February 7, 2019

Bathroom Remodeling on a Budget

By Sarah Moon

Bathroom remodels aren’t cheap. Thumbtack said the national average cost for a bathroom remodel is from $12,500 to $15,000 depending on the size and the work you have completed.

However, you can still achieve a nice-looking bathroom remodel without spending a ton of money.

Cutting Costs

You can find good deals on products at big box stores or buy items that are off brands. You can also purchase refurbished tubs or light fixtures at outlet stores. Homeowners should be careful about buying cheap products, because it could end up costing you more in the long run if something needs to be replaced. Take a look at product reviews online before you head to the store.

If you don’t have the money for a complete bathroom remodel, you might consider changing the scope of your project. For example, you might decide to only replace the tub and the shower. However, if your tub and shower are in decent shape, you might stick with only remodeling the sink, faucet and vanity.

The owner of this Eagan townhome wanted a new look for her bathroom. We left the shower and the toilet alone. To give it an update, we installed new Cali bamboo vinyl flooring.

We also painted the walls and installed a new mirror, light fixture, vanity and vanity top.

The work in this Plymouth rental property only took three days to complete. We tore out and replaced the old shower. The perimeter around where the old shower was torn out was repainted and retextured so it blended in with the existing drywall.

Save or Splurge?

Some areas where you don’t have to spend as much to get a quality product are shower trim and shower doors, because those are not integrated components. You can also get away with not spending as much on towel bars, robe hooks, exhaust fans, vanity tops, mirrors, medicine cabinets and flooring. Sinks are another area where you don’t need to spend as much, because you will know if your sink isn’t working properly.

Homeowners will want to make sure good plumbing fixtures are installed. Installing a cheap piece of plumbing won’t save you money. You should get a quality faucet, because it controls and regulates the water.

If you are replacing your tub, don’t go for a cheap one, because it could end up costing you a lot of money. Tubs are also a big undertaking, because of the flange that runs around it. A contractor usually ends up taking apart the surround when a tub is replaced. You should also buy a quality toilet, because it gets used every day.

Calling a Professional vs. Remodeling on Your Own

You shouldn’t remodel your bathroom if you’ve never remodeled one, because it could cost you more in the end. You could clip a hot or cold water supply line if you don’t know where they are and cause water damage. You should always know where the water shut off is in your home before you attempt to renovate your bathroom.

Xpres Bath & Shower has worked with homeowners who have done part of the remodeling work on their own. If you're going to do some of the remodeling work yourself, please make sure it’s completed before we start our work or after we finish our work. This allows our contractors to stay up to speed on their work.

Discuss Your Budget with Your Contractor

It’s important to let your contractor know how much you are willing to spend on your bathroom remodel. A contractor asks a homeowner how much he or she is willing spend to figure out if the work the homeowner wants done can be completed within his or her budget.

Common Budgeting Mistakes

Most of the time a bathroom remodel will be more expensive than a homeowner thinks, because he or she isn’t factoring in labor costs. On average, product costs cover about 20 to 30% of the cost of a bathroom remodel. You have to pay contractors for everything they do if you aren’t completing any of the work. The time spent designing a bathroom, driving to look at projects and giving estimates all add up.

When you are dealing with a DIY project, you can probably afford to make mistakes. However, a contractor needs to get a job right the first time.

Financing a Bathroom Remodel

Xpres offers financing through a third-party entity. We also take credit cards. Another option is to get a home equity line of credit, also known as a HELOC, from your bank. A HELOC allows a borrower to receive a set amount of credit to go towards bigger expenses. It can also be used to consolidate loans with higher interest rates. A HELOC works a lot like a credit card, because when you make payments your credit is restored. You may also qualify for a loan from a home improvement lending group.

It’s important to set up a budget before you start a bathroom remodel and communicate your budget to your contractor. That way, adjustments can be made before construction starts so you stay within your financial limits. You can have a good quality renovation without spending tens of thousands of dollars. If you need help figuring out how much you can afford to spend for your bathroom renovation, check out this remodeling worksheet from The National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

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