Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget

This bathroom renovation project has been on the back burner for a while, but it’s time to get started on it. It’s been a long time since we tackled a big project like this, anything can happen!

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|

Big Renovation, Tiny Budget

We have a leaky bath. This bathroom is on our second floor and is shared between the 4 upstairs bedrooms. When we bought this old house two years ago, we knew this would eventually be on our renovation plan. We had a vision to expand it, make a walk in shower and add a double vanity someday.

That day has come! Shortly after we moved in, we discovered the previous owners had cleverly concealed cracks in the shower surround by filling them with caulk. Over time, the caulk has peeled away leaving leaky cracks in it’s place. ARRRGHHH!

It is unfortunate that the inspector never found the cracks, we would have made sure it was fixed before we bought the house. However, it is too late for that now. We are sure the shower is leaking into the wall behind it, just not sure how bad the damage will be when we open it up.

Big Family Bath Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|

To make matters worse, we have had a lot of problems with clogged drains lately. The plumbing is old, is not vented and needs to be replaced. How do you do all this on a tiny budget??

Bathroom Renovation Master Plan

We are not strangers to renovations. We have renovated houses for years and have a lot of experience with how things can go wrong once you get started on a big project. This is why we have chosen to carefully think through all the options before starting.

We have drawn several different design plans. The plans range from easy to difficult. We aren’t really sure which one we will choose until we open up that back wall behind the shower and see how much water damage there is. The shower surround will be the first to come out then we can decide on a course of action.

Plan A:

If the damage is minimal and the studs are not rotten, we can put up tile backer board and install subway tile and a few decorative tiles around the existing tub. A bit of grout and all will be well! This renovation will cost about $250.00 if we do all the work. The rest of the room would remain untouched. We already have the tile, here’s a peek:

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|
Beautiful 4″ square Mexican tiles.

We bought a case of this beautiful Mexican tile a few months ago, anticipating this project! Can’t wait to see it in the new bath!

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|
The itty-bitty toilet and pedestal sink make for a lousy bathroom.

Plan B:

This plan is worse case scenario. If the studs and floor behind the shower surround are rotten, we will need to remove the entire tub. Then replace the 2 x 4 framing, sub floor, and add tile backer board. We are able to do this work ourselves. If this is the case, and we have to do that, we will also replace the old plumbing and add needed venting to bring the plumbing up to code (probably will have to hire a plumber for this). When we started thinking about our plans, we decided we could even expand the entire bath since we have to take out a wall out anyway. Here’s our thought process:

By moving the shower back 4 feet into our master bedroom (which is behind the shower wall), we can get an extra large walk in shower in this bath. We can also move the sink to accommodate  a double vanity and move the toilet over to get a full size toilet fixture.

Big Family Bathroom Renovation on a Tiny Budget|Designers Sweet Spot|
Temporary storage shelves above the toilet.

As you can see in this photo, there is zero storage in this room. I used to love pedestal sinks, but the complete lack of storage just isn’t worth it. When we moved in, my husband built these shelves above the toilet for storage. However, when he went to put them up, we discovered that the studs in the wall are almost 30″ apart. What??? There should be studs every 16 inches. Some do it yourself-er cut a lot of corners when they installed this bath! We can’t hang much of anything on the wall because there are no studs to anchor anything. Not good!

The toilet in this room is also a problem since it is a mini-sized one. I call it the child size toilet. What were they thinking when they installed that?? No one wants a mini sized toilet!

City code requires a minimum of 18″ clearance from the center of the toilet to the wall or any other fixture (according to the BHG blog, you can read more here) As you can see, we have about 8″ of space between the toilet and the wall, clearly a code violation.

The itty-bitty potty has to go away for good!

Renovation Expenses Estimate

Plan B expenses will run considerably more, even with us doing a majority of the work.  Here’s a quick estimate:

Tile, grout and backer board supplies about $350.00 (We already have the tile, same as plan A)

Estimate to move shower plumbing back 4 feet, move toilet and add additional sink hookup $3000.00 (I am guessing here, it could be considerably more. We will have to hire a professional plumber for this work.)

New sink and shower faucets $500.00

Double vanity $500.00 (we may be able to save some money here)

Double Sinks $500.00

New full size toilet $300.00

Flooring $200.00

Lighting $200.00

Electrical work $300.00

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Summing it Up

We can install the vanity and sinks ourselves, but the plumber would have to install the shower base and toilet to guarantee no leaks. Wowzers, we are looking at a $5000-$6000 renovation. This is a lot of money, however it would be so much more if we hired all the work done, we will do as much as we can ourselves. One of the estimates we got for the entire project was $30,000. No way! Ideally we would like to get the entire job done for about $4000. We will see how that goes!

The good news is that this renovation will add a lot of value to our home for resale, but we may have to compromise in some areas to get the job done within our budget.

