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» Planning a Bathroom Remodel

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Planning a Bathroom Remodel
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Bathroom remodeling can be as small as replacing a leaky and out-of-date faucet to tearing out walls and installing fancy new fixtures like spa baths or heated floors.

Regardless of the scale, if you’re going to do more than change the towels, it’s a good idea to have a plan so that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises right in the middle of the project.

Follow these important tips to plan your next bathroom remodel:

  • The first and most important question is budget. How much can you afford to spend? Figure out what your dream bath looks like, and then reevaluate your plan based on how much cash you have. You will probably need to set priorities or plan your bathroom remodel in stages based on what you can afford now.
  • Evaluate what your needs are. Your needs are the must-haves. You might want a steam shower, but you’ll need to replace the cracked sink basin. The needs go on the plan first, and then fill in as many of the wants as you possibly can afford.
  • Do you have any extra space that you can use? You can start small by removing a never-used cabinet or converting a bathroom entryway into storage space, or take on the larger project of moving a wall.
  • Consider consulting a professional. Even if you plan to do the actual work yourself, a professional designer can help you to anticipate issues and answer questions that you might not have thought of, like how much space to leave in front of a toilet. And if you’re determined to do the planning for a larger project yourself, get a copy of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) bathroom design standards and get a copy of your local building codes. If you’re undertaking a larger project, you will probably need to get a building permit, too.
  • If you’re going to take on a big bathroom remodel, don’t forget to make alternate arrangements for you and your family. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple baths, then it shouldn’t be as much of a problem, but if this is your only bathroom, it’s probably a good idea to go on a mini-vacation while the work is being done.
  • The more you can stay within your room’s original design, the more affordable it will be. For example, try to use existing wiring and plumbing. This may mean that you need to refinish your tub or make sure your new one the same size as your old one. It might seem simple to move the toilet from one wall to another, but don’t forget that this means that all of the plumbing needs to go too.
  • Up the design quotient by purchasing inexpensive mass-produced items and then personalizing them with some simple flourishes. Try buying plain cabinets and then add decorative molding to make it look custom. Add stencils to cabinet doors or ceramic tiles.
  • Accessories can really make a bathroom remodeling project work, especially if you’re working with a small budget. Don’t forget to set aside some cash for new bath towels, rugs, etc.

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