a plumber working on a bathroom remodel

Bathroom remodels can transform the way your space looks and feels all while increasing the value of your home. And, if you’re getting ready to renovate your bathroom, you probably want to use the most efficient and most cost-friendly approach. However, there are common pitfalls that homeowners encounter that end up costing more money than necessary. To avoid these, we’ve created a list of bathroom remodel tips to help you save money along the way.

1. Create a budget and make a plan 

One easy way to quickly find yourself over budget is by failing to account for a budget in the first place! 

If you neglect to consider how much each step is going to cost, you may think you can afford to spend more on an expensive vanity only to end up strapped for cash in the final phases of your remodel. In addition, creating a plan and discussing it with a contractor — and searching the internet — can help you identify the steps of your plan that may be unnecessary, as well as areas where you can save money. 

Be sure to be realistic with your budget and your plan. If you’re working with a contractor, double-check that your expectations are in line with reality. It is also wise to factor in an additional margin of $1,000–2,000 in case you run into additional expenses — which happens more often than you might think.

2. Be smart about doing it yourself 

You may assume that DIY is the way to save the most money on a project. Some things, however, are better left to the professionals. 

Depending on the project and your expertise, you may be able to easily take on aspects of the remodel yourself, which can save you some serious cash. Common areas where DIY is more straightforward include demolition, painting, and tiling. However, remember that complex steps of any remodel — like electrical wiring or installing a brand-new shower — can be more complicated and more dangerous than you anticipate. It may be quicker and cheaper to go with an expert from the start before you’re in over your head. 

3. Avoid short-term fads 

It can be tempting to hit Pinterest and design your remodel based on this season’s latest trends. However, this may result in a situation where your bathroom is outdated in a mere five years and already needs an update. 

You can save money in the long term by going with timeless trends and classic looks. Timeless looks include an all-white theme, ceramic or stone features, and neutral colors. 

4. Keep the same layout 

While you may be sick of your bathroom layout, it will cost much more to refigure your bathroom’s setup. If you can avoid moving the electrical wiring and plumbing, you will save a lot of money. 

5. Refinish or refresh rather than replace 

One surefire, money-saving bathroom remodel tip is to refinish and refresh instead of replacing whenever possible.

For example, do you really need a new toilet? Or would a new lid and seat refresh the look and feel of it? Do you need a brand new bathtub and/or shower? Or can you refinish the one you have to make it feel like new? 

If you’re dealing with cabinetry, sometimes a quick sanding, repainting, or refinishing is all it takes to make it feel like new. If you have tile, deep cleaning and regrouting your tile can go a long way toward making your bathroom feel new. 

6. Keep drywall where you can

Similar to Tip 5, keep your existing drywall where you can instead of knocking it all down. This will undoubtedly cut back on costs, but it can be a bit more difficult. 

In old bathrooms, the drywall may have absorbed moisture, hiding mold and mildew. In this case, you’ll need to replace it. But if areas of your bathroom have fresh, clean drywall, keeping it in place and applying a fresh coat of paint can save you a good amount of money.  

7. Shop or thrift for leftover supplies 

Many people who embark on bathroom remodels end up with items that don’t fit in their bathroom. These become surplus because they simply do not match the intended look in the end. 

Fortunately, you can take advantage of this by asking your contractor if they have access to surplus supplies or by searching on eBay and Craigslist for surplus remodeling supplies. Purchasing leftover grout, paint, tile, or other supplies can save you some cash. 

Ready To Start Planning Your Remodel? 

If you’re ready to start planning your project, you may be interested in learning more about the general process of a remodel. This can help inform your budget and timeline and better plan your steps from start to finish. for the remodel. 

Click below to learn more about creating a home remodeling plan. 

Steps to Remodeling a House