Here are some smart ways to save on your bathroom remodel
When most homeowners think about saving money on their bathroom remodel, they immediately think about choosing floor tile that costs 62 cents per square-foot instead of the one that costs 72 cents per square-foot. Or, they start price-comparing shower handles.
While it is true that smart financial decisions on materials can lower your costs, the most significant remodeling savings can be realized by both prioritizing what is most important for the project and hiring the right contractor. The decisions you make in both of these areas will determine the long-term quality and return-on-investment you see from your bathroom remodel far more than $150 saved on tile ever will.
In this article, we will review some of the often-overlooked best ways to cut bathroom remodeling costs and get more out of your renovation. If you are planning on starting a bathroom remodel in the near future, keep reading.
Focus on functionality over form
In the same practical vein as taking care of essential plumbing issues before moving onto upgrades, homeowners should consider functionality first. A bathroom that looks amazing but is a pain to use on a daily basis will not fit your daily routine or attract prospective buyers down the road. You’ll want to talk to your plumbing contractor about making upgrades that look great and make the bathroom a comfortable, practical space.
Take care of the essentials first
If you are planning on remodeling the bathroom of an older home, don’t neglect the less-visible aspects of your home that contribute to your bathroom being a usable space. For example, if your home needs new pipes, you will probably want to deal with that before installing a new vanity. A new shower may look great, but it will only work great if paired with a functioning water heater that meets your hot water needs. Caring for your pipes and water heater ahead of time can help prevent costly problems down the road and help you love your new bathroom even more.
Should you get a new bathtub or a new shower?
If you have to choose between the two—either due to concerns about space or a limited budget—prioritize your shower over your bathtub. Most Americans today take showers, not baths, on a regular basis, which is why, according to HomeAdvisor, 65% of homeowners nationwide say that they need a shower in the master bathroom.
While a high-quality bathtub with advanced features such as jets can be a major value-add for some buyers, most are going to look for a walk-in shower that looks and works great. Make that your priority when planning your bathroom remodel.
Hire the right contractor
When it comes to saving money on any remodeling project, your first instinct might be to hire the contractor with the lowest quote. After all, the less you pay for labor and installation, the lower your total project costs, right?
Too often, that ends up not being the case, and the time-honored adage of “You get what you pay for” comes back to bite cost-cutting homeowners. Untrustworthy or corner-cutting contractors can put you in a world of hurt. They may take your upfront payment and then drag their feet on completing your remodel. They might buy the cheapest-possible materials, or they might install parts of your bathroom in a shoddy way that results in higher repair costs down the road. Either way, you’re looking at one of two outcomes: a poorly installed bathroom that won’t provide the return-on-investment that you’re expecting, or a higher-than-advertised project cost that will make you wish you went with a better contractor.
How do you find the right contractor?
We recommend that you read online reviews and feedback from real-life customers who have worked with the contractor. Check their website to see their qualifications and for information about how their team adheres to codes and obtains permits (more on this in a minute). When you contact the contractor, ask if they have prior customers who are willing to testify to the quality of their work and—if possible—show you the results in-person. Finally, make sure that contractor offers free consultations. A paid consultation can be a sign of a contractor who is more interested in getting money from you right away than learning about the scope of your project.
Hire a contractor who understands local permits and codes
Be sure to talk with the contractor about how they obtain proper permits for their work and ensure that their work meets state building codes. For example, Ajrin Construction has specific processes for obtaining needed permits before they get to work. Their work also obeys building codes and standards set out by the New York Department of Buildings, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Transportation. For example, remodeling a bathroom without an ALT2 permit is illegal in New York City and can result in fines for the property owner.
Avoid cutting corners for better results
If there is one central takeaway from this article, make it this: you’ll save money when you focus first on the value-returning aspects of your remodel. When you hire the right team to work in your home, you’ll experience a smoother overall renovation with better results. If you are on the cusp of starting a bathroom remodel in your home, hire a contractor you can trust to honestly guide you through the process and advise you on what works best for your home.