So you’re ready to remodel that bathroom. Congratulations! As you probably already know, you’ve got some tasks ahead of you. Even with the help of a professional bathroom designer and a general contractor who will take care of the construction and installation, a lot of the mental work inevitably falls right on you, the homeowner.
So it’s going to be up to you where you want things to go, how much you want to spend, what you want it to look like and how you want it to function.This step-by-step workbook will help you navigate the process through the planning and conceptual phases. Just remember to keep yStep 1: What Are You Trying to Achieve?
It seems like a simple enough question that should have a simple answer: “Well, I need a new bathroom.” But when embarking on a journey that will take a good chunk out of your time and bank account, you want to get it right. And you want to be happy with the end result.
Before you do anything, think about what your ideal bathroom would be. Forget constraints of money and space; just imagine what you want and what the intended purpose will be. Who is this bathroom for? Is it a master bathroom? A powder bathroom? A kid’s bathroom? How often will it get used and what will the function be?
How many people will use it?
How much time do you spend in the bathroom during the morning, afternoon and night?
What’s your routine — how does your current space hinder it and how could a new space improve it?
Do you plan to grow old in this house?
Do you have medical issues like poor eyesight or arthritis to consider?
Do you just want something that’s easy to clean?
Is storage the catalyst? Relaxation?
Or do you just want to update the look for resale?
There are three main reasons people want to remodel a bathroom. (For some it’s a combination of these or all three.)
Updating the look. If you’re happy with the layout of your current bathroom but feel it just needs a refresher, then you’ll be focusing your attention on material selection and perhaps new cabinetry or plumbing fixtures.
Pay attention to the age of your home and the remodels done by previous homeowners. Putting new tile over a foundation rife with dry rot or severely outdated plumbing is only delaying a potentially huge problem down the road. You may want to wait until you can do a complete job right.
Resale value. If you’re updating your bathroom to sell, you’ll want to look at what potential buyers might want. While it’s hard to anticipate what a random buyer is looking for, you can do a little research on what appeals to the majority of homeowners.
Better functionality and more storage.Perhaps you’ve always hated how the door swings open and hits the vanity, or you’re tired of stacking toilet paper on the toilet reservoir and seeing makeup on the counter. Maybe you never use the bathtub and long for a larger shower. Or wish for two sinks instead of one. Or crave more natural light.
This level of remodel will likely have you gutting the space, and possibly rearranging the elements within it and rerouting plumbing. This would result in an all-new bathroom. This category would be on the higher end too.
Step 2: Research and Budget
Before you get ahead of yourself, it’s best to know what you will be able to spend. You probably already have an idea of what you can afford, so the first thing you’ll want to understand is how much a bathroom remodel is going to cost. According to Houzz data, half of homeowners will spend more than $10,000 on a master bathroom remodel.
Consider whether you’re after a basic remodel ($3,000 to $12,000), a mid- to upper-range one ($12,000 to $35,000) or a deluxe remodel ($35,000 to $100,000 and up), and always factor in a cushion of at least 10 to 20 percent more for unforeseen costs that might arise.
Remember: To keep costs down, see if you can make your updates without moving any of the existing plumbing or wiring. Step 3: Find a Professional
Whether or not to hire a professional for any part of your project is up to you. If you know what you want and where to find what you need, and are confident that your ideas will work, then the design phase could be left up to you.
But know that a professional bathroom designer may be able to think of things you may not have considered — like fitting a washer and dryer into your bathroom, adding a skylight or rearranging the space in a creative way to maximize functionality and efficiency.
There are different ways you can work with a designer. A little guidance from a design consultation or a more developed vision with a design plan may be all you need to get started. For particularly complicated jobs, full design services are probably best. Step 4: Refine Your Plan
If your dream bathroom doesn’t seem as though it could ever fit in the space you have, think about what’s on the other side of the bathroom walls. Can you steal space from an adjacent closet, bedroom or other unused area? Is it possible to punch out from your home to create more room?Other options to consider are whether or not you want the toilet out in the open or in its own water closet. What kinds of special storage you need — for the hair dryer, makeup, shaving kit and more. How to get more natural light. Or even how to incorporate sinks and vanities to fit your height and that of your spouse or partner.
Can you create a transition area that connects through a closet and dressing area and then out to the hallway, so you don’t have to wake your spouse or partner while getting ready in the morning? There’s almost no end to what you can dream up and execute, so think ahead and plan accordingly to get everything you want.
And it may seem mundane, but something as simple as where the outlets will go can have a huge impact on your morning routine. Do you charge your phone in the bathroom? Use a hair dryer or other devices?
Choosing the style of bathroom you want can be complicated. Designers recommend that you look to the rest of your house for a jumping-off point. For example, you probably don’t want to do an industrial-style bathroom in a Craftsman home. But, hey, it’s your money.
Again, look to photos that inspire you and gather as many ideas as possible, leaving nothing to chance. With so much going on during a remodel, it would be a shame to make a knee-jerk decision on a material or style that in the end you won’t be happy with because you didn’t make the time to plan for it.
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