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10 Questions To Ask Before Starting A Bathroom Remodel

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So you’ve decided to take on a bathroom remodeling project this year? Good for you! Just keep in mind that while it may well be the smallest room in your house, it’s also likely to be the one that gets the most use. And that’s why if you want the project to go smoothly, it’s good to ask and answer a few important questions before you get started. Here is a top ten list of questions to consider:

1. What is the Reason for Your Bathroom Remodel?

You wouldn’t be taking on a bathroom remodeling project if you didn’t want to change something about the current situation. This applies whether you plan to stay in your home or improve it for a better selling price. Perhaps you’re getting a little older and don’t like the idea of climbing a set of stairs to get to the only full bath in the house. In that case, adding a shower and/or tub to a first floor half bath makes perfect sense.

But don’t stop there. When asking yourself this question, consider the bigger picture and what else might need to be altered or updated to answer it. For example, if aging in place is the underlying reason for your remodeling project, wouldn’t a walk in shower be a safer, more sensible option than stepping up and into a slippery tub? And should this shower be large enough to include a bench to sit down on? Might installing a wall-hung toilet with a higher seat be the better choice in your later years? And what about grab rails? Whatever your overall reason is for wanting to make a change, you’ll be best served to flesh out all the factors that play into that rationale.

2. What is Your Budget?

The average cost for a mid-range bathroom remodel today falls between $16,000 and $20,000, and the average homeowner who undertakes a bathroom remodel can generally expect to recoup about 62 percent of what they spent when they sell their home. How much you spend will depend on your finances as well as your overall goal. Are you redoing your master bath for your own pleasure? Or are you fixing it up with an intention to sell? If the latter is your reason, you should spend your money on selections that will enhance the sale but not put you in the position where you won’t recover your investment.

Bathroom remodeling often requires making compromises. Creating a check list with associated costs for all the different items you would like to see in your upgrade and including the cost of labor will help you look at your plan realistically and decide where, if any, you may have to cut back. If you must have a certain type of light fixture, faucet or a shower head with a special feature, what might you be willing to trade for it? Figure out your non-negotiables and go from there.

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3. Who Will Be Using This Bathroom?

When thinking about a bathroom renovation, it’s important to consider how much use it will get and by whom. This question is important because the answer will help drive your choices for such things as lighting, flooring, countertops and fixtures. For example, if you have small children in the house, you’ll probably want the bathroom they use to have a tub, rounded counters and plenty of space for you to be near to help with bathing. You may also want to include storage space for tub toys, diapers and other necessities. If several people will be in and out of this bathroom and at the same time, a second sink may become part of the equation.

If this bathroom remodel is for the master bathroom, you may want to indulge your dream bathroom fantasies such as trading out the old tub for a Victorian-style clawfoot tub. A master bath makeover might include a bidet, marble tiles and countertops, ornate mirrors or artwork. On the other hand, a guest bathroom used by an elderly or infirm family member who visits frequently may call for amenities that take limited mobility into account.

4. How Much Space Do You Have for Your Bathroom Remodel?

Often a bathroom design comes down to striking a balance between what you want and what you need. And much of that will be determined by the number of square feet you have to work with in your current bathroom. Keeping that in mind and maintaining a willingness to be both flexible and creative will help guide your remodeling decisions. For example, if the area to work with is small, you can still create a comfortable and functional bathroom by employing a few space saving ideas, such as trading out a traditional swinging door on your shower for one that slides or installing a European-style wall mounted toilet that eliminates the pedestal and upper tank.

5. What Do You Envision for Your Flooring?

Any bathroom renovation needs to take into account the amount of water the walls and flooring may be subjected to, such as splashes from the sink or tub, steam from the shower, or even (hopefully not!) an overflowing toilet. Therefore, the choices you make for your bathroom design should balance style and aesthetics with the need for durable, waterproof and slip-resistant materials. Fortunately, there are many practical and elegant flooring options in varying price ranges that meet that criteria. With their heat-retaining qualities, porcelain and ceramic are an excellent choice if you intend to install radiant heating beneath an otherwise cold, tile floor. Other flooring options include vinyl, concrete, cork and even wood.

6. What Do You Envision for Your Walls?

Your bathroom venting system will help eliminate some of the moisture in your bathroom, but it won’t do so completely. For this reason, you need to consider the materials for your walls not only for aesthetic purposes but also for their ability to handle excess moisture. If you choose wall paint for your bathroom remodel, make sure to purchase paint that is specifically designed for bathrooms. These formulas include additives that inhibit mold and mildew. If wallpaper is your preference, look for a vinyl type that can handle heavy moisture. Ceramic tiles with cement board installed behind them are a good recommendation for shower stalls and tub surrounds.

7. What Do You Envision for Lighting?

Bathrooms get a lot of use, but also for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it’s just for a quick in-and-out to brush your teeth where standard, overhead lighting is more than sufficient. Other times a dimmer switch might be in order if you want to set the mood for a nice long soak in a hot tub. Then again, you may desire brighter vanity lighting for applying make-up or shaving. Having a good handle on who will be using the bathroom and how they will be using it will be helpful in determining your lighting choices.

8. What Do You Envision for Cabinets and Storage?

Unless you don’t mind counter tops covered with a barrage of makeup, bath toys and first aid medications, having some built in storage for your morning routine items is essential. When considering drawers or cabinets for your bathroom renovation, you’ll want to make a list of all the likely items you’ll want to have at your fingertips then figure out if you can make space to accommodate them. For example, a linen closet is always a nice feature, but if your bathroom is too small, a hall closet just outside the door may have to suffice. On the other hand, if a medicine cabinet is one of your non-negotiables, you may be able to save space by adding one that recesses into the wall.

9. Can New Hardware Make a Difference?

Perhaps one of your budget compromises meant forgoing new cabinets and simply refinishing your existing ones. This is where replacing handles, knobs or drawer pulls can make a big difference in giving an old bathroom a fresh new look. Similar results can be had by keeping your old sink but giving it a modern look with an updated faucet, or changing out the towel bar, towel ring, and toilet paper holder. You will likely find plenty of attractive and affordable options online or at your local hardware store. It’s amazing what a little polished nickel or brass can do for a bathroom makeover.

10. How Much Time Will My Bathroom Remodel Take?

This may not be the easiest question to answer, but it is a very important one, especially if you only have one bathroom in your house. If you’re just updating the paint or wallpaper, you’ll likely be able to work around the inconvenience. However, a complete bathroom renovation with new fixtures, cabinets, flooring and walls will need to involve making other plans beforehand for toilet and shower/tub use. A reputable contractor may be able to give you a reasonable time frame for your bathroom remodeling to be completed.

Get Started On YOUR Bathroom Remodeling Project

Now that you have answered these important questions, you may be ready to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor.

If you are in the Atlanta area, Property Pro Services is ready to answer your questions and give you a free estimate for your bathroom makeover. Check our reviews on Google. Contact us to discuss your bath remodeling plans.

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