Follow These Steps For The Best Bathroom Remodeling Results
Why do you need this information?
To help you:
- Avoid confusion and frustration
- Make great decisions
- Create a safe, functional, and beautiful area for you, your family and/or your guests
- Stay within a reasonable budget
There’s so much that you can include in your remodeled master or guest bathroom, so many details to think about. It can be confusing and frustrating! Do you know that remodeling a master bathroom can be a higher investment per square foot than remodeling a kitchen? That’s why it’s important to follow my suggestions, so you make informed decisions about everything, and avoid expensive mistakes!
A standard bathroom is 5 feet by 8 feet, and includes a toilet, a lavatory sink or two, a tub and/or shower, faucets, etc., cabinetry, and finishes (countertop/backsplash, floors, walls, ceiling). Each of these categories requires many decisions, many opportunities to make mistakes.
What’s the first mistake that homeowners often make after they decide to remodel their bathroom?
Homeowners’ first inclination is to look at countertop materials and tile immediately. This is okay, but it may lead to confusion and it may delay other more important decisions like plumbing, cabinetry, and lighting. [read more]
Where do you start? Hire a professional bathroom designer
If you want to achieve all of the four goals I listed above, your first and most important decision is to hire a professional who specializes in designing bathrooms. The National Kitchen and Bath Association has a great article about the importance of hiring a design specialist. I wrote a blog about how to find and hire a professional designer that’s listed at the bottom of this blog.
Step #2: Hire a remodeling contractor
If you don’t have a contractor, it’s possible that your designer can refer you to someone who’s worked on her/his projects. There are several resources available to you, to find a qualified, experienced local contractor. Local building/remodeling organizations affiliated with national organizations that have excellent websites:
- National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
- National Organization of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)
- National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)
In a previous blog, I’ve written all the details about how to find and hire a contractor; you can see the links at the bottom of this blog.
Deciding your style is Step #3
This step helps you answer this question: What style bathroom do you want? Houzz.com has over 1.5 million pictures! You can select which style appeals to you:
Contemporary * Modern * Traditional * Mid-century Modern * Farmhouse * Transitional * Industrial * Scandinavian * Coastal
There are other filters, too, besides style:
- Vanity color
- Shower type
- Shower enclosure
- Wall tile color
You can easily share this information with your designer by setting up a project folder on Houzz.
Step #4: Determine a realisting bathroom remodeling budget
With help from your designer and contractor, establish a realistic budget. There’s an excellent resource to help you, the Cost vs. Value Report, where you can obtain up-to-date, local information for a bathroom remodeling project to help you decide how much you want to invest.
Step #5: Select ALL your plumbing!
Your designer may send links to plumbing manufacturers’ sites so you can pre-select what appeals to you. Next, visit a local plumbing supply showroom, not a “big box” store* with your designer to see (and feel) everything. There, you’ll see:
- Lavatory sinks
- Tubs and/or shower bases
- Lavatory faucets
- Tub/shower plumbing
- Valves and diverters
- Tub fillers
- Towel bars
- Grab bars (they’re very important for safety!)
- Vanity lighting
- Exhaust fans
- Tub/shower enclosures
Get an estimate for all the plumbing you’ve selected and see how it fits into your budget. Make necessary adjustments to your choices.
*Why not a “big box” store?
- The employees may or may not have all the knowledge to really help you; they’re just there to take your order.
- The quality and selection of products is more limited than a specialty showroom; they show and sell only what’s most popular and profitable.
Bathroom cabinet decisions: Step #6
Your designer can help you define how you will store all of your personal-care equipment and products, towels, and toiletries. S/he should help you make final decisions about the style and color, using Virtual Reality Perspectives. Your designer and contractor will also help find the right cabinet manufacturer to supply what you want.
Step #7: Finally (!) select your bathroom surface finishes
Visit a showroom with your designer, not a “big box” store* to select everything that will make your remodeled bathroom special:
- Wall tile
- Decorative tile
- Shampoo/soap niches
- Backsplash (may be tile or the same material as your countertop)
- Floor tile — think about radiant heating as a necessity not a luxury
- Engineered stone countertop**
** If you prefer natural stone, visit a showroom that specializes in this material
Get an estimate for all the products you’ve selected and see how the numbers fit into your established budget. Make adjustments to what you’ve selected, if necessary.
Step #8: Tie up your remodeling details
The last step before you actually start construction is several steps:
- Verify all information on the plans that your designer has prepared, especially all of your product decisions
- Obtain a preliminary-final estimate from the contractor that includes:
- All products
- All labor
- Fees and expenses
Compare the estimate to your budget, and make final adjustments to your choices, as needed, especially if you’ve got a limited budget.
Step #9: Get your remodeling construction started!
You’ve made it this far! In eight weeks (or less), you’ll be able to enjoy your newly-remodeled bathroom! Congratulations!
Questions about your bathroom remodeling project? I will help you! I’m only one phone call or one email message away! Contact me today!
Blogs to help with your bathroom remodeling project: