There are plenty of reasons you may want to upgrade your bathroom. Maybe it just needs a little push to be the bathroom of your dreams. Or perhaps you want to maximize ROI and net a tidy profit off a renovation when you eventually sell your home.
Regardless of your motivation, there are ways to update your bathroom on a budget.
Budget Bathroom Remodeling
Find Your Why
Regardless of why you want to upgrade your bathroom, you don’t want to break the bank. But knowing what exactly your goals are in the renovation will help you set realistic expectations for the project.
Every purchase made during the renovation ought to fit into a careful, thought-out budget if you’re trying to increase your ROI when selling your home.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to remake your dingy old bathroom into the stuff of dreams, you’ll have to take care not to let your head float into the clouds. It will be easier to get carried away and make concessions in your budget for things you would not have considered before.
Inexpensive Ideas to update a bathroom
Each of these ideas to update a bathroom can be done without a plumber. None of these ideas are very expensive.
An entire tub does not need to be replaced to update a bathroom. Oftentimes you can clean your tub. If that doesn’t work you can have your bathtub reglazed. Installing a tub surround is often something that is easy to DIY
Replacing a shower curtain is a very inexpensive way to have a bathroom feel new.
Switch out your towels often. It’s a fun way to freshen up your bathroom.
Instead of updating the entire bathroom consider just updating the light fixtures. Light fixtures become outdated every decade or so.
One of our favorite inexpensive upgrades in both a kitchen and bathroom is simply changing the hardware. New knobs make rooms feel subtly updated.
A fresh coat of paint changes the feel of the room. Painting walls is something you can DIY. You can also paint the bathroom vanity. We have painted vanities many times.
How to make a small bathroom feel larger
If you have a small bathroom there are things you can do to make the room feel larger without adding on. Use light shades of color when painting the cabinetry and walls.
You can replace the vanity with a pedestal sink and then add shelves to hold your stuff. It creates the illusion that the room is larger. Shelves are an easy way to add bathroom storage
But be careful, if you add too many shelves then the room will feel cluttered.
How to budget for a bathroom makeover: Make a List
What do you want to change in the bathroom? The length of this list will vary depending on the size of your bathroom and how outdated it is. Your motivation for updating the bathroom also comes into play.
Those bathroom renovators looking to increase the asking price of their home will find that tiny, quality-of-life maintenance repairs will increase the value of a house, most notably.
Re-caulking tiles and replacing faucets is easy to keep a bathroom looking fresh and impressing buyers. They’re also relatively easy repairs that a skilled homeowner might DIY.
Bathroom renovators trying to translate what they see on their vision board into the real world, without concern for profit margins, likely have a very select idea of what they want to mold their bathroom. From floors to mirror to showerhead—it’s all gotta go! For many dreamers in this category, a total bathroom overhaul is the only way to satiate their vision.
If you’re stuck on what exactly you should fixate on upgrading in your bathroom, consult with a professional remodeling service. “Experienced construction companies can give expert advice pulling from decades of experience,” says Everheart Construction, a company that performs bathroom remodeling in Houston.
Professionals have a trained eye for future problems. They can help identify what will pose a problem when you put your house on the market.
Then Make Two Budgets
Without a fiscal backup plan, you don’t want to plunge into major DIY renovations (like replacing an entire shower or plumbing system). If you can’t afford to pay someone to fix whatever you messed up, you can’t afford to mess up! Better skip it, or outsource to a trusted contractor from the start.
The second budget is a budget for your time. If you’re completing significant renovations, how long can you go without access to a toilet? Is the bathroom in question the only bathroom available in the home?
(I don’t need to tell any families with a teenager, but the answer is: not long.)
If you are DIYing any aspect of a bathroom renovation or redecoration, how much time can you fit in each week to complete the project? Can you take a chunk of time off to plow through the installation of vinyl flooring, or will it take the entirety of the month?
The amount of time you’re willing to budget for your bathroom’s upgrades on a personal level will be colored by your budget and your intentions with the toilet. But regardless of whether or not you want to enjoy your bathroom personally, the focus should be on completing the process promptly.
Stretching out a renovation longer than necessary can cause strife within your family. And marriage counseling is too expensive to be added to your bathroom upgrade budget! With this in mind, keep a clear head and realistic expectations for what you can do when you’re home from work. Are you going to spend it re-caulking tile?
With all of this in mind, you should be able to make informed and fiscally responsible decisions in the bathroom renovation process. Good luck upgrading!
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.