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Bathroom and Kitchen Renovations on a Budget

Bathroom and Kitchen Renovations on a Budget

. 3 min read

Renovations are costly, especially without the right planning. Renovating one room in your house is costly enough, two could cost a lot more and it’s important to find out how you can save money on your renovations so that you don't drain your savings.

Check out our advice below on budget renovations for your bathroom and kitchen, also see our dedicated bathroom guide.

1. Develop a solid plan

Hiring an interior designer to make a plan for your kitchen and bathroom is an additional expense, but it’s one that could save you from more costs down the road. Winging your renovation could result in surprise charges, like having to redo a complete section of your kitchen because the existing plumbing won’t support your repositioned sink.

Make a list of the changes you want to see in your bathroom and kitchen, and decide whether or not hiring an interior designer for either one or both these rooms is necessary. Of course, if you’re just making minor renovations (such as revamping a small portion of the room), it’ll be more cost-efficient not to get an interior designer.

2. Find contractors in your area

You’re going to need a lot of human resources to complete the renovation job, from transporting materials to doing the actual labor required to renovate your home

Finding contractors is as easy as:

  • Asking for referrals from friends, preferably with the contractor’s contact information!
  • Using a services marketplaces or business directories like expertEasy that have reviews and ratings of contractors that specialise in bathroom remodelling and kitchen remodelling
  • Doing a quick Google search of “bathroom renovations + (your city)”.

It’s crucial to hire someone from your local area, so you don't need to finance the additional costs of your contractor travelling from a different town or city (usually indirectly).

3. Retrofit, not refit

Changing the whole layout of a room requires a lot of labor (and, therefore, a lot of money). The plumbing of a room, in particular, can be costly if you want it modified to fit your new kitchen or bathroom layout.

Instead of making significant changes to a room, try to think of a design that will leave your existing sinks, toilets, showers and bathtubs intact. Changing the room’s flooring, repainting its walls, and making changes to its storage can transform a room without requiring you to splurge more than you have to.

4. Limit tile use

Tiles are expensive, especially if you’re covering a whole floor or several countertops. The labor that goes into fitting tiles is also costly. Here are some pointers to remember when your heart’s set on including tiles in your kitchen or bathroom:

  • Concentrate tiles in a single area, like the floor or inside the shower stall. Don't overdo and overspend.
  • Use expensive tiles as accents to cheaper tiles, so you don't have to spend too much on the high-cost tiles.
  • Use tiles with visible damage on areas where there is little light and won't be so noticeble. Second grade tiles are significantly cheaper than brand new first grade tiles.
  • Instead of tiling a whole wall, consider tiling only half and then painting the other half.

5. Refinish, not replace

Your bathroom’s key players don't always need replacing, especially if they’re vintage pieces that have been in the family home for generations.

You can refinish your bathtub and sink depending on the material and the state they’re in. Refinishing (also known as resurfacing, re-glazing, or re-enameling) involves refreshing the surface of a worn or damaged piece of furniture so that it looks brand new.

Old houses with huge pieces of furniture benefit the most from refinishing, as their furnishings are usually difficult to remove. Replacing these pieces often includes having to remove trims and cut the furniture into segments, so they fit through the door.

6. Fix fixtures

It’s often said that it’s the little things that count, and the same can be true of renovation. When you just need to refresh a room’s look, consider the following:

  • Converting or outfitting a bathtub into a shower
  • Changing the toilet seat and lid
  • Upgrading your shower system
  • Replacing old shower curtains
  • Replacing cabinet handles
  • Replacing sink faucet, drain, and handles
  • Installing open shelving to free counter space
  • Re-grouting the seals around sinks, showers, and tiles

Making changes to your kitchen and bathroom shouldn’t have to break the bank, all it takes is making smart plans and smart decisions. With the help of these useful tips, you can save thousands of dollars on your reno project and start planning to renovate the other rooms in your home.


Part of the expertEasy team in Melbourne. Mark is a keen gardener, a DIY addict and a father of two beautiful girls. He is originally from Perth and is a true Eagles fan.