Our $4,000 Bathroom RenovationOur house only has one bathroom, so I knew I wanted the bathroom renovation to be really great. But because of my commitment to being debt-free, it was also very important to me that I spent as little money as possible. I just didn’t want it to feel that way. Plus, when you know your design skills are going to be put on national television for the whole world to see, you really want to knock your bathroom renovation out of the park. Let me know if you think I did.

Vance Bath Before

The Before

Let’s start with the before. It was a very basic, low-end bathroom. I know those look like real marble floors, but (shocker!) it’s linoleum. Since the house was used most recently as a church we found communion cups in the medicine cabinet! We completely gutted the bathroom. Nothing stuck around, except the floor plan.

Vance Bathroom During Demo

The Inspiration

When I was spending hours on Pinterest trying to create a design plan for this bathroom, I loved the idea of a walk-in shower. I know it’s risky to get rid of the tub in a house with only one bathroom, but I just loved the look (and price tag!) of a fixed panel glass wall. Here was my inspiration photo for our bathroom: Bathroom Inspiration

The other idea I loved was installing penny tile on the wall. I found some basic white penny tile on clearance at Home Depot so I felt it would be a high impact, low cost addition to our small space.

Bathroom Inspiration Penny Tile

Finding Deals

I found deals for the bathroom in four places: Habitat for Humanity, Facebook Marketplace, Pottery Barn Outlet, and Home Depot. Here’s a breakdown of some of the best deals I scored for the bathroom renovation:

  • Pottery Barn Medicine Cabinet from the Gaffney Pottery Barn Outlet: Paid $30, regular price is $279.
  • New Gerber Toilet from Facebook Marketplace: Paid $70, regular price is $350.
  • White Penny Tile from Home Depot Clearance: Paid $131.57, regular price is $263.
  • Bathroom Vent from Facebook Marketplace: Paid $35, regular price is $125.
  • Bathroom Light from Facebook Marketplace: Paid $50, regular price is $110.

I also was able to use a coupon code for the vanity, which brought the price down to $412.13 from $455. This was a bit of a splurge, given the overall budget, but I love the storage space this small vanity offers.

Bathroom Vanity and modern medicine cabinet

Low Cost, High Design

There were a few items that I did not get on sale or at a discount, but I felt they were worth paying regular price. And they still fit well into my budget, especially since I was able to save so much money on other items.

  • Teal Bathroom Tile from TileBar: Paid $310
  • Fixed Shower Door: Paid $339
  • The gold bathroom sink faucet and the gold shower head were both from Amazon: Paid $148.89 for both

Hiring Professionals vs. DIY

Because we were committed to sticking to our budget and we paid cash for everything, we tried to do as much work ourselves as possible. But if you watch our show on Magnolia Network, you’ll see that we were (are!) definitely novices. I found a $356 tile saw on Facebook Marketplace for $70 so we thought we’d give it a try. We did the bathroom floor ourselves, but we hired a contractor for $1500 to do the bathroom shower and penny tile wall. After watching him work on this for a few days, I thought this was definitely worth that price!

DIY Bathroom Tile

Tallying Up the Bathroom Renovation Bill

The total at this point is $3026.59. The remaining expenses included things like grout, gold Schluter tile edge trim, an an awesome wooden stool I found from a local woodworker on Facebook Marketplace. I also used a small gold towel bar and four gold robe hooks. There are accessories like bath rugs, a basket to hold extra toilet paper, and sprigs of fresh eucalyptus which I buy a couple of times a year from Trader Joe’s. There you have it- our $4,000 bathroom renovation! You can watch it unfold on Season 2, episode 7 of First Time Fixer on Magnolia Network. Let me know what you think! $4,000 Bathroom Reveal


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