Looking to add long-lasting value and beauty to your home? Remodeling your master bathroom is a great place to start. A mid-range renovation of your home’s bathrooms can completely transform them and net you a high return-on-investment when you eventually sell your home.
However, to see those results, your bathroom remodel must be done right. Unfortunately, many homeowners run into problems while planning and executing their bathroom remodel. In this article, we will review some common, critical mistakes people make and how you can avoid them when planning for your remodel.
If you are like most homeowners, you have a vision for what you want your bathroom to be. The trouble starts when you try to translate that vision into reality. After all, you probably have a ceiling for what the project (e.g., $15,000), but no idea what each part of the remodel (materials, labor, etc.) will cost. How do you know if your plans will fit in your budget? In this environment, many homeowners end up over-planning and under-budgeting. While there is some degree of this in every project —even well-planned ones! — having to leave out something as important as a new tub or bathroom vanity is going to feel like a major disappointment.
Hire the right people
Think through which parts of your project you will want to handle personally, and remodeling contractor. If you do not know how to professionally install pipes, you probably do not want to be learning in your own bathroom. Leave the plumbing installation and repair work to a certified, local plumber who knows what they are doing and has the right tools to complete the project.
Making extensive layout changes
Moving walls and changing the layout of your bathroom is a great idea—in theory, at least. It is what adds significantly to your project overhead, often without adding much value to your home. Moving a toilet requires rerouting plumbing and taking out walls. While it is not impossible to make layout changes if the bathroom absolutely needs it, think through your decision first. In most master bathrooms, it’s possible to complete a successful remodel without major layout alterations.
Trying to take on too much
Bathroom remodels are complex projects with a lot of moving parts. Depending on the scope of your project, it might also involve moving pipes or installing wiring—tasks that are best left to a professional. A common mistake homeowner makes is trying to do everything themselves. This typically goes wrong on one of two fronts: either they misjudge the amount of work required relative to the time they must complete it, or they try to take on tasks they are not qualified to complete.
Not adding enough storage
Do not underestimate the amount of storage your new bathroom will need. When you add it all up—towels, appliances, and supplies—there is a lot that needs to be organized and tucked away in cabinets. A small bathroom vanity might be the look you are going for in your master bathroom, but it also might not add enough storage space unless cabinetry is added elsewhere. Here is one strategy: since you must move everything out of your bathroom ahead of the remodel, anyway, put it all in one pile in another room. This might open your eyes to exactly how much you have and need to store.
You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “Measure twice, cut once.” In your bathroom, you might want to modify that to, “Measure three times, cut once.” Incorrect measurements cause a lot of misery for homeowners. Being off by fractions-of-an-inch when laying tile or installing a pipe, can lead to costly and time-consuming rework. Many common parts of a bathroom remodel—such as sloping a shower floor—also call for precise measurements. Mess that up, and your shower will not drain properly.
Again, this is where having a second set of eyes can be helpful—especially if they are a trained set of eyes. Contractors are used to working precisely and know where to be extra attentive to the details. After all, it is not their first rodeo: your bathroom is just one of hundreds they have successfully remodeled.