Doing a little research can go a long way.

Choose a Freestanding Vanity
A hand-painted, marble-topped sink base feels like antique furniture rather than a standard built-in bath cabinet.
| Credit: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Homeowners can often spend years saving up for a remodel to build the bathroom of their dreams. It's well known that along with the kitchen, a bathroom renovation will be one of the most expensive home improvement projects you take on, but there are lots of ways to stretch your budget without compromising on what you want. From keeping plumbing lines where they are to tackling some of the lower-lift projects yourself, there are ways to minimize excessive costs so you can focus on making the more obvious, visible changes exactly how you want.

One big element you can save a lot of money on is your countertop. If you want to use granite, marble, or another natural stone for your countertops, consider how many square feet you'll need to cover. Most slabs of stone are around 50 square feet, but since a standard bathroom doesn't have that much counter space, you run the risk of paying for more countertop material than you need. Typically, homeowners pay a fabricator for the full slab plus labor—but there is a way around this if you're willing to do a little extra research.

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Many local stone yards sell remnants—the parts of the slab that weren't used in the project it was purchased for. If you're willing to keep your options open for stone type, you can often find a remnant that's big enough for your bathroom vanity at a fraction of the cost. When you visit the local stone or granite yards in your area, you'll be able to see the actual remnant pieces they have available. If you're looking for a particular type of stone and are not on a strict timeline, let the folks who work there know—they might even be willing to keep an eye out for you and let you know when something comes into their warehouse.

The pricing on remnants and fabrication can vary, so it's important to do your research and explore a few options before committing. But no matter what, going this route is bound to save you a large chunk of change in your bathroom remodel.