BY CHRISTINA CHAN
ACCORDING TO the
;;;; U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study
( houzz.com), the average major remodel of a
bathroom less than ;;;
square feet comes in at
creating an updated
look while improving the functionality
and value doesn’t require a small fortune.
With proper planning and the right knowledge, you can turn your dream bathroom
Costco member and real estate agent
Shannon Shue, who started working on
remodels as an investor in ;;;;, shares
some of her tips.
With any remodel project, having the
end goal in mind is essential. Easy ways to
do this include collecting online images of
bathrooms, making notes of what you
liked about a bathroom in a home you visited and poring through and saving magazine images.
The remodel process can even be fun.
“Creating that vision is what people often
find the most rewarding,” says Shue.
Stay on budget
Once you’ve established your budget,
it’s important to make some smart choices
to keep the numbers from skyrocketing. “I
use a spreadsheet to itemize everything
involved so I know what it costs,” says Shue.
After that, it can be a matter of shopping around to get the best price for items;
you can substitute less expensive look-alikes in some cases while splurging a bit
on a coveted feature. If you decide to spend
a little more on accent tile but you don’t
tighten up the budget elsewhere, problems
Bathroom renovations you can afford
Head of the house
arise. “That’s where the budget can get
wildly out of control,” says Shue.
DIY budget remodel
You can create a fresh new look for
your bathroom for less than the cost of a
new top-freezer refrigerator. If you have a
small budget and a smaller-size bathroom,
put items like a fresh coat of paint, new
lighting fixtures, a new shower head and a
new sink on the list.
For an even more budget-friendly update, add a pop of color by incorporating
accessories in a new shade, such as blue or
orange, with new towels, a soap dispenser,
an aromatherapy dish and possibly a new
piece of artwork.
If you have more to spend on a smaller-size bathroom remodel, along with the
improvements from the DIY budget range,
consider retiling the walls and floors. To
help create a modern look, Shue recommends a herringbone tile pattern, which
creates visual interest, over square tiles.
Other improvements can include
updating the toilet, installing a new vanity
and, if you have a shower enclosure, adding
a clear glass version with a slider. “Clear
glass ... opens up the space and makes it
feel bigger,” says Shue.
A new bathroom vanity kit will include
the countertop, drawers and installed
sink. Many vanities have precut holes,
which allow for the fixture attachment.
With a larger project, plan to spend
around ;; to ;; percent of your budget on
materials, depending on labor and the level
of assistance required from a contractor.
By incorporating these ideas, anyone
can create a more user-friendly, value-added bathroom space. C
Christina Chan writes about real estate,
architecture and pets.
Costco warehouses and Costco.com offer a
full selection of bathroom items, including
the tub and faucet above (Item #1180297,
Costco.com only; search “Ove”).
SHUE’S INSIDER TIPS
TO SAVE MONEY
Hire a tile-reglazing professional to
change the color of the existing tile if it’s
still in good condition.
Add functionality and save space
inexpensively by using hooks for towels
rather than a bar.
Avoid reconfiguring your fixtures in
a way that requires moving a water line.
A bathroom remodel can be
as simple as installing a new
bathtub and faucet.