5 Rules to Keep Bathroom Renovations on Budget

Bathroom interior with tile and plank wall trim

As a builder for over 10 years, bringing a client’s vision to life while staying in their budget has always been my top priority. Challenging as it seems, the truth is you don’t need to make big compromises with bathroom renovations on a budget. Sometimes, it’s simply about finding smarter ways to focus on what matters. If you’re prepared to stick to some golden rules and have realistic expectations within your budget, there’s no reason why you can’t get the bathroom renovation you’ve always wanted. In my experience, a little ingenuity and professional help can make all the difference in the world.

My 5 golden rules to get a great bathroom renovation on a tight budget

If you have a limited budget for your bathroom renovation but still want to make a visual impact, follow these golden rules to keep your budget under control.

1. Don’t Change the Plumbing

My top tip for those on a budget is to avoid changing plumbing. The dollars really start to add up when you decide to do a full bathroom refit. Most of the time, your basic bathroom layout is not the problem. If you maintain your existing plumbing and do not change the placement of your vanity, shower, and toilet, you would be able to achieve a far more cost-effective makeover.

You can better use your time and money to update the toilet, re-surface tiles, and modernise your tapware – giving your bathroom an instant visual uplift and making a big impact without blowing out your budget on unnecessary plumbing costs. This not only keeps your costs lower but also saves you significant time.  

2. Resurface and Repaint – Do Not Re-Tile

Tiles play an important role in the overall aesthetics of your bathroom. Unfortunately, the cost of re-tiling a complete bathroom can chew out your budget – especially if you end up choosing more high-end options. A great way to avoid the hefty re-tiling price tag is to repaint or resurface the tiles.

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From a bathroom renovation budget point of view, resurfacing is a great option because you do not need to worry about the cost of a gut renovation to make a transformative change. Resurfacing the tiles with a coat of enamel can update them and give them a brand-new appearance in a completely fuss-free (and economical) way.

3. Use Lots of White

Here’s an awesome tip to make your bathroom look spectacular without spending loads of money – use lots of white. Get your bathroom colours wrong and you’ll throw everything off balance. White is a great colour because it adds brightness, balance, and space to the room without overpowering it. Plus, it’s a popular colour trend for modern bathrooms today. Fittings like white benchtops, baths, wall and floor tiles, vanities, and cabinets create a simple, but elegant backdrop – reflective of a high-end hotel bathroom without breaking the bank.

A casual white-themed bathroom can look even more luxurious if you pair it with eye-catching accessories and statement pieces. Adding attractive contrasts creates even more warmth and character in the bathroom. For the most cohesive finish, any bathroom update should fit in perfectly with the rest of your décor.

4. Beware of DIY Projects – They Cost More Than you Think

Thinking about doing a bit of your bathroom renovation on your own? Sometimes, doing it yourself may seem like the cheaper alternative. And in some cases, it is! However, remember that builders like me get a lot of work from DIY renovations gone wrong! In many cases, fixing these mistakes can be more expensive than hiring a professional, to begin with.

A seemingly easy plumbing job can become a full-fledged disaster like flooded bathrooms and burst pipelines – causing structural damage and much more to your property. Unfortunately, I see it all the time. DIY plumbing disasters are all too common and unnecessarily expensive to fix. If you’re experienced at DIY renovation work, you probably know the traps and pitfalls and should be okay. But if not, save yourself the time, stress, and expense by bringing in certified and insured professionals from the start.

5. Be Careful of Ultra-Low Quotes and Cheap Materials

Tempting as it may be to choose the cheapest quote or material you can find for your bathroom makeover, you always get what you pay for. An irresistibly low quote may seem like the perfect choice, but there are often jobs left out or corner-cutting to keep the costs down. Beware of getting charged for additions that haven’t been factored in – giving you a budget shock once you are smack in the middle of your renovation project.   

At the end of the day, cheap materials and low-ball quotes will result in a shoddy job that may damage your property. The significant cost of fixing these problems is not worth it in the long run. The best way to avoid this problem is to thoroughly research different bathroom designs to get a sense of what you want before getting quotes for the project. And whatever you do, choose a builder with a trustworthy reputation.

How to Plan Bathroom Renovations on a Budget?

Your first step is to establish the cost of your bathroom renovation. A bathroom makeover can cost around $7,000 to $10,000 without any plumbing, re-tiling, or structural expenses. Ultimately, your bathroom renovation budget will drill down to the look you want, your bathroom size, and how much you can afford.  

So, what can you expect from a small bathroom makeover? You can choose new taps, replace old mirrors, re-coat or re-paint existing tiles, resurface your bathtub, install new toilets, replace towel rails, and update small light fixtures.

A major influence on renovation costs comes down to the bathroom’s fittings, layout, and style. While some fixtures and fittings may push up your costs, be sure to look around to find more reasonable alternatives. In my experience, you can find great deals without compromising on quality and visual appeal if you know where and what to look for.

You can easily tailor a bathroom makeover to your specific budget with some creativity, flexibility, and a realistic idea of costs. The best way to make a smaller budget work harder is to choose someone who understands the ins and outs of bathroom renovations – identifying potential budget-influencing issues that you may not have considered beforehand.

Get your Professional, No-Obligation Quote

Over the years, I’ve come across far too many distraught homeowners who’ve learned the hard way and paid significantly more than they should have. If you want honest advice and high-quality work for bathroom renovations in Sydney without any budget shocks and disruption to your day-to-day life, call DCON Group and ask for your no-obligation renovation quote.

Mohammed Malas

DCON Group

DCON Group are builders and renovation experts in Sydney with over 10 years experience in the industry. We specialise in quality, cost-effective kitchen, bathroom renovations and home extensions. We're passionate about helping people turn their renovation ideas into a reality and love a challenge!


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