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Ask These 9 Questions for Doing a Bathroom Remodel

If you are considering remodeling your bathroom, congratulations! A bathroom renovation can be a rewarding and exciting project, but it is also important to do your research to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Our new series, the Dream Bathroom Remodeling Guide, will provide step-by-step guidance to help you achieve the bathroom of your dreams. It is worth noting that a bathroom renovation can recoup upwards of 60% of your costs if you decide to sell your home, according to the 2019 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling Magazine.

Before you start choosing faucets and other details, it is important to ask yourself some basic questions to assess your wants and needs. This will help you make informed decisions as you plan your renovation. Use this guide to get started on your bathroom remodel with confidence.

What’s Your Budget?

The cost of a bathroom remodel can vary greatly, with the average project costing around $20,420. However, even a simple toilet replacement can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Establishing a budget for your renovation is important to avoid falling in love with items that may not be within your price range. According to interior designer Paloma Contreras, a budget of $10,000 to $30,000 is a good starting point. Rick Johnson of STL Remodeling and General Contracting also advises setting a budget to avoid overspending. However, it is important to note that a smaller budget does not necessarily mean limiting your options, as good deals are available at every price point.

Who Will Use the Bathroom?

It is important to consider the needs of those using the bathroom when making decisions about the design. If children will be using the bathroom, it is a good idea to include a tub or tub/shower combo in the design. A tub is also desirable for potential buyers with families when it comes time to sell the home. However, a walk-in shower may be a good choice if the bathroom is primarily for adults and there is already a tub elsewhere. Showers are generally used more often than tubs, and open shower designs are popular. They also take up less space, at 12 square feet, compared to the 15 square feet required for a standard tub.

When choosing flooring for the bathroom, it is important to consider the safety of all users, particularly the elderly and young children. A polished floor may look attractive, but it can be slippery. Carpeting and wood could be better, as they can develop mold or warp. Tile and laminate are often the most practical and safe choices for bathroom flooring.

Are You Going Bigger?

The average bathroom is 40 square feet, which may not be sufficient if you desire a larger, more luxurious space. Expanding the bathroom may be possible, but it will likely involve significant construction work, such as moving walls, reducing the size of adjacent rooms, or repurposing closet space. While an expanded bathroom provides more room for relaxation and can be a selling point for a home, it is also a costly and time-consuming renovation. Keep in mind that an upscale remodel may provide less return on investment than a moderate or low-range renovation.

Are you Changing Lighting Fixture Locations?

It is important to carefully consider the placement of various fixtures in the bathroom, as relocating them can be costly. For example, moving a toilet to a new location in the room may affect the cost and duration of the renovation. Make sure to plan out these details in advance to avoid unexpected expenses and delays.

How Much Will the Remodel Change Your Home Life?

A bathroom renovation can take an average of 25 days to complete. This means that if you only have one bathroom in your home, you may be without a toilet, sink, tub, or shower for up to five weeks. If you only have one toilet, it may be necessary to set up a portable toilet in your yard or make other arrangements during the renovation. If you don’t have another shower or tub available, plan the renovation for a time when you can easily use alternative showering arrangements, such as at a gym.

Do you Want to Incorporate Universal Design Principles?

If you plan on staying in your home long-term, consider incorporating universal design principles into your bathroom renovation. This means designing a space accessible to individuals with mobility or vision impairments. This can include installing grab bars near the shower and toilet to prevent falls or choosing a curbless, glass-enclosed shower accessible to walkers or wheelchairs. Not only will these features make your bathroom safer and more functional, but they can also be attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell in the future.

What Are Your Storage Needs?

Before you renovate, you should find out what underlying materials you’ll encounter. “If your home was built before 1978, lead and asbestos could be disturbed,” says Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and founder of RTK Environmental Group. These materials are a serious health hazard if they are not handled properly. So schedule a lead or asbestos inspection if you suspect your bathroom is harboring these materials. If you come across them unexpectedly, it will derail your entire remodel.

What Are the Underlying Materials?

Identifying any potentially hazardous materials before beginning a bathroom renovation is important. If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that it may contain lead or asbestos, which can be dangerous if not handled properly. To ensure your safety, it is recommended to have a lead or asbestos inspection before starting your remodel. If these materials are discovered during the renovation process, it could delay or disrupt the entire project.

What Extras Do You Want?

During a bathroom remodel, it’s an excellent opportunity to consider adding any luxurious features that you’ve always wanted. Options such as a clawfoot tub, double vanity, high-end fixtures, heated floors, and towel racks all fall into this category. Keep in mind that these additional features can add up quickly and should be planned for in the beginning stages of the renovation. For example, if you want heated floors, they need to be installed under your chosen flooring material.

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