Saturday, 22 July 2017

How to cut costs in your bathroom revamp.

James is brilliant at most things. He can sing, act, played sport to a high level at school and university, is a brilliant business man- basically Mr All Star. However, he has the DIY skills of a baboon and thinks a U-bend is a type of driving maneuver. So, when it came to the bathroom and en suite refurbishments, I was swiftly labelled 'Project Manager'- how very Grand Designs; give me my high viz jacket, hard hat and Kevin McCloud.

Help me, Kev.

How to save money in the process? Do it ALL yourself. I'm kidding. But if you can, that's the answer and you can stop reading now. If not and you need the help of the professionals, here's what I learnt and how I saved money whilst doing ours, as you will probably part with more money than anticipated 99% of the time due to hidden obstacles that love to rear their ugly heads.

Hidden costs: not long after this, the ceiling started peeling off due to badly glued on coving.

Go online
Tony, who did our bathroom, advised us to go local. I tried, I really did, as I like supporting small businesses and it always feels more personable. If you're on a budget like us, this was quickly becoming problematic due to the prices of even the basic stuff. By going to online stores like Soak and Victoria Plum for your sanitaryware, you are literally saving thousands and the quality is good. If you catch the sites at the right time, you will find they're often doing 10% flash sales too. Tons of Tiles came up trumps and have a brilliant range of tiles to choose from, all at great value.

At 94p a tile, these matt black hexagons from Tons of Tiles
were a bargain and make the bathroom look really chic.

You're already saving over 50% on this Soak black slate effect tray.

Re-use your hardware
Do you really need new taps, shower system and shower screen? I thought I did but realised they were perfectly fine and all they needed was a clean. I soaked my shower head, hose and taps in strong de-scaler, and they came out like new. The shower screen for the bath just needed a clean and it's good to go again. As our plumbing is quite old, there was also a chance that newer shower units and taps wouldn't have had the same pressure and it would have been costly to adjust this, so it's always best to go by the old saying 'if it ain't broke..' you know the rest.

You've heard me talk about this before, but it's always worth considering this avenue, even if buying something new. We wanted a grey sink unit, but our dreams were shattered when Tony told us due to the industrial sized waste pipe that ran through, having a unit with drawers was pointless, as he would have needed to hack the insides to pieces to accommodate it. I'm a firm believer that bottomless options should start and finish in Nandos, so only a unit with doors would do. We had to go back to the drawing board. So, I bought a good quality basic white sink unit and using one and a half sample sized pots of Farrow and Ball Plummet, had a grey sink unit like the one I was lusting after, saving nearly £150.

The hardware needed some personality injected into it, painting the sink unit helped massively...

One and a half sample size pots of Farrow and Ball Plumett later and it looks soooo much better. To add even more drama, I used Kalk Litir's lime paint in Nero.

My biggest upcycling triumph during this process was my old towel heater in the main bathroom. It appeared bland and knackered, but it worked well, was giving me all kinds of industrial vibes and I loved the curved edges. Like any stereotypical 'nerd to hottie' American movie; it just needed a makeover. I used Hammerite metal spray in Black Satin and Tony said was fine for my towel heater, but it's always worth double checking, as you don't want black stripes running across your finest Egyptian Cotton...

Goodbye to Sandra-dee.

Tell me about it, stud... This fab 'Completely Devoted print from Soouk, that I bought from BHS compliments my upcycled rad perfectly.

As we were having our decking done by my lovely cousin's equally lovely hubby, I found a piece in the garden that I sanded down and with the addition of some leather strap that was hanging around (for decorative purposes only, there'll be no Christian Grey antics here, thankyouvellymuch), I had a shelf ready to use (with the expert execution of Tony, there was no way I was going to drill into the tiles myself). The grooves in the decking are fab for ensuring picture frames don't slip down and clobber you on the head while you're washing your money maker.

There's now a gap in my decking. Joking. Obvs.

So there you have it and I hope it's been more useful than a chocolate fireguard. Have a look below at the before and afters of our main bathroom and en suite!

Main bathroom before...

...and after! Note the reused shower screen and taps!

En suite before...

...and after. So much better.



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