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Cheap Bathroom Makeovers

If your bathroom's in need of a make-over but you've been putting it off because of the cost, we may have the answer.

A lot of people would love to have this bathroom in their home. What's stopping them from renovating is a little thing called money, especially when you consider the average cost of revamping a bathroom these days.

“According to HIA, the average cost of a bathroom is $27,000. You can spend $20,000 if you like and make it like the Taj Mahal or you do it very simply for under $800,” said Renovation King Geoff Doidge.

Geoff has given this tired old bathroom a fresh look on a shoestring budget.

“When we first came here it was a shocker, nothing had been done here for 30 years. We put a new towel rail in, put these tiles in over here, a new shower combination, there was no shower at all, put in a new shower combination in. A shower screen, a cabinet up here and painted the whole thing, put new lights in.”

According to Geoff, the best way to give your bathroom a cheap overhaul is:

* use white tiles and paint to make it light and bright
* use existing plumbing – moving pipes costs money
* replace the old toilet, vanity and taps for a new look

But where do you go to get those fittings and accessories at cheap prices? Well, a good place to start is a second-hand centre, like the Demolition and Recycling Warehouse at Brendale.

“We also have people that are extending downstairs so they're adding on a bathroom downstairs or building a granny flat out the back. We also have people that do up sheds for their own comfort. They spend a lot of time in the shed, they put a small bathroom and toilet in the back.” explained Angela Hutchins.

Everything you need is here, from taps to vanities, toilets and shower screens. Retro items at retro prices.

Vanities start at $45, shower screens at $30 and complete toilets from $55. The only thing to remember is all these goods are used - they've been salvaged from demolition sites.

“We get good condition equipment in that people can pretty much put into a bathroom and it will be better than what they have in their existing bathroom,” promised Angela.

If your cash tap is trickling, then head down to the auctions. Cam Brown Auctions at Eagle Farm has a large range of bathroom bits and pieces.

“I think in this day and age a lot of people are shopping around and that's what we're catering for,” said Auctioneer Cam Brown.

Everything here is brand-new, straight from the manufacturers to the public. According to Cam Brown, the public can save around 50%.

Take this vanity.

“These come with two doors and three drawers. They have a full white porcelain top, mixer tap, plug and waste. We would sell them for about $350. Again, a two-pac white cabinet with a granite top, a raised white porcelain bowl, mixer tap and plug and waste - depending on the size they would be anywhere from $270 to $350,” predicted Cam.

Complete shower packs usually sell for around $350, spa baths about $1,200. But remember the prices really depend on the day of the auction.

“You do need to spend a bit of time finding them but you can make a big saving,” stressed Renovation King Geoff.

So apart from looking at recycling centres and auctions, Geoff says you can pick up cheap bathroom bits and pieces in the 'Weekend Shopper', 'Trading Post', garage sales, factory outlets or on sale in catalogues.

“Here's a great tip - if the kids are fighting over the shower and you've got a bath and it hasn't got a shower in it - you get one of these - it's called a diverter spout. You take this off here, put this on here, hook this up on the wall. For $59 you've solved the problem,” demonstrated Geoff.

So instead of a tired old bathroom, why not spend just a little bit of money and give it a fresh new look?

We featured second hand bathroom accessories from Demolition and Recycling Warehouse on Kremzow Road Brendale. For further information call 3205 3988.

For new bathroom accessories, we went to Cam Brown Auctions on Lavarack Avenue Eagle Farm. Auctions are held every Wednesday - call 3868 2345 for more information.

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