes for a great DIY project, and you’ll be able to easily cut out the space to hide the plumbing, seal drawers, add towel bars on the sides and put a sink in it or on it. Here’s how to install a vanity sink.
Skip the Tile
While tile makes for a clean and sleek look, having it from floor to ceiling can cost a hefty amount. Consider alternatives like reclaimed wood panels, which create a more warm and rustic look that can accent white fixtures and other minimalist elements. Get inspired with these 12 incredible shiplap wall ideas.
Check Online for Extras
When other people remodel their bathroom or other parts of their home, they sometimes have leftover tiles that they’ll sell on Craigslist or eBay. Scour the sites in search of people’s leftovers, which will likely be up for grabs at a steep discount, since they can’t return them! Purchase as much as you can, then buy the rest from a local home improvement store. Check out these 13 tile tips for better bathroom tile.
Use Granite Remnants for Counters
Vanities are a focal point of the bathroom that should be paid special attention to when remodelling, and granite is a surefire way to create a new and improved look. To save on your bathroom renovation, hit up granite shops that often have smaller vanity-top size pieces of granite leftover from bigger jobs that they’ll sell to you at a discount. Check out all of these countertop options before making a decision.
Reno Your Tub Instead of Buying New
An old tub or shower will surely show signs of aging eventually, but before you swap things out for new, which can cost a pretty penny, consider resurfacing. This is not typically a DIY project, but your tub or shower can be professionally resurfaced for much cheaper than buying new. There are a few DIY resurfacing products on the market, but unless you’re not picky about the outcome, strongly consider hiring a pro for this job.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Saving Money on a Bathroom Remodel
DO hire a designer
If your goal is to save money, it seems counter-intuitive to hire a pro right at the start of your project. However, with a professional designer on your team, you will start your project with a solid plan and a realistic budget, potentially avoiding expensive mistakes during the construction phase. A professional designer will also help you get a handle on the numerous design decisions that pop up during a project. Hiring a contractor to start work without a fully thought-out plan is a recipe for disaster.
DON’T move the plumbing
While certain major bathroom renovations include the relocation of a toilet or tub, you’ll save money by leaving them where they are. If you’re remodelling a standard 5′ x 7′ Seattle bathroom, you probably don’t have much of choice anyway: the basic layout you have is likely the only one that will work in your space. Even if you don’t move fixtures, you will have plenty of opportunities to choose new ones and make other updates to make your bathroom just right for you.
DO consider your tile options.
There is no doubt that tile is durable, easy to clean, and has endless design possibilities. That’s why it is such a popular choice for bathroom remodels. But if you want to keep the cost of your remodels down, choose your tile wisely. Designer or artisan tile can add a one-of-a-kind look to your bathroom. Still, an interior designer can recommend lower-priced tile options, creative patterns, and interesting grout colours that will produce just as much pop for a lower price. Also, consider reducing the square footage of your tile installation. There’s no reason the tile in your shower surround needs to reach up to the ceiling. And for walls away from the shower or tub, consider other materials. For instance, the painted wood bead board can warm up your space while still looking sharp.
DON’T skimp on storage space
If you’re trying to save money on your bathroom remodel, it’s tempting to choose a smaller vanity or skimp on shelving. Please don’t. Bathrooms need to be functional spaces, and ample storage for all your stuff is a must. We’ve all seen bathrooms where every square inch of counter space is covered in cosmetics, hair products, and other stuff. To save money on cabinetry, consider lower-cost open shelving options.
DO choose quality plumbing fixtures.
Bathroom plumbing fixtures vary widely in price and quality. As a rule of thumb, always choose the highest quality fixtures your budget allows. They don’t have to be fancy, but you do want them to last, especially if they are installed behind your walls, like your bath mixing valve.
DON’T forget about paint
Paint is a low-cost upgrade that can add lots of personality to your bathroom. Work with your designer to find the perfect colour for an accent wall, or even go wild and paint the ceiling a contrasting shade. Here’s a tip: Keep your tile colour neutral so you can update your paint colour whenever you like. (It’s way cheaper than re-tiling!)
DO choose cool light fixtures.
Why do bathroom light fixtures tend to be an afterthought? With little effort, you can find fixtures that will make a statement for under $200. For general lighting, well-placed LED can brighten up your bathroom.
Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.
DON’T spend a fortune on your sink
Unlike kitchen sinks that take a beating, bathroom sinks see relatively light duty. Skip the name brands and search online for a basic ceramic under-mount model. Nobody will know the difference, and you can put the savings into more decorative elements.
Bathroom renovations are notorious for their expense. However, if you use these tips to complete your project, you’ll be surprised by how easy and inexpensive your remodel is!