Splurge or Save? A Guide To Frugal Bathroom Improvements

by Rachel Laurendeau on December 30, 2012

When it comes to home improvements, we can’t always afford everything that is on the wish list. Often, we look at the remodeling budget and make decisions based on what we need versus what we want. Other considerations are the durability of the products as well as your return on investment. Taking all of these factors into consideration is a smart approach, as there is no point in digging yourself into unnecessary debt over a fancy Jacuzzi tub.

Splurge: fancy air jet soaking tub
Save: bathtub refinishing of the existing tub

Splurge: install a skylight
Save: install a tubular skylight at a fraction of the cost

Splurge: new vanity and countertop with integrated sink
Save: while you are having your tub refinished, have them also refinish the sink and countertop. If your vanity is in decent shape, you can take it on as a DIY challenge and refurbish it with new stain or a coat of paint and some new hardware.

Splurge: natural stone floors such as marble, slate, granite or travertine
Save: ceramic tile or recycled glass tile

Splurge: custom glass shower with tile work
Save: one-piece acrylic shower surround

More frugal tips:
• If there is any demolition to do, consider doing it yourself and hauling away all of the debris. But, before you make this decision, talk to your contractor to find out just how much you’ll be saving and whether or not it is worthwhile.

• Are you a do-it-yourself guru, or even a DIY wannabe? Figure out just how much of the project you can take on yourself and whether or not you have the time in your schedule to tackle it.

Just because you are remodeling your bathroom on a budget, does not mean that it has to look cheap. Do be sure to spend the money where it is needed, like on upgrades to the plumbing and on choosing quality fixtures. As frugal as we might be, let’s be honest in saying that a quality bathroom overhaul is still going to cost several thousand dollars, at a bare minimum, so be prepared for that reality.

If you found this blog post interesting, you may also want to read: For Sale – Six Tips to Add Value To Your Home and Creating a Realistic Bathroom Remodeling Budget.

What tricks have you found for saving money on your home improvement projects? Tell us about your frugal finds in the comments section below.

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