When it comes to home improvement projects, unfortunately, tight budgets often play a significant part.
For this reason, doing it yourself is often a necessity to help cut the costs and finding any way possible of making your DIY adventure as inexpensive as possible, without compromising on quality.
Completely renovating or replacing your bathroom at a low price can sometimes be a tricky balancing act, especially when you consider just how important it is to do a proper job. If you scrimp on certain elements, you could end up with damp throughout the house, dodgy electrics, or worse.
Similarly, it's worth bearing in mind the cost of your bathroom after it has been fitted - how efficient it is and whether or not you will need to put your hand back into your pocket to maintain it further down the line.
With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to get the best bathroom for your money, without running the risk of doing more harm than good.
Tiling does get easier the more times you do it. However, if you've never tiled before, there is still nothing to worry about.
Because the bathroom is traditionally a smaller room compared to others within the house, the area you will have to cover shouldn't be the largest - meaning doing this job on your own should be less daunting.
One tip that can save you a packet - especially if you are only tiling over a small part of the wall - is to look at taking advantage of boxes of 'seconds' at your local tile shop. Often, these rejects may only have a few defective tiles inside, but will be heavily discounted to reflect that.
Because you rarely end up using all of your tiles on a single project anyway, it could well be worth spending a bit of extra time working out whether or not you can use these cheaper tiles to your advantage by throwing out the faulty ones and making sure there are enough left to finish the job. If the price is significantly different, you could even buy a few extra boxes to cover yourself.
Tiling itself is relatively straightforward and methodical, and there are plenty of thorough guides out there to help you if you're a newbie. Just remember to do a proper job when sealing the tiles with grout - as any gaps will allow moisture to pass through into your walls and floor, which can eventually lead to damp.
Do your research (and shop around)
The more planning you do before starting work on your bathroom project, the better.
By paying close attention to the details well in advance, you can begin sourcing the cheapest materials, suites and accessories - which could help you save plenty of pounds.
Don't presume it pays to get everything from the same retailer. For example, the place you got your taps from may not necessarily be able to offer you the best-priced sink.
Similarly, you should also definitely shop around for a plumber if there are bits of work that you don't feel comfortable doing yourself. Here, price isn't something that should always take priority. Seek out referrals so someone you know can vouch for how good the professional is at doing their job.
If you make your decision entirely on price, it could end up being a false economy if the tradesman turns out to be a bit of a cowboy and their work causes more damage that you subsequently end up having to pay for. Doing a background check on them beforehand can go some way to protecting you against this scenario.
We're talking about the eco-friendly approach here rather than the colour, as sourcing water-saving bathroom appliances could end up saving you a significant amount of money if your usage is metered.
There are plenty of products available to help you on your way, with water-efficient showerheads a good place to start. We stock several different parts that create flows that feel much higher than they actually are, saving you both water and power.
However, it's worth bearing in mind that low flow showerheads are not recommended for use with electric showers, as this can potentially damage them.
If you're more inclined to take a bath instead, then keep an eye out for ones that are reduced capacity when you're looking to replace what you have now. This will naturally result in you using less water, helping the environment and your bank balance.
Finally, one of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bills is to invest in insulation for your pipes and hot water cylinder. Wrapping up the former will knock around £10 per year off your bills, while putting a jacket around your tank can save you between £95 to £115 per year.
It's all worth paying attention to when the time comes to give your bathroom a bit of a facelift, as if saving money is the aim of the game, the last thing you want to do is end up spending more money in the long term.