Armchair Builder

Low Cost Bath Remodel

Bath Remodel Low Cost

Low Cost Bath Remodel with Stock Vanity

A high quality, low cost bath remodel can be achieved by using stock items and customizing them to fit your bathroom.  You can start with one of the more expensive components of your bath…the vanities.  When a vanity cabinet is a stock item it’s typically much more affordable than if you purchase one to be made-to-order.  Here we will show you how to use stock cabinets to achieve a custom look while saving up to 50% off the typical cost.

What Do We Mean by Stock?

When we say stock cabinets…what exactly do we mean?  We are talking about vanity cabinets that are pre-designed from the manufacture with all of the details, hardware, toe kicks, drawers…etc. These vanities have been pre-designed, built and are ready to be shipped.  The beauty of these stock cabinets is in the designer details.  The designers come up with things you and I wouldn’t normally think of.  They come up with some really cool, custom stuff.  So, when you apply this great design to manufacturing efficiencies and quantities of scale (making a bunch at one time), the prices become very affordable for custom cabinets.

The Problem with Stock Vanities

There are so many great stock vanities out there today.  What makes them great is also what makes them trouble.  In order to be efficient with the manufacturing and costs, the cabinet companies need to limit the sizes available.  This can be a problem for your new low cost bath remodel.  If you need a 30 inch vanity, you need a 30 inch vanity.  Right?  Not necessarily.

Stock Vanity in Low Cost Bath Remodel

Here’s the Builder Tip for Your Low Cost Bath Remodel

We can make these great looking stock vanities work for your low cost bath remodel…even if the manufacturer doesn’t make the exact size needed for your bath.   But how?  By ordering the next smaller size of vanity and then installing a site built shelf unit you get a custom, designer look while achieving the goal of a low cost bath remodel.   We make up the difference in cabinet space with our own custom site-built shelf unit.

Stock Vanity with Custom Shelf

What’s the Savings?

We just priced out two different low cost bath remodel jobs and both stock vanities came in 50% lower than the made-to-order pricing.  For one of the baths, we needed a straight 54 inch vanity.  We couldn’t find a stock cabinet we liked in this size.  So, we have ordered a 48 inch high quality, designer stock cabinet and will build a 6 inch wide shelf unit to keep the same storage and countertop size.  Our low cost bath remodel vanity will cost $600 versus the $1200 we were quoted by three different cabinet suppliers for made-to-order vanities.  And the best part is…the vanity we ordered is of high quality with a plywood box, dovetail drawers and more.

Things to Remember When Replacing a Vanity

This is where we through out all the disclaimers and things to look out for when planning your low cost bath remodel.  You know how people say there’s no such thing as a small remodeling project?  Well, this is sometimes true.  Here are some things to look out for…

  • flooring – It will most likely need to be replaced as the new vanity probably won’t be the exactly same shape and size as the old.  Even if your old flooring was installed under the old vanity, it most likely won’t look good after replacing the old vanity…think nail holes, fading,..etc.
  • adding sinks – If you think you want to add a sink, make sure your vanities have space for them.  The plumbing (i.e. drains) will need a place to hang out under there.  Drawers and shelves can’t be located in the sink plumbing locations.
  • lighting –  The beauty of keeping the same size vanity is you don’t need to move the light above it.  Typically these are centered on the vanity.
  • vanity height – If you raise your vanity height, it may encroach on your mirror…I know, I know, what a pain in the …

Some Other Great Low Cost Bath Remodel Resources

Vanity:  We just published a new video showing how to go about using a stock vanity with a custom built shelf.

Faucet: You can update your tub and shower faucets painlessly without calling a plumber.  Using the existing valve in the wall, you just replace the “trim”.  The trim is just the stuff you see on the outside of the wall (i.e. shower head, tub spout, temperature adjuster…etc.).  Here is the video to find out more…Tub and Shower Faucet Trim Replacement

Trim Ideas:  In this video we share a couple builder secrets for getting big, custom, beefy looking crown molding without the big custom price…Trim Ideas for Your Bath Remodel

Mirror Framing:  A.K.A. mirror molding.  This is one of my favorite ideas for updating the look of an old, tired bathroom.  This video shows how you can get a truly custom look in under an hour…Mirror Framing:  The 45 Minute Bath Renovation.

Check out these videos and get started on your new low cost bath remodel today.


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