The bathroom - seriously... just hear us out.
When you show people around your new home - give the grand tour as it were, the living room will spark conversation, the high ceilings, that gorgeous fireplace feature. People gather around the kitchen island and marvel at the shiny new countertops. The bathroom will probably just get an, ‘it’s over there’, with a dismissive wave of the hand.
However, the bathroom is where you begin and end each day. It’s where you get some peace and quiet, where you unwind and beautify yourself.
It sets the tone for your entire day.
A dark somber green wallpaper with mildew, for example, isn’t going to get you going, full of positive energy and ready to tackle the day.
I've personally moved out of a number of rentals simply because the bathroom was depressing. Having an ugly, old or worn-out bathroom then will definitely damage your resident retention and make it much harder to appeal to prospective tenants.
All this being said, bathrooms are more susceptible to wear and tear than other rooms in the house. Water does bad things to an interior. Which means keeping it nice is one of the more frequent, and subsequently more expensive jobs.
Tiles can be expensive. Like, really expensive. You may have your eye on some fancy artistic tiles, priced per tile, apparently quite reasonably. But when you realize just how many you need…
Instead of covering the whole room with those gorgeous (but expensive) tiles, use a few and surround them with more budget-friendly ones. This will actually help them stand out more.
There isn’t generally a lot of countertop space in a bathroom so you may be wondering how exactly you are supposed to save here.
One trend at the moment is splurging on expensive granite tops. Even if you are really committed to a granite countertop there are ways to do it cheaper. Go for either less popular colors, or choose a piece with imperfections. If the flaws are located in the right place you won’t be able to see it because of the sink and taps anyway.
However, there are plenty of other ways to save when it comes to countertops. Create a rustic DIY sink pedestal, for example. Simply cut a hole in the top (and back, for plumbing) of the dresser. Bit of varnish and wax and it could look pretty gorgeous.
A lick of paint is a cheap way to renew the look of a room. However, whilst the bathroom may be one of the smallest rooms in the house it is also the trickiest one to paint. You’ll need a lot of painters tape and will need to be careful going around the many edges - windows, sink, shower, tiles, etc.
The fixtures are the glistening focal points of a bathroom.
Old, grimy, moldy or leaky fixtures are immensely off-putting, to say the least.
Sometimes fixtures just can’t be cleaned, they just need to be replaced. This is a great opportunity to give the bathroom a bit of sparkle. You don’t have to go for the most expensive ones, however, we would advise not going for the very cheapest as the washers in cheaper faucets often give out fairly quickly.
Upgrading leaky faucets will also allow you to save a bit of money on water bills.
Often overlooked but caulk and grout are game-changers. Preventing leaks will help keep water where it’s meant to be and stop water from causing serious and expensive damage to the bathroom. On top of this, it’s an easy and cheap way to give the bathroom a bit of a facelift.
Replacing the old shower or bathtub is going to cost. Instead, think about having it professionally relined. Be aware that refinishing a sink or shower fixture will likely cost more than just replacing them though.
However, let’s say you have some vintage bathroom fixtures or an old tub you really don’t want to get rid of. The good news? You can refinish them yourself if they’re made of porcelain, cast iron, or fiberglass.
That said, it takes time and some investment. A basic DIY refinishing kit will cost between $100 and $150, but you’ll also need additional supplies such as a sander, a spray gun, face masks, paintbrushes, etc.
Related: 5 Money Saving Ideas for Landlords
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