Bathroom Makeovers on a Budget
Flexibility and do-it-yourself attitude help
By Stevie Donald
Whether you have $50 or $15,000 to spend on a bathroom makeover, there are always ways to save money. Pare the cost by figuring out what tasks you can do yourself. If you're willing to do a little scavenging for retro fittings or recycled materials, a dramatic bathroom makeover is well within your reach no matter what size your budget.
- What You Need to Know
- Check with your local building department to see if you need a permit before doing an extensive makeover that involves moving walls or making changes to electrical wiring or plumbing.
Determine a realistic budget. Bear in mind that many renovation projects, even small ones, can end up costing more than you planned.
Clear the clutter from your bathroom and make a list of what you want to change. Break the list down by the size and complexity of the jobs--replacing a tub enclosure or tile is a major job, but replacing the cabinet hinges and hardware is relatively inexpensive and easy.
Consider what tasks you are able to do yourself and what you will need to hire a professional for. Think about friends, neighbors and family members who may have some skills you can barter for.
Shop recycled building supply stores. Not everything in these stores is used; you'll probably find new accessories, fixtures, flooring and other building supplies at recycled building supply stores.
Be flexible with colors and materials. Look for mistinted paint. Ask at building supply stores for tile or flooring remnants; these are usually cheap or even free. Consider heavily discounted, chipped sinks or countertops, or scratched or dented light fixtures if they can be easily repaired.
Refurbish instead of replace. Instead of replacing the worn 1950s pink bathtub or sink, have them repainted for a fraction of the cost.
Use color and faux paint techniques to add impact and ambience to your bathroom. Visit a paint or home store and look at the specialty applicators and finishes available. With the continuing popularity of faux finishes, it's now easier than ever for even the non-artistically-inclined homeowner to produce dazzling effects.
Be creative with accessories and details. Use a decorative planter for a trash can, a vintage mirror above the sink, pretty baskets for soaps and hand towels, or flea market shelving for stacking towels and linens. Shop garage sales and vintage stores for retro finds.
About the Author
Stevie Donald is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has been a painting contractor since 1979.
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