Five Budgeting Tips for Your Bathroom Remodel

So, you want to remodel your bathroom but don’t want to break the bank? Join the club. Although the cost of a bathroom remodel varies depending on location, materials, age of the house, and what kind of renovations have already been done, a typical bathroom remodel can set homeowners back by an average of $15,000+. With that type of investment, it’s important to stick to a budget the best you can. Here are some budgeting tips to help you minimize the costs associated with a bathroom renovation.

Purchase Items Yourself

When it comes to bathroom fixtures, like bathtubs and vanities, you can save some cash by purchasing these items on your own. While it might be easier to hire someone to purchase these items for you, you can save thousands of dollars on your bathroom renovation by finding your own deals. Online retailers are a great place to start – in many cases, purchasing directly from the factory can save you up to 70 percent and includes free shipping. If you’re going for a vintage look, try estate sales, auctions, and Craigslist – you never know what treasure you’ll be able to find until you take the time to look.

Ditch the Professional Painter

Whether you’re a DIYer or not, performing some of the work yourself is a great way to save on labor. When it comes to painting, it’s a time-consuming (and expensive!) act that most people can do themselves. Once you’re in DIY mode, think about what other parts of the renovation you can do on your own: demolition, removal of popcorn ceiling, and installation of smaller fixtures often top the list of bathroom renovation projects that are suitable for even the least-experienced individuals.

Don’t Relocate Fixtures

One of the major costs in a remodel is moving fixtures. Not only does repositioning fixtures require a lot of extra materials and plumbing expertise, but it’s a time-consuming act and you’ll be shelling out extra on labor costs as a result. If you keep the same floor plan, you’ll save up to $2,000 on plumbing costs alone. Then, there’s the cost of the fixtures themselves: if that exquisite glass vessel sink is a must-have, then pick a standard no-frills toilet or tub to make up the difference. While it’s certainly acceptable to splurge, don’t splurge on everything- especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget.

Donate Your Trash

While this won’t save you money right off the bat, donating your “trash” will give you a little bit extra come tax season. Before you begin a remodeling job, invite the local Habitat for Humanity chapter to remove materials and fixtures for later resale. About 85 percent of a home is reusable, so you’ll save space in the landfill, collect a charitable tax credit for the donation, and help a good cause. The average cost of trashing bathroom fixtures is about $100, and the cost to donate is nothing and includes a tax deduction – so why wouldn’t you donate?

Make Decisions Early

Start walking the aisles at the hardware store or home improvement center months before you call a contractor for an estimate. This way, you’ll get a good feeling for what you want in terms of fixtures, design, and appliances. Additionally, you’ll know their cost and have an idea of what number the contractor will throw your way. If the number seems too high or low, let the contractor know. If you’re absolutely clear about what you want from the get-go, your contractor will be able to give you a better estimate and, once the demolition and remodel gets started, you’ll be able to better stay within budget.

Bathroom Design and Color Trends for 2015

In 2014, color and design trends were all about the kitchen – shelving was more open, cabinets went darker, and metallic accents could be found throughout the space. In 2015, we can expect to see major changes in the design and aesthetics of a different room in the house – the bathroom. From color schemes and tile patterns to bathtub design and plant life, there’s plenty of design trends and bathroom features to look forward to in 2015.

More Color

For bathrooms, the trend in color is more, and has been for the past few years. While you’ll still see plenty of white and neutral shades in bathrooms, there’s no time like 2015 to experiment with the color wheel. If you’re too apprehensive to paint your entire bathroom in a bold, beautiful color, try adding small doses of cheerful colors, like sunny yellow or ocean blue. Pantone’s Color of the Year, Marsala, would look great in virtually any bathroom – the earthy tone embodies confidence and stability, is universally appealing, and works well on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors.

Plant Life

If you’re eager to incorporate plants in your bathroom but aren’t sure where to start, vertical gardens are the hot trend in 2015. They’re a great alternative to potted plants, and are an easy way to dress up the walls of your bathroom. An added benefit of green or living walls is the health benefit: they’ll help purify the air of toxins and are beneficial for the environment. Some potted plants need particular conditions in order to thrive, so check with your local nursery about which types of plants prefer to live in the moist, humid conditions of a bathroom before investing in a vertical garden.

Freestanding Bathtubs

According to industry experts, America’s love affair with freestanding bathtubs is here to stay. They’re a popular choice for a variety of reasons: they’re aesthetically pleasing and help set the mood for rest and relaxation. When choosing a freestanding bathtub for your space, pay attention to the design of the tub. If you want the look of a freestanding bath with the added convenience of a built-in tub (such as ledges for storing soap and shampoo), consider installing a semi-inset stand-alone bath. Experts predict this design trend will prove to be popular among homeowners in the years to come.

