Oct 172013
 

Are you tired of the look of your current bathroom? If that’s the case, then it’s time for a bathroom upgrade. Modern times call for modern bathroom designs and fixtures, and if yours is looking rather outdated, here are some bathroom improvement ideas that won’t break your budget. And using some or all of these ideas can help you avoid having to do a complete bathroom remodel.

Use Mirrors

Mirrors are known to make an area look bigger than it actually is. In the case of bathrooms, you can add mirrors to make it more spacious. You can place one mirror in the sink area, and one ceiling to floor mirror in one area of your bathroom which will serve a functional purpose and at the same time make the room appear bigger.

Both fog-free and tilting mirrors are now available. A tilting mirror should be used for a handicap-accessible bathroom.

Paint Walls

These days, the trend in bathroom wall paint colors are light shades like cream, the palest shade of yellow, and even white. Light walls can make the bathroom look brighter and spacious.

On the other hand, some people use dark walls with colorful accessories to create a dramatic effect in their bathroom. This is a decision based on personal taste.

Painting your walls isn’t expensive so this is something you can do even with a very limited budget.

Improve Lighting

Bathroom lighting, though seemingly insignificant, actually plays an important role in a bathroom improvement project. Proper lighting can also help improve the safety of a bathroom.

You need to choose your lighting well and if you want to save on your electric bills (even by a small margin) you can do so by using LED lighting. There are many options for this type of lighting and you can pick those for mood lighting and those for functional purposes such as when you shave or apply makeup.

Many bathroom mirrors also come with lighting fixtures, so keep this in mind when choosing mirrors.

Add Storage

The thing with bathrooms is that they are usually too cramped. People put so many things in their bathroom, and fill it up with large and heavy cabinets and shelves.

Modern bathroom storage solutions are more space-efficient, and they’re not made of thick or bulky wood materials that will only make your bathroom appear even smaller than it really is.

Hang racks where you will put your toiletries and hair products, and place a shelf above the door for added storage. Just make sure it is securely installed for your safety. You can also install pullout cabinets and place baskets in strategic places where you can store items like towels and underwear.

Add Wall Art

Wall art can do so much to enhance the look of any bathroom but it’s especially important to know which ones to use. Check magazines and the Internet for ideas on trending wall art.

If you have a small bathroom, choose art designs that will be suitable for your bathroom based on scale. There are custom wall art and accents which can really help you get the design you want, however if you’re on a tight budget, you can always go for ready-made artworks. Remember to choose murals and artwork that are specific for bathrooms to ensure they are waterproof.

Install Clear Shower Doors

Shower doors can contribute to making a bathroom look small or large, If your objective is to make yours look big, you should install clear shower doors. They come in many sizes and thicknesses. Some even have art etched into the clear glass.

A shower doors might be one of the high-ticket items in your bathroom renovation project but it’s well worth your money, especially if what you have now is an old shower door or one that only constricts the space in your bathroom.

Update Fixtures

If your budget allows it, it’s recommended that you upgrade your toilet and sink.

Outdated fixtures only serve to make your bathroom look drab and old, whereas upgrading them can make it appear modern and will also make the time you spend there more enjoyable.

A bathroom upgrade is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. If it’s time for an upgrade, make decisions wisely and plan it well.

For additional help, read Planning Your Bathroom Improvement Project.

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.

Summary

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

Oct 032013
 

A bathroom remodel project isn’t something you decide on impulse. There are factors to be considered, and a budget needs to be set. Updating your old bathroom can set you back several thousands of dollars and it’s only right that you find bathroom renovation ideas so that you can make better choices. But where exactly can you find bathroom renovation ideas?

Magazines / Books

You can get bathroom renovation ideas from magazines. There are specific magazines devoted to kitchens and bathrooms as well as those that feature home decors and design such as Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Architectural Digest, and many others. Browsing through these magazines might be a little time consuming but they’re very helpful in giving you not only some nice ideas but also some tips on how to budget, how to choose the right colors, and even where to buy the supplies.

Many full-color paperback books are also available. Some are great for getting ideas because they have pictures of completed bathroom. Other books are specifically for the do-it-yourselfer. If your remodel is a DIY project, these books can be very helpful because they often have step by step photos of projects such as installing a shower surround.

Showrooms

Showrooms are excellent places to get ideas for a bathroom remodel. They usually showcase the most modern and most beautiful designs. Visiting showrooms will give you some very good ideas on what fixtures are trending now and what color schemes to go for. At the same time, looking into their displays will also help you visualize the outcome of your project.

Modern bathtub

If you know of any large home improvement stores or interior design stores in your area, they usually have areas set aside that display bathroom concepts. Take time to visit them and take down notes if you can. Some bathroom showrooms also give out brochures which you can use to get ideas for your bathroom improvement.

