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Bathroom remodeling on a smaller budget
June 3rd, 2013 2:53 PM

In the Chicago land area, the average bathroom remodel costs $16,000 per the Remodeling magazine’s 2011 Cost vs. Value Report.  You may be thinking, “I don’t have $16,000 to remodel my bathroom.”  So what is a homeowner to do?  There many ways to give your bathroom a face-lift in loo of the average Midwest budget. (Oh my! My Bathroom needs an upgrade!)

This presents an opportunity for the DIY remodelers out there.  For instance, let’s say you do not want to remove a porcelain tub because it will detract from the character of the house and the room.  You might look into refinishing it for literally pennies on the dollar vs. removing it and installing a new one.  The same goes for the wall tile.  If there is nothing wrong with the tile and it is just outdated, then tearing it out and replacing it could run you an additional $1500 in materials not including the labor.  Do it yourselfers can find ways to save not only on the labor but in the coast of materials.  Companies like Beautiful Finishes, Inc., Final Touch Refinishers, and ARK Porcelain Refinishing specialize in exactly this!  Barring any major defects or damage behind the tub and tile, and you aren’t redirecting any plumbing, they can go over the tub and tile with high gloss enamel and it looks brand new for around $500!  They even do custom colors.  A great resource to have even if it is the one thing you have to hire out for.

Vanities and mirrors don’t need to be custom either.  Your typical home improvement store should carry prefabricated vanities with sinks that are very cost effective.  Depending on your taste and space you need to fill, vanities can range from about $200 to in upwards of $1500.  Again if the labor is on you then your budget may allow for some splurging in this department.  Another money saver is to buy a plain mirror with a wooden frame and stain it to match the vanity.

New fixtures and blinds and fresh coat of paint go a long way.  Fixtures can really make a bathroom pop especially with the earth tone colors that are popular today without detracting from the ambiance.  Matching sets can run anywhere from $200 to $600.  New toilets can start around $200 and up.

In summary if you need to remodel your bathroom on a smaller budget, and you are willing to do most of the labor you could save yourself anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 if all goes as planned.  Do yourself a favor and plan ahead.  Pick the items you want to install first, make sure they all go together, thus eliminating headaches and restocking fees.

Matt Lederer, principal of Mahogany Builders in Chicago offered a thought, saying, “The biggest trend is not a style.  Rather, it’s the confidence in homeowners to invest and renovate, especially homeowners who are buying new properties with the intention of making immediate improvements.  The trend is supported by the most recent Cost-Value numbers that show the ROI on bathroom remodels is trending up for the first time since 2007.”


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Posted by Michael Hobbs on June 3rd, 2013 2:53 PMPost a Comment

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