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Budgeting Brilliance: Tips to Prevent Cost Overruns in Your Bathroom Facelift Remodel

January 10th, 2024 | 4 min read

By Placher Sieben

Is your bathroom in need of an update or a remodel, but you don’t want to invest the money? Welcome to the realm of budget bathroom facelift makeovers, where you can breathe new life into your home, offering a fresh look and feel without the extensive work and added cost of a full renovation. Redefining your bathroom doesn't have to be a financial labyrinth; instead, embrace the opportunity to update what you can, while adding smaller changes that can have a large effect on your bathroom facelift remodel.


With 20+ years of residential remodeling experience, we’ve remodeled hundreds of bathrooms, spanning from facelifts to full gut renovations. While this article focuses on staying within budget during a facelift bathroom renovation, if you are interested in learning more about other remodels, please read our article discussing tips on preventing cost overruns in full-gut bathroom remodels.


Our goal is to help prevent cost overruns during your bathroom facelift renovation. In this article, we'll explore practical tips and strategies to follow during your bathroom remodel, ensuring that your budget-friendly bathroom facelift is one where your personal touches are reflected, and every penny spent is an investment in revitalizing one of the most essential spaces in your home. Read our expert guide for a smoother and more cost-effective remodeling experience without breaking the bank.


6 Helpful Tips & Strategies When Preventing Cost Overruns in Your Bathroom Facelift Remodel untitled-13 (1)

  1. Elevate without Expanding:

Transforming your bathroom into a spa-like haven doesn't always require knocking down walls or expanding your space. With a strategic facelift, you can breathe new life into your bathroom while retaining its existing size and layout. Identify areas that need attention and prioritize them based on necessity and budget constraints. Discover the art of maximizing every square inch wisely, focusing on thoughtful design choices, stylish fixtures, and innovative storage solutions. By doing this, you’ll achieve a bathroom refresh without moving plumbing fixtures and incurring additional costs. For example, you can strategically upgrade your fixtures by focusing on energy-efficient lighting, water-saving faucets, and sleek, modern hardware to enhance functionality without inflating your budget. 9000 W 105th St-after-6746

  1. Structural Elegance: Revitalize Your Bathroom Without Moving Walls

Dreaming of a luxurious bathroom makeover without the hassle of altering your home's structure? Explore the art of a bathroom facelift that respects your space's integrity by preserving load-bearing walls. Load-bearing walls hold up your second floor, if any, and the roof. Moving or removing a load-bearing wall is a major project involving structural changes. As a rule of thumb, exterior walls are load-bearing while interior walls that run parallel to ceiling joists tend to be non-load-bearing. Research and/or hire a designer to garner innovative design solutions, chic fixtures, and creative layouts that will elevate your bathroom's aesthetics without compromising its structural integrity. For more information on load-bearing walls, please read our article discussing how to spot them and how to create open-concept spaces in your home.


  1. Prioritize Essential Updates

Determine which updates are essential and prioritize them in your budget. This might include fixtures, lighting, or retiling. Focusing on key elements ensures that you allocate funds to the most impactful aspects of the facelift, preventing unnecessary spending on less critical areas.


  1. Embrace the Power of Paint

The simplest strokes often create the most profound transformations. A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into your bathroom. If you are working with a smaller space, opt for light, neutral tones to create an illusion of space and brightness. For bathrooms where space is not a concern, colors ranging from lighter tones (ex. sea salts, neutral or off-white, soft shades of pink or blue) to warmer tones (ex. warm natural undertones, warm earthy tones, and taupes) are all great selections.

 Cathy Dykman-Acinger-13800 Goodman St-5130

  1. Renew, Reuse & Repurpose

Before you start tearing out fixtures and vanities, consider the transformative power of refinishing. Unleash the potential of your existing elements by choosing to renew instead of replace. From resurfacing countertops to reglazing bathtubs, discover how refinishing can breathe new life into your bathroom at a fraction of the cost. Removing and replacing existing plumbing fixtures and tubs or shower bases adds to the cost of the replacement fixtures. Instead, refinish your bathtub with an attractive, protective coating, paint or refinish your existing cabinets, and update vanity hardware for a more budget-friendly refresh.


6. DIY Wisely

While tackling certain aspects of the remodel yourself can save money, it's essential to be realistic about your skills and the complexity of the tasks. Consider tackling smaller tasks yourself if you have the skills and time. Painting, installing new hardware, or simple cosmetic changes can often be accomplished as DIY projects, saving on labor costs. However, be realistic about your abilities and know when to bring in professionals for more complex tasks. DIY projects can lead to costly mistakes if not executed properly. Consider hiring professionals for tasks that require industry expertise, such as plumbing or electrical work, and reserve your DIY efforts for less complex aspects like painting and installing accessories.


7. Seamless Electrical Upgrades: Elevate Your Bathroom Without Rewiring

Bathrooms that get remodeled usually need wiring upgrades because the existing wiring does not meet the current electrical code standards. However, if your bathroom wiring is functional, your local permitting office, or contractor should be able to tell you if your system can be grandfathered in. If your electrical system needs to be brought up to code, you may incur some costs. One common example is to replace non-grounded outlets with GFCI (ground-fault current-interrupter) outlets. If the electrical wiring is safe and fits your needs, keep it in place.

In the world of budget bathroom makeovers, every decision is an opportunity for innovation. A bathroom facelift can be the cost-effective solution you need to rejuvenate your space. As you embark on this journey, remember that frugality and elegance can coexist harmoniously. With a strategic approach and a dash of creativity, your bathroom can undergo a remarkable transformation that not only respects your budget but also reflects your unique style. Embrace the art of frugal elegance, where each choice contributes to the symphony of your revitalized bathroom, proving that luxury is not confined to the realm of the extravagant but can be curated within the embrace of affordability. By following these helpful tips and practical strategies, We hope you feel better equipped to ensure your bathroom remodeling journey is cost-effective and rewarding.

With any remodel, determining a detailed scope and realistic budget are crucial in ensuring you stay within your financial comfort level. RWS recommends researching contractors who will provide planning services for you to compare proposed budgets. We invite you to learn more about our budgetary estimate and planning process on our website.

Contemplating a remodel? Visit our learning center as it contains various informative articles about the residential construction industry. If you find yourself ready to move forward with your home renovation project, please complete our RWS contact form here. Expect to receive an email response within 24 hours from Ray Stillions, owner, or Placher Sieben, senior remodeling contractor. We look forward to hearing from you about your potential remodeling needs!

Placher Sieben

Placher Sieben is a licensed remodeling contractor with RWS Enterprises working with clients, designers, and architects throughout the Kansas City and surrounding areas.