Thursday, April 28, 2011

How Much Can a Bathroom Cost?

My Husband (let's call him DH - Dear Husband - from now on, shall we?) and I decided in December 2010 that we would begin to renovate our townhouse in the new year in preparation for selling it.  We talked about what needed to be done and what we should do first.  Bathrooms was the obvious starting point in our minds.  Small, but somewhat laborious, we figured each of the three wouldn't take too long and with DHs expertise as a Finishing Carpenter, there wouldn't be any problems he couldn't sort out easily.

How wrong could we be.

The powder room on the main floor was first.  We had done the laundry room floor in the fall with a lovely dark grayish tile bought at Rona.  I thought it was stylish and modern with it's longer than wide profile, but DH wasn't convinced we'd made the right choice.  He thought we should have gone for the lighter, slightly brown version ... but he wasn't about to start over.  Since the laundry and powder rooms are right next to each other it made sense to use the same tile.  So, DH pulled everything out, stuffed the toilet flange and began to tile.  When he was finished he hated it (I still liked it).  He complained that he couldn't find any vanity to complement the tile (I found many I liked).  After several weeks scouring the Internet and the local stores he found an unused vanity on Craigslist for $150.  Great deal.  He put it in and was happy with it.  (So happy that we got my Mom one for her Master bedroom ensuite.)

Next up, the main bathroom and Master bedroom ensuite.  We had debated whether to pull out the tub in the main bathroom.  It was original (think mid 80's), small and shallow ... but if we pulled it out we'd need to re-tile the bathtub surround.  It was going to be a lot of work and DH was really uncomfortable about what he saw as major plumbing work.  In the end, a realtor we really like, gave us the name of a local re-glazer.  For $1200 we are getting the bathtub, the tile surround, and the ensuite shower re-glazed a basic white.  We think we've probably saved $3000-$5000 along with many, many hours of work.

Of course, the tub and shower are the least of our problems.  It's the darn vanities ... again.  48" in the main bathroom.  We can actually find something from Ikea and several other places that would work.  But, the 60" vanity in the Master bedroom ensuite is causing us real grief.  Over the vanity on the left side is a window, meaning we have to have a vanity with a sink placed to the right.  Not hard you say?  Ha - double sinks no problem, but it would be awkward with the layout of the bathroom.  A single, right-hand side vanity is what we need.  We've searched everywhere.  Nothing under $5000.  In the end?  DH happened upon an old co-worker who had started his own business.  For $2300 he's going to build us the vanity boxes for both bathrooms.  We still have to get the under-mounting sinks and counter (l'd like granite - who wouldn't, right?).  So, the $5000 we saved with our re-glazing project will be used for what I'd always assumed would be the easiest part of the bathroom reno's - the vanities.

Next, I'm going to take some pictures of these bathrooms so you can really see what's happening.

Work coming up:  find tiles for main bathroom floor; re-glazing; installing our custom-made vanities; getting the counters measured, cut and installed.

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