If you’re considering a bathroom remodel but are worried about the cost – you’re not alone! A full remodel typically ranges anywhere from $20,000 – $30,000 for a standard sized bathroom. However, there are some more budget friendly options for homeowners not wanting to invest that amount right now.

$5k Remodel with a Contractor

A full remodel cost $20 – $30k because of the large scope of work involved. Meaning this type of project involves removing everything within the bathroom and starting over with new and improved materials. There is a lot of labor and material expense involved in this type of work.

However, if you’re generally happy with most of the things in your bathroom. You can perform some upgrades for under $5k and have them performed by a contractor. Below is a list of a few items that can be done for under $5,000 through a professional. The advantage to using a contractor is the time savings and higher quality produced than the average homeowner can do on their own!

  1. Replace the flooring – $800-$2,000 (Depending on material selection)
  2. Paint the bathroom – Typically $1,000 – 1,500
  3. Replace the vanity – $1,200 – $1,800

$5k Remodel with DIY

Yes, with DIY you can save on all that labor cost and your project will be much less expensive. However, don’t think you can do a “full” remodel for under $5k. In our experience, the material costs for a full remodel can range anywhere from 40 – 55% of the project total cost. It’s easy to think on the surface level that you can get all your materials for under $5k. The average homeowner will probably just think “I need tile, a shower valve, toilet, vanity, paint & trim”. But what you’ll be missing is the boat load of specialty tools that every trade uses to effectively perform their job to a high standard AND all of the easily overlooked materials that are needed to complete the job. Things like screws, shower waterproofing, solder for pipes, PVC and PVC glue, and this list could go on for about 30 more lines but you get the idea.

With that being said – here’s what we think homeowners could successfully tackle on their own without necessarily hiring a contractor:

  1. Demolition
  2. Paint
  3. Trim & vanity
  4. Toilet accessories (grab bars, towel bars, etc).

What We Don’t Recommend

There are certain limits to what we think as a professional should and shouldn’t’ be DIY’d. We can’t tell you how many homes we’ve been in over the years where the homeowner (or the previous one) DIY’d their bathroom and now the shower leaks or the tile job looks atrocious. Yes we all want to save money. Of course! But our advice is to hire a professional or save up until you can afford one.

Just last week I was in a home where the previous homeowner had created a zero entry shower. Now the tile work didn’t look horrible. Sure the grout line sizes were all over the place and I’d seen worse. But the big problem was that the shower was placed right next to the door and every time the clients showered it leaked into their hallway. Face palm.

Even professionals make mistakes but any contractor with even a 3 star rating on Google could have swerved that nightmare.

In light of this example and our probably rather strong opinion on this topic, these are the essential tasks that we NEVER recommend a homeowner to take on in their bathroom remodel:

  1. Plumbing
  2. Electrical
  3. Tile & tile waterproofing

Can You Remodel A Bathroom For $5,000?

There are ways to save money on your bathroom remodel and spend under $5,000. Most of these upgrades are modest and fairly simple. We strongly recommend assessing the pros & cons of DIYing your bathroom versus hiring a pro and taking an assessment of your own skills before you DIY anything. Thanks for reading & happy remodeling!