The average homeowner pays $19,000 for a bathroom remodel. With a price tag that luxurious, remodeling bathroom features may seem like a pipe dream. But did you know labor expenses can sometimes account for at least 50% of the project's cost?
You could easily save $10,000 or more if you know how to remodel a bathroom yourself. And the best thing is you can give your bathroom a new look even if you have minimal DIY skills. Put your checkbook away and pull out your toolbox.
This guide will cover some simple, cost-effective tips to pull off a stunning bathroom remodel.
In This Post:
1. Start With the Budget
Before you perform your own bathroom remodel, you need to know how much you're willing to spend. A certain tile design may have caught your eye. But is it in the budget?
Don't fret. Bathroom remodels are notoriously expensive. But the reality is you can give your bathroom an amazing makeover even with a budget of a few hundred dollars.
Once you've decided on a dollar amount, it's time to plan the remodel. Break up the budget according to your estimated expenses. Maybe you'll want a new toilet, faucet, and lighting fixture.
That's a great start.
Don't forget about the cost of tools and smaller items, such as grout and paint. Since you'll probably forget a few expenses, it's best to stay under your original budget.
2. Do You Know How to Remodel a Bathroom Yourself?
How handy are you around the house? Nowadays, you can find DIY guides on nearly anything. But even with a guide, some of these tasks can be difficult or outright impossible if you're lacking in experience.
Look over the outline of your DIY bathroom remodel. Are the goals within reach? For example, installing that new tub might be harder than you think.
You might want to consider changing your original plans if you feel a job might be too difficult to do on your own. It's better than wasting money on tools and materials for a project that's left unfinished.
3. Light It Up
A new lighting fixture can change the entire look and feel of your bathroom. They can change how it functions, too. Along with new mirrors, vivid lights can help you apply makeup every morning.
But if intense lighting is too sterile for your bathroom remodel, consider the opposite. Turn the lights down low for a romantic and relaxing retreat.
Can't make up your mind? A dimmer switch is easy to install, no matter what your skill level. Ditto for the light fixture.
4. Don't Forget the Paint
Paint is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to give any room a new look. Of course, there's no denying that painting even a basic room can be time-consuming. It's even worse for bathrooms since you have to set painting tape around tons of fixtures, such as the toilet and tub.
But anyone can get it done, even if it'll take some time.
To avoid mold and mildew, scrutinize your choice of paint for the bathroom. You should opt for a paint with a satin finish, which is easy to clean.
And before you put that first coat on, wipe down your bathroom walls so the paint sticks properly.
5. Restore Unsightly Grout
Tiles can be difficult to install for any DIYer. But you can still make your current shower tiles pop by replacing old grout. Grout erodes and crumbles away over time.
Plus, old grout is a pain to clean. When dirt, mildew, and grime sink into soft grout, it needs to be replaced.
With a grout saw, you can easily scrape away the old stuff. Applying new grout is as easy as smearing it on the wall or floor and wiping it away.
To get the most out of your budget, don't buy more grout than you need. Use this grout calculator to determine the perfect amount.
6. Go Green
Want to save money on your bathroom remodel? Take a sustainable approach. And that doesn't mean you have to shell out thousands of dollars for eco-friendly products.
You can discover hidden gems at Goodwill stores that could serve as cabinets or decor. Sometimes, you can slap new paint on them and they're good as new. Instead, you could turn to small stores that sell repurposed items.
It's a good way to snag cheap furnishings with an antique aesthetic. They'll oftentimes be cheaper than their new and modern alternatives.
7. Refinish Rather than Replace
You'll save money by refinishing your current bathroom amenities. Maybe that bathtub doesn't look great, but it will with a new liner. In addition to being cheaper than a new bathtub, it's also way easier than a messy replacement.
While you could rely on a professional, you can refinish a bathtub yourself. All you need is a sander, some primer, and a lot of elbow grease.
8. Leave the Plumbing Alone
Unless you have advanced DIY skills, don't plan on changing the layout of your bathroom. The toilet, tub, and faucet should stay where they sit. Otherwise, you'll probably have to deal with plumbing.
This can not only be expensive, but it requires specialized knowledge. And of course, this holds true for electrical wiring. Keep your remodel simple. You'll save money, time, and a colossal headache.
Anyone Can Remodel a Bathroom
Home improvement carries a negative connotation as if it's a herculean task. I won't lie: remodeling a bathroom can take a lot out of you. But with a few free weekends and some loose change, you can give your entire bathroom an affordable makeover.
Now that you know how to remodel a bathroom yourself, what are you waiting for? Get your budget in order and design your bathroom's new look.
Even something as simple as a can of paint can uplift the appearance of the most outdated fixtures.