10 Tips for a Low Cost Bathroom Renovation

How much does it cost to renovate your bathroom? That depends on what you want to do and how big your bathroom is.

The following are some handy tips and tricks to help keep your costs down and have a better understanding of how much a bathroom renovation will cost. If you follow them all, you can transform your bathroom into something spectacular without emptying your bank account!

1) How much can you afford?

Everyone is different when it comes to renovating their home, but your initial budget will ultimately be determined by several factors: your existing mortgage, how much debt you have outside of your home and how large of an emergency fund you have. Think about whether you’re able to make renovations without borrowing any additional money—if not, factor in exactly how much you need to borrow as well as your interest rate. Set up a specific renovation savings account and start setting aside extra cash each month.

2) Set your budget for your bathroom transformation

The most important aspect of your bathroom renovation is ensuring you set yourself a realistic budget. If you don’t have much spare cash, take a look at how much you can save each month and try to stick to that amount. It’s also worth keeping in mind that not all renovations are equal; as such, some will cost more than others. A quick way to tell whether or not something is going to be particularly expensive is by checking out average rates per square metre (which should give you an idea of how many contractors and professionals you’ll need). This won’t tell you how much individual projects will cost, but it can give you an idea of whether or not it’s possible for you to accomplish your dream reno within your budget.

3) Draw the bathroom plans yourself

This approach requires you to do some extra legwork, but if you’re on a tight budget and/or short on time, it might be your best bet. There are plenty of free home renovation plan templates online that you can use to design your bathroom renovation. Alternatively, you could purchase software specifically designed for home renovation project planning. Once you have your plan drawn up, hire a contractor to get started with your renovation. This approach has numerous advantages; however, it can also be difficult and time consuming to hire someone who will produce work up to your standards without cutting corners or producing plans that require far more work than they save—so make sure you choose wisely!

4) Use free stuff from neighbours, family and friends

If you are redoing a bathroom and aren’t trying to impress anyone, don’t worry about making it look new. Look on Kijiji or craigslist to find free used items from neighbours, family or friends. You can use these things (cabinets, sinks, faucets etc.) as is or you can refinish them. Don’t forget places like Habitat for Humanity ReStore where you can get more big ticket items for less money (e.g., $30/square foot rather than $80/square foot). It pays to shop around because most of these places have good sales often in January.

5) Be realistic about prices

Start by thinking about your budget and remember that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to home renovation costs. £50,000 can either buy you an entire overhaul of your entire house or just some modest renovations. It all depends on what you need done and how you go about doing it. In terms of pricing out your project, start by visiting some showrooms so you have an idea what materials cost. Then find out whether or not labour will be included (some contractors quote only material costs) because that will have a big impact on what type of renovation work is feasible in your price range.

6) Get quotes from local contractors early in the process

One of the most important things you can do when planning a home renovation is to get estimates from multiple contractors on what each stage of your project will cost. This includes not only materials but also your labor costs. Different contractors will have different ideas about how long each part of your project should take, which affects your bottom line. Getting quotes early in construction can help ensure that you don’t run into problems further down the road by allowing you to adjust as needed without incurring more costs. To help keep costs down, you can also consider purchasing bathroom materials from companies such as MDF Direct, which specializes in providing high-quality materials at affordable prices and cut to size services. This can help ensure that you stay within your budget while still getting the bathroom of your dreams.

7) Work with professionals who know what they are doing

Having an expert at your side can keep things from getting over budget. A professional designer will know tricks to save you money that you might not know about. They’ll also be able to help you re-use existing items in new ways, which is more environmentally friendly and helps reduce waste. For example, if it makes sense to replace just part of your countertops rather than buying an entirely new unit, professionals should be able to help you do that for less than what it would cost to buy an entire new countertop. As well, having professionals on hand means they can guide decisions based on years of experience and ensure that small mistakes aren’t made—like small cracks or holes in walls or cabinets—that can quickly spiral out of control when contractors are involved.

8) Shop around – don’t just accept the first quote you get

When renovating your bathroom, it’s easy to get excited and just want to get it done. But if you want to save money, that can cost you in more ways than one. You could spend more than you intended or pay someone to do work they aren’t qualified for. In order to lower your cost per square metre on your bathroom renovation, try shopping around and making sure you’re getting multiple quotes from contractors before agreeing on anything final.

9) Beware of renovators offering to pay cash for your old things

Sellers beware. I recently worked with an elderly couple who accepted $5,000 cash as payment for their old bathroom fixtures. After providing all of their detailed and thoughtful renovation plans, they were told that because of their age (they were in their 80s), and because it’s going to take us awhile to renovate anyway (it was just two sinks and a toilet) — it would be fine if they took their time renovating. Within months, through many excuses and missed appointments, it became clear to them that there was no longer any interest in them from these people who had originally said they were interested in purchasing anything and everything! Beware of renovators offering to pay cash for your old things: Sellers beware.

10) Consider doing it yourself

If you want to save money on your bathroom renovation, one of your best bets is to consider doing some or all of it yourself. A basic bathroom remodel can be done for around $30 per square foot, but with some savvy shopping and do-it-yourself know-how, you can save significantly on these costs by tackling more of it yourself. When shopping for supplies, use tools like our cost estimator that helps you figure out what supplies and materials are needed based on which room you’re renovating and how big it is. For example, if you’re renovating your master bathroom (or another high-traffic area), add 10% to 20% onto your total square footage estimate to account for increased wear and tear from heavy usage over time.


While many home owners are reluctant to start renovations in their bathrooms because of how costly it can be, you don’t have to break your bank to renovate your bathroom. With a little planning and elbow grease, you can give your bathroom an update that will improve its functionality and increase its value. So next time you want to make some updates in your home but don’t have much money, consider doing some work on your bathroom. The rewards may be more than worth it!