As a General Contractor, I have worked on and in hundreds of bathrooms, both residential and commercial. As one of the more important rooms in a house, efficiency tends to come before beauty, but it can and should be a room you enjoy. If you’ve decided those checkered tiles on the floor, or the bird wallpaper is overdue for the dumpster, then maybe it’s time you start planning for your bathroom remodeling! To help guide the process, I’ve listed 5 Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind while starting the process:
Budget for the unexpected:
Anytime plumbing or walls needing to be torn down is involved, it is recommended to have a contingency fund in case anything troublesome is revealed. “The unexpected” has almost become expected in the renovation industry as surprises behind walls are more common than you’d think, so prepare for anything and save a little extra, just in case.
Choose appropriate surfaces:
Make sure to do your research when finding what products and materials you want. As a room that is regularly exposed to moisture, all materials and surfaces should be climate appropriate.
Consider water efficiency:
If you are looking for little ways to save throughout the project, consider spending more. What?! No, seriously, I would recommend splurging on any products that can offer more water efficiency to reduce water use and cost in the long run! Some toilets can actually save the average family of four 16,000 gallons of water and more than $100 per year if they’re replacing older, inefficient toilets!
Make room on the vanity:
One of the most common reasons for bathroom remodeling is the lack of counter space. Make sure, whether it’s for your use or for sale purposes, include a double vanity in your project to maximize space and storage in the bathroom while creating a space homebuyers are consistently looking for.
Provide adequate ventilation and light:
The bathroom is one of the rooms in a house where light and ventilation are most important. Installing a fan is a priority to avoid future problems with mold and mildew. Likewise, try lighting the room with different levels of illumination to mimic the natural patterns of shadows.
Don’t rush the process:
Like any project, you get what you put into a remodel. If you want the area you’ve been envisioning; seamless and tranquil, then put in the time and patience. Don’t rush the contractors or yourself because that’s when accidents start to happen.
Don’t skimp on skilled labor:
While I know it is an added cost, hiring a general contractor on average can save the homeowner money due to the commonality of error and the unexpected. A General Contractor takes on a lot of responsibility, such as purchases materials, handles troubleshooting job-site problems, hires the tradesmen, brings in subcontractors to get the work done, plus a GC can handle negotiations on material and labor costs.
Don’t cut corners on key materials:
Don’t try to skirt the system just to save a few bucks. Bathroom remodeling shortcuts are infamous for causing major damage down the road. When it comes to materials used in bathrooms, you need to be particular and make sure that everything is moisture proof to avoid rot, mold, or other problems known to wreak havoc.
Don’t buy products online without seeing them in person:
While online may be the most convenient and sometimes the lowest price option to purchasing materials, the likelihood that something will not be right is simply too high. Measurements, colors, textures, quality, are just a few important qualities you should physically witness when purchasing. I recommend actually handling and feeling materials in showrooms or stores prior to clicking “Purchase.”
Don’t forget about storage:
Second to lack of counter space, not enough storage is another leading reason why homeowners what to change up their bathrooms. When planning your project, make sure to factor in as much storage as possible. From floating shelves on bare walls to a hidden medicine cabinet, there are endless options for space optimization!
So, now that you have an inkling at what you need to think about when considering such a big project, feel free to get planning! Start a wish list, establish a budget, call an expert, and make smart choices to get the beautifully dependable and efficient bathroom you’ve been dreaming of.