7 Tips to Remodel a Bathroom on Budget

You’re sitting in the bathtub of your main bathroom thinking to yourself a new soaking tub would be amazing with a flushed tile shower! But then the thought of hiring a contractor and buying materials wanes your enthusiasm because it would just be too expensive. However, remodeling your bathroom doesn’t have to break your budget. There are ways to create the space of your dreams by drafting a cost-effective plan to get it done. This article will give seven great tips on how to remodel a bathroom on a budget.

Tip 1: Determine if Permits are Needed for Your Bathroom Remodel

Permitting for any work on a home contributes to additional costs that will need to be accounted for in the budget. The state of California does require building and plumbing permits in the case of renovations, but this is contingent on what the scope of the remodel entails. Permitting varies from the city or county you live in, so the requirements for a permit will be based on your area. The list below will show some common remodel activities that require permits:

  • Plumbing and electrical changes that involve breaking into drywall
  • Structural changes that may include demolishing load-bearing walls
  • Staging within the public right-of-way
    • Staging may involve bringing in trucks or storing materials
  • Adding windows or exterior features
  • Mechanical system changes
    • This can be HVAC changes or replacement of a water heater/exhaust
  • New plumbing as a result of changing the bathroom layout and the drain lines
  • Permits could be required based on the overall remodel cost

Tip 2: Create a Realistic Budget

Creating a realistic budget will include deciding whether your project will be a do-it-yourself or need a contractor. This may mean getting multiple quotes from several contractors to understand the cost of what you are asking. Also, a plus-side of working with a licensed contractor will be their expertise in obtaining building permits.

Also, when budgeting, be cognizant of material costs. If you buy the project materials yourself, you could be spending less. In fact, contractor material costs can be 2.3% higher per square foot. This percentage is loosely based on an estimate, but it could be more. Always have a contingency line item in your budget because costs can vary.

Tip 3: Schedule Inspections Periodically

If the project is extensive enough to require permits to be pulled, inspections with building officials will be imperative in budgeting appropriately. Licensed contractors will know the inspection process, but it is important to be aware of this process as the homeowner. To avoid having a code enforcement issue – that can result in fees and even ripping out work that was already completed – work with the city or county’s building department to schedule inspections at various stages of the remodeling process. For example, if the electrical is complete, schedule the inspection before moving onto drywall. Make sure that scheduling and passing all of the inspections required by the permit(s) is in the contractor’s contract.

Tip 4: Understand the Extent of the Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are crucial to the functionality of a home, so a delay in the remodel can leave you with a part of your home missing essentially. That is why it is important to schedule the different trades for the bathroom remodel with that functionality in mind. Bathrooms are typically smaller spaces, so do not schedule the plumber and electrician on the same day. Make sure that each piece of the bathroom is done to move on to the next. This will save time and money. Overall, delays can occur on any project, but knowing the extent of the project will assist in decreasing the potential for delays.

Tip 5: Determine What is Worth Purchasing

Determining what is worth getting for a bathroom can be difficult. Some things to note are the bathroom vanity – ask yourself if new fixtures and hardware replacement will refresh the vanity rather than tearing out the whole thing. Utilities, such as piping under the vanity, are not visible, so it may be cost-effective to not always go with high-end items. Some features are not as expensive as you think and have a high resale value, so look into items you have always wanted, but thought were too expensive. You may be delightfully surprised!

Tip 6: Double-Check you Have Everything

When you leave your house, you have to double-check that you have everything, right? The same goes for a remodel project on your bathroom. All the materials for bathroom projects should be readily available when you begin the construction activities. This includes fixtures, tiling, and functional pieces of the bathroom. Having everything will ensure the day that your tiler is available, you’re ready, and so forth. This is a huge cost saving because a lack of materials should not delay installation if you plan to have all items onsite. This eliminates stalling and issues with the contractor.

Tip 7: Do not Hire Just Anyone, Hire Design Everest!

Planning out the bathroom remodel is quite a task. Understanding which permits will be needed to start the remodel and determining the professionals required for the scope of work will be the first steps. Design Everest’s team can assist in consulting the building department for permits and creating layouts for the bathroom remodel you have in mind. Contact us to get a free quote and consultation today.

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