Get Started Now on Remodeling Your Bathroom
The weather is about to turn, and we will all be confined indoors again making now the perfect time to remodel or add a bathroom to your home. Here are five ways to save big on a bathroom remodel, don’t miss the bonus suggestion at the end…
Plan Ahead: A question we get asked all the time, “When is the best time to start?” Of course, your lifestyle and schedule have a lot to do with when it is the best time to remodel your bathrooms. If you want to save a few dollars I recommend you design and get your contract in place during September or October and schedule the work during winter. You can save big bucks in the over-all project by buying fixtures on sale and taking advantage of the lower labor rates when construction slows down for the winter.
Choose A Reputable Contractor: Did you know the average cost of using an inexperienced or unlicensed contractor is over $1,200 more than using an experience, professional? A recent study that followed bathroom remodels from start to finish discovered the “finished cost” (not the initial quoted cost) of the unlicensed handyman averaged $1,247 more than the finished price of a bathroom remodeled by a licensed and seasoned licensed professional. Not to mention the additional frustrations issues with them not showing up, missed deadlines, living in a construction zone without one of your bathrooms working, and a finished product that was best described as well… meh! ( it’s a real word… I looked it up)
Set A Budget: It helps to think of a budget as a boundary, whether you plan to spend $5,000 or $50,000. When your budget is clearly defined, everyone knows what the limits are. Setting your budget can be tricky, here are a few tips that might help.
Decide how much this project is worth to you
- How much do I have saved or available to spend?
- How much can I put on a credit card?
- How many reward points or miles will that earn?
- How much is available to finance?
- How much will this improve the value of my home?
- How much is it worth to really enjoy my bathroom?
- How much is it worth to have a place that is peaceful quiet, private, and tranquille?
- How much will you enjoy showing friends?
Once you have balanced what this new bathroom is worth to you against what you have to spend, you can set your budget as a “boundary” to stay within. Share your budget with your contractor while they are bidding your job. A good contractor can tell you if your budget is adequate for the bathroom you are imagining and help you reimagine if needed. It helps a lot if you are both on the same page with your desires and your limitations. Job creep is a real thing, (no, it’s not what you call the contractor when he gives you an invoice). It is tempting to add on additional features and adjust as you go.
A good contractor will be up-to-date on new technology for your bathroom and should be able to make suggestions that they believe is going to be a benefit for you. This usually adds cost and value to your job. You should plan for “Job Creep” and save 15-20% of the money you have available for your new bathroom to give you the ability to say YES! if you want to, without going over your budget.
Use Free Design Tools Like the Visualizer At 3Rsconstruction.com: seeing is believing, sometimes you just need to see what it looks like to make up your mind. Whether this new bathroom is only for you, or every relative you have is coming for the holidays, careful planning now can make all the difference. Spend a little extra time designing and considering not only what you will keep in your new bathroom but how colors and textures will change the way it feels.
Don’t Try to Re-Use Fixtures: This is a common mistake in bathroom remodels. Occasionally someone wants to save a few dollars by re-using the existing sink or faucets, occasionally even the toilet. The problem is the old fixtures stand out like a sore thumb. When your new bathroom is ready and everything is shinny and new, a discolored toilet, chipped sink, or a faucet with a dull finish makes the entire project look unfinished. If looking bad isn’t enough the other issue is the old fixture has old parts, old seals, and old gaskets, (get where I am going here) The last thing you want to do is tear out brand new flooring, or tile walls to replace a faucet that wore out before everything else did.
Steer clear of the design craze. Every year we attend the Design and Construction Week that hosts both KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) and IBS (International Builders Show). We bump shoulders (literally, the place is packed) with famous designers and over 90,000 contractors to get the latest products for homes and see the upcoming styles for the year. There are faucets that change color based on the water temp, some that pre-measure how much they are dispensing, and others that are flexible so you can shape them any way you want. While this is super cool to look at, we priced out one bathroom at 1.3 million just for the fixtures. The super cool newest tech is not only expensive, but in most cases it’s hard to find anyone who can repair them. Hardware stores have a good selection and for a few dollars more your contractor can get the upgraded versions of the same fixtures that are designed to last a lot longer but are not available through Lowes or Depot.