Budgeting Your Renovation

Budgeting Your Renovation

Budgeting for a renovation in your bathroom depends on a number of factors, but if you want to keep your costs down, your first step should be to stick to your original floor plan. People have different definitions of what bathroom remodeling means, but if you need to watch your renovation budget and keep it as low as possible, cutting out any unnecessary construction is the best way to start planning. Here are some pointers on how to get the most out of your bathroom renovation budget:

A study that was conduction by Remodeling magazine on cost vs value, put a mid-range bathroom renovation down to budget around $10 500, excluding any rebuilding or construction. For that kind of money, you could expect the toilet to be replaced, put in a new bath tub with surrounding tiles, install a new double vanity and sink with medicine cabinet, put up some vinyl wall paper and some ceramic tiles. Of course, the quality and finishes of the actual pieces you choose will determine the exact cost and scope of the project, but those are the basic requirements you could expect to meet on that budget.

The good news is that a bathroom renovation of that scope is likely to see a 102% return at resale, so while you might only be considering the aesthetic value and your quality of life, you will see something tangible for your money too.

If you wanted to be more elaborate with your renovations and were looking at adding some construction into the equation, you could expect to pay in the region of $26,000 for adding eight square feet and a window to the bathroom, moving and replacing the fixtures, adding a 4 x 6 foot shower and wall, including a double vanity area with sinks and stone countertops, tiling your floors and adding some lighting. This exercise, exciting as it may seem, would only return about 93% of your investment at resale time though.

Curious where all your money goes? Here are the areas you need to factor in when planning your renovation budget, and some ideas on where to cut a few corners and costs:


As you can see from the example, adding building and construction in elevates the cost by a large margin. If you change the layout of the bathroom and move your fixtures around, you also need to think about the plumbing costs, as well as labor and building materials. You also need to think about the mess and the convenience factor and weigh it up against how much you need or want the renovation.

If you do opt for a rebuild, make sure you choose a qualified contractor; check references and ask to see examples of his completed work. Doing some online research can also help you to shop around for the lowest rates.


While moving fixtures around can eat away at your budget, purchasing them doesn’t have to break the bank. There is a wide range of toilets, bath tubs, sinks and showers available in different finishes and for different budgets, so if you want to save a little, there is a good chance you can do it in this department. If there is an expensive bath tub, you simply have to try and compensate by purchasing something cheaper, like a less expensive toilet.


Tiling your floor is cheaper than tiling the walls as well, but it is not just the tiles that are expensive; the labor required to lay them down can also get quite pricey, so make sure you also include that in your budget. If you have fallen in love with an expensive tile design then you could consider mixing pricier tiles with a cheaper variety to get more mileage out of them.


Whether you have a single or double vanity area, your countertop does not have to be too expensive. Shop on the internet for cost-effective alternatives that still bring out the most in your color scheme, and do some research into what is long lasting. Choose a material that is non-porous and scratch resistant for the best performance.


Faucets, taps and shower heads can also get quite pricey, so make sure you get quotes for full sets before you start buying individual pieces. If you are reaching your budget ceiling but had something more dramatic in mind you can buy budget pieces to begin with and replace with something more expensive when your budget allows.

Lighten It Up

If you have a small bathroom and want to make it appear bigger without spending more on construction, think about ways to allow more natural light into the room. Blinds are an effective way of achieving this while still giving you the privacy you want. If you do not have the budget for a new window or sky light and your bathroom is dark, consider putting mirrors on the walls to reflect and amplify the light that is available.

Common Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes

While there are some areas where you can cut costs, certain things need to be done properly to save you from spending a lot of money later on down the line.

Treat Damp and Mildew

If you have a pre-existing problem with damp and mildew, make sure you get it treated properly before any work is done. Any painting or tiling that is done over damp surfaces will peel or come loose and get worse, and ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You will end up spending more in the long run if you do not address this.

Making sure your bathroom has good ventilation and allows enough natural light will help it to dry out faster and discourage mould and damp from setting in

Get High Quality Tiling

You can spend a fortune on tiles, but if they are not laid down correctly, they can crack and break quickly. Tiles that are not grouted securely can also come loose so make sure you get good quality workmanship from your contractor of choice if you are not doing your own tiling.


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