Bathrooms are often the most used room in the house, not the most lived in. From the toilet to the shower, everyone in the house has to get their business done and move on so the next person can get in their allotted time. So when considering remodeling you have to remember to address the immediate needs first, improvise second, and think long term third.
1. Thinking green with upgrades is also thinking long term savings.
You can work within a budget and find ways to actually save money for the longer term bathroom projects by being environmentally aware. For example, it doesn’t cost much to install low flow shower heads and toilets that will save you on your water bill for years to come while saving water at the same time. Instead of buying new mirrors you can likely find some old ones in the attic or basement. Get creative and find ways to make them work in the bathroom by making frames for them to add a unique appearance while reflecting light, making your bathroom brighter with less electricity.
2. Attend to the shower and tub by focusing on the caulk and grout areas.
If you find your shower and tub area is looking pitiful, instead of buying one of the tub surround systems, take the time to clean up the grout and re-caulk areas that have that worn, grimy look. Many times the problem isn’t functional but aesthetic, so for only a few dollars and a little patience you can make you tub, shower, and sink areas all look better. Also remember that tending to these areas will make the bathroom a little more hygienic.
3. Get creative with bathroom tiles.
Putting in new bathroom tiles can be expensive, whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or you hire someone to do the work. As a DIYer one mistake can cost you plenty, and if hiring a contractor, the more tiles you want installed the more expensive it will be. The most critical areas to be retiled are the most heavily trafficked ones, and here is where your dollars need to be invested the most. You might want to put tiles on the bathroom walls, but if your budget is tight, get creative and find ways to use cheaper tiles. If they are combined with the right paint you can give your bathroom a unique look for a lot less money.
4. Paint more, but also spend more.
This may seem like a contradiction when it comes to budgeting, but it’s not. First, what is important to remember is that paint is the cheapest option to give your bathroom a new look. Second is that using low quality paint will cost you more in the long run. Why? Because mold and mildew are two of the bigger problems in a bathroom and must be kept at bay. Moisture will be a constant issue, and there are paints that are mold and mildew resistant. Spend more now and save money later by minimizing the possibility you will have to spend money on cleaning materials to clean up mold and mildew.
5. Rethink your choice of countertops.
Granite is a favorite material for both kitchen and bathroom countertops. The good news is that because the counter space in your bathroom is likely smaller, it will cost less to remodel. Here is where you have to resist the tendency to go with what is popular and avoid popular colors and patterns, simply because they will cost you more. Don’t choose a color just because it is cheaper, but find a happy middle ground where you can save money and still get an n aesthetic countertop.
There are other things you can do to save money, most of the ideas coming from reusing what you have stored up in attics or basements that have gone ignored for years. What is most important to remember is that it is about saving money, not avoiding spending money. There are areas that will simply require you to spend money on, and that is part of the budget. Decide which of the bathroom areas need the most attention, and the largest chunk of the budget, then use the tips here to make the best use of the remaining money.