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This guest bathroom renovation took a weekend and totaled $1,000 (all fixtures included). Here's the scoop straight from the handy homeowner, Michael Phillipou.

renovationMichael Phillipou

Overall, how much did the renovation come to?
We spent roughly $1k on the renovation. The expenses were: A new toilet, vanity, sink, faucet, mirror, towel bars, toilet paper holder and light fixture as well as the cost of paint, spackle, tile, grout and thinset. The "day laborers" were compensated in beer, a home cooked meal and MarioKart on the Wii (photographic proof included).

renovationHow to save on labor costs: Include XBox privileges. Photo: Michael Phillipou

So, what made you decide to undergo the renovation?
This was the last unrenovated space in our home. We adhere to the "one working bathroom rule" during all renovations, so we left this out of our original renovation scope. The home just didn't feel complete until the last bit of formica was banished. Also, my wife was pregnant with our daughter and this is the bathroom attached to the nursery, so we wanted to freshen it up at the same time we were painting and preparing the nursery.

How long did it take?
We knocked it out in a 3-day weekend. Day 1 was demolition and patching the wall where the old mirror was, then the light fixture and towel bars had to came down. Day two was sanding the patch areas and painting. Day 3 was install. Most of days 1 and 2 consisted of waiting around for paint/spackle to dry.

renovationMichael Phillipou

Any lessons learned during the whole renovation process?
As you can see from the picture, when we removed the old vanity, we discovered that the contractor never tiled under the center of the vanity. We had already decided to keep the existing tiles and had a hard time finding an exact match. Turns out there was a tile border on the wall inside the linen closet and so we canabalized those tiles and used them to fill the gap then patched and painted the closet wall. So our lessons would be: Expect the unexpected and then think outside the box to solve the unexpected.

And also, using your wife's hair dryer to speed up spackle drying will kill the hair dryer, get you in the doghouse, and end up costing you more than just buying a heat gun in the first place.

We should mention that Michael is a renovation junkie (in case you haven't noticed) who refreshed his entire home. And, it's on the market if you're lucky enough to live in the New York metropolitan area. To see more pics, check out the apartment listing.

Feeling inspired to take on your own renovation? Check out...

And for a few pro tips on how to get the most value from your bathroom renovation, watch this...


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