Bathroom reinvented

Remodelling your bathroom will not only create space to relax in but add value to your property.

Here we take a look at some tips on how to renovate your bathroom on a budget.

What can you afford?

The first and most important aspect of any bathroom remodelling project, is to do your homework and work out an accurate budget. Conduct a thorough and honest examination of your finances to reveal just how much you can afford to spend on the remodelling project in total.

It is important to know what the maximum is that you can spend on the renovation without over-capitalising on your property. Ask an estate agent to give you an estimate on what a bathroom remodel will add to the resale value of your home, add it to what you bought the property for and then compare this figure to the price of other similar homes in your area to work out what you can spend.

What are your reasons?

Different homeowners remodel their bathrooms for different reasons, which will affect the overall design and budget of the project.

The rule of thumb is that if you are going to remain in your home for five years or less, then any bathroom remodelling project needs to be looked at as an investment that will offer you returns when you sell your property. In these cases, the fittings and fixtures you choose should be of a more commercially appreciated design and colour, so that the room appeals to the broadest segment of buyers. Generally speaking, bathrooms offer an impressive 60% to 75% return on investment with regards to money spent.

If however, you are intending to live in your home for five years or more, then the project can be designed around more personal preferences, such as your choice of colours, styles and designs that will best accommodate you and your family's needs. Having said that however, renovating your bathroom is a sizeable investment, so to increase any bathroom's longevity, it is best to choose a style that won't date very quickly – something with timeless appeal.”

Working out your budget

Now the real work begins – at this stage, you need to find out what everything costs.

First things first, you will need to choose and cost out all the materials, fittings and fixtures that you want to install in your new bathroom. You will need to be very thorough here, and include everything you will need – from bathroom fittings and fixtures, to accessories, lighting, window treatments and tiles. Also, don't forget to include the price of all the plumbing, electrical and building materials that you will need in order to install these items, such as pipes, grouting, wiring, etc.

Aside from the cost of all the fittings, fixtures, materials and tiles, don't forget to add in the cost of the labour for the plumbing, tiling and electrical work. The labour costs usually comprise approximately one third of the project's total costs, but it is best to get a written quote from various plumbers, tilers and electricians who will be able to tell you exactly what they will charge for the job at hand. Also, if you are going to do major building alterations to change the size or shape of the bathroom, it is best to get a building contractor in to quote on what the alteration will cost you and include this total in your budget.

On getting quotes, it is essential to shop around. It is important to get a few quotes and compare them. It is best to make your choice on word-of-mouth referrals of reputable contractors, compared to merely choosing on price, as fixing up a bad job will end up costing you a lot more in the long run. Ask all the contractors for the names and numbers of past clients that you could possibly phone up and see what they though of their service and the job they did before you make your final choice.

The last thing that needs to be included in your budget is an emergency fund that can be set aside for any potential problems that may arise. When it comes to plumbing, there can be all sorts of budget-busting surprises lurking behind the walls and floor. Also, breakages can also occur and need to be factored in. Setting aside 10% of your entire budget will usually cover any of these eventualities. At the end of the project, if you haven't used it, you can always spend the money on other little luxuries, such as new bath towels for example.

How you can save money

The cost of a bathroom remodelling project can vary greatly – depending on what is done and the cost of the fittings, fixtures and materials used. However, there are ways you can save money – they include:

Sticking to the original layout: Moving lights or plumbing, and making building alterations, such as inserting windows or breaking down walls, will add a substantial amount to the end cost. For the most cost-effective way of remodelling your bathroom, keep its original layout and floor plan, and just change all the fittings, fixtures and tiles.

Choosing wisely: It's the little luxuries and unique additions to any bathroom that can make or break its end appeal, and it is these items that usually cost the most. However, since most bathrooms are relatively small, you can use these items cleverly for maximum effect. For example, if you are lusting after a particularly expensive mosaic tile, consider using these as accents in amongst more pedestrian and less expensive tiles. Also, shy not choose expensive vanity countertops for a stylish aesthetic appeal – the area is relatively small, so you can really go to town here and use marble, granite or glass without breaking the bank.

Update your shower: Throw away your shower curtain and replace it with a glass shower screen for a more updated and contemporary look. Complete the shower update by replacing the old shower rose with a newer and more water-efficient model.

Avoid change orders: Last minute changes, called "change orders", waste time and can break your budget. Be sure of what you want from the outset and avoid these at all costs.

Shop around: You will be amazed at how the cost of items can vary from shop to shop – be sure to take your time selecting where to buy from and shop around for the best price out there.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 23 Feb 2018
      RE/MAX Property Associates’ Table View Office, which services property buyers and sellers along the Table Bay coastline and surrounds, has recently sold a home in Woodbridge Island for R11 million – the highest price paid for any home in the sought-after security complex.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      Choosing to invest in an overseas property can be daunting. But as more and more investors recognise the value of a diversified portfolio that includes property outside of their own country of residence, international property investment is growing in popularity.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      The positive change in South Africa’s political landscape is paving the way for an upswing in the local property market.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      An excellent credit score is one of the most priceless assets a potential home buyer can have. This tool has the power to secure favorable mortgage and refinancing rate, influencing everything from the size of the loan repayment to the interest rate on the home loan.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      What do you do if you love your home’s location and the area, but the home no longer fits your growing family’s needs? Do you stay and renovate your existing home or find a home that meets your developing criteria?
    • 22 Feb 2018
      While every owner wants to sell their property at the best possible price, overpricing a home can be the kiss of death for a sale.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us