Renovating your bathroom on a budget? Just S.P.L.A.S.H.!

renovating your bathroom

Renovating your bathroom can be a daunting task, but no need to be overwhelmed! Just follow the S.P.L.A.S.H. formula:

S – SET a budget and stick to it.

How much are you able to spend on the project? Do your research, itemize what needs to be done, cost it out, and remember to build in a contingency fund for unexpected surprises. Often renovations uncover structural issues that need to be addressed before the aesthetic components can be installed.

What are your must-haves and what are your nice-to-haves? Cutting back on the frills can help keep your budget on track.

Will you need to hire a professional designer or tradesperson? Research their fees and factor them into your budget.

  • TIP #1: Keeping fixtures where they are will save you big bucks. If you can live with the existing layout, do it!

P – Plan!

planing-out-your-bath-reno The more planning you do upfront, the easier and cheaper your project will be in the long run. Write it all down:

Why are you renovating? For practical reasons, or purely cosmetic ones? Are you planning to stay in the home or are you renovating to increase your property value for an impending sale? How long will it take to get the job done? (Be realistic! Renovations generally take longer than you think!) Can or should you do it all in stages, or is it best to do it all at once? Do you need building permits or permission from your condo board?

  • TIP #2: Don’t forget about insurance for your renovation. Are you sufficiently covered for unforeseen damages? Call your insurance agent before you wield that sledgehammer!

L – Lifestyle


Your lifestyle is an important factor in all your renovation decision-making. You may be dreaming of an all-marble bathroom with a gigantic soaker tub, surround sound and a crystal chandelier, but if you’re a busy family, this may not be your ideal bathroom!

Who will be using the bathroom? If the answer is two adults, three kids and a dog (Fido needs to take baths too, whether he likes it or not!), you will need to opt for durable finishes that are easy to clean, a double vanity if space permits, and lots of storage for all those rubber duckies, lotions and potions, and jumbo packs of bathroom tissue.

  • TIP #3: A hard-working bathroom can still be beautiful. An endless variety of tiles, fixtures and lighting options is available at your local home renovations store.

A – Arts and Crafts


A bit of creativity and elbow grease can help you create a beautiful, unique bathroom on a shoestring budget. Consider re-finishing or re-painting existing cabinetry. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware can impart Cinderella results to your tired old vanity.

  • TIP #4: Scour your home, basement, attic, building salvage stores or garage sales for items that you can re-purpose. An old dresser or sideboard can be transformed into a beautiful vanity that matches your style. A fresh coat of gold or silver paint on a hall mirror frame can add panache to your bathroom for next to nothing. Bookshelves or simple storage units can be painted to match your décor and provide storage for towels, toiletries and bath toys.

S – Save!

Save your money and the environment! Choosing fixtures that save on water and electricity will keep your hard-earned money from going down the drain. They will pay for themselves in the long run on utility bill savings.

  • TIP #5: Water-efficient showerheads and dual flush and-high efficiency toilets are now readily available. Ditto for energy-efficient bathroom light fixtures. Opt for LED.

H – Help!


Ask for it! There’s no need for the eager but unsure do-it-yourselfer to feel overwhelmed. Do you have family or friends who have undergone a renovation project and who can offer some insight and advice? Don’t be afraid to ask! Do you know someone who is great at painting or carpentry? Call in some favours or barter something you can offer.

Do you need more professional advice? The big box home improvement stores are a great resource, with helpful, knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions and offer advice. They often hold home improvement clinics where you can learn valuable skills and tips.

  • TIP #6: Don’t forget the internet! Your favourite home improvement TV personalities all have websites that you can access to garner ideas and learn valuable do’s and don’t’s.

Best of luck with your renovation. Remember, just dive in and S.P.L.A.S.H. !

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