A bathroom remodel gone wrong can be a real nightmare. Anything that involves plumbing, especially the connections in the walls, has got to be done right. Tubs and showers are large fixtures that need to be handled properly or you could end up with cracks or leaks that mean you have to redo the work, or remodel again soon, and nobody wants that. When you are dealing with any home remodeling, but especially for a kitchen or bathroom remodel, it’s important to work with a licensed and experienced contractor. You never want to cut corners on this kind of work, but there are some ways to save money and still have a high quality renovation.
Plan It Out
The first part of a successful bathroom remodel is to start with a good plan. You can browse magazines to get an idea of what you want to do. There are several available that focus on home building and decoration, and even some that specialize in remodeling. If you live near one of the larger chain bookstores, it’s well worth taking an afternoon to go in and look over the current trends.
Once you have an idea of what you want, and your budget, you need to consult with a designer. Not everything in an ad is what it seems to be, and many different considerations will affect the best choice for your particular home, ranging from the climate in your area to the latest trends.
Don’t Move the Plumbing
It’s going to be much less expensive to bring in a new tub, toilet and sink and hook them up to the existing piping than it would be to tear out walls and move pipes so that you can rearrange the bathroom fixtures. You can give the room a whole new style without moving the plumbing, and if cost is a consideration, that is exactly what you should do.
Another reason to work with a designer on your bathroom renovation: Using the existing piping will save you big bucks. Relocating utilities like the toilet and the bathtub are no small task: Designer Justin Riordan says it costs about $5,000 each time you move plumbing fixtures.
Here’s a Little Toilet Tip
If there is any leakage around the base of the toilet, you have to pull it out and replace the seal under it, and if you are redoing the floor, you will probably have to pull out the toilet completely. If this is the case, it may make sense to just go ahead and replace the whole toilet. They aren’t that expensive, and you’ll be doing the labor anyway; however, if your toilet is in good shape, and you don’t need to pull it out to do other work you are planning on, then you may be able to just buy a new seat and lid unit for your existing toilet to give it a new look. Bear in mind, though, that a grungy toilet makes the whole bathroom look bad, so if it isn’t in top condition, it should be replaced when you remodel the bathroom.
Go Classy on the Countertop
The vanity is often the largest surface in the bathroom, and in that case, its appearance sets the tone for the room. Granite isn’t the cheapest way to go, but by installing an extraordinary countertop, you relieve yourself of the need to add a lot to the room, so it may turn out to be a money-saving investment.
Salvage Is Cheap—and Trendy
Many of those reality TV shows that feature home remodeling spice things up by giving the designers a tight budget, and one of the ways they deal with it is by buying used things for the house. Wood is very popular and gives a kind of rustic, natural look to a room, so don’t be afraid to buy older wood doors and fences and cut them up as needed for frames, shelves, and even décor items. In the bathroom it will need to be sealed because of the moist air every time anyone takes a shower, but can be an inexpensive way to add a designer look to the bathroom.
Save on Remnant Slabs
When you buy things like a stone slab for a countertop, in many instances you do not necessarily need the entire slab for your bathroom vanity. By shopping the remnant piles at your local slab yards, you can sometimes pick up a remaining piece of slab that matches perfectly in your remodeled space, while saving you the money of buying an entire slab. Ask your general contract about distributors that they use that have remnant stock availability that you can see.
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