Experts warn: Don’t launch any remodel without doing due diligence and homework

Before you lift one piece of tile, make one hammer hit to a wall or even remove the bathroom mirror, make sure you’ve done your bathroom renovation homework.

For as many a renovator can tell you from hard experience, you don’t want to discover you missed something big after investing $10,000 or more into a remodel of your master bath. For as This Old House’s Josh Garskaf notes, “a bath remodel is no small undertaking.” The National Kitchen and Bath Association pegs the average cost of a bathroom renovation at $11,000.

The Pre-Renovation Check List

Here is This Old House’s Essential Pre-Bathroom Renovation Check List:

  1. Measure Your Space: Know what size fixtures will fit.
  2. Locate All Water Shutout Valves: Ensure no floods when taking out fixtures.
  3. Make Arrangements: No one wants to, but make arrangements for a backup bedroom to be safe.
  4. Fixture Future: Know what fixtures to donate of dispose of.
  5. Sheet Safe: Buy plenty of plastic sheeting to contain dust when you’re knocking out tile and drywall.
  6. Pro Check: Check the references of plumbers and pros before hiring one.

The Game Plan

Here’s the obvious fact of any master bath remodel: It can be overwhelming. Another essential element before launching into any remodel is ensuring you are mentally ready, design ready and financially ready before you call a contractor.

“You have to decide how much you can spend, select the right products, and determine if you’re going to change the layout,” Elle Decor’s Brooke Foster stresses.

Know The Pros and Cons of Your Current Bathroom

Six months before launching the project, make a list of what you like and don’t like about your current bathroom that includes what you want to keep and want you want to go. For inspiration, research magazines and websites for ideas and make a scrapbook or inspiration board.

Know Your Contractor, Know Your Bathroom

A bathroom remodel is not a one-call-and-done contractor job. Don’t settle for the first contractor listed in the phone book or the top line contractor that appears on a Google search. Review estimates, check references thoroughly, and sign contracts. Do not allow any work to begin without a signed contract.

Sketch out your ideal new bathroom, adding in the new elements you want, the storage space you’ll need, and the color, décor and atmospheric elements you want for your Bathroom 2.0.

Also, do your logistics homework. If you’re planning on moving the toilet, sink or bathtub, make sure it is feasible plumbing-wise. The most expensive element of any bathroom remodel is the toilet.

Remember, a bathroom remodel is not a job you can or want to rush. Do your due diligence and thoroughly research and plan your home’s dream bathroom to ensure it doesn’t transform into the renovation and bathroom of your nightmares.

As Lowes.com notes, “You spend 20 to 60 minutes of each day in your bathroom, so you shouldn’t skimp on its function or style.”

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