If your home is like many other households, bathroom time and space is coveted. After years of not having enough bathrooms for your family to feel comfortable, you’ve finally decided to add a new one to your space.
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This is certainly an investment, as the average midrange bathroom addition costs $56,946, rising to $103,613 for a space with upscale features, according to the 2021 Remodeling magazine Cost vs. Value Report. So, if you want to build a nice bathroom but keep costs to a minimum, it’s certainly a challege — but it’s doable. Here’s a look at the most affordable ways to complete this project on a budget.
Build It Off Another Room
Instead of starting from scratch, Chris Alexakis, co-founder of CabinetSelect.com & a Certified Building Contractor based in Venice, Florida, said the easiest way to add another bathroom to your home is to build it off another room.
“The bath can be tacked on to an existing room, such as a living room, bedroom or kitchen,” he said. “Homeowners can either build the bath on to an exterior wall or along an interior wall.”
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However, these two options do not typically come at an equal cost. “Adding a bath to an exterior wall can be more expensive, because it may require hiring an electrician to run wiring into the home,” he said. “Adding a bath along an interior wall is more common because it’s easier to run the plumbing and electrical wiring.”
Regardless of the route you take, he said adding a bathroom to an existing room typically keeps project costs down. “It also saves the homeowner from making major changes to the existing room’s floor plan, which can be disruptive,” he said.
Create a New Primary Suite
Instead of simply adding a new bathroom anywhere it will fit, turn your existing primary bedroom into a fabulous suite. Rick Berres, owner of Honey-Doers, a home remodeling company based in Lakeville, Minnesota, said this is his favorite way to add a bathroom to a home.
“If you use the closet space adjacent to the bedroom or any smaller guest bedroom next to it, that eliminates a lot of the pricey aspects of this type of renovation,” he said. “You’ve already got the space, it’s probably the right size, it doesn’t have too many windows, so you won’t need to cover them up to fit your bathroom fixtures.”
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While you’ll still have to tile the space and install plumbing, Berres said this won’t be as expensive as it would be if you decided to add a bathroom elsewhere — like a garage or building an addition.
“Especially if you have another bathroom on this floor already, you’re golden,” he said. “Plus, adding a bathroom — and especially a master — adds value to your property, so the investment will 100% be worth it, and you will make a profit,” he said.
Affordable Touches That Work With Any Option
No matter where you opt to build your new bathroom, Richard Fungowner of Forever Homes based in London, Ontario recommended being cost efficient with your flooring choice. “Even if you are a fan of tiling, you should think twice about it, considering the financial consequences,” he said.
Instead, he advised using luxury vinyl tiling, which is also water resistant, but more affordable. If you build your new bathroom in an existing room that has vinyl flooring, he also suggested the low-maintenance option of simply cleaning it.
“Just by using a cupboard staple, you get this flooring gleam instantly,” he said. “The best part is, it doesn’t even cost you much.”
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When it comes to choosing a door for your new bathroom, Fungowner recommended installing a sliding door or one that swings out.
“It will help to make maximum use of the existing space,” he said. “Also, it will allow the guests to easily navigate inside the bathroom.”
Every bathroom needs fixtures, and he said placing them strategically can save you a great deal of money as well.
“For that, you need to place the new fixtures closer to your water and waste lines,” he said. “It will help to minimize your construction cost. Even the plumbing cost will come down.”
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Don’t Forget Permit Costs
Permit rules vary by local area, but you might need one to complete your bathroom renovation. Common projects that require a building permit include room additions or conversions and electrical, plumbing and mechanical work.
The average cost of permits for a bathroom project vary greatly from $175 to $2,000, according to HomeAdvisor. You can either check with your local building department or ask your contractor which permits you’ll need and how much they’ll cost. Good luck!
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