Financial limitations can make remodeling bathrooms on a budget a challenge, but it’s not as bad as you might think. If your bathroom has outdated fixtures, or you’re simply tired of looking at decor you’ve had for decades, it’s a good time to take charge and renovate. Even if you have limited resources, a full or partial bathroom remodel is within reach. Here are some practical and economical ideas to consider for the budget-conscious.
Just wondering. In the polybutylene story the Ask This Old House trailer is sitting in the driveway of the home in Virginia. Richard is there to emcee but a local company is hired to do the work, so Richard needs no tools. Does someone tow the empty trailer to these distant sites just to use it in the exterior shots? Or, do they haul the lighting and cameras and such cross country in it? Or, do they rent a trailer locally and just temporarily apply an AskTOH wrap for the cameras?
Want another idea? Find three cool, vintage tin cans. Drill the tin cans side by side into a 2 foot piece of old plank. Then, drill the plank onto your bathroom wall (pictured below from laissezfaire). You now have a super cool way to store bathroom necessities like toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs and brushes, and Q-tips. You can even keep fresh flowers in one of the cans!
Low-flow toilets, which use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, are required by law in all new and remodeled baths. Pressure-assisted toilets effectively clear the bowl with one flush, but make considerable noise in the process. Gravity models sometimes require two flushes to clean the bowl properly. For maximum efficiency, choose a bowl with a large water surface. Make sure there's sufficient space around the toilet for comfortable access—ideally, at least 16 inches from the centerline of the toilet and walls or fixtures on either side. Also allow at least 30 inches from the front of the toilet to the nearest object.
How much should you spend on your master bathroom? A rule of thumb is that the total project—including materials and installation—should cost no more than 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) puts the national average at about $16,000. Another guide is Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value report, which compares the average cost of various renovation projects with the value they retain at resale. In 2011-2012, mid-range bathroom remodels cost an average of $16,552 and recouped 62 percent, while upscale bathroom remodels cost an average of $52,249 and recouped 56 percent. Here’s how the NKBA breaks down the budget for a typical bathroom remodel:
Proper ventilation will prevent moisture from getting trapped in the bathroom, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Extract moisture by installing a ducted exhaust fan on a timer. Most timers allow you to set the fan for 15 to 60 minutes to remove heat, steam and condensation. Choose a fan according to the cubic feet per minute of air it moves.
An antique claw-foot tub might not match your current decor but a freestanding tub can still fit in with your style. The crisp lines with a rectangular design or the smooth slopes on an oval tub can suit your soaking needs and also be the centerpiece of your bathroom oasis. When considering bathtubs, choose a model with fixtures either at an end or along its side depending on your existing plumbing to help keep the remodeling cost low.
Using the ultra-trendy animal skull as a main focus point, this space definitely stands out from the rest of the usual white and boring contemporary bathrooms. Notice how the tiny, delicate bare branch echoes and contrasts the strong antlers on the wall, and how the pendant light hangs right in the middle of the negative space provided by the antlers.
A full bath requires a minimum of 36 to 40 sq. ft. The finished room must measure at least 5 ft. in one direction to accommodate a tub. Building codes typically require 32x32 in. (finished dimensions) for a shower; if you have the space, larger is better. Just make sure the shower is large enough so you can comfortably raise your arms and bend over in the space.
One of the first things you’ll want to do before jumping into a bathroom remodel is to develop a budget. Think about how much money you can use for this project, and add an extra 15 to 20 percent in case you have some unexpected expenses. In the world of remodeling, it’s more often the norm rather than the exception to spend a little more money than you have originally planned. Read more simple bathroom remodel ideas.