Bathroom Renovation: 5 Top Tips to Stay on Budget

bathroom renovation
(Image credit: Tile Giant)

A bathroom renovation can be transformative in the way to you interact with a home, but with the average price of a renovating a bathroom costing around £3,000, taking stock of where to spend and when to save is important when keeping costs low. 

Considering finances right from the beginning of a bathroom design before you design layout or choose sanitaryware will definitely pay later. 

1. Work With the Existing Layout 

bathroom renovation

When this terrace was renovated to a budget, the homeowner ripped the old bathroom suite out and replaced with modern sanitarywear in the same places to keep costs down.  (Image credit: Dave Burton)

Although it’s tempting while updating a bathroom to change the layout around, this can actually be one of the most expensive aspects of a bathroom renovation. Moving the location of the toilet – and more specifically, the soil pipe – is a labour intensive, yet usually avoidable, job. 

As a starting point, mark down the soil pipe’s location on some graph paper, along with positions of the windows and door and use this as the foundation of any layout design, big or small. Trial our different arrangements and assess where is best to position other key items of sanitarywear to limit your bathroom renovation cost

2. Keep Track of ‘Hidden’ Costs in a Bathroom Renovation

bathroom renovation

Concealed taps and rainfall shower heads will need studwork to hide the pipes behind  (Image credit: Victoria + Albert Baths)

In addition to the obvious new bathroom fittings and the cost of plumbing or electrics, there are some potentially unexpected tasks associated with a bathroom renovation project which could drain a budget. 

For instance, studwork may need to be built to house a new bath or wall-hung sanitarywear and the existing walls may require skimming or replastering once old tiles have been removed. It pays to consider these jobs from the outset. 

3. Shop Savvy for the Best Deals 

Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount in store as even the big high street DIY stores like B&Q and Homebase can be open to negotiation on prices. Also, dedicating some time to researching the best possible deals online can also save precious pennies, as can watching out for seasonal sales such as Black Friday and Boxing Day where stocks are priced lowest. 

(MORE: Cheap Bathroom Suites)

4. Consider ‘Behind the Scenes’ Details Early On

bathroom renovation

(Image credit: Zazous)

A modern bathroom needs to be the perfect blend between functionality and relaxation so planning lighting well in advance will be worth its weight in gold when you come to using the space day after day. 

Heating is equally as important and a towel warmer is a cost-effective solution to creating a comfortable environment, but consider long-term running costs vs initial savings when thinking about electric underfloor heating mats.

5. Plan Storage in Advance for a Luxurious Finish

bathroom renovations on a budget

When planning their 85K barn extension, the homeowners took advantage of flexible delivery times to keep costs to a minimum. Here, off-the-shelf units and sanitarywear have been finished to look like a bespoke design.  (Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Adequate bathroom storage in a renovation is a must and definitely a worthwhile investment, but built-in bespoke units aren’t the only way to achieve a mess-free sanctuary. Incorporating alcoves into a design with shelving is a good idea, as are free-standing units which can create a sense of space and be picked up at a bargain.

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.