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Renovation on a Budget
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2014
Whether you have moved into a new home, are trying to sell your home, or just want to update your bathroom, the idea of renovation can seem overwhelming. This is especially so when you don’t have the financial means to completely gut the bathroom and start from scratch. However, there are many things you can do to your bathroom to improve both its quality and its look that will not break the bank.

Renovation Ideas for a Small Bathroom
Small bathrooms, or half-baths, can still cost a lot of money to renovate if you aren’t careful. Replacing sinks, vanities, and toilets, as well as lighting, might create headaches and stretch your budget to the breaking point before everything is done. Unless appliances need to be replaced for functionality, small bathrooms can be improved through simple cosmetic fixes. These might include:
  • Replacing a shower curtain with a shower door
  • Updating tile type or colors
  • Putting in molding
  •  Repairing window treatments
  • Updating handles and hinges
  • Repainting the bathroom

Even with these ideas, you might be tempted to do some things others would consider going overboard. Because the space is smaller, keep your color palate limited to only a couple colors, use smaller lighting fixtures, and consider the space as a whole.
Mirrors and Vanities
Like the rest of the house, bathroom styles that were en vogue 15 years ago may seem dated now. Vanities and mirrors are no exception to this, but can be replaced for less than you might think. It is common practice for people who flip homes to install things cheaply, especially in bathrooms, and maybe you’ll need to spend a little bit more than what the seller installed. But the end result will look and last longer than it might otherwise if you didn’t replace it at all.
Space in bathrooms, especially small bathrooms, is a premium. If possible, replacing a surface medicine cabinet with a recessed medicine cabinet can give the room a little more space. Many vanities have space beneath them for storing items you need, but if this is not enough, you can add shelving to one of the walls at very little cost.
Vanities come in many styles and it’s possible you’ll have more trouble finding one that fits your particular aesthetic than you will find one that fits within your budget. Some bathrooms may even benefit from the removal of the vanity. A simple pedestal basin with shelving on the walls can work for many small spaces.
Every Detail Counts
If you’re considering renovating your bathroom, it’s easy to overlook the smaller things and focus only on the areas that are more obvious. Showers and baths, toilets, and sinks certainly stick out, and they’re a necessary part of larger bathrooms, but so too are things like lighting, faucets, and hinges.
If you’re on a budget, consider tackling larger and more expensive ticket items later. Although it seems ideal, you don’t have to complete everything at once. Focus on changing out faucets, especially if they’re older. Wear and tear and hard water mineralization may force a replacement, even if their style still appeals to you. Hinges and handles can be updated to give your bathroom that one missing detail that
Lighting is very important in bathrooms, especially as you prepare for your day. Beyond replacing and updating fixtures, consider how the light falls in the bathroom. Darker colors will absorb light, so painting walls with a more vibrant scheme might help brighten the whole room. Adding tile, or replacing dark tile can do wonders. Mirrors can help reflect light back, as well. If you have one light above your medicine cabinet, you can replace it with two or three light brackets.

You can do a lot in your bathroom for a few hundred dollars. Looking around on the internet for deals on items you are interested in, local hardware stores, and more can give you some idea of what can be done in your bathroom when you’re on a budget. Repurposing and resourcing materials that are already in your bathroom or around your house might give you further means to create something worthwhile. In the end, you shouldn’t look at a tight budget as a problem, but as an opportunity and a challenge.


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