We’d never renovated anything big like this before, so this was huge. It was definitely possible to do within a reasonable budget, especially since we overhauled everything down to the toilet paper holder! For a first-time project we are pretty pleased with the results and are excited to share the journey with anyone hoping to beautify their bathroom space, too.
I wish I had more pictures to show you but I think we purposely avoided aiming a camera at this space, to be honest! It isn’t great. I mean, the cabinet isn’t even really intended to be a bathroom cabinet, we just needed something for storage in the meantime.
Pretty bleak looking, right? We thought we really liked the darker wood at first and were initially talking about going with an espresso finish for the remodel, but are so glad that we did not.
Finding the right cabinet is the hardest part of the journey, or at least it can be the most time-consuming. Given we only have one bathroom, we initially wanted a 2 sink piece, but only had a maximum width of 55″ to work with for the finished product (most stock options are 48″ and one bowl or 60″ for two).
We thought custom-made was going to be our only option so we talked to someone at Home Depot about their services, and to no real shock, there were a bunch of fees that kept surfacing. We nixed that and called a smaller cabinetry company and while much more transparent, the unit we wanted including just basic materials, would be over $3,000 all said and done. This was way over budget so that was nixed also.
Given the above spanned about 3 months, we had enough time to realize that we didn’t actually need two sinks, and more counter and cabinet space would benefit us more. The week before Thanksgiving we took an impromptu turn down the bathroom vanity aisle on an otherwise living-room-shade-bound trip to Home Depot and ended up finding our piece on the spot. We ordered it and put it on will-call so we could pick it up the following weekend.
Demo Day and Install
We went to pick up the unit a week later with Kevin’s mom, dad, and brother to help us, and it turned out that Home Depot screwed up, our unit wasn’t there. Very luckily (for Home Depot) they had an even nicer unit available that we ended up getting for the same, lower price. We were still in business for the day, and at $135 less than we were originally making away with!
What comes with a DIY vanity…
Lots of man power, physical labor, and patience. We were ready for it knowing it would be for a beautiful result that we could sign our names on personally, and save a few extra bucks to put back into the home elsewhere. As long as you understand what you’re getting into, it isn’t such a daunting order.
Once we got to the condo….
-3 men had to carry the new vanity up 3 flights of stairs
-2 men had to carry the old vanity down to the dumpsters
-Plumbing had to be disconnected, and the sewer gas plugged (so important, and it smells terrible)
-The new vanity had to be leveled and anchored to the wall with 6 screws
-The new countertop had to be attached to the top with construction glue, ensuring it was as close to the wall as absolutely possible
-New plumbing had to then be installed, including a new faucet and drain
-The side and back of the countertop had to be caulked to avoid mold
Installing that light fixture was a lot of work. Mostly because we ended up moving the resting place of the new fixture about 6 inches up and to the right a few inches as well. Installing a lamp over an existing base is not really a big chore if you know how to wire, moving it is the real pain.
The white/pink patch below (not to be confused with the perfectly circular off-white paint from the old fixture, but rather the long, oblong patch) is my spackle job to cover a complete absence of dry wall. I ended up adding patches of spackle slowly over time, after some dried little by little, to ensure the integrity of the wall would remain very solid. Adding all of the patching material at once to a hole this big could have left open the possibility of the substance caving in, as it would really just be a large, gooey substance with only itself to stand on (imagine trying to fill the hole with a slightly sturdier Gak). Baby steps were key.
If you’ve never installed a light before…don’t do it without the supervision of seasoned friend, family member, or just having a professional do it. The electrical part of this job would probably be $50-$100 on the high-end and could be very dangerous if you don’t know how to differentiate the wires. We were fortunate that Kevin’s dad is a former electrician, and my dad is a painter, and those two have really helped us learn the right protocol to do this part on our own (i.e. shutting off the power, having a cage lamp so we can still work after dark, how to spackle, sand and paint that hole).
The fun part! After all of the above, you’ve earned it.
Mirror 30×36 inches from Home Depot, plus mounting hardware – $32.86
Faucet from Home Depot – $99.00
Switchplate from Lowe’s – $11.97
Soap Dispenser from Sears – $14.99
Toilet Paper Holder from Lowe’s – $24.98
Towel Holder from Lowe’s – $23.98
Wall Cabinet from Walmart – $39.82
LED Light Fixture from Lowe’s – $129.00
Vanity from Home Depot – $334.00 (ours was priced lower)
Countertop from Home Depot – $159.00
Wallflower from Bath & Body Works, plus refill – $18.99
Anchor word frame, print was a gift, frame from Homegoods – $4.99
Tissue cover from Homegoods – $5.99
Tree from Homegoods – $14.99
Cotton swab and cotton ball canisters were from the old bathroom
Total Price to Remodel?
Our remodel, pre-tax rang up at $914.56. We also bought a tube of construction glue, hand cleaner, some caulk, and a few other small items along the way for what I’d estimate would be a total of $40 or so, still keeping under $1,000.
We are incredibly happy with how relaxing and spa-like the final product came out, and recommend the project to anyone willing to take on a good chunk of work. It’s easy enough, you just need some patience.