DIY Laundry Room Renovation Results – Frugal Confessions

DIY Laundry Room Renovation Results

Does it seem like it’s been a long time since we started our laundry room renovation, promising to publish the results? Well…it seems like forever to us since we began in December 2009 on one of the smallest rooms in our home. Here we are on reveal day, 9 months later, and I have much to report.

Why We Chose the Laundry Room

Several friends and family members, and perhaps readers, have wondered why on earth we chose one of the smallest room in our home that we only inhabit once a week on the designated laundry day (Friday mornings) to renovate. In fact, I believe in a fit of frustration, Paul also questioned this out loud. There are several reasons: it sits directly off of the kitchen for all to see, and also has a door right off to the back patio; we wanted to start small and stretch our renovation muscles on a room we wouldn’t mind if it didn’t turn out completely perfect; there is almost nothing better than a spacious, practical, sunny laundry room; the laundry room was heinous (the photos below truly do not show this…take my word for it).

Snags Along the Way

Rest assured that any project that takes me longer than 3 months means that there were several snags…this one no less. The major one was that there were many learning curves for both Paul and I. We had to learn how to refinish a wooden cabinet, tile the new vanity (thanks Matt!), set-up plumbing, measure accurately, etc. When we removed the old 1970s vanity, we were excited about getting a wooden utility room-looking cabinet open on the bottom for our gorgeous cast iron sink (a find off of Craigslist). Unfortunately, the tile throughout the kitchen and laundry room is original to the home and after stopping at 20+ stores and asking the previous owners where to purchase this at, it became clear that we would need to put a new wall-to-wall cabinet in that fit exactly where the old cabinet used to. Thus we had someone build us a custom cabinet. Taking the 8+ layers of paint off of the old wooden cabinet was a nightmare as well and took several months; we started with solutions but they were largely ineffective (and we tried three separate kinds). Then we turned to sanding, and trekked our project all throughout the house. Yuck!

How we Saved Money

We diligently saved money everywhere we could. We were fortunate to have several gift cards from guests at our wedding (thank you all so much!) that helped in purchasing materials. We diligently returned products back to the Lowe’s if they did not work or fit for a full refund. Finding a cast iron sink—something Paul and I were in agreement with from day one—on Craigslist for $80 versus the $500+ they typically cost was miraculous. We also had a family member of a family member build us a custom oak cabinet instead of hiring someone else to do so (who had quoted us $1200). We used tile leftover from the previous owners to tile the top of the new cabinet, and now it brings more consistency into our home because the tile is used elsewhere. Several family members and friends helped us out, which was immensely helpful (thank you all so much!). Finally, instead of purchasing our new closet system from the Container Store, Paul came up with the idea to find the supplies at Lowe’s (great thinking sweety!).

Final Costs

All in all, we spent $730. I can’t really gauge this against anything because we didn’t set a budget for the project (me…not set a budget? That’s right; your ears are not clogged). This price includes all that you see in the next photos, including the closet, the cast iron sink, the new sink fixture, the cabinet, paint, the decorations and refinishing the old cabinet (the washer and dryer were, thankfully, left by the previous owners).   

The Big Reveal

Here are the before photos:



And the after photos:DSCN0661


4 comments… add one

  • Aurora

    you guys did a fantastic job!! well worth the time. I love the wood cabinets!

  • BluSky

    I did the same thing when I bought my closet organizer systems. Designed it and priced out an Elfa system on the Container Stores website that they wanted $300 for. Thinking that was absurd, I went to WalMart and bought a Rubbermaid system that was functionally identical to the Elfa one I had designed for $100. I just about never shop at WalMart but where I was living at the time, it was the closest place around. Great job btw! I hope y’all have better luck with grout than I do.

  • Congrats on finishing up your beautiful new laundry room! Don’t you feel even prouder of your new place now? When we replaced older fixtures with the ones we picked out ourselves, I was strutting like a peacock, lol. :-)

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