When it comes to remodeling your home, few rooms offer a higher return on investment than your bathroom. With just a few cost-effective changes, you can transform a drab space into a luxurious, modern bathroom that is both visually attractive and functional, and that adds tremendous resale value to your home.
But like any major home improvement project, a bathroom requires careful planning and professional input to be a success. Below, we’ve listed some important tips for preparing for your bathroom remodel.
Set a budget. When it comes to remodeling bathrooms, the sky’s the limit. Your options for design, special features, and fixtures and amenities are virtually limitless, from eco-friendly sinks to shower steam-rooms. In order to set the boundaries of your design and make sure you don’t go overboard with spending, you should create a budget that puts your expectations into perspective when it comes to how much money you can afford to invest. Setting a budget will help guide you through decisions on materials, fixtures, and amenities.
Consider going green. Going green can be as good for the environment as it is beneficial to you and your family. By going green, you can save big in utility bills every year and reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. There are a variety of eco-friendly products on the market today, from water-saving toilets to reclaimed tile.
Consider cost-effective upgrades. One of the best things about a bathroom remodel is the many cost-effective upgrades that can add a lot of function and value. Some excellent cost-effective upgrades to consider include glass shower doors, heated floors, heating lamps, and his-and-her sinks.
Don’t move your plumbing. If you are looking to keep your costs down, you should avoid moving your plumbing whenever possible. Even something as seemingly simple as switching your sink and shower can tack on a lot of unnecessary cost to your remodeling project.
Bring your fire alarm system up to code. Local building codes require homeowners to update their entire fire alarm system if they are remodeling a single room in their home. That means every fire alarm in every room on every livable level of your home must be brought up to code before your bathroom remodel is complete.
Expect the unexpected. There are a lot of complications that can arise during a bathroom remodel, from galvanized pipes beneath the floor to black mold hidden in the walls. Be sure to factor potential unforeseen costs into your budget.
Hire a contractor. Hiring a contractor may be the most important step when preparing for a bathroom remodel, as the success of the project lies largely in his or her hands. A bathroom contractor needs to be experienced, talented, and extremely detailed, since layout and design are critical in the smaller scale of a typical bathroom.
Ideally, you want a contractor who specializes in bathroom and interior remodeling to handle the project. When interviewing candidates, you should ask them about their experience in bathroom remodeling and how many projects they handle annually. If they are an established bathroom remodeler, they should manage 12 – 15 bathroom projects per month. Examine previous projects in their portfolio carefully, paying close attention to details like tile layout and fixture placement.
Your contractor should be able to provide you with a precise budget, timeline, and design plan for your project. He or she should be able to anticipate complications and problems before they arise, and incorporate these into the initial budget rather than allowing costs to materialize in the form of change orders during the remodeling process. You can also expect a good contractor to take care of permitting costs and hurdles, from submitting plans for approval to updating fire alarm systems.