Bathroom Remodeling Options


By
, Home Repair & Personal Finance

Let's face it.  The most expensive room in the house to renovate or remodel is the bathroom.  Prices for a simple upgrade can run as high as $15,000, and a full, upscale renovation will set you back $40,000.00.  If you wonder why this is so, consider the fact that a bathroom is a wet and humid environment, and as such is a breeding ground for mold and wood damage. 

You really have no idea until you get into the project whether or not the damage or mold is there, and by then there is no turning back.  So what do you do in a case like this?  You have set a budget, know how much you can afford, and chosen your new fixtures.  When you tally everything up, you see that your budget just won't stand the heat.  So is your alternative to live with an out of date or leaky bathroom?  Of course not!  Consider alternatives.  The focus of this article will be on alternatives to a new bathroom remodel.


First Things First


One really good way of saving money on this type of job is doing as much of the work as you can by yourself.  Although it may take longer than you hoped, it is a sure-fire way to keep things within budget.  Many things can be accomplished by the average do it yourselfer.  Some things need to be done by a pro too, so let's look at a list of things you can probably accomplish on your own.

       * Install new baseboards
       * Install ceramic or stone tile, depending on skill
       level.
       * Insulate open walls
       * Do the demolition work
       * Install toilet
       * Install laminate flooring
       * Paint walls
       * Some minor electrical work
       * Hang drywall

Other things are best left to pros.  Attempting to do so yourself could end up costing more than you would save if things go wrong.

       * Design and build an addition
       * Install hardwood floor
       * Replace a load bearing wall
       * Major electrical work
       * Major plumbing work

As you can see, the pro is the go-to man in cases of complicated work.  When considering these alternatives, ask yourself if you have the time and energy to complete your end of the bargain, or whether you would just rather have the pro do it.  A bathroom tied up for weeks while you "wait to get to it" can cause a great deal of friction in the home.  On the other hand, do you have the strength for having a work crew in your home for a week?  This is always a consideration for you, especially if you work outside the home.  Always consider these things when making a plan.

Alternatives At Remodel Time

One good way to save money on a bathroom remodel is to install a tub liner.  These days, tub liners can even extend up interior walls to make a decent shower stall.  You then only need to add glass door or even a shower curtain, and the bathroom gets a fresh new look.

Installing mirrors in strategic places is also a good alternative if you find out that the room just can't be made larger without major construction work.  Mirrors not only add dimension trough visual effects, but make the room brighter.

Another thing to consider in a remodel is refinishing the existing tub. Porcelain, fiberglass, and cast-iron tubs can all be refinished. In period and Victorian styled homes, you will often see a stand alone claw foot tub.  Although hard to come by today, they are elegant and are much more comfortable than today's models.  These tubs can be refinished at a very reasonable cost. It is a simple matter for a pro to come in and prime, seal and paint the tub with a durable glossy top coat.  The beauty of this is that you can choose the color.  Remember, if you decide to demolish the room and remove the tub and shower unit, you are asking to run into infrastructure problems, especially in an older home.

The shower/tub unit is one of the most essential fixtures in the bathroom.  If your upgrade is doe for aesthetic reasons, and you just can't live with the old shower stall, consider replacing with a one piece pre-formed shower.  The cost of this is considerably less than building a tiled unit, and you have a good choice of available color schemes, also.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that remodel a bathroom is a major investment.  If you are fixing up a bathroom to increase resale value, and plan on moving, then use these alternatives to remodeling your bathroom.  Your budget will thank you.
By  , Home Repair & Personal Finance
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