Sometimes remodeling your bathroom takes the backseat to other renovation projects because of the misconception that it has to be expensive. Although the national average for a bathroom remodeling project is around $10,000 according to Consumer Reports, there are a plethora of ways to remodel your bathroom affordably. If you want to undertake a total redesign however, there are home remodel loans available to help you finance the remodel over an extended period of time. To get the most from your money, you may want to consider:

  • Separate wants and needs: Designating which projects in your bathroom are necessary and which aren’t can help you save time and money. Keep in mind, not everything on your list has to be done at once. If there are things on your list of wants that don’t fit in your current budget, create a plan to space them out over time.
  • Plan a budget: This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get carried away in home improvement stores. First, decide how you’ll be financing your remodel. Do you have money saved up, or will you be drawing on home equity financing? Finally, plan out how much you are willing to spend right now and stick to it.
  • DIY: Completing major home improvements yourself can save you money and give you a sense of satisfaction when you’re done. However, if you’re not a handyman on the side, it might be better to hire a contractor so you don’t end up spending more money fixing mistakes.

Use a home remodel loan to finance your remodel

After you have determined how much you can spend, talk to your lender to decide which home equity financing method is best for you. A home equity line of credit allows you to borrow what you need when you need it. A home equity loan on the other hand, can be helpful when you need a large up-front sum to cover a more in-depth remodel. Once you can finance the remodel, the next step is deciding what type of renovation project is best for you.

  • Skim the surface: If you’re pleased with the way that your bathroom is set up, but think it needs a little something extra, small tweaks to your current decor could do the trick. Consider updated fixtures, paint, artwork and decorative tile to spruce things up a bit.
  • Bring out the blueprints: If the structural elements including insulation, foundation, plumbing and support beams are sound, consider upgrading your current cabinetry, countertops and accessories.
  • Start from scratch: If you’re interested in a whole new look and set up, consider tearing out the entire bathroom and completely start over. Add a bathtub or change the size of your shower, retile the floor or expand it into a master bath. While this is the most expensive route, it may increase your home appraisal value, making this renovation pay for itself in the end.

How to get started on your bathroom remodeling project

Check out home improvement books and magazines at the library or read home renovation blogs online to find your inspiration. Depending on your need, you may be able to keep cost to a minimum and do the project yourself, or you may need to call in professionals. Either way, there are home equity financing options available for you.