Updating your Bathroom?

Large mirror over vessel sink in modern bathroomDeciding on whether to update your bathroom? Or beginning the planning process? Here are a few tips and steps to help guide you as you renovate your bathroom.

The first place to start with any large project, is with the budget. Developing a budget of how much you can either afford out of pocket or intend to borrow is important before any design elements are chosen. If you have a smaller budget, you might just have enough for a few updates and not a complete redesign. Moving things such as plumbing and electrical can get costly and can require professionals to complete the work. Therefore, it is important to know your full budget before deciding what changes you wish to make and their costs so you can stay on track.

Up next is designing the space. When designing the bathroom, it is a good idea to look up inspiration images. Finding inspiration images can help you determine what colors and styles you are looking for. This will keep you focused when deciding what elements, you want to change. In some bathrooms, just changing the paint color and hardware can really bring it back to life. While others you might want or need to do a complete remodel.

Once you have your design you can begin the remodeling processes. Here is an example of the flow of work you might want to follow:

  • Demo the space (remove only the things you will be replacing)
  • Install any plumbing updates
  • Install any electrical changes
  • If you had opened the walls, you might consider including blocking for when you need to install support bars in the future
  • Close up the walls (only after all work inside the walls is completed)
  • Paint the walls
  • Install tile
  • Install tub or shower inserts
  • Install flooring
  • Install new light fixtures/exhaust fans
  • Install bathroom vanity
  • Install toilet
  • Finally finish off with decoration and final pieces
    • These can include mirrors, towel bars, shelves, toothbrush holders and more.

After all the major elements have been installed this is the time when you make the space your own. By adding small touches such as colored towels, or stylish finishes to customize the space to match your design plans. Be sure to include storage in the original design, if you forget to include shower storage for toiletries, it might cause an additional expense later to add in.

If you have a smaller budget and want to save on labor costs you can rent tools you don’t have from hardware stores such as Ace©, True Value©, Home Depot© Lowes©, and other home improvement stores*. You might also want to reach out to family and friends to see if they have what you need and would consider letting you borrow it for free or a small charge. Sometimes it is cheaper to rent the tools instead of purchasing them outright. When renting tools, it is important to know how long you will need it before deciding to rent it or not. The cost of the rental goes up the longer you hold on to it, getting closer to the full purchase price. If you will need the tool for over two weeks, it might be cheaper to purchase the equipment. You also might have the option of buying slightly used equipment, either from a home improvement place or online. Used equipment is more limited than the rentals and might not have what you need, however, it doesn’t hurt to see if a tool is listed before you buy it at full price.

Other ideas for cost savings include doing some of the work yourself, salvaging some of the materials already there, and choosing cheaper look alike materials. When remodeling your bathroom, even with a large remodel you may be able to save the old toilet or cabinets. For the old toilet you can get a new seat cover to freshen up the look and the cabinets may only need some paint and new hardware. Doing some of the work you feel comfortable doing yourself can also create some savings. However, be sure to hire a licensed professional for difficult complex work. When doing work, yourself make sure safety is always a top priority. The last option for cost savings is to pick look alike materials for some elements. These can include but are not limited to vinyl flooring instead of tile, shower inserts instead of real tile, laminate countertops instead of stone, and wallpaper instead of shiplap. Choosing less costly materials can make large savings.

Keep in mind that a full bathroom remodel will take an average of 23 days to complete or 4 and a half months, not counting weekends. This does not include any possible delays in the process, including but not limited to waiting for back ordered supplies, scheduling the inspector, and more. The average cost of a bathroom remodel in Massachusetts according to HomeAdvisor is $5.600-$12,600**.

If you are currently planning to re-do you bathroom, check out Alltrust’s personal loan or Home Equity loan to see if they might be just what you need to get the job done. Our team is here to help you make your dream a reality.

Have a financial question? Email media@alltrustcu.com and it might be one of our next blogs!

* Alltrust Credit Union in no way sponsors, endorses, or administers with any of the stores listed. Usage of any store is the responsibility of the consumer.

** https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/bathrooms/remodel-a-bathroom/