Our $979 Downstairs Bath Renovation

Last year, I shared some “Before” photos of the downstairs bath at our old house. It was a room we didn’t really think about until a guest would ask to use it and then I would cringe a little. Stained baby blue and pink linoleum (the previous owners kept their dogs in there during the day), a crusty old oversized sink and vanity, and weird frilly-looking light fixtures. The faucet was a big pet peeve of mine--it was one of those cheap, 1980s styles with the knobs so close together your fingers would get stuck trying to turn the water on or off. That being said, this little ¾ bath did its job, providing a shower, sink and toilet on main floor of the house. If you've lived in an older house (ours was built in the 1920s), you know how tough it is squeezing an extra bathroom into the house! I don’t think anyone would complain about an extra bathroom, no matter how ugly.

Before we got on the house-hunting train last summer, we had started our bathroom project, choosing paint colors and sourcing some fixtures, but we weren’t in any rush to finish it and were actually planning to get it done in the fall after the nice weather was gone. When we decided to sell, we had to hop to it, and finish the job! We also had to really prune the budget, especially when it came to things like art work, hardware, accessories, decor, and a back splash I had wanted to add. Despite the fast-track schedule and pared-down budget, it came out nicely, and, I believe, was one factor in selling our house quickly!

Things were so hectic, I didn't even get a chance to take photos of it after it was done! So the one below is from our real estate agent, who was taking photos for the listing:


And, as a reminder of how yucky it was before:


We kept the toilet and shower stall, as well as the existing light fixture over the vanity, the mirror, towel rack, and towel bar. We replaced the floor tile and purchased a new vanity/sink combination that was actually on sale for Memorial Day weekend. We also gave the ceiling, walls, and radiator a fresh coat of paint. For the lights, we found new shades that fit into the existing fixture, but were a simpler design. We did the work for less than $1,000! Below is a rough breakdown:

  1. New paint, about $40

  2. New exhaust fan/light, $89

  3. New vanity cabinet, top & faucet, about $500 all together (Saved about $250 due to a Memorial Day sale + coupons at Lowe’s)

  4. New tile floor, $320

  5. New toilet seat, $30

Total: $979!...and probably $100 or so in supplies like paint brushes, grout, etc. Ok, so a little more than $1,000, but still nothing to sneeze at.

Keeping most of what was there, and dedicating the biggest portion of our money to the new floor and vanity helped keep our budget in check, while really giving it the look and feel a completely new bathroom. What do you think? Did this help sell our house? Would you complete a renovation like this before putting your house on the market?