Home » Home Building » New House Update: Smart Bathroom Choices

New House Update: Smart Bathroom Choices

5 Bathroom upgrades you're better off doing yourself when building a home.

This post contains affiliate links.

Hi everyone! This is the second in a series of making smart money choices when building a house. Be sure to read the first post from last week, all about making smart choices in the kitchen.

This week at the design center, we focused on bathrooms. Luckily, bathroom choices are not quite as dizzying as kitchens, but there were still a number of options to go through and some of them were crazily priced.

Okay, so we’re going to focus on the 5 upgrades the design center offers that you’re better off doing yourself.

Save money by forgoing extra cabinets everywhere.

#1) Cupboard over the toilet. See that cupboard over the toilet? That’s not standard. To add that is $260 per bathroom. The bathrooms already come with so many cupboards and Pinterest is full of ideas for decorating over the toilet. I don’t want to pay interest for 30 years on an extra cabinet above the toilet.

#2) Cabinets under the sink. The second bath in our new house has an extended countertop, which is nice. However, that countertop doesn’t include cabinets the whole way across. It has an opening. The builder calls it “knee space”. I call it “cheap-o fake vanity”. But, there are options: trash cans, laundry hampers, small seat, curtains, shelves, etc. You can definitely find something to do with the space. By not having the second cabinet, you’re saving at least $400.

#3) Upgraded towelbars & toilet paper holders. Yes, every builder since 1965 uses the same ugly, boxy, chrome towelbars. There is no option to not have a towelbar installed, sadly. The upgrade isn’t cheap either. $80 per bathroom. Seriously. And the upgrade offered is the same towelbar we purchased for our old house last year for around $20.

Is a tile surround worth the cost of building?

#4) Tile surrounds. Some people like tile. Personally, I hate it. I will admit that some of the more decorative tile surrounds look nice, especially around the master bathroom tub, but that tile will run you over $1,000 instead of just getting the marble, which has no extra charge.

Which faucet and shower head upgrades to buy when building a home

#5) Upgraded faucets and showerheads. Let’s be honest, the builder grade faucets and shower heads are about as ugly as they come. But the price to upgrade each and every one is a lot and to be honest, the choices are kind of limited. I know that what I want in the kid’s shower isn’t available from the builder. Instead, we’re getting the crumby builder-grade faucets and replacing them ourselves as they go on sale. It’s not a whole lot of work in exchange for the savings.

I hope this guide helps you when building your dream home. If you have any tips and tricks for not going overboard when building a house, I’d love to read them in the comments below.

Thanks for visiting So Domestically Challenged!

Thanks to the following blog parties for allowing me to link this post:


Live Randomly Simple

uncommon designs
Penny Lane Kitchen
A Bowl Full of Lemons

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

11 thoughts on “New House Update: Smart Bathroom Choices

  1. linda says:

    we remodeled the bath rm. and kitchen all within one year of each remodel. our home is 50 yrs. old and so I wanted @ to look 21 century yet still flow with the style of the home. And I did achieve that. In the bathrm. I chose to go down to studs and I am so glad we did. We found mold, mice, dry rot and water damage from how long ago ? so we put in new boards where needed and I had the contractor insulate walls to give more privacy to a one bath rm home. I had the contract put extra 2 X 4 ‘s where the towel bars, shower rod, lights, mirrors ect. would hang. It gives more support than molly bolts. But I found with the towel bar it is above the wall heater it needed to go up about an inch; and the contractor ended up with one side molly bolts. ( not sure what happened there. We chose a floor model furniture style vanity, it had scratches and they repaired them at no cost. It was solid wood and made by our local town co. It was $1,500 and I got it for $400. More than what I wanted but it sure makes a difference from the boxed ones at local hardware stores. Then I went on line and found my mirror and it was so reasonable compared to the lamp shop that had the same one. Saved there. So on a budget , shopping , going online sure makes a difference in cost. I was going to put a porch overhang on the front of our home this yr. we need a roof and that will be the next project. The porch with several bids was $10,000 I do not think so ! Thanks for your information

    1. Christine says:

      Hi Linda! Wow! Your remodel sounds like it took a lot of patience! I love your idea of placing 2x4s where there will be extra weight on the wall! I’ve never heard of doing that, but it makes perfect sense! What a great deal on the vanity too!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck with your porch!

  2. You brought the coolest post to our party! Thank you. Pinned and tweeted. We feel honored that you take the time to stop by our party. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

    1. Christine says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by So Domestically Challenged! Looking forward to the next Link Party! πŸ™‚

  3. Lynda Hardy says:

    These are some great tips – I’ve never bought a new house, so our choices and usually been ‘take it’ or ‘leave it’. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for linking up to Awesome Life Friday – I hope you’ll come back again this week! http://rchreviews.blogspot.com

    1. Christine says:

      Hi Lynda. Buying new is definitely a different world. I kind of like being able to see a house as it is and knowing what it will all look and feel like.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ll definitely link up again this week πŸ™‚

  4. Emmy says:

    Very good tips! It is crazy how much builders charge to upgrade certain things when they do not cost anywhere close to that amount. Our first home that we had built (13 years ago), did not have ANY toilet paper holders installed. We didn’t even realize it when we did the walk through, but we definitely realized it when it came time to use the bathroom. Thanks so much for linking up with the BestoftheBlogospehre.

    1. Christine says:

      Thanks so much Emmy! You know, now that you mention it, there wasn’t an option to upgrade the toilet paper holder. I kind of assumed it was wrapped up in that $80 towel bar. Now I’m kind of hoping they don’t install any at all! I’d much rather do my own from scratch than rip out whatever ugly thing they put in!

      Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for the tips. We know we will probably be buying some sort of a fixer upper but we also aren’t terribly handy. This is a good basic list of things I know we could handle and every little savings helps a lot.

    1. Christine says:

      Hi Jade! You’re absolutely right! Our last house wasn’t quite a fixer upper, but it needed a little decorative love here and there. It all adds up so quickly! It’s great to know what you want to do and what you can handle. I’m glad this post could help πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by So Domestically Challenged πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.