How to Budget for a Bathroom Remodel

plumbing, bathroom
Photo by Joshua Bartell on Unsplash

Remodeling a bathroom not only gives you a fresh new look to an old space, but it can also add some equity into your home. If you are interested in remodeling your bathroom, you’ll need to ensure you have a budget in place. This will ensure you are making smart choices and are not overspending on a bathroom that won’t get you an equal return. So how exactly do you make a bathroom remodel budget? These tips below will help you create an amount you’re comfortable with and also help you stick to it.

DIY vs. Contractor

When it comes to determining the cost of a bathroom remodel, one of the first things you need to decide is if you’re doing the project yourself or if you’ll be hiring a professional plumber to come in and do it for you. There are pros and cons to both options, but the cost will be different. When you do it yourself, you are not paying someone a wage to get the job done, which means you will only be paying for materials. This will usually keep the cost down.

However, when choosing a contractor, you will not only have the job done more quickly, but you will also ensure that the job is done right by a professional, which delivers peace of mind. In the end, though, knowing if you’d rather do it yourself or hire a contractor will impact the budget you create.

Material Costs

Aside from labor, the other major cost is the materials. Again, this is something you’ll need to determine ahead of time. For instance, are you looking for high-quality pristine finishes or are you keeping it pretty basic? There’s a hefty difference between the cost of Whitewater bathroom products and other high-end names, so your budget will depend on what you want. Take some time to either do research online or visit your local home improvement store to get an idea for the cost of materials. This will help you determine exactly what you have to work with on the materials side of your remodel. 


If you are trying to keep the costs down with your bathroom remodel, consider if there are items you could upcycle instead of buying new. For instance, could your light fixtures or vanity still work in your new bathroom if they got a fresh coat of paint? If so, this is a great way for you to keep costs down in your bathroom.

Do a walkthrough of your current bathroom to see what items you could keep and reuses instead of buying new. Then, take some time to explore DIY websites like Pinterest for ideas on how to upcycle these items to save you money while still getting a great look.

Photo by Sebastien LE DEROUT on Unsplash

Professional Services

If you are opting to do the bathroom remodel yourself, you need to keep in mind that you may still need to pay for professional services. These can include things like:

  • Demolition service or haul-away
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • HVAC

Even when you opt to do things yourself, it’s still a good idea to have a professional come in and handle anything that could cause damage if not done right OR handle things you’re just not too familiar with. While it will be an added expense, it will be worth the cost of having it done properly and safely.


Regardless of whether you do a project yourself or hire a professional, you may be required to get permits from your city. Contact your local city office ahead of time to find out what, if any, permits you will need and what they will cost. This allows you to ensure you have room for this line item in your budget. 

Leave a Cushion

Finally, when it comes to creating your bathroom remodel budget, you want to ensure you leave a cushion. The standard is to provide 10-20% extra. This will cover the cost of incidentals or the unexpected. For instance, maybe you take down old tile in the shower only to realize there was a leak and now you need to remove more of the wall due to mold. This would be an incidental that you weren’t expecting, and your cushion will allow you to pay for it without blowing your budget.

Creating and sticking to a budget during a home remodel will help you make smarter decisions and not go into complete debt due to the makeover. Use these tips to help you determine what amount you need to include in your budget, and then move ahead with your bathroom project. 

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