Bigger Showers

These days, people are looking to achieve an “open” feeling in the bathroom, especially when it comes to shower space. Walk-in showers, also known as doorless showers or no-threshold showers, have been popular in five-star hotels for decades but, in 2015, expect to see them installed more often in modern homes. Not only are these types of showers pleasing to the eye, but they add accessibility for anyone, particularly seniors, who may have a hard time stepping up and over to access their showers.

Grout as a Design Feature

In the past, grout was a mundane and essential element that pulled a bathroom together. Gradually, people are warming up to the idea of using grout as a creative feature in their bathroom. Grout can be used to show off the pattern of a how a tile is laid, and can highlight specific tile types or designs. Think of it as an update to subway tiles: a trend that took the design world by storm a few years ago. For a striking and dramatic effect, consider pairing black grout with white tiles (or vice versa), or using colored grout alongside bold geometrically shaped tiles.

Creative (and Inexpensive!) Backsplash Ideas

When you hear the words “backsplash”, the first thing that probably comes to mind is traditional tile in neutral colors. Although tile is the most popular backsplash design in America, it isn’t the end-all-be-all of backsplashes. While tile is a fine choice, why not express your individuality with a creative backsplash that’s guaranteed to be a conversation-starter among family and friends? If you’re interested in bringing some style to your bathroom, try one of these creative backsplash ideas that won’t break your budget.

Pegboard

While pegboard is definitely an out-of-the-box backsplash choice, it’s as stylish as it is functional. The pegboard can easily be painted to match the color scheme of the rest of your bathroom and provides extra storage and display space. The inexpensive pegboard panels can be purchased from any home improvement store and are easy to fasten to the walls – even a novice DIYer won’t have a problem with the task. Purchase some hooks, and you can free up valuable storage space by hanging hair dryers, curling irons, toothbrushes, or other bathroom accessories from the pegboard.

Pennies

We’ve all seen penny floors and kitchen countertops, so it was only a matter of time until they invaded bathroom backsplashes. Perfect for bathrooms with a rustic or traditional ambiance, penny backsplashes can be purchased from manufacturers and installed by professionals or can be built from the ground-up with a bit of grout, a massive penny collection, and some TLC. Although some question the legality of using federal currency for decoration, we highly doubt the U.S Department of Treasury will show up at your door over a chic and stylish penny backsplash.

Maps

Whether you’re a world-traveler or just a dreamer, express your personality by using a world map as your bathroom backsplash – I bet you can already imagine yourself daydreaming of your next vacation while you brush your teeth. The best thing about this idea is that it isn’t limited to maps: you could use wrapping paper, your favorite comic strip, magazine covers, newsprint, or whatever you prefer! For the DIYers at heart, simply cut a thin piece of plywood to the exact size of the wall, glue the paper on top, apply shellac and, when dry, attach the plywood directly to the wall.

Salvaged Wood

Vintage, reclaimed, salvaged, antique, rustic – they all mean relatively the same thing, and they’re all trending in home decor right now. Although you can easily ‘fake’ the worn wood look by purchasing distressed wood or weathering it yourself, there’s nothing quite like the real thing. To make this backsplash on your own, cut a thin piece of plywood to the exact wall size, attach the strips or pieces of salvaged wood, and screw the whole thing directly onto the wall. Using salvaged wood for your backsplash is great for cottage-style homes or a bathroom in need of a bit of texture.

Chalkboard

Whether you use a genuine chalkboard or a coat of chalkboard paint, a chalkboard backsplash is great for the walls near a vanity – write yourself notes, leave a reminder for your husband, or invite friends and family to draw a picture that’s representative of themselves. If you intend to use this idea in a child’s bathroom, why not extend the idea to the walls surround the bathtub? Your child can express their creativity (and stay occupied) during their evening baths, and you won’t have to worry about having to scrub crayon residue or permanent marker from the walls!

Can a Bathroom Remodel Increase Your Home's Value?

There’s an old saying that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, but can a complete bathroom remodel really increase the value of your home? Although it may seem too good to be true, most realtors agree that a well-planned and thoughtfully executed bathroom renovation can help boost the resale value of your home and could even decrease the amount of time it sits on the market. In fact, between 2006 and 2012, the return on an average bathroom remodel investment averaged around 62 percent – in 2014, the number hovers near 72 percent. Here’s some things to consider when renovating your bathroom.

