Bathroom Reno #1: $3,000 Goes A Long Way

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This brownstone bathroom renovation seemed like a good one to kick things off. While we don’t have a “before” photo (it was “gross,” we’re told), we were impressed that the owner of the house did the entire job for $3,000. He got the acrylic clawfoot tub off the Internet, the tiles and fixtures from Home Depot and the curtains were $30 from Pearl River Mart; and handyman installed the tiles. The real secret though?” It did not hurt that the room is huge and has beautiful light,” he says. “The armchair is so you can hang out with your kids while they take their bath.” Send photos of your bathroom renovation to brownstoner@brownstoner.com.
Let’s Try This Bathroom Thing Again [Brownstoner]

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  • was there demo involved? Can i get the handyman’s name… desperate for a cheaper bathroom reno in my coop apt.

  • Not to be rude but personally i don’t count what this person did as a renovation. You can see that the pipes are running outside the wall which from my understanding means those lines are most likely the original plumbing. A true renovation would have replaced that b/c old plumbing tends to lead, crack and just plain have problems. Replacing tiles, painting, buying a new pedestal sink, or buying curtains are not really a renovation. When people claim they spent 3k on a ‘renovation’ and it turns out to be something like this which is really redecorating it misleads the uninformed into thinking that renovating is a lot cheaper than it really is. With that said, the bathroom does look nice.

  • Not sure why you have to replace pipes to call something a renovation but, whatever you want to call it, it’s interesting to see, we think, and hope others will follow suit by sending in photos.

  • Why must you taunt me with your windowed bathrooms!?! Daylight? I hardly know thee.

  • Jimmy Legs

    sheesh, give em a break, i’d take that bathroom over my awful bathroom any day. the word ‘redecorating’ hardly covers new tile and fixtures. curtains are redecorating but that’s just one small aspect here.

    as for windows, i’d rather have a window in a regular room than in a bathroom. in our darkened townhouses, windows are a real premium.

  • Smart move going with white tile and fixtures–timeless and clean. That Kohler “Memoirs” line of sinks and toilets was an instant classic when they debuted it a few years ago–it’s the only attractive sink Home Depot sells, and I’m glad they do. Perfect for a Brownstone. Only thing that appears to be needed in this bathroom is some storage–how about a cabinet or something, especially when you have kids and all their delightful accoutrement? Congrats on getting it done nicely and affordably. This is absolutely the kind of post needed on Brownstoner. Anybody with an unlimited budget can get their baths and kitchens done. Of course, it’s also fun to see that kind of renovation porn, too…

  • I think Guest at 11:11 has a point. A bathroom renovation ringing in at $3,000? Never heard of such an animal. So it’s important readers remember: this really is more of a make-over, than an all out renovation.

  • I would have gone with a smaller hex tile on the floors, myself.

    Wall tile looks great, and I think the exposed pipe works here.

    Toilet seems disproportionately small in these shots.

    Incidentally, Baths from the Past (www.bathsfromthepast.com) has a terrible web site but great stuff – including shower enclosures – worth looking at for a project like this.

    They also can do custom work. In a world of 8″ and 12″ stock options, they made a very nice 10″ bridge faucet for me a couple of months ago to fit an old, odd sink.

  • this was a RENOVATION, 11:11.

    not a gut job.

    learn the difference in the meaning of those words.

  • how can i get the name of the contractor?

  • That is a lovely renovation…

    FOR ME TO POOP ON!

  • I like the elegant simplicity of this renovation. Personally I might have built a soffet for the plumbing, but I recognize the complication of recreating the crown moulding to maintain its continuity. Congratulations on a nice job at moderate cost. Indeed, as the word renovation indicates: to make new again.

  • in out bathroom , boxing in the risers would make for a very cold bathroom.

  • rh

    Personally, I don’t mind the plumbing. All of our plumbing AND electric was on the outside of the walls when we bought our house and my husband insisted on moving it, but it didn’t bother me. Now that it’s done, I’m glad we did it.

