You don’t need to spend a fortune on a new bathroom. In this blog, we reveal the secrets of building a stunning bath while keeping the bathroom renovation costs down. Continue reading if you want to know which design elements to prioritise — and what are optional.
1. Figure out a sensible layout
The floor plan of your bathroom is the first thing you want to finish. Consider engaging a designer to get this right and avoid making costly mistakes. You don’t want to end up with a layout where the door hits the basin when opened. During the initial consultation with your designer/s, ask for their design suggestions that can work for your space and your budget. Tell them about your vision, then ask their opinion about it. You don’t want to get your heart out on a design that can’t be realised. In addition, avoid buying bathroom fixtures before you finish the final floor plan. There are cases when the homeowner bought fixtures (e.g. tub, shower enclosure) from a showroom, only to find out that the items dominate the room and leave a very little space to move.
Keep in mind that the bathroom is not an easy and straightforward room to furnish. Be a smart buyer. When visiting a showroom, take a photo of the items you wish to buy and take note of the measurements. Note: Bathroom renovations are easier when the original layout works. There is no need to rearrange the pipes. All you need to do is update the interior design.
2. Stick with the original plumbing
Rearranging the pipes can be expensive. Avoid redoing the plumbing if it is unnecessary. Consider using the existing plumbing when there are no drastic changes in the bathroom’s layout.
When you change the bathroom’s layout, you also need to change the plumbing, which could add to the installation fees and raise the cost of the renovation.
3. Seek advice from specialists
There are a lot of accessible guides published online, which is why it is tempting to take the DIY route when you’re on a budget.
However, planning an entire bathroom renovation without any design or build experience could be a false economy. Yes, you could save money in the beginning, but over a period of time, it could cost you more to fix errors. Never fear the idea of talking to and working with design professionals. It is one of the best decisions that you can make. Building your home is a huge investment. You should use it to ensure the success of your project.
First, look for the right pro or company who can work with you on your project. Choose one who helps you choose and buy materials for your new bathroom — someone who makes the process less problematic. This doesn’t mean the designer runs and controls the entire process. The decisions are always yours because it’s your bathroom. Also, sometimes, design professionals often get awesome deals from suppliers. You might benefit from the discounts, favours, or special offers that suppliers offer them.
4. Stick with the scope of work
During the beginning of a project, you and your designer should determine the scope of work. Draw up a clear contract and write down all the tasks that needs to be done. This way, the designer can assess how much work is involved and you can budget accordingly.
Stick with the scope of work at all times. Extra jobs will cost extra and will delay the turnover date.
5. Consider part-tiling
We previously mentioned that you don't need to cover every centimetre of your bathroom with tiles. Only lay tiles over the wet zones (floor, splashback, and shower walls). You can paint the rest of the walls.
Tiling parts of the bathroom is more practical and more affordable since you bought fewer tiles and paid cheaper labour.
It also makes the bathroom more flexible. A painted wall is easier to update in the future.
6. Opt for cost-effective building materials
You don't need to use expensive building materials to build a beautiful bathroom.
One great example is the ceramic tiles. This variety of tile is budget-friendly and comes in a multitude of colours, styles, and patterns. We are huge fans of the ceramic tiles that look and feel like real marble and wood. Modern technology is so good, it's hard to distinguish the difference between the imitation tiles and the real thing.
In addition, porcelain tiles are great substitutes to natural stone tiles. Most porcelain tiles in the market look like natural stone minus the maintenance. These are more durable and less prone to cracking/chipping.
7. Let go of the tub
More homeowners opt for showers than bathtubs because it brings down the initial outlay (construction) and lowers running costs in the long term.
If you prefer taking quick showers than long soaks (plus other cost benefits), then foregoing the tub might be a smart, money-saving decision for you.
8. Score deals and discounts
You can score deals during the sale season. Jump from one store to another, and hope to bag a bargain. Look for clearance items or discontinued products that don't look outdated.
You can also purchase products that have been on display as long as it's not damaged. Bathroom retailers often offer showroom floor stocks at a lower price tag.
Note: Comparing is advised. Before you purchase floor stocks, compare the offer price to the original price. Ask about the warranty. Assess if you're truly getting a deal or losing one. Never sacrifice the quality of design and service for a few dollars.
If you're lucky, you might get deals when you buy entry-level ranges from quality bathroom manufacturers. You can get better, newer materials at a cheaper price.
9. Save fixtures and fittings in good condition
We highly recommend reusing items within reason but, never hang on to the fixtures and fittings that need to be replaced. It defeats the purpose of creating a new bathroom.
Be wise about the design elements that you wish to keep. For example, reusing a ten year porcelain toilet is okay, but if smaller parts are already worn off and the rim is crud with calcium and lime deposits, consider buying a new one. Replacing it reduces the number of problems you have to deal with.
Saving an old water heater isn't wise either. Newer models are more energy-efficient. Replacing your old water heater could cut the costs of running your home.
Sinks are reusable too, but if the stains and cracks are irreparable, invest in a new one.
10. Use LED lights
Proper lighting makes a difference inside the bathroom. Use good-quality LED lights in your bathroom. They may cost more, but these are more energy-efficient. These last longer than other light bulbs, so you don't have to change yours every now and then.
How are you managing your bathroom renovation costs?
Are you planning to save money on your next bathroom renovation? How are you planning to do it? Tell us about your project here. Liked this article? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Or, ask help from our Sydney-based building designers.