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Video:5 Tips to Remodel a Small Bathroom on a Budget

with Jonathon Stewart

Remodeling a small bathroom doesn't have to cost a fortune. Here are five tips to remodel a small bathroom on a budget, so that you can keep your bathroom looking sleek and stylish without breaking the bank.See Transcript

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Transcript:5 Tips to Remodel a Small Bathroom on a Budget

Want to turn your small bathroom into a palatial spa getaway on a tight budget? Well, while you can't make it any bigger without some miracle or possibly moving, it is possible to liberally apply some DIY magic and not drain your savings account.

Determine What You Need When You Remodel a Small Bathroom on a Budget

Anything under 50 square feet is considered a small bathroom. The good news is that a smaller space usually means fewer materials. The result? Potentially a lower cost if you are not looking to add a gold-plated toilet and platinum fixtures.

When it comes to functionality, a guest bathroom won’t necessarily need a shower whereas a master bathroom will. A bathroom that gets used frequently might need durable, higher quality materials than a bathroom that isn't used very often.

Do It Yourself When You Remodel a Small Bathroom on a Budget

The big consideration here is labor costs -- especially electrical and plumbing -- as these can significantly add to your overall expense. So anything you can do yourself cuts down on your tab. However, this is the time for honesty. If you don't have the DIY skills or tools, trying to do things yourself can end up costing you more if you have to call in the pros to fix your mess.

One thing you can do yourself is demoing your bathroom. Your level of destruction depends on the extent of your remodel. For a serious overhaul, you should have an alternate bathroom to use while yours is out of commission. You'll need to remove just about everything, including flooring, the toilet, the sink, cabinets, wall paper and anything else that's going to be replaced, which can even include the walls.

Plan Ahead to Remodel a Small Bathroom on a Budget

Before you crank up the boom box, man your hard hat, and reach for your sledgehammer, it's critical to have your remodel planned out first. Home design software is a handy tool and can help you visualize the finished bathroom. This way, you can also make sure everything you want will fit in these close quarters.

Looking around online is a great way to discover design ideas for maximizing space and style in a small bathroom. Glass shower enclosures and open shelving can make your bathroom appear bigger. Floating vanities and under-sink storage make efficient use of limited space. Warm colors are also ideal for creating the illusion of a larger area.

Once you've got your remodel planned and you've stripped your bathroom, the next step is to install plumbing and electrical. Even with a limited budget, this is where a pro pays off. After that, you can step back in and take care of the rest, including the flooring, painting, cabinets, mirrors and any other décor or accessories.

Shop Around to Remodel a Small Bathroom on a Budget

There are several things to keep in mind that will help keep your costs down. Do shop around and familiarize yourself with what's available and at what price. Don't remodel your bathroom at a cost that's out of proportion to the overall value of your home. Do decide ahead of time what's important. And, don't hang onto things -- such as a bidet -- that are not. Unless you're French and the bidet is just part of your biz, in which case go for it.

I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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