Despite a bad economy, by doing your homework and shopping wisely, you can expect to save ten percent on your bathroom remodel – or even more! The bad economy actually works to your advantage if you start your bathroom remodel now. You can save money in several ways that add up to a surprising opportunity. 
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Start by doing your homework. Understand where there are opportunities to save money and where there are opportunities to get a better value for your bathroom remodeling dollars. Take the time to look for the effects of the bad economy.
Find all of the discounts on construction materials, appliances, plumbing fixtures, etc. In many parts of the country you can find discounts ranging from 10% to 50% on all sorts of items you will need for your bathroom remodel. Here are a few examples:
  • Cabinet and vanity manufacturers had a very bad year in 2008. Sales for most were down as much as 40%. Many of these manufacturers and retailers are offering deep discounts on many models and styles of their products. They need to move finished product and they want to keep their employees and stay in business.
  • Lumber prices have been declining steadily for about sixteen years. Right now, lumber and plywood prices are at a thirteen year low.
  • Drywall prices are also down.
  • Floor covering prices are also being discounted by 10% or more
 Compare contractor pricing and ask about discounting. The bad economy and the high unemployment Bathroom Remodeling Workbook by Dan Fritschenrate is affecting contractors. When most people are uncertain about the economy or their job security, they often don’t remodel their homes. This results in less work for contractors and skilled labor. You will probably find that contractors are bidding competitively on most jobs at this time. You might also find that because of discounting you can get higher quality work from skilled labor because of discounts.
Before you choose anything, understand what products for your remodel can earn Federal Income Tax credits.  The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” offers Federal Income Tax credits to homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades in their homes. If you are remodeling a bathroom, such items as a new window, skylight or roof window could qualify for a tax credit of 30% of the cost of the item. (You can claim a credit for 30% of the cost of qualifying items up to a maximum tax credit per year of $1,500.). Adding a storm window would also qualify. Upgrading the insulation would also qualify. You might also consider upgrading your water heater or adding a separate water heater for the bathrooms. You might even use the bathroom remodel as an opportunity to upgrade your HVAC or to move to a renewable energy heating/cooling system, such as solar, geothermal, or even small wind energy system. Check the listings at the EnergyStar website for lists of qualifying products before you make a final decision.
Investigate and claim all available state and local government tax credits, exemptions, rebates, and financing offers on energy-efficient materials. Most states have some kind of program to help homeowners make energy-saving product choices and offset some of the additional cost. To learn what is available from your state and local government, visit and click on your state.
Claim all credits, rebates, rate reductions and production incentives offered by your utility companies. Many power companies have rebate programs and offer other incentives to help homeowners buy and operate energy-efficient appliances, water heaters and heating/cooling systems. These incentives are also listed at When remodeling a bathroom, it is also important to pay attention to water-saving fixtures. Many water companies also offer programs that encourage water conservation. To find out if any programs are available for you, call your local water company.
By shopping smart, hiring smart and taking advantage of all of the credits and other incentive programs available for environmentally friendly remodeling, you can save a bundle on your bathroom remodel and preserve the earth’s resources. The final saving opportunity is something you will see every time you open a utility bill and see the reduction in your energy or water costs month after month. 
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