Appeal to the Masses

If you’re remodeling your bathroom with a resale in mind, remember that your taste is your taste. Just because you think striped wallpaper and a DIY vanity will look great doesn’t mean potential buyers will agree. One rule to follow: mark your taste with objects that are easily removed, like towels, rugs, and other accessories. When it comes to permanent fixtures, like bathroom vanities or tubs, stay as neutral as possible. In doing so, the towels and rugs can easily be replaced with neutral colored alternatives during an open house and potential buyers will easily be able to picture themselves living in your space.

Stick to the Basics

When it comes to a bathroom remodel, you don’t always have to go overboard to make a lasting impression. If you’re confused about where to start or what to fix, stick with the basics. The most popular bathroom improvements include those that focused on convenience and luxury: showerheads with temperature controls and adjustable settings, bathtubs with in-line heaters, adjustable jet speeds, and foot massage jets, new filtration systems, and adding new tile if you have an outdated vinyl or linoleum floor. Sometimes all you need is a little extra oomph, especially if you’re on a strict budget.

Go Big, or Go Home

In 2014, the average bathroom remodel size was between 400 and 800 square feet, so don’t stress if your bathroom is on the smaller side! Instead of knocking down walls to add more square feet, you can create the illusion of more space with a few simple tricks. By adding large mirrors, additional lighting, or extra windows you can take advantage of natural light and make your bathroom feel more spacious. If you’re planning to undergo a major renovation, consider stealing square footage from an adjoining room or adding a completely new bathroom – it can only add to the resale value of your home.

Get Expert Advice

If you’re unsure about where to start with your bathroom renovation, make an appointment with a real estate agent. Since they interact with the home-buying public on a regular basis, they’ll have a better idea of what exactly potential home buyers are looking for in a new home. Once you decide on which particular bathroom renovations you’d like to complete, get in touch with a contractor. If you don’t know where to find a contractor, ask a friend or neighbor who has recently gone through a renovation for a recommendation or read our article on how to find the perfect contractor.

The Deadly Sins of Bathroom Renovations

When it comes to home improvement projects, renovating your bathroom can add significant value to your home – but only if done correctly. While renovating any part of your house is no easy task, kitchen and bathroom renovations tend to be the most difficult - water and electricity, when combined, are forces to be reckoned with. The main causes of botched bathroom renovations are the unwillingness to spend the time and money necessary to construct a bathroom properly, and inexperienced individuals handling the work. Here’s a list of the deadly sins of bathroom renovations you should look out for.

Improper Installation

Even if everything is installed perfectly, the bathroom is still one of the most dangerous rooms in the home. When you combine water, electricity, slippery surfaces, and breakables together in one room, it’s no wonder that the majority of home accidents happen in the bathroom. Now add an improperly installed electrical outlet or a poorly mounted mirror to the mix and you can put your safety (and life!) at risk. From putting your family at risk for electrical shocks and exposing them to mold, improperly installed bathroom fixtures can cost you. If you aren’t an accomplished DIYer, get professional assistance from an experienced contractor who can help make your bathroom beautiful and safe.

Inadequate Waterproofing

When it comes to bathroom renovations, every aspect of the planning and construction of a bathroom should take water exposure into consideration – after all, bathrooms are functional spaces first and design showcases second. If the waterproofing aspect of your bathroom renovation doesn’t account for at least 5 to 10 percent of the total cost, then someone is cutting crucial corners. Inexpensive building materials and poorly constructed shower pans can lead to major water damage down the line. Additionally, carpeting in the bathroom should be avoided at all costs – while it may have once been trendy, it’s now an easy way to invite dirt and bacteria into your bathroom.

Avoid Open Storage

While open storage might seem trendy, do you really want to put your prescriptions, ointments, acne medication, and fungal cream on open display for your guests? In a day and age where 70 percent of house guests admit to snooping through other people’s bathroom cabinets and drawers, do you really need to make it easier for guests to look through your personal toiletries? If your heart is set on open storage, consider mixing it with closed storage solutions – put hand towels, tissues, and other innocuous bathroom essentials on display and hide anything that might embarrass you in closed storage.

Bad Math

Math is important in bathroom renovations, especially since space is usually at a premium. Errors in math and projections can lead to tile-layout problems, shower stalls and toilets that don’t meet code minimums, faucet handles that collide with backsplashes, and large gaps between the toilet tank and wall, to name a few issues. If you’re renovating the bathroom yourself, check and double check your measurements; if you’d like to be extra careful, ask your spouse, roommate, or a friend to look over your measurements before using them to order bathroom renovation materials.

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