- We are not moving the wall between the two bathrooms. After additional thought we realized we'd be creating a lot of cost and little return. Leaving the wall also allows use to leave much of the plumbing alone, that's a major cost saver. Additionally it allows us to remodel the main (guest) bathroom without permits, as it is all cosmetic.
Additionally we only have to have one bathroom torn apart at a time. We have a third bathroom in the basement, but neither of us wanted to go through that. With only one bathroom down at a time, we can take our time and not feel like we have to rush because of the inconvenience.
- We are doing the guest bathroom first. Since the remodel will be mostly cosmetic, except around the tub, the cost to remodel this bathroom first will be low. We should be able to do it for around $3000 or so.
- Rethinking materials. We want the bathrooms to be nice, but watching the DIY Channel has perhaps given us too many great ideas. Many of the bathroom remodels there are $10K+ and we just aren't willing to pay that much. The house cannot really support a bathroom that nice either. We put too much into this house and we'll never see the return, or we'll have to stay in it so long that the bathroom will have to be remodeled again before we sell it.
That's not to suggest we are going cheap either. We are simply being frugal. For example I designed the guest bathroom tub surround with a nice metal accent tile strip. That metal tile goes for about $20/sq ft. We decided that metal tile was probably a bit much for the guest bath. We found some nice glass accept tiles that run about $10/Sq ft. We saved 50% by being flexible and considering the market our house falls into, plus the fact that in the guest bath, who's really going to get to see those nice expensive tiles?
Another area of cost savings was to reconsider the 'bronze' colored fixtures. They look nice, but are more expensive than the simple and classic chrome. Will the bronze look dated later too? If we were ever to sell I don't think a potential buyer is going to walk away because we used chrome fixtures, so long as they are quality (and functioning of course).
- We are doing this out of pocket, for the most part. Originally, when we were going to do both bathrooms at the same time, we were going to look at a home equity loan and take care of everything easily. Now we've decided rather than take on that kind of debt, we're going to do as much out of pocket as possible. We already bought our floor tiles awhile back. We are going to take advantage of a nice 0% interest deal that Home Depot is running this weekend though. We'll be able to pay that off before it's due, so it's a lot more affordable than the HEL, though certainly not as flexible, though we OK with that.
So we'll begin work soon. The parts list is compiled and ordering will commence this weekend. I'll post pictures as we begin.