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Budget planning for a bathroom renovation

Table of Contents
Go over the numbers Determine how long you plan on living in your home Research bathroom renovation costs Be financially prepared for any surprises Use your budget as a tool

Bathroom renovations, especially in Vancouver and Toronto, can be a good investment. They have a high return on investment compared to other home renovations and can help you boost property and resale value. When preparing for any major expense, it’s important to have a solid plan and budget in place. You don’t want your hard-earned renovation dollars to “go down the drain”, so to speak.

Here are some tips for creating a budget for your bathroom renovation:


Go over the numbers

Your renovation budget needs to fit into your overall financial plan. The first place to start is by reviewing your finances and your regular-life budget. Do you have extra money to spend on a bathroom renovation? Do you have to dip into savings? Can you take out a loan or a home equity line of credit?

If you’re not sure what the best option for your situation is, connect with your bank or financial planner. They can help you review your accounts, your daily expenses and other savings contributions to determine the best course of action. After a thorough examination of your financial situation, you should have a good idea of what you can spend. You don’t want to put too much stress on your finances in other areas.


Determine how long you plan on living in your home

Once you have a general idea of how much you can afford to spend on the bathroom renovation, determine how long you want to stay in your home. If you plan on selling right away, you don’t want to invest too heavily in features that won’t have a good ROI at resale. Ask your renovator or your real estate agent what types of improvements can boost resale value.

It’s also important to renovate according to your specific market. For example, mid-range homes in a mid-range neighbourhood might not command higher prices, even with a high-end bathroom remodel. Installing high-end countertops and fixtures in your bathroom, when other homes on the market have mid-range features, might not recover the cost at resale. This is something your realtor can help you with.

If you are in your forever-home, you can spend a little more on features just because you want to. Decide what is going to make you and your family the most comfortable over a long period of time. There’s nothing wrong with investing in a little personal enjoyment when it comes to home renovations.


Research bathroom renovation costs

A bathroom renovation contractor can give you the most accurate estimate for your remodel. However, there are some statistics available online that can help give a ballpark idea of what your renovation might cost. For example, this bathroom renovation calculator states that homeowners spend between $5,956 and $14,847 on a bathroom remodel.

You can also research the cost of specific bathroom features. Get online and view options with pricing on faucets, fixtures, tile, flooring and more. Then you can pick and choose the type, style and brands of materials that will best fit into your budget.


Be financially prepared for any surprises

You should always add a 10 to 15 percent cushion into any renovation budget. You never know what can be lurking behind your old bathtub surround, or the state of your plumbing or sub-floor. It’s not uncommon for renovators to discover outdated plumbing, wiring, water damage or even mould when demolishing a bathroom for renovations. Not being financially prepared for those things can break your budget and add stress.

If you change your mind about something mid-construction, that can also make you go over budget. Change orders can be costly, in both material and labour costs, so make sure you are sure about your bathroom design plan. If you’re not, create a little wiggle room for changes in the overall budget.


Use your budget as a tool

Once you’ve created a financial plan for your home improvement, hang onto it and use it to track your spending. Whether it’s a spreadsheet or a sheet of paper, make sure you enter and calculate every expense. If a new expense appears, you want to compare it to the budget and determine the impact it will have on the overall cost of the project.

If you need help creating a plan and budget, connect with a bathroom contractor. Canadian homeowners will appreciate professional design services and insight on bathroom renovation costs from the pros.


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