Are you thinking about taking on a bathroom remodel? If you’re feeling a little intimidated or confused about the process, here are some thoughts to help you get started and feeling more comfortable.
Always Start With A Budget
You can easily spend $30,000 or more on a bathroom remodel given the range of possibilities with structural changes and material choices. It’s best to start planning and narrowing down your options by figuring out how much you’re willing to spend. Prioritize your wish list by identifying your must-have features and other features that you’re more willing to compromise on. As an example, if you spend a lot on structural changes, adding or replacing windows, or moving plumbing around, you’ll have less budget for materials, and you may not get your top pick for tiles or plumbing fixtures. A contractor will help you understand what’s possible with your budget, but they can’t get too detailed until you have materials picked out.
Get A Contractor’s Help Early
The sooner you involve a contractor, the less time you’ll waste making some important decisions. They can provide the information you need to narrow down choices early on and they’ll have recommendations for things you may not have considered. You might learn you can vault the ceiling if there’s an attic above your bathroom or you might discover you can add a heated floor for less money than you realized. You’ll be surprised by how many exciting possibilities there are.
If you need some guidance on choosing a contractor, here are 6 steps for choosing a home remodeling contractor provided by ConsumerAffairs.
Taking On Your Bathroom Remodel Yourself?
You will certainly save money if you have the skills and resources to take on the project yourself. Just make sure you understand your local code requirements and permit process and make sure you end up with results that add to your home’s value. A remodel that home buyers can clearly see is not professional can hurt your pocketbook in the long run.
Design, Fixtures and Materials
Choosing everything that goes into your bathroom can be fun but it can also become overwhelming for many people. The good news is there’s plenty of free advice available from professionals whose job it is to help home owners find solutions for their home remodeling projects. A little professional help in this area goes a long way. Bathroom suppliers with showrooms and home centers will usually have consultants available to help you discover all your options and narrow down your choices.
Looking for some inspiration? You’ll find a ton of ideas in this collection of bathroom remodeling ideas from Better Homes & Gardens.
Little Things For A Big Difference
Here are some examples of smaller considerations you may not think of for your bathroom remodel that have a big impact on style, comfort, and convenience.
You’ll have many choices for vanity lighting, wall sconces and ceiling fixtures. A visit to some lighting showrooms really helps to understand what options and styles are out there. And there’s no substitute for see them in person. Recessed ceiling fixtures provide a clean look and can provide lots of light everywhere in your room, unlike a central lighting fixture. And don’t forget dimmers for all your lights to set the right mood. You can even get dimmers and switchers that react automatically when someone enters the room and there are some that can be controlled wirelessly or on schedules with your smart phone.
For more ideas and things to consider with your bathroom lighting, check out this great collection of tips for installing flattering lighting in a bathroom.
Think about the ergonomics of your bathroom. Storage drawers make it a lot easier to access items beneath your vanity counter than doors that require squatting. If you have the space, add a closet or armoire for easy access to things you need regularly, such as towels. If your design includes a medicine cabinet, see if you can make it recessed in the wall by a few inches.
Realistically, more than one person will be using the bathroom at times. You might be able to spare the expense of adding a wall or building a toilet room by concealing a toilet with a half wall or a piece of furniture.
Minimize Grout Lines
Grout requires some upkeep and special attention to extend its life and to keep clean. By using larger tile sizes, you’ll have less grout to maintain and worry about. Consider using the largest available, such as 18” pieces on floors with smaller sizes on walls.
Check with your contractor to see if you can increase the drainage pipe on your shower to 2″ instead of using the standard 1 1/2″. It’s a small difference but it can have a large impact on how often you get clogs.
Some sink fixtures have exposed supply lines. Think about how this will look in your new bathroom and whether you want that vintage look or if you want the supply lines hidden.