October is National Kitchen and Bath Month. Yes, it’s true. With that in mind, this month we offer suggestions for both rooms, starting with the bathroom. While a bathroom remodel can make the space feel like a whole new room, it can be a daunting prospect if you’ve got a tight budget.
Bathrooms outrank even kitchens as the room that people remodel the most. They’re also generally smaller, which means smaller-scale changes. This does not always mean less expensive. Any remodel is bound to cost a pretty penny, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tricks to save money on a bathroom remodel.
Leave the Utilities Be
Adjusting plumbing and electrical systems is often the most costly part of any remodeling project. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, keep the big things where they are and work around them. There are plenty of other ways to renew the space.
A new coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to give a bathroom a fresh look. If you don’t need structural changes, it can also be one of the cheapest methods of bathroom remodel. A new coat of the same shade can remove evidence of grime without negating the color scheme you have working in there. However, if you want a new color scheme, a whole new hue can perk the place right up.
Refinish the Bathtub
While having a whole new tub can be a hygienic and dramatic way to affect a bathroom remodel, it is not the cheapest by any means. With the proper paint and sealant, you can refresh the appearance of an old tub. A mere refinish is obviously not a good solution if you are looking for structural changes, perhaps to accommodate an older parent or to expand shower space.
Increase the Storage
If your bathroom has limited space, the best way to do this is to build into walls, nooks, etc. instead of building out. However, this is not usually the cheapest option. If you want to apply Poor Richard’s maxim about a penny saved, consider shelving and cabinetry that fits in with the aesthetic you want to create in your room while still providing space for extra toilet paper and towels. If you really want to save money, look for cabinets and vanities secondhand.
A Hard(ware) Choice
The more obvious way to change out hardware is to start with the heavy hitters: the faucets. Both the sink and the shower might need an update. Replacing faucets can remove rust and improve the clean appearance of a bathroom. Doing so may be your easiest bathroom remodel ever.
Changing out the cabinetry hardware is another great way to update a room on a low budget. Tired of looking at the wooden knobs that were installed in the 80s? Try some shiny silver or chrome.
A Good Reflection
Mirrors reflect the light available in a given space. This can make a bathroom feel brighter and larger than it really is. If you’re attached to the mirror you already have, consider adding another mirror on a different wall to give the same effect. If you want change, increasing the size of the mirror can dramatically change the profile of a bathroom. Larger mirrors are also practical, giving a larger reflective surface to work with.
Watch the Windows
The windows in a bathroom are a precious source of natural light. If, as part of your bathroom remodel, you want to take advantage of that light, make sure your windows are used to their best capacity. It may be time to give them a new look. A frosted look can be achieved in a number of relatively easy ways and can give a bathroom a new look while adding to the room’s privacy.
If you’re feeling bold, you may opt for new glass entirely to replace outdated bubble glass. If, on the other hand, you like your windows the way they are, a change as simple as new curtains can make all the difference. Make sure they are made of a mold resistant material that doesn’t wick easily.
Light It Up
If you don’t have a lot of natural light to work with, play with the sources of light that are available to you. Switch out the lighting fixture for something new. Try a trendy appliance or secrete it in the ceiling with recessed lights.
Handle any renovations yourself. This can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes you can save a lot of money on a bathroom remodel by performing all the labor on your own. However, doing any renovations by yourself presents considerable risk. If mistakes are made, they can end up costing you significantly more. Consider leaving all the especially more delicate projects—plumbing, countertop installation, electrical wiring—to a professional crew like our team at Out of the Woods.