Budgeting your bathroom renovation

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Renovating any part of your home is both exciting and scary. Most people choose to renovate their bathrooms...

Renovating any part of your home is both exciting and scary. Most people choose to renovate their bathrooms because they are either outdated or they are experiencing significant problems with the structure or plumbing. The problem with most bathroom renovations is that they are usually expensive.

When budgeting your bathroom renovation, you should plan carefully and allow for a slight overage, depending upon the depth of your renovation. If you are opting for a complete overhaul of your bathroom, then you are more likely to exceed your budget than if you were just replacing some of the components of your bathroom. Here are some tips to help you not only get the bathroom of your dreams, but to make sure you come in under or on budget.

Choose a reputable professional

Why: If you are hiring a professional contractor in the Atlanta area, you will want to shop around and get the best price. Remember that in these cases, cheaper is not always better, especially in a room that is so vital to your home. Always make sure that the contractor you are considering for your bathroom renovation is licensed, bonded and has experience. Ask for references. It is not desirable to hire a contractor who has no experience for such an important job. Your contractor will be your most expensive hire, and you should allocate a good part of the budget for him when budgeting your bathroom renovation.

Who to call for help: Calling several different renovation contractors will help you get an idea of what the renovation will cost you. Most contractors will come and view the bathroom before giving you an accurate estimate. If they give you an estimate without first seeing the bathroom, they will likely go over budget.

Tip: In choosing a reputable renovation contractor in Atlanta, ask your friends, family members and co-workers if they have had similar renovations done. The ones closest to you are often the best resources.

Complete some of the work yourself

Why: The reason so many people have turned into avid DIY-ers--Do-it-Yourself for those not in the know--is because of the significant cost savings. It takes more effort on your part, but at least you are not paying the labor charges. Labor is what makes contractors so expensive. Pick the tasks that you know you can do--painting and installing the toilet, for example. The more areas of the renovation you can do yourself, the more money you are saving in terms of your budget.

Who to call for help: This is a good time to enlist the help of friends and family members, especially those who have experience in renovation or construction. Together, you can work on the various projects and get the job done quicker.

Tip: Leave the major work to the pros. This includes the demolition--you do not want to damage any pipes or prominent structures--and the installation of any new plumbing, bathtub or shower.

Buy your own fixtures

Why: Fixtures are expensive, especially if they are ordered through your contractor, who likely charges a markup on the price. Instead of leaving the decision in your contractor's hands, set a budget and have them show you options within your budget. If your contractor does not have any wholesale contacts to order fixtures from, you can shop at your local hardware store that offers fixtures for sale. Always work with your contractor to make sure that the fixtures you want will fit within the allocated space. There is nothing worse than paying several hundred dollars and having the fixture not fit. If at all possible, your general contractor may offer to visit the local store with you and help you pick out fixtures that will fit within the desired space.

Who to call for help: In this case, your general contractor is your best contact. Your contractor will need to provide you with measurements before you head to the store to pick out fixtures. Your contractor will also let you know what kind of hardware is necessary to install the fixture. Order all the hardware at the same time to make sure that your fixtures are ready for installation when they arrive. Time is money, and any delays--due to not having the proper equipment or hardware-- will only set your budget back.

Tip: Budgeting your renovation requires the inclusion of the fixtures, plus the labor required to install these fixtures. Speak with your general contractor to determine how many hours of man labor will be required to install the fixtures and add it to your budget.

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