Lets hope we can stick with plan A! We will be gutting this room very soon and I will keep you posted on our progress!

If you need more bathroom ideas, check out these posts:

10 Beautiful Farmhouse Bathrooms

Bathroom Update on a Budget

Beautiful Bathroom Tile Roundup

10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom, Budget Friendly

Top 20 Bathroom Transformations

Five Dollar Bathroom Update



How to Spray Paint Your Walls in Record Time

If you are a busy person, here’s the fastest way to get your painting done in record time! This post is sponsored by Home Right. Any opinions are completely my own. For a complete list of disclosure rules, see the disclosures page.

Spray Paint Your Walls in Record Time|Designers Sweet Spot|

How to Spray Paint Your Walls in Record Time

Painting is a time consuming job. I have been anxious to paint our attic stair way for quite some time. Mainly, because it’s dark and creepy up there. Our home was built in 1915. The attic is one of those places you just don’t want to spend much time. It is cold and drafty in the winter, and hot and stuff in the summer. It is full of 100 years of dust and bat guano. But, it has the potential to be an amazing art studio, this is my dream work space!

How to Spray Paint Walls in Record Time|Designers Sweet Spot|

This amazing space is the main reason why I chose to begin working on painting it. It is a HUGE project. There is a ton of potential here!

How to Paint in Record Time

The stairway to the attic space has old green plaster walls with plenty of cracks and holes, and beautiful original wooden stairs.

The rest of the attic space is completely unfinished, hopefully we will be able to finish it in the near future. For now, painting the stairway will bring me one step closer to my dream art studio!

Home Right was kind enough to supply me with this awesome sprayer, and I can honestly say I would have never tackled this job without it. It’s too big, too overwhelming for your average painting job.

How to Spray Paint Walls in Record Time|Designers Sweet Spot|

How to Steps:

  1. Fill Holes and Cracks: The first step in this project was to fill all the holes with Spackle medium. I prefer to use Spackle than joint compound for filling holes. It’s much easier to work with, and dries faster. Spackle can be applied with a small putty knife to cracks and holes, smoothed out and then left to dry. After an hour or so of drying time, any rough spots can be sanded with a bit of fine sand paper and your ready to paint. Easy, peasy!

2.  Gather Materials: This is where the fun starts! I decided to use the Finish Max Extra paint sprayer for this project for a number of reasons. Time was a big factor, but there are so many small crevices and holes in the wood that I knew painting with a brush would be very difficult. I the Finish Max Extra sprayer was perfect for this task!

There are a number of new features on this sprayer, it comes with a cover for the paint reservoir, so you can store your left over paint for the next paint job. Love that! Also, this sprayer comes with several color coded spraying tips for different types of paint jobs. I used the red tip with the yellow adapter for the widest range of coverage.

Because this is an unfinished space, I did not need to worry about taping around wood work or messing with drop clothes. Nothing up there in the attic to protect from paint splatter, except the giant dust bunnies.

Paint your walls in record time!|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com3. Prepare the paint: The paint I was using was pretty thick, since it was a primer and paint in one. I watered it down to work better in the sprayer. I used 1/3 water to 2/3 paint, the paint reservoir has handy marks on it so it’s easy to measure out. Be sure to combine your paint and water carefully for the best coverage.

4. Start painting: Then there was nothing left to do but start painting! Home Right recommends testing the spray nozzle with water before actually painting to adjust the nozzel for accurate coverage. I have used their sprayer products before, and I wasn’t concerned with coverage being too large, so I jumped right in and started to paint. Can you believe it only took me 45 minutes to paint the entire stairway? Wow! It was super fast! I used an entire gallon of paint in the process because I had to go over a few areas more than once, but the coverage was even and beautiful over all. The old green paint was darker than I thought, because it looks so much better now!

5. Clean the Sprayer: If you leave the paint sprayer with the paint in it too long, the paint will dry and clog the sprayer nozzle. I had to clear it out once or twice as I worked for the best sprayer action. I had a bucket of clean water next to me that I dropped the sprayer parts in to and rinsed them as I worked if they got clogged. Then, right after I was finished with them I put them back in the bucket and gave them a final scrubbing in the Kitchen sink. They were easy to clean in this way and and are ready for the next job!

Paint your attic stairs in less than one hour!|Designers Sweet Spot|

I can’t believe the difference the paint makes! The hall seems so light and bright! I am anxious to do more with the Finish Max sprayer, it was so fast and easy! By the way, clean up was a breeze. Having a bucket of water on hand to soak the parts in is definitely a time saver!

Paint Your Walls in Record Time|Designers Sweet Spot|Designers Sweet Spot|

The next part of the attic will be a doozy, but I am sure I can do it now with the Home Right Finish Max paint sprayer!

Thanks to Home Right for sponsoring this post! Don’t forget to Pin this post!

How to Paint your walls in record time!Designers Sweet Spot|

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