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Budget-Friendly, Easy Bathroom Makeovers

Need a bathroom makeover but can’t afford to flush cash down the drain? Here’s how to spruce up your bath without getting soaked.

But you can get a lot of bang for a lot fewer bucks with some simple makeover ideas that’ll turn your bathroom into the pride of the house.

Small, affordable bathroom makeovers are the specialty of Tim Shaw, a Mt. Pleasant, S.C., handyman. We asked Shaw what projects he recommends -- and what they typically cost.

So you know: A professional handyman charges $30-$60 per hour, and there may be a $150 minimum charge per job.

Quick fixes under $50

  • Replace the old shower head with a modern, low-flow shower head. You can get a sunflower-style head, which creates a rain-like spray, or a hand-held one, which hangs from above like a normal shower or can be hand-operated thanks to its attached hose. DIY cost: $40
  • Install a new tub/shower trim kit. Swap out the handles and nozzles on your shower with new ones made by the same manufacturer. This is an easy do-it-yourself job, with the kit costing just $20 to $50, depending on brand. Also, replace the toilet handle; DIY cost is about $20.

Spruce up for under $300

  • Paint the bathroom. A coat of mildew-resistant bathroom paint goes a long way toward freshening up your bathroom. A handyman or pro painter will charge $250-$350 for a 5-by-7-foot bathroom, including paint. Trim costs by removing mirrors, light fixtures, and towel bars yourself prior to painting.
  • Replace the towel and toilet paper holder, the medicine cabinet, and the shower curtain. These are simple DIY jobs that can transform the look of any bathroom. DIY cost: $250.

Makeovers under $1,000

  • Replace the sink, faucet, and vanity to improve the look and functionality of the bathroom’s main workstation. Handyman cost, including materials: $800.
  • Swap out an old two-handled shower for a single-knob pressure-balancing valve, and you’ll eliminate the risk of anyone getting scalded when another family member flushes a toiletand the cold water flow is interrupted. A licensed plumber will charge $800.
  • Resurface the tub. Removing a built-in tub often requires doing a lot of demolition to the bathroom, from the walls to the floor. But you can refinish your existing enameled cast-iron tub, making it look like new and changing it's color (if it’s 1960s pink, for example). Pro tub refinishing is $700. Make sure you ask if they wear respirators and take adequate measures to protect against tub refinishing chemicals.
  • Add bead-board wainscot. This classic half-wall of painted wood dresses up the bathroom, modernizes the look, and protects the walls from dings and spills. A handyman will do this job for about $700.

By: Oliver Marks

Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

John Lynch with Dwell360 is a REALTOR® who services the cities and suburbs of metro Boston. He is focused on his customers and his experience in the residential real estate market is extensive. Search for homes in Massachusetts and then give John a call.