Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Money Saving Tip #1: Bathroom Redo

Life is busy. In the last six weeks I've traveled across the country to the east coast twice for the arrival of a new grandbaby and her "baby blessing" -- a special family occasion. Between those trips I sandwiched in a trip to Omaha to visit my daughter's family. Such fun occasions that left very little time for crafting.

However, somehow I've managed to squeak in some important projects. I don't know if you remember a post I wrote awhile back telling how we were going to begin a complete overhaul of the top floor in our home. After writing that post, I collected some initial quotes. The bids I received reflected professionals doing all the work. These quotes came from small retail stores in our community. I was hoping to support our local economy. We had a gabillion dollars saved for the event, but as I went to different stores and priced just how much it would cost I soon realized it would cost two gabillion dollars which was one more gabillion than I had expected. 
That was about the time I realized I would either have to pare down the project or get my nails dirty. I decided on the later. Because we want to pay cash for all these renovations, we decided to do some of the work ourselves and hire out some of the more complicated work. At this point in time I fell out of love with some of our local businesses and in love with the big box stores in our community -- Home Depot and Lowe's. As much as I'd love to support hometown stores, I can be extremely fickle when it comes to saving a buck or two or thousand. Over the next few weeks I'll post about some of those savings and some of the projects that we are tackling ourselves!

Cost Saving Tip #1: Ready-made Granite Countertops

I wasn't set on having granite countertops in the guest bathroom, but it was definitely a preference. I priced them at a local granite "store" and found the price would be $499 for a granite piece -- a remnant from a bigger project they had --  to be cut and finished off to the size I needed: 22" x 48". I would then need to buy a sink (approximately $100) to install in the vanity. It would cost six hundred dollars for the granite countertop and sink. I must have a "cheap" streak in me a mile wide, but that seemed like a ridiculous price. I decided to go to HD and Lowe's to see if they offer granite at a less expensive price. Their custom granite countertops are similar in price, but I did find a product that both stores offer that fits the bill -- an in-stock, ready-made granite countertop with ready-mounted sink.
Cost (when bought in-store): $199

These ready-made vanity tops come in 32", 36" and 48" lengths -- all for $199. This is the color we chose:

These ready-made vanity tops includes a beautiful natural granite countertop and a solid porcelain, factory-mounted basin at less than half the price of other quotes. Of course the selection of colors is much more limited, but if you can live with one of their color choices, it's a fabulous deal. 

Savings: $400 

I'm spending the next few days refinishing the cabinets for the same bathroom. They are going from an honey oak finish to a light gray painted finish.