.

How to create a great bathroom on a budget

Thinking of building new or remodeling your bathroom? Here's some great tips and tricks for creating that perfect bathroom without busting the budget.

In my years as an architect, I’ve been known to have moments of irrational exuberance (I am, after all, an architect), but I’ve always counseled clients that more isn’t necessarily more and that spending more doesn’t always equal getting a better addition, kitchen or bathroom.  I encourage my clients to establish criteria, study possibilities, and make informed decisions.  In that way, I’ve helped these homeowners cancel out the noise and focus on achieving their goal of creating their own, special space.

In the process, I’ve developed a set of strategies for achieving the bathroom the client really wants at the least possible cost.  Some of these strategies are simple and straightforward; others, not so much.  Here’s a look at some of these strategies and how each was used to help my clients get their bathrooms “just right.”

Some of the tips I provide in the newest issue of Fine Homebuilding's 2013 Bathroom Planning Guide include:

  • Mind the layout - How to work with what you have.
  • Smart space planning - From using pocket doors to doubling up on functions to keeping the tub from taking over.
  • Using materials efficiently and effectively - Just a little of the pricey tile can go a long way.
  • Maximizing storage - Efficient storage in every square inch makes a bathroom all the more enjoyable.
  • Introduce natural light - Forgoe the dark and dreary bathroom for one that is bathed in natural light.

And don't just read my article.  The guide is full of some wonderful bathrooms and great advise on everything from smart planning to setting tile to making the bathroom accessible.

Whether you’re building from scratch or remodeling, creating a new bathroom will confront you with an array of possibilities sure to make your head spin:  How big? Which fixtures? Which tile? With so many choices, it’s easy to lose control over your fiscal sanity. You may be swayed into incorporating expensive features that you won’t use, but have been told are “must haves”; you may, halfway through construction, decide to change or add something that will require reworking what’s already been done.  Or you may fall into the “while I’m at it” trap, expanding the job beyond your initial plan.  Soon enough, you may find you’ve overshot your budget and are scrambling to find the extra dollars needed to pay for a bath remodel beyond your control.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. While “irrational exuberance” may have been the credo a few years ago, when bigger was better and more was definitely more, today we’re more inclined to find ways to create beauty and enrich our lives by building smartly.  It means learning from Goldilocks, who rejected what was too big or too small for what was just right. So it means that we’ll have to discover exactly what it is we want and how we can achieve it in a rational way.  It means we’ll have to make a plan and stick to it.  And it means shutting out the noise to focus on who we are and what makes us happy.

In my years as an architect, I’ve been known to have moments of irrational exuberance (I am, after all, an architect), but I’ve always counseled clients that more isn’t necessarily more and that spending more doesn’t always equal getting a better addition, kitchen or bathroom.  I encourage my clients to establish criteria, study possibilities, and make informed decisions.  In that way, I’ve helped these homeowners cancel out the noise and focus on achieving their goal of creating their own, special space.

In the process, I’ve developed a set of strategies for achieving the bathroom the client really wants at the least possible cost.  Some of these strategies are simple and straightforward; others, not so much.  Here’s a look at some of these strategies and how each was used to help my clients get their bathrooms “just right.”

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »