Bathrooms are one of the most popular renovation spots under normal circumstances. With everyone spending so much time at home, updating and upgrading their space, adding value, and also making it more conducive for quarantining, it’s more popular than ever.
But, it can be extremely expensive. According to HomeAdvisor, “The average bathroom remodel costs $10,528. Most homeowners spend between $6,016 and $15,044. On a large or master bath, you could spend $25,000 or more.”
But you can do it on a budget. Here’s how.
Watch your footprint
You may be envisioning a large, lavish bathroom, but do you have as large, lavish budget? You can keep costs down by going with a smaller footprint. Less square footage means less materials to purchase means less money going out the door. A larger bathroom will likely need a larger vanity, which can be pricier. Additional boxed of flooring, tile, and any other materials you need will also cost you more. Keeping it small may also mean you can find leftover materials at a steep discount.
Buy what’s on sale
When you’re trying to do your bathroom on a budget, an open mind is your best tool. The Carrera marble you have your heart set on might be a huge budget-buster, but you can approximate the look with the Carrera-look porcelain tile that’s on sale.
Or, maybe, you end up with something else altogether because you didn’t anticipate that great subway tile on clearance. Material costs can cause your bottom line to swell, but you can keep your budget in line by making smart purchases.
Keep your plumbing where it is
If you can renovate your bathroom without moving the toilet, shower/bath, or sink, you’ll save a lot of mony—and hassle. “The cost to move a toilet or sinks can be $2,500-$3,500 per fixture,” said Torrance, CA-based Bay Cities Construction. “Plumbing can be a significant cost factor in a remodel when a bathroom floor plan is altered. The toilet is the most expensive to move. Connecting the toilet to the existing sewer line can be a bit tricky for your plumber. The sewer-line depends on a slope. The sewer line pipes keep a specific slope to drain well. Another layer of complexity exists if the house is built on a concrete slab versus a raised foundation. Houses with a concrete slab foundation require concrete cutting to relocate new pipes. This can be more time consuming than a house with a raised foundation.”
If you need a custom vanity, your costs can climb into the thousands. But with so many prefab options available, you may not need to consider that type of expense.
Check the big box stores
Holiday sales several times a year can mean tremendous savings on everything from vanities to bathtubs to faucets.
Don’t be afraid to DIY
When it comes to bathroom vanities, one of the best deals you’ll find will likely be on unfinished products. We found this unfinished, 60-inch double, shaker-style vanity for under $300. A similar white-painted vanity was more than $500 from the same company, so painting it yourself is a good way to save some cash.
Be on the lookout in your neighborhood
There have been workmen at the house around the corner that just sold. And there’s a trash bin in the driveway of the one across the street. That might mean people around you are renovating. And it’s also possible that they’re getting rid of some stuff you’d be happy to have in your home. You know what they say about one man’s trash…
Yes, the same place you buy your underwear and your light bulbs may also be a great source for bathroom items. We found this Delta tub and faucet marked down from $124 to $48 and this Westinghouse brushed nickel, three-light fixture on sale from $78 to $53.
Think outside of the box
That antique dresser that’s collecting dust in the garage or attic might make a gorgeous vanity, and it may even be something you can do yourself.
Go ahead and enter “vanity” or “clawfoot tub” into the search field of your local Craigslist. You may find nothing, or you may find all manner of cool stuff. Just be sure to abide by some Craigslist best practices to keep yourself, and your money, safe.
Check surplus stores
If you don’t know where one is, Google is your friend. These warehouses have some great bulk deals as well as small-scale bargains you won’t find elsewhere.