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To save money on your remodeling project, it’s important to think outside the box.

Preparing for a remodeling project is similar to preparing to purchase a car—you may know the style you want, but the options you choose could drive the price higher than you can reasonably afford. However, there are numerous ways to stretch your remodeling budget and still end up with high-quality results. Consider the following tips to achieve the best outcomes for room additions and bathroom remodels:

Additions
• Once you add square footage to a home, the project price increases significantly. One alternative is to borrow space from a neighboring room—a process known as space reconfiguration. For a bathroom remodel, for example, consider taking space from the linen closet. You can make up some of the lost storage by finding small spaces in between wall studs for small niches or built-in shelves.
• There are many ways to make a small room appear larger. To transform a small bathroom, install a bow window or skylight. Vaulted ceilings can be a nice touch, too.
• If you’re going to expand outside the existing home, consider a small bump out of two to four feet. This may allow you to cantilever the floor joists and eliminate the need for excavation and foundation. Be careful not to extend beyond the roofline, which might require the addition of a new roofline.
• Whenever you’re adding new space to a home, have a heating/cooling contractor determine whether your existing heating/air conditioning system can accommodate the extra space. If the system is damaged, you’ll have to replace the existing units.

Bathrooms
• Consider reglazing a bathtub instead of replacing it, especially if it’s still in relatively good condition. This can save you more than half the cost of a tub replacement and minimize dust.
• Instead of ceramic tile, use cultured marble sheets for tub surrounds. You’ll save considerably on labor costs, and marble sheets are much easier to clean. Fiberglass surrounds are also less costly than tile.
• If your overall space is limited, purchase a jetted tub and shower combination or install a pedestal lavatory instead of a vanity cabinet with a sink. Remember, while pedestal lavatories eliminate the need for vanities and save space, some models may cost more than a separate vanity cabinet and sink.
• If you’re going to add a large, jetted bathtub, consider adding a water heater that’s specifically dedicated to the tub. A large tub can hold an average of 75 gallons of water or more, which can easily overextend your existing water heater and cause future problems.
• Define what’s truly needed in the bathroom. Don’t install an extra bathroom when a double sink in an existing one would meet the need.