House & Garden

Planning to Renovate Your Bathroom? Don’t Proceed Before Reading This 10-Step Checklist


If your bathroom hasn’t been updated in many years, it can quickly make your home appear outdated and unappealing. This becomes especially evident if you’re trying to sell your home. Potential home buyers see an outdated bathroom as a costly upgrade that can instantly turn them off your house. Even if you’re planning on staying in your home for the foreseeable future, updating your bathroom will not only make your home more liveable and enjoyable, it can also increase the value of your home. Bathroom renovations are actually considered one of the most lucrative home renovations you can perform and will give you the most return on your investment.
Before you start renovating your bathroom, there are a few things you should consider to make sure that the renovations go as planned and that you don’t end up regretting your decision.
1. Set a budget
For anyone planning a bathroom renovation, the most important thing to consider is your budget. Sticker shock isn’t uncommon when it comes to bathroom renovations. People spend lots of time looking up bathrooms and crafting ideas and not considering the cost of the finished product. On average, a full bathroom renovation can cost upwards of $13,000. This surprises many people, who only consider the price of big-ticket items, like freestanding tubs, toilets, and vanities, but fail to consider the cost of installation, plumbing, electrical, tiles, and other essential components for finishing a bathroom.
2.     The time it will take
When you’re planning a bathroom renovation, many people only consider how great it will be to have the finished product. However, it’s important to consider how long the renovation itself will take. While your bathroom is being renovated, your access to the bathroom will be limited. In fact, you may be without that bathroom for quite a while! If this is your main bathroom, this could be quite the inconvenience. When you’re looking to have your bathroom renovated, consider how much you’re looking to change in your bathroom to gauge how long the renovation may take. When meeting with contractors, discuss this and try to get a timeline. However, know that most contractors take emergency work and may end up being called away from your job periodically, which could extend the amount of time that your bathroom is out of commission.
3.     Prepare for the unexpected
Unless you were involved in the build for the bathroom, there might be hidden issues within the walls that you may not have been prepared for. If your bathroom renovation is a major one, it may end up making more sense to do a full gut of the space to uncover any issues that may hold you up. This could include improperly installed plumbing or electrical work, water damage, mould issues, or build that isn’t up to code anymore. Performing a full gut will allow you to remedy any of these issues. Unfortunately, it will also increase your budget, so plan to set aside some money for ‘unexpected’ changes.
4.     Design for functionality over style
There can be some gorgeous bathrooms on Pinterest or in magazines that look beautiful in photographs but would be totally unusable for your family. When designing your bathroom, it’s important to consider how the bathroom will be used and to design around functionality. You can still have a visually striking space that will work well for your family by choosing unique pieces that still function well. For example, you can visit UniqueVanities.com to see different types of vanities that may suit your needs.
5.     Measure before you plan
People often see their spaces as larger than they actually are, which can lead to lots of disappointment if you fall in love with a certain bathtub or fixture, only to realise it won’t fit! Before deciding on things like fixtures, take clear measurements of the space, so you know what you’re working with. Also, you will need to consider where the existing plumbing and electrical wiring is and work within those limitations.
6.     Hire a contractor
Unless you’re skilled at a variety of trades or have plenty of time to babysit different tradespeople working in your home, then hiring a contractor will be in your best interest. A good contractor will help facilitate the work that needs to be done in your home and will help streamline the different trades that need to be hired to help your bathroom renovation go smoothly.
7.     Consider storage
One of the things people long for the most in bathrooms is more storage. When designing your new bathroom, get creative with storage and look for cabinets, shelving and other storage solutions that go beyond the traditional vanity and medicine cabinet that most bathrooms have. To get inspired, shop outside of the ‘bathroom’ section and look for storage solutions used in kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms. Just make sure that you know what can, and can’t, be exposed to water!
8.     Lighting is key
Functional lighting is critical in a bathroom. Often, bathrooms are designed with one lighting fixture that floods the entire space with light. However, bathrooms are one of the areas that benefit the most from task lighting, dimmers, and other forms of lighting. This will help your bathroom be more versatile. From bright, direct light for morning rituals, to dim and moody for nighttime bubble baths, your bathroom should be able to do it all.
9.     Accessorise accordingly
While accessories aren’t often considered in a big bathroom remodel, they can be a key component in how your new bathroom will look and feel. From mirrors to fresh towels, to shelves, consider the overall vibe of the space and budget accordingly so that you can create a space that feels exactly as you’d imagined.
10.  Proper ventilation
Ventilation is vital in a wet space like a bathroom. Not only will adequate ventilation help clear any unpleasant odours, but it will also pull moisture out of the space and prevent any issues with mould overgrowth—a key component for making sure your new bathroom stays spic and span and safe for years to come.






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