Bathrooms and kitchens are the areas that most often need sprucing up in a home, and even small changes in them can drastically change the look and feel of the entire house. Whether you plan to stay in the home, or are looking to sell in the near future, a well-planned bathroom makeover is a solid investment. The cost of home renovations can get out of hand easily, however, especially if you don't have a strict budget in mind for your project. Rather than taking out a loan, or using credit cards, make a plan to pay for improvements as you go along.
Shop for the bathroom fixtures and accessories you want. Look in home-improvement centers, bathroom showrooms, home magazines, and online. You can narrow down your selections to a particular style or maker, but take the time to comparison shop and try to find similar styles at lower prices, if possible. Select your ideal sink, faucets, tub, toilet, shower, and flooring design. Calculate the cost of all your fixtures and the total cost of any flooring and tiling you might need.
Contact several remodeling specialists or handymen in your area, and request a quote for the work, if you are unable to complete the work yourself. Most professionals come to your home to look at the job site, talk about what you want, and they may offer design suggestions, as well. Get your quotes in writing, if possible, and plan for the unexpected, as recommended by Kristin Hampshire of HGTVRemodels. Estimate for likely overages in labor, repairs, or materials by increasing the quote at least 5 to 10 percent. Add this total to your renovation budget.
Purchase renovation materials yourself. Many remodeling companies and handymen may offer to get materials for you, but they typically mark up the retail cost to cover their efforts. Materials such as faucets, sinks, or vanities can cost anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars, while stone flooring or shower tiles range from $2 a square foot to $12 or more per square foot. Buy what you can afford each week. Even if you can only afford to spend $50 a week, purchase your materials over time until you have everything you need.
Save for the labor costs once you have finished purchasing fixtures and materials. Put all of the money you were investing on fixtures into a separate account. When you have saved enough to cover the labor quote, schedule your handyman or home-improvement company to complete your bathroom remodel.
- Try to pay for labor and materials with cash, and keep your credit cards free in case of unplanned emergencies that may come up during renovation.
- Be prepared for unexpected repairs if your remodel involves busting down walls or ripping up floors.
Sara Melone is a mother of three and a graduate of UNH. With prior careers in insurance and finance, photography, as well as certifications in fitness and nutrition, Melone draws directly from past experience and varying interests. She contributes with equal passion to birth journals, investment blogs, and self-help websites.