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10 Bathroom Remodel Pitfalls to Avoid

a great bathroom remodel white tile and walnut cabinets

Everyone has a perfect dream home built and laid out in their minds and many will try to attain that dream house throughout their lives. Of course, the decorations change and the layouts differ as the years go on, yet the dream is always there. For many, a dream home starts as a “fixer-upper” and works its way through renovations and remodels hoping to bring life to those ideas inspired by travels, magazines, and Pinterest.

Before a renovation, those involved are giddy with excitement and expectation. This is your chance to make everything perfect! How, then, do renovations cause home-owners so much stress? Small oversights turn into huge fiascos. Take a moment to go through our list of 10 things you want to avoid when planning your bathroom remodel.

1. Buying Before You Plan — How tempting is it when you stumble upon that fabulous accent piece or perfect floor pattern for your renovation, to simply buy it? It may be difficult to resist such temptation but go home and finish planning first! The planning stage invites the free flow of ideas. You can shop around and price out every item you might need for your home project. Gathering measurements and layout designs are a part of this as well. Avoid spending money on items that simply won’t fit or won’t work in the space by having a well-thought out plan.

2. Forgetting to Ask Around — There is a plan in place, so what’s the first step? Are there special rules and regulations for your home or neighborhood that require you to have a permit for any new work? If you move forward on your project without double-checking the legal matters, you may be forced to tear the whole project down and start from scratch with a new permit, costs not included.

3. Know Where to Begin and Where to End — Your new design plan should include a timeline. What day will your project start? How long do you expect the construction to take? Do you have an estimated end date? Take a look at each individual project that needs to be done including destruction, painting, shopping, customization and so on. Find out how long each project needs to be completed without rushing or cutting any corners. Prioritize the list of projects so you have a clear starting place and an idea of where to go from step to step throughout the process.

4. Draw Up a Budget with Wiggle Room — Research the materials, labor and miscellaneous cost components for your home renovation. Once you’ve decided on a final estimate of the cost, add in the “over costs” section. Even if your home is relatively new, things always come up: mold, leaky pipes, rotting wood, faulty wiring, etc. There is no way to foresee obstacles such as these but you can at least be prepared. Hire a contractor to come in and do some exploratory work to see if there are any telltale signs of damage before you even begin construction. If your project goes off without a hitch, take the money you saved on “extras” and buy a little something extra to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

5. Going Low-Cost on Everything – Taking on a renovation is an investment. Whether you are taking out a loan or saving money up, consider the value of the time and products. Choosing flooring, appliances or wall coverings simply for their bargain steal of a price is not the best choice. Consider the time put into the installation and the future resale value you imagine for your property. With high-quality investment pieces, you have the peace of mind of knowing they will last for years and, in the case you decide to move, will possibly please the next homeowner as well.

6. Forgetting About the View — It’s easy to overlook: the window. Not only can rooms with no windows start to feel like a dark, damp imprisonment, but they are lacking ventilation. Your bathroom is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Allow for fresh air and natural light to come into the bathroom. Along with an additional escape for humid air, your window provides beautiful views of the outside world, unless your layout only allows for a small closet-sized bathroom surrounded on all sides. In that case, consider a skylight.

7. Keeping the Toilet in Plain Sight — It might seem like a good idea to have a readily available bathroom for family members and guests alike, especially in a home with multiple levels. However, there is one major thing to consider, keeping the toilet out of sight. Specifically avoid having the bathroom next to rooms like the dining room, kitchen or living room to avoid unpleasant bathroom experiences in common gathering areas. Imagine sitting down to a lovely family meal and looking directly at the toilet.

The same goes for inside the bathroom. Providing a layer of privacy with an extra door or a dividing wall to keep the toilet area out of the direct line of sight creates a functional environment for homes with multiple family members.

8. Taking on Too Many DIYs — It is understandable that as a homeowner you might want to take part in home renovations. However, there are times when it is OK to hang up your tool belt and let a team of professionals come in to get the work done. For technical jobs such as bathtub repairs, resurfacing or restoration work, you want someone who can get the job done right, the first time, without going over budget or extending the timeline of your project. Hiring a professional doesn’t mean that you’ve thrown up the white flag! Outsourcing allows the experts to come in with proper training and certification for the difficult things, leaving the fun stuff up to you!

9. Not Going Green — Taking steps toward “going green” are easier and easier every day. Choose appliances and designs that include green housing materials and energy saving properties. Greener options are much more affordable than they used to be and fit perfectly into every renovation budget. Having energy-saving and sustainable products in your home also adds to the investment aspect of your home. Future homebuyers will be looking for more eco-friendly upgrades. You will personally see the benefits right away in your monthly utility bill, lower insurance premiums and knowing you are making a positive impact on the environment.

10. Putting Your Dreams Aside — If you’ve always imagined your perfect bathroom to have something incredible yet attainable make sure you follow-through! During a remodel you have the chance to go back to the drawing board and really create something you want. If you’ve finally got the chance to give yourself the waterfall shower or built-in laundry chute, and then fail to follow through, afterward you will feel disappointment instead of pride for your brand new space. You might be left feeling that your renovation needs a re-do. Our tip: If you can dream it, do it.

Don’t forget to consult a professional for guidance on how to get started with your bathroom renovation. Contact the Seattle Bathtub Guy. As a leading expert in bathtub refinishing and reglazing, we are always available and willing to discuss renovating projects!