Oct 082013

A bathroom improvement project is not a weekend project and shouldn’t be considered as such. It will probably take 3-6 weeks and anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 to remodel your bathroom, depending on its size and how much you want to do.

It is very important that you plan your bathroom renovation so as to ensure that your project will go smoothly and create fewer issues along the way.

Here are the steps you need to take for your bathroom improvement project.

Step 1: Research and get ideas

You may not want to hear it, but before starting any bathroom remodel, you need to do your homework. It’s just like building a house. Before you can build one, you need to research possible designs and concepts, available products, costs, color schemes, floor plans, etc.

When you remodel your bathroom, you need to check the designs that are currently in trend which you can find by browsing the Web, checking out showrooms, and reading home improvement magazines. Read Finding Ideas for a Bathroom Remodel  for more information.

Step 2: Prioritize

priority list

Once you have gathered ideas and concepts, you need to sit down with your family and talk about the upcoming project. Everyone should participate in making the bathroom plans and giving their own ideas and suggestions.

Ask people what bothers them about the current bathroom and what kinds of items they would like to have in there. Think about what fixtures and accessories need to be replaced.

After gathering all the information you must then sit down and determine which items are the “need to have” and which items are the “want to have.” Write down a prioritized list. Start with the most important items and work your way down.

Step 3: Set a budget

You can do bathroom remodel budget planning two different ways. You may already have a set dollar limit. Then start going down the prioritized list and stop when you reach your budget number. Be sure to allow at least a 10% overrun.

The other way is to go down your prioritized list and put cost estimates next to each item. When you reach a number that makes you (or your bank account) uncomfortable, it’s time to stop.

To get a more accurate budget, you may want to visit a home improvement store or call a local supplier and ask for quotes on the items you will need. You can also scour the Internet for prices and make price comparisons so you can find a supplier that offers the most competitive deals.

Aside from the cost of upgrades and replacements, you will also need to set aside a budget for permits and fees, and other incidental costs that may come up as you go along with your project.

Step 4: DIY vs contractor

Finally—and this is the most crucial step in your bathroom remodel project—you need to decide whether you will take this project on your own (DIY) or if you should hire a remodeling contractor.

plumbing contractor

Despite what you see on TV home improvement shows, bathroom renovations take special skills, especially if you plan a complete overhaul. If you have neither the skills nor the knowledge for getting it done right, it might be more economical for you to hire a contractor. On the other hand, if you believe in your own capabilities and you can enlist the help of your family members then perhaps doing it yourself won’t be such a bad idea.

If you plan a DIY project, you will need to buy the materials and arrange for their delivery. If you will be hiring a contractor, get bids from different contractors and then make sure you sign (after you’ve read) the contract. Choose a contractor wisely and make sure you select one that not only charges fair rates but also has a good reputation, an extensive portfolio, and one that is legally allowed to offer their services in your state.

Obviously, you won’t be able to use your bathroom fully when it’s being renovated so you need to make sure everyone in your household understands this. Depending on the scope of the remodeling, it could take more than a month to complete the project so everyone must have a clear understanding of this scenario.

In some cases, you may even have to rent a portable potty.


It is very important that you plan your bathroom improvement project properly to ensure that the outcome is exactly what you wanted.

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