The Sustainable Couple

Even a small bathroom can require costly materials for a complete overhaul. But this project doesn’t have to break the bank. We recently remodeled a bathroom for about $2600, plus what we paid a plumber to move some water lines. Here’s what we learned that could help you with your renovations.

Once you have ideas for your renovation planned out, the next step is to find bath remodel accessories in your price range. If your idea for the bathroom doesn’t fit exactly within a type of style like modern or contemporary, you may need to hire a professional craftsman to custom build accessories like the vanity, countertop or mirror frame. These specialized contractors will have different prices for their work depending on the material you want the accessories made from and how they calculate their prices: by the hour, job or otherwise.

Depending on your bathroom layout you may be able to add a small dresser or cupboard into the room for storage. In my home I was offered a slim, white wicker three shelf stand and I took it. This was my good fortune because not only was it free, but it exactly fit into the space that I had on the other side of the sink, opposite the toilet. It was actually pretty amazing, because it appeared as if it was made for that space. The top shelf holds the extra products, shampoos, and blow dryer; the second shelf holds extra towels and face cloths, and the third shelf just magazines due to a hot and cold vent that would be blocked if I piled it up with towels.

Turn off the main water supply to the house, and in a convenient location, cut the hot and cold water supply pipes for the bathroom. Also cut out and remove all the existing water lines and fittings in the bathroom. Finally, cut out and remove the vent section leading to the sink and the main stack 5 in. below the vent tee. Stuff rags into open drain lines to keep sewer gas out of the house.

If you are doing a major upgrade to your bathroom consider doing a full gut”. When done by a professional with expertise you end up with a zero problems bathroom that will function flawlessly and add tremendous value to your home for many years to come. Depending on the age of your home and how well it was built the biggest hidden problem you may encounter is water damage, so look for structural deficiencies in the floor framing, not properly vented plumbing, old corroded plumbing, non-waterproof tile shower/tub surrounds, etc.