Planning is extremely important. A good idea is to look at other bathrooms, what do you like and don’t like? Look at websites and magazines for ideas. A bathroom should be a sanctuary, a place to relax and distress, so look at lighting, dimmers and design. To keep cost down, leave major elements where they are. It’s a good idea to get a plumber in while renovating to check all those hidden pipes and fitting and also ensure you waterproof your bathroom too, this will prevent major damage, that could go unnoticed and end up costing thousands. If you are on a budget simple changes can really make a difference. New tiles or a paint job can give the bathroom a whole new look without costing a lot for example. Also tradespeople, such as plumber and electricians, they need to be on site when they are needed so make sure you discus thoroughly when you need them with your contractor, or will the company you hire do all that for you? Also the fixtures and fitting should be ordered well in advance so they will be ready to be installed at the appropriate time, allow for delays when ordering. However, discus with your contractor if what your ordering will fit or work in your bathroom.
Selecting your contractors
- Are the fully insured and licenced?
- Do they have a good reputation, check references thoroughly?
- Ask around, talk to people, who do they recommend, who do they warn about?
- Ask questions
- Be involved
- Don’t be intimidated, it’s your home and your money.
- Talk to at least three contractors, and go with instinct, who is easy to talk to, who answered your questions well?
- Check their credentials
This is important. Once you have a quote or a budget, add 10-15% to the total as there will be surprises or things that cost more than expected. A bathroom remodel will cost between $10,000 to $20,000. Never pay your renovator the full amount, wait till it’s all done and you are 100% happy with the work, you normally pay in installments. Keep an account of what you have paid for etc. so you know exactly where you are at budget wise. Talk to your contractor so you’re not hit with unexpected bills, make sure they outline everything. If you are remodeling purely to sell your home don’t spend a lot, sometimes a paint job is all you need to spruce it up. Moving fixtures is the costliest so try keep them where they are. Choose hard wearing rather than go for looks as you want things to last you don’t want to have to regularly replace things.
Make sure you are clear on what you want. Contractors can’t read minds so tell them exactly or show them a picture. But keep in mind they know what they are doing and so also ask if it can be done or any problems or recommendations they have about your idea. Be clear and honest but be prepared to compromise if it won’t work. A full remodel of a bathroom rarely goes according to plan, there are always unexpected things that happen, be prepared for this. It will always take longer than you think, generally up to six weeks. So don’t hold your breath, just go with it. Research, ask questions and be open minded. Knowledge is power as the old saying goes, the more you know the more your expectations will be met. Having the bathroom of your dreams may not be financially possible or practical, so find out what is possible, for example will that bath you love fit? Can you get the same looking til es made of a cheaper material so you can get that faucet?
This is where a good clear contract comes into play, have everything written down and signed off, don’t just talk about it and agree, write it down. Keep account of dates and times. Be involved. Research so you know what is happening, and what terms mean. Ask questions. When you are choosing your contractor make sure they don’t just brush things off but discuss it with you. Check how they handled things when talking to their references, were they willing to sort things out decently with them? Discus things before they happen, not after. Be clear and open about things yourself.
Remember a bathroom remodel is not just a quick weekend fix, it can be costly and there is always the unexpected or the hidden, so preparation is key, as well as an open mind.