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So, if you guys have been following on our blog or our Instagram stories, you are probably super aware that we have been renovating our bathroom in our house. We purchased the place in May after a couple years of living in it, and we were very much ready to get going on some long-percolating ideas that would help us put our stamp on the place – and hey, an increase in value doesn’t hurt either!
In looking at doing this full-scale bathroom renovation, we started from a place of “I wonder how much it would cost someone else to do this” and ended up at “Hey, I think we can do this all ourselves”. Initially, we weren’t sure how it would look – doing it all ourselves – and whether or not we even had that capability. For one, my dad and grandfather are super-human, fix-anything-ever people… but they live a solid 13 hours away. So anything that we took on would be all on us, though we had the option to phone-a-friend if (read: when) we had questions (pretty sure I used up all my Grandfather’s minutes).
As I researched it more and more, I kind of really started to want to take it on by myself. Not only would that represent some significant savings, it would also be kind of an adventure. And now that it is all done and looking… well, I think pretty good, there is a great satisfaction that comes from knowing and remembering every single step and struggle that went into the creation. And that feels really good.
I did not do a line-by-line tracking of any savings we were able to realize, but we were able to find some great savings on bigger ticket items – like the vanity. We snagged it for half off in the IKEA As-Is section and it was basically the same one were planning on getting! It felt pretty good seeing that -50% sticker on it, and after some inspection, we deemed it in good enough condition to commit to.
For everything else, I used any and all promo codes that I could find, and the occasional gift card got us some savings as well. The biggest savings we realized was just by adjusting our shopping and taking it from a big box store to online. eBay was so huge for us in this: anywhere you see eBay on the list below, we were saving money compared to a box store. This was especially great for some more expensive components, like the Schluter water-proofing kit that we used.
For some of you who have been following along for a bit, we did a financial review of our trip to Australia and New Zealand a couple months ago. This was a fun exercise for me because I love tracking things like that and demonstrating how realistic travel is, especially when miles and points are used. I decided to do something similar with our bathroom renovation to see what our all-in cost was, and how close our initial estimates were.
We didn’t really have a strict budget set out for this project, but after mapping out our “known” costs, I felt like it was realistic that we could come in under $2,000. I created a Google Doc for all of our house “investment” and I’ve attached the bathroom section below. As you can see, we can pretty close to being under budget… but there were also a bunch of costs that were unexpected and hard to plan for – like random assorted tools. Trowels, gaskets, pipe cutter, blowtorch – all important, but also all definitely not on my initial budget.
Design / Construction
Sarah and I made a pretty good team with this project. We knew we wanted to keep the costs as low as we could, but I could feel good about getting a good looking bathroom with solid resale potential based on her lil interior design eye. So while we occasionally went back and forth over the knobs on the vanity or the light fixture, at the end of the day we are both really happy about the bathroom we were able to make with the money we spent.
The funny thing about these pictures is that they don’t show half of the “work”. If you were to ask us what we spent the most time on, we would both say the popcorn ceiling. It’s probably not true – tiling the tub took a solid 2 days, but man that popcorn ceiling was the WORST. Every time we look in the renovated bathroom, we can see all the layers of work and learning; everything underneath the polished surface. And that’s kind of a cool place to be.
And so you’ve waited long enough I suppose, so here’s the reveal! And yep – it looks better in person, so come visit! 😉
The Simple Summary
So ends the story of the guest bathroom… and now onto the master bathroom!