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Low Cost Bathroom Updates

Updated on March 25, 2014

There's nothing like waking up to a nicely updated bathroom. Because your day typically starts and ends in your bathroom, small updates can really make a difference in your quality of life. But since bath remodeling can be expensive, many people have held off on starting their project because of poor economic times. Here are a few low cost bath remodel tips to help you get your space remodeled on a budget.

Stock Vanities

Building with custom cabinets can get really expensive. Likewise, when you build cabinets to fit your liking the pieces can really add up. The next best thing are stock vanities.

With a stock vanity, manufacturers hire designers to create a unique look that is mass produced. Because these vanities are produced in such large quantities in a factory setting, you can get high quality materials and design with a budget price. On top of this, the vanities come assembled so you don't have to pay an expensive trim carpenter to put them together at the job site.

If your bathroom has an unconventional shape, it may be difficult to find a stock vanity that fits. Because the stock vanities are mass produced, they typically come in standard sizes of 24, 30, 36, 42, and 48 inches. A great way to make them work for a different sized space is to add shelf units. With some relatively inexpensive plywood and some time, you can build a custom sized shelf to fill in any extra space you have. This creates a nice place for towels and allows you to save money on your vanity.

Remnant Stone

Natural stone countertops are all the rage in the design world. From granite to marble, a natural stone countertop or ledge can create a truly unique looking space. However, the biggest problem with natural stone is the cost. Typical costs for fabricated stone countertops can range from $30 to $150 per square foot. For a simple four foot long vanity, a high quality granite countertop can push the thousand dollar mark. This can eat up a modest bath remodel budget in a hurry.

A great alternative to paying retail prices for stone slab is to go with remnants. Remnants are basically pieces of stone that were left over from another project. There is nothing physically wrong with the product, it just didn't fit in with a previous clients kitchen or bath shape. Remnants can be fifty to sixty percent less than the retail versions.

Shower Faucet Trim Replacement

When you start changing the plumbing in your bathroom, things can get expensive. Plumbing rates range anywhere from $65 to $150 an hour based on your project location. So, whenever you can, it's good for your budget to minimize the amount of work your plumber will need to tackle on your remodel.

One project that will give a totally new look to your bathroom is a shower faucet trim replacement. The best part about this project is you won't need a plumber. All you need to do is find out who manufactured your faucet and determine the valve type. You don't want to replace the valve in the wall as this is difficult and typically requires a plumber.

Once you know your valve type and manufacturer, you can purchase what they call a shower faucet trim kit. This trim kit typically has a new shower head, temperature adjuster, and tub spout if you have one. All of the pieces will have matching finish and style and will give your shower a totally new look. And the best part is, you can install it yourself in less than an hour.

You'll need some common household tools including: a phillips screwdriver, teflon tape, adjustable wrench, and allen wrench.

About the Author

Michael Luckado has built, remodeled and repaired thousands of homes in the U.S. He co-founded ArmchairBuilder.com to share builder tips and secrets to help you build your own house. The owner builder really can save money with a little help.

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