5 Vital Tips for a Lower-Stress, Cost-Effective Bathroom Remodel


N ot only is a bathroom remodel satisfying on its own merits (who doesn’t love a new bathroom?), it’s also one of the smartest major home upgrades you can take on. If you’re looking to give this room a much-needed spruce-up, consider these vital tips.


Make a Plan

Home remodeling projects are notorious for going off the rails a bit (in terms of budget, timeline, etc.) — so you must mitigate this inevitability with a solid plan. Even if you plan to DIY some of the elements of your bathroom remodel, it may be smart to get the help of a designer/architect/contractor at the outset.

“Having a plan you’ve worked out with a professional will assure you that your design, budget and timeline are realistic, and it will give you a goal with a path to get there,” says HGTV.


Don’t Set a Huge Budget

As noted above, your total remodel project may end up increasing in price by the time it’s done so it’s vital you start out with a reasonable budget. For example, a full-scale bathroom remodel costs, on average, about $9,600 and $11,000, but they have a return on investment of as much as 80 percent. So, how do you go about planning? First, know that your remodeling budget should correspond to your home’s worth and the size of your space. You must know what each element will cost in terms of parts and labor. Factor in additional expenditures for specialty projects, such as major plumbing relocation and structural changes. Cut costs by setting some tasks as DIY. It may not feel like it to you, but your own labor is technically free.


Don’t Forget the Things People Often Forget

Many smaller, more technical elements to a bathroom remodel often go overlooked until it’s too late. When you’re planning the entire project, take the time to go inch by inch and factor in some of these often-overlooked elements to your remodel:


  • Do you have specific height considerations for yourself or someone in your family? Think about this when it comes to your appliance/fixture height.
  • Don’t forget to improve the wiring/boost the amperage. Bathroom devices draw a lot of power, and many bathrooms are ill-equipped to handle that.
  • Consider your tiling all around — do you need non-slip tile?
  • Houzz suggests focusing on ventilation, which is very often overlooked. A bathroom without good venting/windows can lead to a moldy, mildewy mess.


Think About ROI at Every Turn

Sure, every now and then you’ll want to include a specific bathroom upgrade that’s just for you — it doesn’t matter what it means for resale value. However, it’s smart to at least consider the return on investment (ROI) when deciding what to do to your bathroom. Some reasonably priced projects that will yield a decent return include painting, installing a tub (where there was none), new tiling, recessed lighting, and turning your shower into a walk-in. In fact, sticking to small renovations may pay off even more (in terms of total ROI) than a full-scale remodel in some markets for some houses.


Realize You’re Not Bob Vila

DIY is great and can save you a lot of money if you know what you’re doing. The problem for most people, however, is that they don’t know as much as they think and can wind up digging themselves into a pretty deep hole (also called a “money pit”). Calling in the pros is necessary for a large chunk of any bathroom remodel. The Spruce says that another important thing to consider when it comes to DIY vs. professional work is the time. Pros can finish a project in a fraction of the time you can — no matter how handy you are.

The most important piece of advice for anyone thinking about renovating a bathroom is to be realistic. This means you should be realistic about what you can afford, how much time you can sink into the project, how much professional help you’ll need, and what you need to do to make it worth your while monetarily. If you stick to sound, logical decisions, you’ll likely wind up with something that both looks great and boosts the value of your home.

Photo by yann maignan on Unsplash


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *