You’ve finally decided to remodel the bathroom. Perhaps you want to remodel your bathroom because tired of walking into a room with a shoddy carpet or a chipped sink or a leaking faucet. Perhaps you want to remodel it because you’re tired of its old-fashioned features and think it’s plain and boring. Perhaps, you just want to improve the resale value of your house with a bigger and better bathroom.
Regardless of your motivation, you have to understand that this is no small undertaking. You must approach bathroom remodeling in a practical and strategic, rather than an idealistic and passionate, way.
So, before you start buying a new sink or toilet or calling a contractor to tear up the tiles, let’s go over some bath remodeling plans to ensure the success of your project.
- Create written goals.
Although you may have a fairly good idea of what it is that you hope to accomplish, write out your goals. This will help you create a detailed plan.
Here are some things to consider when goal-setting:
Do you want to increase space and improve the bathroom layout?
Do you need to repair things, like the plumbing?
Do you need to replace any worn out fixtures?
Do you want to update features and modernize your bathroom?
Two things that will make a huge difference are color and tiles.
Choosing the right colors can make all the difference. Get a color wheel used by interior designers to come up with your perfect color scheme. Choosing the right floor tiles, too, will also impact the overall look-and-feel of the bathroom.
Josh Garskof of This Old House magazine offers the following two suggestions:
“If you want an easy-care floor: Go for porcelain or glazed tiles, and avoid porous natural stone tiles like limestone. Unless sealed vigilantly, they’ll absorb drips and spills and become stained over time.
“If you want a nonslip floor: Choose tiles with textured surfaces, matte finishes, or sand-containing glazes. Another option: small tiles with lots of grout lines, which offer better “grip” than large tiles.”
- Decide what you want to do yourself and what you need a professional to help you with.
If you already have a lot of practical experience with the remodeling, doing many things yourself will save you money. Conversely, if you have little to no experience, doing everything yourself may end up costing you more because you are likely to make expensive mistakes.
If you want to save money, you could do some things yourself and hire out the things that you won’t be able to do well. For instance, you don’t need much experience figuring out how to paint the walls or replace a cabinet. However, you will probably need a professional to help with installing tiles.
Even if you decide to hire a contractor for the entire project, you can still save money by purchasing the materials yourself. However, talk to the contractor before you do this to make sure that you buy the right fixtures. You only want to buy fixtures that blend with everything else and comfortably fit in your bathroom space.
- Be sure to create a budget before starting.
It’s easy to quickly run up expenses if you don’t have a budget. You’ll be tempted by some expensive. features and then run out of the money you need to complete the rest of the project. When calculating your budget, reserve some money for unexpected expenses to ensure that your project runs smoothly.
- Do plenty of price comparisons.
It always pays to have a good idea of how much a bathroom remodel costs, as this will prevent you from overspending. Also, get a ballpark figure for a contractor’s fees.
- Find the best contractor for the job.
Make sure do your due diligence when hiring a general contractor. A general contractor may have employees who have experience in various jobs or will hire subcontractors to manage specialized work like flooring, electrical work, framing, and plumbing.
Only act as your own general contractor if you have a good idea of the specialized people that you need to hire.
Before hiring a general contractor or your own crew, get at least three estimates and also do an online check to see if there are any reviews.
Usually, the best way to hire a general contractor is through people you know who have used a particular contractor. Just going through a directory and picking someone is an arbitrary way of picking the right person for the work. Finally, only hire someone who is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Think like a Project Manager
Remodeling a bathroom can make a huge difference to your home – if you do it right. Alternatively, it can be a huge mess if you don’t carefully think through exactly what you want, how much it will cost, who will do the work, and how long it will all take. The key to a successful project is to think about the whole project with detachment and create a detailed plan before you start. The last thing you want to do is wing it, improvising as you go along.