After kitchens, bathrooms tend to be the most expensive home improvement project. A survey by Abbey, in 2008, found that the average bathroom improvement project costs £7,700, with many spending much more as they can easily to go over budget with designer taps and quirky layouts.
If you’ve just moved into a new property, the bathroom is probably one of the first things you want to improve. However, before you decide to rip out the entire bathroom suite, and set your heart on a roll top bath in the centre of the room, consider what you really need to change to make your bathroom work for you. Moving the toilet 10 inches to the left may sound simple, but when you start messing with plumbing you’re in for an expensive project.
Sometimes it is as good, and cheaper, to work with what you’ve already got, to improve and restore rather than demolish and start over.
Image from: House to Home
Make the most of what you’ve already got.
There are many ways to improve the look of a tired bathroom and make the most of what you’ve got; if you have an avocado green suite – go retro, if you have a rusty old roll top – restore it and paint the base in a statement shade. Use our following bathroom remodel ideas to restore your bathroom without ripping it out and buying a whole new one.
Bathroom remodel ideas and inspiration
Spruce up old tiles and tired paint
If you can’t afford to re-tile, paint your tiles with a good quality tile paint to create a porcelain effect. To achieve the best finish, clean the tiles prior to painting – to remove dust and grease – with sugar soap and paint the tiles individually. It may take time but it costs a lot less than re-tiling and you will be surprised what a difference it can make to the room.
Painted walls in bathrooms become greasy, dusty and slightly milldewed, give them a good clean with some sugar soap and your bathroom will instantly look revitalised. Painted walls tend to look tired quickly in a bathroom, but if you can’t afford to tile the bathroom completely, the addition of a tiled splashback is a quick and cheap way to give your room a finishing touch.
Make the most of the space
If you bathroom is on the small side, perhaps the layout isn’t making the most of the space, but you can’t afford a total remodel, choose mirrored cabinets to reflect the light and give the illusion of space. Hiding away clutter, lotions and potions, can also transform a bathroom and make it look more spacious.Image from: House to Home
Update an old suite
Instead of replacing the whole suite, could you achieve that contemporary look your desire with the simple – and much cheaper – addition of a set of new taps? Replacing fittings can quickly and simply update a tired bathroom, white suites are a much-of-the-same, it’s often the fittings that make the statement.Image from: Street Fashion
Bathrooms that pre-date the avocado suite era, can be transformed with a bit of TLC. Re-surfacing/re-enamelling an old bath tub can often give you better results than purchasing a new off-the-shelf model. However, if your bathroom isn’t old enough to be classed as ‘vintage chic’, embrace its retro heritage, pick a bold colour, co-ordinate throughout and go retro!
Revitalise old taps by replacing the washers in leaky taps, rather than replacing the entire tap, and brush up old brass taps with some brass polish.
A full redesign
If you want to redesign your bathroom, but you have a modest budget or would just like to try and keep costs down, remember that plumbing work is often the most expensive part of a project. Unless your current layout is totally unworkable don’t consider moving anything that involves connecting waste or water pipes.
Controlling the costs
Contingency is a must if you do decide to change the layout, if you are changing plumbing you often don’t know what you have until it’s uncovered. Period properties which have been added to over time, often conflict with current building regulations and to plumb them in correctly can prove costly. As the majority of plumbing is hidden, unless you own a new build or know how your suite has been plumbed in, plumbing can be a major reason for unexpected costs pushing your project over budget. Which is why a new layout is best avoided if you’re on a tight budget.
When undertaking an expensive home improvement project, such as a bathroom redesign, you should consider how the room will be used and how long you intend to live in the house, which may affect your choice of décor.
If you plan on staying in the property for less than 5 years, consider the project as an improvement on investment. If you are installing a new suite to improve the saleability of your home, be careful not to over-improve. Invest in good quality fixtures and fittings but do not over indulge in designer taps and avoid potentially short lived trends, that could make you property look dated when you come to sell or only appeal to a select few.
A long term home that you intend to live in for more than 5 years, should be seen as something that improves how your home works for your family. Try not to focus on the project as an investment, instead design something that works for you and your family; something that you can enjoy.
The best way to keep your budget under control, is to work with your exisitng layout when you revamp your bathroom, whether it is updating an old suite with new fittings or splashing out on a new suite, the less you have to do to the existing plumbing the better.
When you have to cut the budget start with cutting out the non-essentials such as a heated towel rail and underfloor heating, but if that’s not enough to get the budget down ditch the designer taps and opt for cheaper fittings.
Remember to budget for labour costs which will be around 1/3 of the cost of the project.
Whether you decide to go all out with a total redesign or maybe you just want to change a few fixtures and fittings, it is likely that you will need a tradesman to do the majority of the work. We have 1000’s of quality, local tradesmen, if you need a bathroom specialist post your job for free on RatedPeople.com, up to 3 tradesmen will contact you, review their ratings and pick the right one for you. And once he has completed you dream bathroom project make sure you rate him.