Thursday, March 17, 2022

8 Bathroom Remodeling Don’ts

Bathroom plans becoming a reality as someone imagines what it will look like when completed.

Undertaking a bathroom remodeling project is hard work from start to finish. No matter how much you plan, something is bound to go wrong. Avoid some of the drama by steering clear of these things. It will take some of the pressure off and keep you on the right track. 

Don’t Forget to Set a Budget

A budget is a magical thing. At a basic level, it helps you understand how much a bathroom remodel costs and how that intersects with how much money you have to spend on that remodel. On another level, it can act as a guide that helps you make decisions quicker.

When you have a budget, you set guidelines for yourself as to the materials, hardware, and accents you can use in your new bathroom. This comes in really handy when you’re having a hard time picking between your three favorite bathtubs. Price may help you narrow down the best option. 

A budget also helps you see what’s coming down the pipeline and plan ahead for your spending. Maybe you’re tempted to spend a little more to get that bathtub you love, but one look at the budget may remind you that you wanted shower jets and you decide to go more conservative on the bathtub in favor of the shower jets instead. 

If there’s one thing you remember about the budget, remember that it’s highly likely that you’ll go over the budget. There is always some unforeseen thing that needs to be tended to and adds costs that you didn’t plan on. Always add a 10-15% bumper to the budget to soften the blow of the unexpected.

A person drawing plans for a bathroom remodel and imagining the finished product.

Don’t Proceed without a Design Plan

Starting a bathroom remodel without a solid design plan is like taking a car trip with no maps or GPS. If you only have a destination in mind but no guideposts along the way, you’re sure to get off track or miss something important. 

If you hire a contractor or designer, this will probably be taken care of for you. However, if you’re DIYing all or part of your remodel, be sure to think through every aspect of your remodel down to the tiniest details. 

A design plan doesn’t just keep you on track, it also helps you avoid changing your mind midstream. It’s easy to second guess your decisions, but a plan will help you keep track of your vision and goal. It’s also a good idea, once you’ve come up with your plan, to stop looking at ideas and shopping for products. Changing of the mind is the biggest culprit of over-budget, late projects. 

A design plan will also help you avoid bathroom slip ups like overlooking features you want, adding too much to the design, and over designing your new bathroom. Get a plan and stick to it.

Don’t Overlook Lighting

Lighting is so important in the bathroom. The bathroom is only surpassed by the kitchen in it’s lighting demands. You need to be able to have true light for up-close tasks like shaving and application of makeup. You need to have mood lighting to create a relaxing spa-like environment. You need nighttime lighting for those midnight trips to the bathroom.

Be sure to consider all the different types of lighting you’ll need in the different areas of the bathroom. Don’t be tempted to go with basic lighting; you’ll regret it before that new bathroom smell has a chance to dissipate. 

Ask a designer or lighting expert to take a look at your space and make some recommendations. It’s well worth the quick visit to get lighting that will meet your needs.

Don’t Dismiss the Importance of Ventilation in the Bathroom

Ventilation in the bathroom is important on many levels. It’s a place of increased humidity and a variety of smells, all of which need proper ventilation. Without a bathroom fan to handle steamy showers, you may end up with a mold and mildew problem. 

Bathroom smells may not pose a threat to the structure of your bathroom like humidity does, but without an efficient way to evacuate and circulate air, those smells may make your bathroom a place you avoid.

Be sure to check your current exhaust fan to ensure it is powerful enough to handle the size and demands of your new bathroom. Your contractor can help you out or turn to a professional to give you some DIY tips.

A plumber doing a shower in a bathroom remodel.

Don’t Get Stuck in the DIY Downward Spiral

A few YouTube videos do not an expert make. It can be easy to get in over your head when you DIY your bathroom remodel. If you don’t have some construction experience, be sure to plan for plenty of backup should you get stuck. 

The bathroom involves electricity, plumbing, and detailed construction. It can go wrong quickly. You would not want to run the risk of a bathroom that poses a risk to your home, let alone the increased cost in time and money when you find yourself in over your head. 

Be aware of your limitations and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Define ahead of time where you’ll turn the project over to the pros so you don’t feel like you have to keep going when you know you’re not equipped to deal with it. 

Be wary of friends and family members who have little experience. They may sound confident, but their mistakes can lead to problems too, not to mention injuries and broken relationships. 

Don’t Cut Corners

Remodeling is a big job, especially bathroom remodeling. It’s easy to get tired, but don’t be tempted to take shortcuts. Things that cost less or promise to save time also often result in lower quality and the need for more attention in the future. Attention to detail is a must in a bathroom remodel. Don’t skimp simply to save a little time or money. 

Never overlook local building codes and regulations. It may seem like a bother and a part of the process you’d rather not deal with, but it’s there to ensure your bathroom is well constructed and doesn’t pose a risk to your home’s structure or it’s inhabitants. 

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

It’s really easy to get excited about your bathroom remodel and want to start knocking down walls. However, you need to ensure all your ducks are in a row before you start anything. 

A remodel requires a lot of coordination. If the new bathroom vanity arrives before you’re ready, it might take up space in the garage for far longer than you’d hoped. Be sure all your design plans are in place, the budget is set, and the timeline outlined. Get permits and contracts in order. 

You might lose the use of your bathroom for a time while the renovations are taking place, so be sure to plan carefully and not get overexcited or you might end up increasing the time it takes to finish your bathroom.

Don’t Be Too Conservative

You may have been dreaming about this bathroom renovation for a long time. Don’t sell yourself short by being too conservative. If you want the gold colored fixtures but worry about their design longevity, you’re thinking too hard. 

Of course you want to strike a balance between what you want and what will remain relevant (especially if you might sell in the future). Do some research on current trends and outgoing trends to get a sense of whether your tastes are on point. A good rule of thumb is to keep things neutral, but that doesn’t have to mean boring. Go ahead and splurge on the perks you want. 

A new bathroom is on the top of the list for potential home buyers, so unless your taste is ultra unique, there are many buyers who love the same things you do.

Take the time and care to avoid these bathroom renovation don’ts and your project will go more smoothly. For more bathroom renovation ideas, check out the indulgent ensuite bathroom ideas.

Bathroom Renovation Ideas