Do-it-yourself dad saves over £8,000 on family bathroom renovation – ‘saved an absolute fortune!’

Bathroom renovations cost an average of £7,000, so it’s no surprise that many of us put them off because of the prohibitive cost. But one father was determined not to let sky-high prices stand in his way. Adam Smith, 47, a father-of-two from London, wanted to undertake his own bathroom makeover for under £2,000. Using old display materials, watching YouTube tutorials and taking on the stressful work himself, he managed to complete the project for just £1,500, which is a savings of over £8,000.

Adam told the DIY On a Budget UK Facebook group: “We’ve lived in our late 1800s Victorian house since 2004 and this year we decided to renovate it as the house was getting too small.

“After extending our loft, providing us with three large double bedrooms, we had a small amount of money left over and decided to update the family bathroom.

“With only a small budget of £2,000 and the quotes we got from the builders, it seemed impossible to get the bathroom we wanted.

“As we now had the luxury of having a service bathroom in the loft, I decided to give it a try myself.”

Adam explained that he had done DIY projects in the past, but had no real building experience, so it was a “daunting” task.

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To find the old display items, the handyman went to the local plumbing store and found a shelf with many items. He also asked if he could buy the showcase for the basin.

The two biggest expenses for the project were the tiles and the tub, both purchased online.

Adam explained: “We have done a lot of research on these companies and large items are very difficult to return.

“We managed to get all the tiles, HardieBacker board, adhesive, grout, silicone, screed, screws and underfloor heating for just over £400.

“I also bought items on eBay like the tub, panel and screen for more than half the price of the ones in the store.”

The handyman dad noted that the whole build was time consuming as it was done both on weekends and after work, but he was really happy with the results.

He said: “Trust me when I say it’s not perfect, there are a lot of little mistakes but overall I’m happy with it.

“If it had to be done over again, I’d say you should take your time leveling the floor. Mine is slightly off, which had a ripple effect on the tub panel.

“Visit the plumbing stores and ask to see the items on display, you can get some real bargains.

“Talk with a builder or watch videos and get a working list order – I often did things out of order which made it difficult.

“Lay out your bathroom dry, we found that the toilet was too close to the tub when centered between the tub and sink, so we moved it off-center for comfort. This also helps with placement pipe.”

Adam estimated the total to be around £1,500.

He said: “I think we saved around £8,000 doing it ourselves. I know of other people who have had their bathrooms redone and paid over £10,000.

“Obviously I’m delighted with the savings, but they come at a price. It was very stressful, especially when it came time to lay the floor.

“That said, the feedback I’ve received is worth it.”

Tom Church, co-founder of, “Most of us wouldn’t have the DIY skills to pull off such a big project, so hats off to Adam for persevering with such a stressful, messy and time-consuming project.

“He showed it was worth it – the bathroom looks great, plus he saved an absolute fortune!”

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