Our Budget Bathroom Renovation

Apparently in Australia, the average bathroom renovation costs upwards of $10,000. I’m talking the entire gut job, replace everything, the works. And that’s a small bathroom.

My husband and I live in an older home (30 plus years to be more exact) and the bathroom has for some time needed to be completely redone. Everything had to go. Tiles were stained and chipped, the mirror was rusted out, the bench top and vanity laminate was peeling and the shower leaked. The only problem we had was the dollars. Whilst we love our house, it’s not our forever home, it’s simply a starter home and as a result it was and is very important to the both of us that we don’t over capitalise. That’s right, we were looking at a bathroom renovation on a budget. I’d recently heard of people paying $16,000 to even $30,000 for their small to moderately sized bathrooms and I absolutely balked at paying that much money for two tiny rooms (our toilet is in a separate room to our bathroom).

Anyway, after just over 12 months of planning, buying and the actual renovation itself, we now have a new bathroom! For…drum roll please… the low, low cost of $6,500. To be honest, it was still more than I was hoping to spend (I really wanted to come in at $5,000…) but every renovation comes in over budget right? Still, it’s a lot less than most people spend, and here’s how we did it!

  1. There’s a reason it took us such a long time to prep for the reno itself. We did a lot of research, and by research I mean we spent months searching for top quality items at the lowest possible price. Just because this was going to be a bathroom on a budget, didn’t mean we wanted it to look cheap. We managed to get some really expensive items on sale or at reduced prices (tip – a lot of bathroom supply stores sell the same items for significant price differences. Case in point, our local hardware store had the basin we wanted but it was $150, but online we were able to order the exact same basin for $60 – including shipping. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for shopping local, but that was a price difference that was hard to beat. Research is time consuming. It’s so easy to walk into a bathroom showroom, look at a display and say ‘yes’ to the entire thing. It’s a much slower process to bargain hunt and look in the clearance sections!
  2. Set budgets. There were some fixtures and fittings that I absolutely loved, that I fell in love with. But the financial cost was just too high. Some items, no matter now nice (particularly tapware) are just plain old pricey and won’t add any value to your home – no matter how nice the rose gold taps are….
  3. We did our own demolition, and when I say we I mean my husband. Don’t get me wrong though, this was A LOT of work, but saved us hundreds if not thousands of dollars. My husband also did the painting of the walls, door and door frame, it’s a lot cheaper than paying a painter.
  4. My Dad is a carpenter and super handy, we scored big time by having him make and install our bench top (which incidentally we also got as an epic bargain – there were two pieces of this wood left which were $249 a piece (over my $100 budget) but because there were only two pieces left – the store let us have one for $100!!!!
  5. Facebook Marketplace can be a godsend. We really needed a drill (which also helped with the demo) but they aren’t cheap to buy. Hubby found an almost brand new one on Facebook Marketplace for $30 that the previous owner had only used briefly for his renovation.

Sure, a lot of our bargains were complete and utter luck. But at the same time, we put a lot of time and effort into finding bargains, discount codes, coupons and offers. I can’t wait to do it all again soon when we renovate the kitchen, on a budget of course!

Have you done a renovation on a budget?