How to Renovate a Bathroom on a Budget

how to renovate a bathroom

Renovating your bathroom can be a complex project. It can involve everything from changing the vanity and light fixtures to tearing down walls and adding a tub. It can also be costly. But if you take your time and follow this advice, it’s possible to get the perfect bathroom at a price within your budget.

The first step is to decide what’s wrong with your bathroom and what your goals are for the renovation. If, for example, you need to re-plumb your shower or add a new fixture, you’ll have to schedule contractors and get materials, which can push up the cost of the project. But if all you want is to repaint and re-do the towels, that’s a much smaller job and can be done whenever you have time.

If you’re working with a contractor, it’s important to check their licensing and insurance. Make sure they have personal liability, workers’ compensation and property damage coverage. Also, request that they give you a written estimate, timeline and work agreement.

Before you start tearing down the walls or picking up a sledgehammer, shut off any water valves to the sink, tub and toilet. That will save you a lot of headaches (and money) should you accidentally break or disconnect the pipes while working. You should also cover anything you don’t want to be dirty, such as floors, counters, mirrors and cabinets, with paper, plastic or cardboard. That will keep paint or dust from getting on them and making a mess. And remember to shut the door to the bathroom so pets and kids don’t get inside while you’re renovating.

It’s also important to determine what your budget is and stick with it. If you don’t, the renovation could quickly go out of control. And if you can’t afford to pay for it all right away, consider applying for a home improvement loan.

There are also some things that can easily be overlooked during a remodel, such as hidden water damage or rot. If you walk on the floor and it feels spongy, that’s a sign of serious moisture problems.

Another issue to watch out for is outdated electrical wiring. Most older bathrooms were wired with 15-amp circuits, which have low power capacity and can’t handle the load of multiple electrical appliances, such as electric toothbrushes, hair dryers, razors and straightening irons. When you replace the old wiring, be sure to install code-mandated GFCI outlets.

And don’t forget about the lighting and mirrors. They can have a huge impact on how the room looks and feels. The right light can brighten up small spaces and open dark corners. And mirrors can reflect light, making a room feel bigger. The right choice of flooring can also make a big difference. Heated floors are affordable and can be installed in a matter of days; smart tubs and showers save energy and time; and tile options are limitless, with a variety of colors, textures and patterns to choose from.