Avoiding these three common goofs could save you thousands of dollars on the project, especially if you’re planning an upscale remodel. You’re also likely to enhance the comfort, style, and efficiency of the finished project.
Don’t rush the process
Now that you’re committed to the idea of a new bathroom, you probably want it done tomorrow. But poor planning is the leading cause of cost overruns on these projects; Nothing is more expensive than doing things twice. Depending on the size and scope of your bath project, you should spend several weeks to a few months on the planning process. If you don’t have a Houzz.com account yet, consider one. Houzz lets you keep a digital ideas file of inspiring images you find on their platform, say for tile styles, favorite fixtures, and clever designs. It also allows you to collaborate with AFR Construction toward designing your soon-to-be-remodeled space!
As you plan the space, try to come up with a design that keeps the major plumbing lines in place. Moving the toilet from one wall to another will mean relocating a 3-inch drain line in a home, which can cost thousands. If you can keep the toilet, shower, and sink where they are, you’ll save significantly on the project.
Don’t skimp on skilled labor
The do-it-yourself approach can be an effective way to trim costs, but it’s best to focus on the front and back ends of the project, say, ripping out the old tub during demolition and handling the finish painting. Leave the more complicated installations to professionals, ensuring they’re highly skilled. A good tile setter can make a low-cost tile look expensive. On the flipside, you could spend a fortune on tile, and a bad tile layer will make it look cheap.
Given how many trades are required for a typical bathroom remodel—plumbers, electricians, tile setters, cabinet installers, and more—it pays to find a top-notch general contractor to manage operations. Make sure the person you settle on has an up-to-date license and insurance. And, don’t automatically go with the lowest bid.
Don’t cut corners on key materials
Another common mistake is cheaping out on those items that get the most use. Lifetime warranties that cover leaks and stains have become more common on all but the cheapest faucets.
Tile is another material that you touch and feel each day. While you can find quality options for $5 per square foot, super cut-rate tiles may have slight size inconsistencies. The results will be crooked lines that make a bathroom look shoddy.
So where can you save? Light fixtures tend to perform the same across most price points—it’s the high design that costs more. You might also find that opting for a basic finish on faucets and fixtures saves you hundreds of dollars without compromising quality.