Old Stone House

Big Plans, Small Budget – The Master Bathroom Recap

September 15, 2006

Filed under: Master Bathroom @ 6:33 pm

bathrm1.jpgTearing out the bulkheads in the front entrance was the great motivator to restore the bathroom, however the budget had never been smaller. One of the promises we had made ourselves when we bought this house was that we wouldn’t drown ourselves in enormous debt during the process of restoring. We had no intention of ‘flipping’ the house (fixing it up only to sell it) so we could wait as long as necessary to start the bathroom project project.

In order to maximise our buying power, we created a ‘critical items’ shopping list – those things which are obviously necessary for the project that we need to purchase, but that we would undoubtedly find for less money if we just waited long enough and looked hard enough. This system worked well as we didn’t start a project until the shopping list was filled, and didn’t a lot of money at once so we didn’t accumulate any real debt. When we did start the project there were few delays as most of the materials were on-hand.

In the master bathroom, the big-ticket item was going to be the clawfoot tub and faucet set. If purchased new, we estimated that the tub, which needed to be undersized (4’6”), was going to cost about $1200 and the faucet set would anywhere from $300 to $500.

The hunt for a claw foot tub proved most interesting. It turned out to be quite easy to find tubs from assorted salvage dealers. The most common type of tub was the 60” roll-top tub, and usually ranged in price from $125 – $300 dollars. It was however much more difficult to source an undersized tub, which in our case was 54”, as they were apparently rare, in and high demand.

After a few months of diligently checking the classifieds, we found a local scrap dealer who told us that he would be able to get a 54” inch claw foot tub from a friend. A few weeks later, we had in our possession a rusty claw foot tub for $200. A savings of about $1000!

While we were searching for the tub, I was on ebay on a daily basis looking for a set of taps with shower wand. After many lost bids, I finally managed to buy/win a brand new telephone-style faucet set for $45 – again saving well over $200.

The rest of the basic material costs broke down as such:

  • ceramic tile, mortar etc.: $150
  • wainscoting & trim: $150
  • toilet, sink & fixtures: $200
  • drywall etc.: $100
  • plumbing: $300
  • heating: $75

The total cost of the reno, after figuring in a few other auxiliary expenses, was about $1300-$1400. We needed to wait about 6 months before we could start work, so month to month we were spending on average $200-$250. Because the materials were on-hand, the total time for the project was eleven days! Needless to say, we were pretty pleased!

We’ve added a lot to the bathroom since these photos – mirrors, wall cabinets, shower ring, decorations etc., and now the bathroom looks a little more cluttered, and a lot more like a real bathroom. We moved in!



1 Comment »

  1. Hi there
    You did a fabulous job on this bathroom! We are doing something very similar, and found an old 54 inch tub on our local Kijiji website that we are refinishing. I was wondering how you find showering in the smaller tub? Is it big enough for the average person to take a shower? Thanks so much!
    Janice canadiancottageblog@gmail.com

    Hi Janice – The tub is plenty big for someone to have a shower – it’s even big enough for a bath – so long as you don’t mind bending your knees! 😉

    Comment by Janice — June 23, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

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