How to renovate on a budget

Renovating a bathroom can be a big outlay of money. As a plumber, I recommend a complete refit of a bathroom if you do decide to renovate. That’s because if you are going to pay to make changes, I think it pays to replace everything in the walls and get the room laid out exactly how you’d like.  

However, this is not always possible. Sometimes budgets can be tight and all that can be afforded is a ‘cosmetic’ renovation which touches up some of the existing features in the bathroom.

If you are looking to renovate your bathroom  on a tight budget, here are some ideas on jobs you can do to get the renovated look you’re after without spending tens of thousands of dollars.

  1. Inspect the ceiling and walls. Apply clove oil if mould is growing on the plasterboard, then repaint in a neutral colour. Don’t underestimate what a slap of paint can do to lift the room.
  2. Paint the tiles. If the existing tiles are in great condition, consider painting over them. This hack can go one of two ways – it can look amazing or it can look like a DIY disaster. Ask your local hardware store for the recommended paint to paint over your tiles. Also understand that it is a time consuming and meticulous job as you can’t paint over the grout. Each tile will need to be individually painted.
  3. Replace the shower screen. Shower screens are prone to water marks and no amount of cleaning product will remove the cloudy residue that forms on and in the glass. Consider replacing the shower screens and doors, and your bathroom will instantly transform.
  4. Replace the taps. This should be done by a licensed plumber. Choose new taps at your local plumbing supplier and get the plumber to install them for you.
  5. Replace the plug and waste. If the vanity basin doesn’t require to be replaced, simply change the plug and waste to something new which will match the colour of your new taps. Get your plumber to replace this when they replace the taps.
  6. Replace the toilet suite. A new toilet can instantly update a bathroom. Check where the water feeds the toilet cistern and whether the existing toilet is a p trap or s trap waste. This will help you when you need to order your new toilet. Alternatively, get your plumber to look at these for you and trust them to get the right toilet that will fit to your existing plumbing requirements.
  7. Replace the floor grate. If you have a chrome floor grate, replace it with a new one. Over time the chrome can wear away and a new grate can uplift the floor.
  8. Replace the light with a modern pendant. Consider adding a feature to your bathroom through the installation of a pendant light. Always get a licensed electrician to install for you and consider the amount of light it will add to the bathroom.
  9. Update the blinds. If your bathroom has a window, chances are it has a blind that is ridden with dust and may possibly be warped from moisture in the bathroom. A plantation shutter or roller blind can modernize the window in the bathroom. 
  10. Replace bathroom fittings. The little details in the bathroom can add so much to the room to renew it. Look at the toilet roll holder and towel rails. Consider upgrading these with new fittings.
A cosmetic update to a bathroom can seem like a prolonged waste of money, but if you spend your money well on items you love, you can keep the newly installed taps and fittings for when the bathroom does eventually get gutted out for a full renovation. These can be reinstalled again, if they fit in with the new design of the bathroom. 

Guest Blogger Bec Senyard believes a girl can be both practical and stylish at the same time. Bec writes two blogs: The Plumbette , which is her foot in the construction pie, sharing plumbing tips and lifestyle memoirs and Styled by Bec, which offers fashion advice for busy mums who are after budget-friendly tips.

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

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