The bathroom may be the smallest room in your house, but renovating the space is often one of the biggest projects you’ll tackle in a home remodel. There’s lots of working parts that require the skills from a variety of trades to make sure the room not only looks aesthetically pleasing but functions properly.
That’s why it’s so important to consider the following before delving into a project of such scale:
- Live with your ideas. You’ve no doubt been leafing through magazines and surfing the internet to find inspiration for a new bathroom. As you go about gathering ideas, realize that it’s rather easy to embrace a certain style without ever knowing it.
Never rush into a design without “living with it” for a while. After a few weeks, you may tire of it. Collect images of your favorite design elements and revisit them once a day if at all possible. Then, eliminate those that start to feel too extreme.
- Get a feel for your selections. Looks, as they say, can be deceiving. If you see a product you like online, go to the showroom to check it out whenever possible. Basing a purchase on first-hand experience is much better that on a virtual one.
Materials and finishes, for example, can look much different on the computer screen (or in magazines, for that matter) than they do in person. Taking the time to touch, feel, and see something up close and personal ensure you won’t be surprised when it arrives.
- Think about your budget. No discussion about remodeling would be complete without at least touching on budgets. Generally speaking, the cost of a bathroom remodel should be no more than 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value.
If the value of your home is $350,000, you can safely budget any where between $17,500 and $35,000 to remodel your bathroom. To provide a little perspective, homeowners tend to spend on the lower end for a powder room and the higher end for a master bath.
There is one caveat, however, to these percentages: rehabs. If you bought a fixer-upper, chances are good that you got it for below market value. In this situation, you can safely budget anywhere between 15 and 20 percent for the remodel.
- Embrace the current layout. Sure, you may not love the location of the toilet in relation to the sink. But if you can live with it, you’ll make up some of the costs associated with a bathroom remodel. Otherwise, you’ll incur additional costs to run new pipes.
That said, moving the plumbing for first-floor baths aren’t as big of an issue if you have access to the basement. And when all else fails, discuss your options with a professional. A contractor will able to give you a better idea of the logistics for the space.
- Factor in water use. Visit any home improvement store, and you’ll see how bathroom fixtures have become more water-efficient. But that doesn’t mean the trend hasn’t moved toward tricked-out showers with multiple heads and body sprays.
This not only escalates your water and energy use but can also tax your existing drain and plumbing lines. What’s more, these fixtures may require an upgrade to your water heater. This could add thousands of dollars to the cost of your project.
- Take stock of your stuff. Older bathrooms don’t often have much for storage beyond a medicine cabinet hanging over the sink. When you decide to remodel this space, take an inventory of all the stuff you’d like within arm’s reach.
And go beyond the essentials like towels, washcloths, and toiletries. You may also want space to store cleaning supplies, surplus toilet paper, and other sundries. Proper planning can give you exactly what you need for storage.
- Acknowledge tomorrow. You may be the picture of health today, but you never know what tomorrow will bring. That’s why more and more homeowners are now following the principles of universal design when remodeling a home.
Universal design helps people age in place by making design modifications that don’t look institutional yet still support accessibility and functionality if mobility were to become an issue in the future.
This could mean a larger shower stall with built-in seating and a zero-threshold entry or a “comfort-height” toilet that’s slightly higher than a standard bowl. Either option will look aesthetically pleasing but allows access for someone with disabilities.
If you’d like to learn more about remodeling a bathroom, or discuss your options for renovating the space, please feel free to contact Fair & Square Remodeling today. Our team would be more than happy to schedule a consultation.