We are remodeling an old house (and when I say old, I mean built prior to 1900). We did the math and decided that a low-price fixer-upper was a better investment that building new or taking on someone else’s newer over-priced headaches. In some ways, this decision was financially wise: every improvement adds to the value and we’ve nowhere to go but up. The down side is living and raising a family in a work-in-progress. We’re also DIY-ers and penny pinchers extraordinaire, so “shoestring spending” is our mantra. The first rooms that needed attention (and also the first to need regular maintenance) are our two bathrooms. Here’s how two tightwads remodeled a bathroom from the floor to the ceiling, including hardware, vanity, paint, accessories, linens and cleaning supplies, for $200.
* Two boxes self-stick bathroom tile (we bought the more expensive textured, pre-grouted style as it resists peeling and cleans better): $25, Menard’s
* Replacement bathroom vent fan with light: $25, Menard’s
* One gallon washable semi-gloss latex paint (I brought a separate container and requested that it be divided in half. I had half tinted mint green and the other powder blue; I “sponge” painted a layered effect, using a damp washcloth wadded up.): $15, Walmart
* Vanity with three drawers, mirror and sink (We saved big money on installation as my husband and sons removed the old vanity and installed the new one themselves. They all have hands-on experience in basic plumbing and cabinetry.): $50, home improvement resale store in town
* Metal washcloth and hand towel hanger: $1, Family Dollar
* Wire corner rack for bathroom supplies: $5, Family Dollar
* Curtain set (for bathroom window and to cover shower repair access) $8, Walmart
* Replacement toilet seat: $5, Home Depot
* Matching towel bar and toilet paper holder: $5, Bed Bath and Beyond (clearance)
* 7-piece wicker storage basket set including hamper and waste basket (I used baskets to corral bathroom supplies on rack and counter.): $20, Meijer (sale)
* Plastic drawer organizers: $5, Walmart
* Bathmat, $3, Walmart
* Soap dish, tooth brush holder: $2, TJ Maxx (clearance)
* Two picture frames (I framed some art that our children had created.): $2, Family Dollar
* Clock, $5, TJ Maxx
* 12 heavy washcloths with reinforced edges (I sometimes use dishcloths instead as they are sturdier.): $5, Meijer
* 6 beach towels (These are more durable than bath towels and last longer.) $15, Walmart, Meijer and Target (end-of-season clearance).
* Two decorative light switch and plug cover plates: $3, Menard’s (clearance)
* Cleaning kit, including carry-all with glass polish, shower scrub and toilet bowl cleaner (I keep a set of supplies in each room): $4, Family Dollar
The most important thing we learned in this bathroom upgrade is to keep decor simple and functional and buy better-quality essentials, such as bath linens.