So, you want to upgrade your bathroom but don’t want to break the bank or lose your sanity in the process. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, an average bathroom remodel can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000, depending on size and options. However, if you do most of the work yourself and think a little outside the box, you can save yourself thousands of dollars -- perhaps even giving your bathroom that fresh new look for as little as $3,000 or so, depending on what you want to do.
If you're worried about dropping any money into your dated bathroom, keep in mind that real estate professionals say that you will generally recoup 100%, or even make some money on a bathroom renovation. That is great news, no matter how much money you spend. Here are a few tips to help your bathroom renovation experience be as painless and economical as possible.
Never Underestimate the Power of Paint
Applying a fresh coat of paint can bring a whole new look to any space. The best thing is that it's inexpensive and easy to apply. Even if you can only do one thing for your bathroom, renovations experts will tell you to choose paint! A new coat of paint will not only lighten everything up, but seal out old odors, too.
Often you can find decent paint at liquidation stores for next to nothing. Even if you go full price from Home Depot or Lowes, you can get paint for the entire room for under $40. Be sure to use a semi-gloss finish and two coats.
Don’t Overuse Tile
If you're watching your wallet, limit the amount of tile you use -- it gets expensive. Consider using tile only on high-impact areas such as the floor, or just use a strip of tile on a wall as a focal point and paint the rest. Instead of using tile, think outside the box such as using a modern industrial material like corrugated tin on the walls. This sleek look can be accomplished very inexpensively, making it an even more attractive option.
Lighting is more important in a bathroom than you would think. Again, like with your vanity, don’t skimp on personality when it comes to light fixtures. Match your lights with your vanity and fixtures and be sure to have fun making you selection. If you want to save some money, shop around at local yard sales, Habitat for Humanity resale stores or online retailers. Often, stores like Lowes or Home Depot will have clearance items, so be sure to check those shelves for lighting options.
Home improvement specialists say that if you're going to go big on your bathroom renovation, go big on your vanity. Make the vanity the focal point of the room. Whether you choose something simple or rustic, be sure that your bath vanity has personality. To save money, many people fashion a vanity out of an old dresser or table or shop online where they can often get great deals on closeouts.
Freshen Up Caulk and Grout
If you plan on leaving existing tile, a good cleaning with a heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner and, if necessary, a fresh coat of grout and caulk can do wonders to add new life to tile surfaces. You will pay a lot less for some cleaner, grout and caulk than you will for brand new tile.
Have a Plan
The most important part of any economical home improvement project is to have a plan. Be sure to set your budget, have a vision for your project, and take the time to shop around for ideas and bargains. Some people find that keeping a binder or even a Pinterest account of favorite bathroom remodel jobs helps when it comes to visualizing what they like. Remember, it does you no good to rush into the project. This can result in blowing your budget and your sanity.
Old tubs can be unsightly, we can all agree on that. However, a new tub may set you back quite a lot by the time the old is removed and the new installed. You can save hundreds, if not thousands, by purchasing a refinishing kit for under $100. Just be sure to read all of the instructions before starting and follow the proper safety rules. Chances are you will have a tub that looks as good as new without spending a ton of money.