A bathroom remodel is a pretty large project. But an easy way to spruce up your home. We all want a bathroom that would be a reflection of our personal style and be able to deliver the comfort we need at the same time. You may have no idea where to even START. Not to mention what to do when you actually begin!
Well, today, I’m going to touch on the first steps you should take when starting a bathroom remodel.
Plan and Get Inspired!
- Figure out what you want your new bathroom to look like, tear pages out of magazines and catalogs, and make a scrapbook or inspiration board.
- Before you even call a remodeling company for your bathroom remodels, you should first talk with everyone who will be using the space.
- Try to have a discussion about the fixtures and finishes you are supposed to use and how much of a budget you’re willing to shell out. As you plan for your budget, it’s important to have a little extra, because you never know if there will be some unexpected problems that will increase the cost later on.
- Start sketching the layout early as this is essential in your bathroom remodeling.
- Spend time thinking about what works about your bathroom’s layout and what doesn’t. Consider storage needs like could a closet be turned into a custom cabinet offering lots of stash spots. Would you like to move the toilet, sink, or bathtub? And if so, what is feasible plumbing-wise? Are you going to expand the size of the bathroom or simply improve its aesthetic?
- Keep in mind that the most expensive thing to move into a bathroom is the toilet. Also, if you plan to install multiple body sprays in the shower. It’s likely that your bathroom will require more rough plumbing work, so the cost will be higher.
Determine Your Limits on Budgeting
- Bathroom remodels are expensive, so make sure you spend wisely. Take an objective look at your budget and take a realistic approach about what you can afford.
- Invest in high-quality workmanship and high-quality materials. Don’t skimp on items like the faucet, sink or toilet. Cheapest isn’t always best.
- Consider choosing just a couple of elements to remodel if you’re trying to do your bathroom on a budget. Maybe you keep the floor but change out the sink to meet your budget.
- Even a small leak from a feature like a toilet or a shower can cause large amounts of damage that can go unnoticed until floor or wall coverings are removed during a remodeling project.
- It’s often essential to the home and the homeowner’s health that water-damaged or moldy structural elements. For example, the framing or subfloor be repaired prior to covering it again during the renovation process.
- Other typical unforeseen problems can include out-of-date, inadequate or unsafe wiring or plumbing systems.
The next step in budgeting is deciding how to pay. Cash is king, obviously. You’ll save money on interest. There are several financing options that are 0% interest for 6 months or more. You could do a credit card, but interest rates can be high. Another popular option is a home equity line of credit.
This planning would be very helpful. It will go a long way toward keeping with your bathroom renovation plan as you move along with the project. Once you start with the renovation, you have to know that the process could take around 30-90 days. No matter how long it is going to take, try to resist the temptation of changing your plans. Unless financial constraints or problems arise. Change of plans will force you to spend more and for the completion date to extend further out.
Finding Your Style
Finding your Style is next on my list and this is the fun part! Once you’ve decided how much you can afford to invest, it’s a good idea to do some window shopping for the materials, fixtures and features you’d like to include in the remodeling project. Material costs can quickly add up, but they’re only a portion of your total budget.
You may have some idea of what you want or none at all. But either way, you slice it. You can’t successfully create a beautiful bathroom if you’re not 100% sure of your style. This planning would be very helpful and go a long way toward keeping with your bathroom renovation plan as you move along with the project.
Here are a few design elements you absolutely need to nail down before you start your bathroom renovation:
- Color scheme: Are you a fan of blue hues? Or perhaps shades of gray fit the rest of your decor? Know ahead of time to make sure your new bathroom tiles don’t clash with your choice of paint.
- New fixtures: Will you replace or remodel your shower/tub? Are you installing a new sink? Replacing one or both of these fixtures will add to your project time and budget.
- Storage spaces: Where will you keep your towels and toiletries post-remodel? If you’re removing a closet to expand the room, make sure you have shelving or cabinets to make up for the lost storage space in your bathroom.
- Location of utilities: Do you know where the electrical wiring and plumbing pipes are located? Make sure you have accurate measurements for each of these so you don’t end up needing expensive repairs.
Taking measurements is an important part of a bathroom remodels. Your measurements will dictate which types of products will work for your space, not just the size. Some measurements may show that only custom order products will do, while others may be perfect for standard sizes. It’s important to know that from the beginning. It will also help you analyze your budget.
- Try to use all the space of your bathroom as much as possible. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, then you have to unleash your creativity in order to design the space and make it look larger.
- Glass doors for tubs and showers are perfect if your purpose is to open up the room.
- Pedestal sinks are ideal since they occupy less space when compared to cabinets.
- All cabinets and tower cabinets above the toilets, as well as towel racks, are perfect for when you need extra storage, but who don’t have much space to work with.
Working with a Designer
When you do start speaking with potential contractors, ask for names of customers from recent projects. Make the effort to speak with the customers and ask them about their projects. Did the contractor meet their expectations? Were there any delays or miscommunications? How did they handle changes the customer requested? Would they hire the contractor again?
Get written estimates
Get at least three written estimates that clearly define the project and what materials will be used. Having an estimate in writing can help provide you recourse should something go wrong.
Check them out
Make sure you can get a hold of a contractor when you need him or her. Be cautious of businesses that list only a post office box address but no street address or that use an answering service. Don’t hire unsolicited, door-to-door contractors or those who can’t prove their qualifications. Never hire a contractor that insists you pay cash upfront.
License for hire
Some states or cities have no licensing requirements for contractors, which can make it difficult for homeowners to check up on contractors before they hire. Don’t rely on the contractor’s word to know whether his or her license is valid. Verify it through appropriate agencies. Bathroom remodeling work often requires electrical and plumbing work — two of the most often regulated trades — so make sure you hire a qualified, legitimate professional.
Verify insurance and bonding
Ask your potential hire for proof of insurance or bonding. Contractors who operate aboveboard should be prepared to share this information. Taking the extra step of calling the insurance or bond company to verify that a policy is active and paid up can offer you greater peace of mind.
Don’t assume your contract covers all your needs. Know the details of the contract, as well as how any change orders will be handled. Check that your contract includes a lien waiver, covering payments to all subcontractors who worked on the project. Never sign a blank contract.
Knocking out the punch list
Before you sign off and make the final payment to a contractor, make sure you develop a punch list and ensure that the work is completed to your satisfaction. This is how the contractor will deal with the list of small items remaining to be completed at the end of the job. A good rule of thumb is to determine the cost of those items, double it, then withhold that amount from the final payment, until the contractor completes the punch list.
Plan for stress
This one of the most overlooked, but critical considerations. How will the project change your routine, especially with the bathroom? Where will materials be stored? What are the working hours for the crew?
In case you’re having a hard time setting a plan in place for your bathroom, let us know if you have any questions. Bianco Renovations is a Northern Virginia’s Premier Home.Remodeling Contractor. Their Professional Service is backed by over 19 years of industry experience.
We are the leading provider of Bathroom Remodeling, Bathroom Cabinets, Vanity tops and backsplash tile. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients.
If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so.
We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!