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​ How to Effectively Budget for a Bathroom Remodel

If a goal of yours in 2020 is to renovate an existing bath, this blog will help you budget more realistically and effectively. The budget necessary to create the new bathroom of your dreams depends on several key factors. The first is the goal that you want to achieve. Are you upgrading to increase the value of your home because you will be selling it in the near future? Is your goal to create a personal haven in an in-home spa where you can wash away the stresses of the day? Are you simply sick and tired of dated fixtures, dulled grout and limited functionality?

The age of your home and previous remodels also affect the budget. Our experience indicates that it is typically less costly to renovate a bathroom built-in 2000 than it is to renovate one constructed in 1970. Typically, more surprises arise in older homes as generally those homes may have been renovated multiple times already. More work may have to be done in an older bathroom to bring it up to code as well.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association provides the following guidelines as to what categories you will spend your funds on for a new bath:

  • Design fees: 4 percent
  • Installation: 20 percent
  • Fixtures: 15 percent
  • Cabinetry and hardware: 16 percent
  • Countertops: 7 percent
  • Lighting and ventilation: 5 percent
  • Flooring: 9 percent
  • Doors and windows: 4 percent
  • Walls and ceilings: 5 percent
  • Faucets and plumbing: 14 percent
  • Other: 1 percent

This is a good starting point, but keep in mind that this will differ depending on labor costs in your region. Most of our customers have specific goals and preferences that require them to spend more or less in some categories. We also recommend to our clients to budget an additional 20% for contingencies and unexpected occurrences during construction.

As with most home improvement projects, bathroom renovations can be viewed as good, better and best options.

The Good Option ($5,000 to $15,000)

A good renovation often involves replacing older fixtures such as the shower, toilet, sinks, lighting, faucets, hardware and accessories with off-the-shelf products. A bath remodel in this price range generally uses the existing plumbing configuration, features paint instead of tiled or stone surfaced walls, lower-priced countertops, and involves resurfacing or painting existing cabinets instead of replacing them. Faucets in this option are typically not made of solid metal. Their plastic parts will wear out every five to seven years and will need to be replaced. This renovation will give you a new bath that will look nice and serve its functional purposes. We often see these when our clients are looking to sell their homes in the near future.

Better Option ($15,000-$50,000)

Increasing the budget to $15,000 to $50,000 will enable you to improve the quality of almost all of the components in the bath. A number of our clients select this budget range if they are remodeling to make their lives better.

Even though the budget is more than the good option, there may be limitations when it comes to changing the existing footprint. The biggest benefit to this is the increase in finish, fixture and cabinet options. Your water closet will not only function more effectively, but it can also be more water-efficient. Your shower fixtures and faucets will be made of solid brass. Faucets will have ceramic disk cartridges that prevent dripping for years unless they get scratched by debris in the water. You will be able to add new flooring, vanities, window treatments, a framed mirror that matches the vanity or a recessed medicine cabinet, and you will enjoy quality levels considerably higher than what you find at a lower budget.

A larger budget provides more flexibility, and you can make a few more adjustments to the layout. You may want to allow for a freestanding soaker tub by reducing the size of the shower stall. You may want to reconfigure the space to accommodate a double vanity and additional storage. Maybe you’ll put in a slightly smaller bathtub to make way for a slightly larger shower. You could slide a sink down and move the plumbing slightly to add a tall linen cabinet. Toilet placement has one of the largest impacts on costs, as the toilet waste pipe is larger and more challenging to relocate than water lines.

With this budget, you will also be able to buy semi-custom cabinetry with different finish options and decorative details. You will likely be able to splurge on one or two items at this budget as well.

Best Option ($50,000-$100,000+)

Higher-end budgets provide a blank canvas. You can install thermostatic shower valves that enable you to preset water temperature and achieve that temperature in a matter of seconds. You can install a linear drain that not only eliminates the need for a threshold but can also eliminate the need for a shower enclosure. It’s a great option if you plan to age in place in your existing home. You may opt for a steam unit that includes music, color, and aromatherapies. You could select a sculptural freestanding tub or a system bath, or you may enjoy multiple showerheads and body sprays.

You can tile the entire bath or opt for stone floor and wall coverings. Countertop options at this budget include marble and engineered stone. Cabinets will likely be made from solid wood with custom finishes. Don’t overlook heated floors and multiple finish options for fixtures.

A higher-end bathroom will increase the value of your home, but, more importantly, it will create tremendous value because you will derive great joy and satisfaction every time you use your new bath.

Need help developing a budget to fit your goals and dreams? Please call our us at (888.682.5956)

Mar 23rd 2020

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