Ah, the dream of remodeling your own bathroom does at first glance seem like it should be so much fun, and it is at first. However, soon after the remodeling begins you start to realize the folly in your visions of having everything in your bathroom being perfectly balanced in form and function, everything being just the way you like it whahahaha…whahahaha. It’s then that cold hard reality smacks you in the kisser and you have to come to terms with the truth that you do in fact have a limited budget to work within. So what can you do to stay within your own personal budget, while still getting the bathroom of your dreams? It’s a tough question for sure as we really don’t want to use only the cheapest materials available or take on the laborious task of doing all the remodeling ourselves.
First you can and should save money by doing the demolition yourself; most contractors will charge less for the remodel of a bathroom that has been gutted back to the wall studs. This alone can save you from between $300.00 and $500.00 dollars. The demolition really is the easiest part of the remodel as most of the work can be done with a sledge hammer and pry-bar. Don’t forget to wear a mask though!
Second you can shop around for an affordable contractor. Don’t assume they’ll all charge you the same for your bathroom remodel. Some will require you to buy out of your own pocket every little nail, screw or wire needed for the job, others bring the unseen nuts and bolts from their own stock. Shopping for a contractor also means comparing the quoted price from at least ten different sources. I saved about $300.00 dollars doing this.
Third if you are thinking of having a tiled bathroom, consider the option of only tileing around your shower and on the floor. The room will still be quite beautiful. Especially if you take a tile to your local Home Depot, have it scanned so they can make a matching paint to use on your untiled bathroom walls.
Forth don’t be worried about changing your plans so that you can stick to your budget. My wife and I had originally planned on installing a glass wall and door for the shower during our recent remodel. We ended up having to use an extendable shower rod and curtain to stay within budget. We still have the option to get what we want later on.
Fifth make full use of the bounty that is the internet. Use it to shop for your new toilet, vanity, lights, bathtub/shower base etc… I found a lot of products cheaper online than I could have found locally; even after factoring in shipping costs and taxes.
Sixth keep an eye out for any sales on products you’re likely to use for your remodel. For example during my recent remodel a local hardware store had a Labor Day sale on paint which included a mail in rebate. I saved about $40.00 dollars this way.
Seventh if your budget is based on how much home equity credit you have available, keep in mind that the cost of your bathroom remodel will be tax deductable. That means later on down the road your tax return can be use to get any of the items you had to pass on to stay in your budget.
Eighth playing gofer for your contractor can really eat into your budget if you don’t do it right. Never rent a truck to transport requested items even if you’re lacking the space in your own car. Barrow from a family member or generous neighbor first, if this isn’t a viable option for you, insist that your contractor uses his own vehicle. From my experience most drive trucks anyway.
Ninth take a more realistic approach to your remodel. If you’re not going to be dying in the house you currently reside in, then you are essentially remodeling for the future owner of your home. If that is the case you can stay on budget by staying away from the more expensive high end materials. Go with nice looking neutral colors and modern inexpensive materials. Focus more on broad appeal rather than personal taste. This tip alone could save you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand.
Tenth one other sure fire way to stay within your budgeted bathroom remodel is to increase you budget size. I know some of you might be thinking ohhh…yeahhh…right if it could only be that easy. Consider this though, how much money could you make available during the course of your bathroom remodel? You could drive a little less, shop less, go out to eat less, cut more coupons and generally avoid spending anything that isn’t a necessity. I was able to make an additional $500.00 dollars available for my bathroom remodel.