    Anyway, I like that the wall tile sticks out so there’s a built in shelf around the whole room.

    And my bathroom doesn’t have a window either, Mamacita.

  • this is not nice. cheap looking overall. loathe the tub. will no one ever want to take a shower without getting the whole place wet?

    also, how about a medicine cabinet or some other storage. bottles all over the place?

    this is like a right out of college nightmare bathroom.

  • you’re an a-hole, 1:29

  • no 1:32. you are! what’s with the name calling?

    it’s an awful bathroom. horrible. really!

    there is zero storage. and super cheap materials.

    i wouldn’t rent an apartment that had a bathroom like that.

    if you disagree, then state your point.

  • I’ve got to agree with 1:29 with all the bottles sitting out on the ledge the room looks quite messy and unfinished. The large metro shelf, bamboo shade and outdoor chair aren’t lending much finish or polish to the space either. The natural light is beautiful and I’m sure the room is functional (except for the showerless tub), but it’s not exactly centerfold-worthy in these images.

  • I like it a lot. I prefer it to a “designed” bathroom; there’s something very cool about a clawfoot without a shower curtain. It’s a nice, simple aesthetic.

    We gut renovated a bathroon (kept the tub) for about $10k, incuding Memoirs sink/toilet and some fancy chrome fittings. The price of this job is in line with that. We did need some plumbing and electrical work and the walls were in really bad shape.

  • I can kinda understand saying you think it’s awful or unfinished or not designed or whatever the hell you are saying if someone spent 30K on it.

    Not for 3K.

    Lord…some of you spend that much on a shower curtain.

  • It needs to be de-cluttered. Stuff on the shelf going around the room and on the floor distracts. Otherwise it’s a nice job for 3K.

  • I love it! Neat freaks would just need to add a little storage–that is not a big deal.

  • rh

    Interesting…the shelf around the room was what I like about it.

  • Clean, light and airy…. love the window and space… very family friendly… I like it.

  • I think it’s really not cool to trash a renovation that somebody was kind enough to share with us, especially when they pulled it off affordably.

  • I think you are an idiot for renovating this space so cheap and blah. THis was not even worth it. For that you should have just slapped on white paint on what you already had.

  • Guest 6:56 is so talented, he can offer his trenchant commentary on someone else’s bathroom while simultaneously sucking my balls.

  • I’m constantly amazed how brave people are when posting anonymously on this site. One can only assume they’re as brave and tough in person.

    Anyhoo, nice bathroom OP. For $3k, it’s a job well done. Simple and tasteful. Thanks for sharing!

  • Is it just me or does it say something about human nature when a simple discussion about a bathroom devolves into a travesty like this “discussion”? You should all be very proud of yourselves.

  • The bathroom looks clean and well done. Just needs three things:
    -throw all those bottles and containers in a storage unit.
    -go on ebay and get yourself a large, colorful, oil painting for about 50 dollars and hang it over the tub.
    -go back to home depot and get one of those large 10 dollar tropical plants to put by the window.
    Then take the pictures. You’ll see how right I am.

  • I’m not sure what they did for 3K. I just redid my bath – much smaller – in a brownstone. We used Schluder KIRDI/DITRA membrane over the existing mud job, inexpensive tile and kept the existing bath. Just the materials for doing that and painting were close to the 3K and it was a SMALL bath. What did the “handyman” actually do in laying the tile? There’s the right way and other ways. I don’t think I’d feel too good living in the apartment under this.

  • First visit to this site. Taken back by the potty language and vindictive tone by some of the less cordial guests. Please keep the following in mind:
    “De gustibus non est disputandum”

    I am a Realtor and deal with a very expensive labor/materials market in Honolulu. Kudos to the $3k spent wisely. I agree with post November 15, 2007 11:41 PM.

    IMHO:

    Renovation: To make new without changing general location of fixtures. New fixtures/flooring/surfaces

    Remodel: to move walls and or plumbing along with renovation items.