Internet

The Internet is an easy-to-use source of bathroom renovation ideas and well as helpful tips and advice. A quick search on Google will lead you to thousands of designs and concepts, and for sure you will find at least a few that will fit your requirements in terms of space and budget.

You can visit the sites of known bathroom fixture manufacturers and browse through their products. Not only will this give you some design ideas but it will also provide information on how much certain fixtures cost. For example, if you browse through the website of a faucet and showerhead manufacturer or supplier, you can check the prices of their products. This will help give you an estimate of the cost of your project.

You can also check the websites of remodeling contractors and designers because they will most likely have samples to show you from their portfolio. However, keep in mind that just because these are shown in their gallery doesn’t mean you should use their ideas. Don’t be in a hurry to find bathroom renovation ideas. Instead, take your time in gathering information and making comparisons.

Experts

If you feel that the ideas you’ve obtained so far don’t quite fit what you want for your bathroom improvement project, your best recourse would be to set an appointment with an expert in bathroom remodeling. This could be an interior designer or a remodeling contractor.

Experts would be more than happy to give you advice and help you complete your project on the budget you have set. But remember to find out as much information as possible about them before making the decision to hire them. Ask them about their previous projects and check if you can talk to their clients so you can properly assess the quality of their work before doing business with them.

Friends and Neighbors

You are not the first person to remodel a bathroom. Just ask any of your friends about their experiences and you’re sure to get good stories that can save you a lot of trouble later on.

Also, you might have seen plumbing or renovation contractor trucks in front of a neighbor’s home. Don’t be afraid to ask your neighbor about their experience. Most of us are more than willing to tell you our bathroom remodel “war stories.”

Summary

Bathroom remodeling is an expensive project, and it is very important to gather as many bathroom renovation ideas as possible before you decide to go ahead with your own project.

For more information read Why Remodel Your Bathroom?

Sep 272013
 


People are sometimes hesitant to start a bathroom renovation project due to the costs, but the truth is that the benefits you get make it worth every dollar. Below are the main reasons why you should push through with a bathroom remodel.

Bathroom remodel

Adds Value to Your Home

If you’re tired of the outdated look of your bathroom, then it’s about time that you upgrade it. Not only will it make your bathroom look nicer, it will also increase the value of your home. Experts say that a bathroom improvement could give you up to 80% return on the cost of your remodel project. So even though you will need to shell out at least a few thousand dollars for this project, in the end, it’s still a win-win situation for you.

 

Water Savings

Bathrooms take up the largest percentage of water usage in every home. Even the tiniest leaks in your showerhead, faucet, or toilet can jack up your water bill. Then, when you compute your annual water bill, you could be spending many hundreds of dollars or more because of unnecessary water wastage. 

Aside from getting rid of leaky faucets and toilets, using modern bathroom plumbing fixtures can also effectively lower your water usage by as much as 70%. There are low flow showerheads, faucets and toilets that could save you anywhere from $50 to $150 annually. When you consider the long term savings, some simple changes can be a great benefit.

Energy Savings

Not only does remodeling a bathroom help you save on your water bill, it helps you lower your electricity bills as well. Replacing your CFL lighting with LED lighting can not only improve the ambiance of your bathroom but it can also make it energy efficient. 

The initial cost of LED lighting is higher than CFL but because it uses only a tenth of the electricity used by the latter, you get bigger savings in the long run. Aside from replacing your lighting fixtures, you can also invest in a “green” water heater. The benefits you can get from these fixtures alone should be enough to convince you to get started with your bathroom renovation.

Adds Space

Don’t you hate it when you use your bathroom and you find it hard to move around or can’t find any empty counter space? Well, if you decide to remodel bathroom you will be able to make it more spacious because there are storage designs that will make it appear bigger. The use of space-saving storage solutions will help you get rid of unnecessary clutter so your bathroom will appear neat and organized.

Improves Mobility

One of the issues some people have with their bathrooms is that it’s just not suitable for them. It could be that the bathrooms are being used by elderly individuals or small kids. In both cases, preventing slips and falls in the bathroom is important.

A bathroom renovation can help solve the problem. There are walk-in showers and tubs as well as grab bars that will make it easier for seniors to use their bathroom, and there are also lower sinks specifically made for small kids. There are even handicap sinks and tubs should your bathroom be used by someone with a disability.

Add New Bath Technologies

By upgrading your bathroom, you can also opt to add some pretty cool features to give you a more relaxing experience. You can have music in the shower, or mount an LCD TV on the wall so you can watch your favorite shows while soaking in a warm bath.  

If you have the budget (and space) for it, you can even replace your outdated tub with a Jacuzzi. You can also have your toilet replaced with a more modern and “green” low flow toilet which effectively conserves water.

Summary

Remodeling your bathroom provides many advantages, such as adding value to your home, helping you conserve water and energy, adding space, improving mobility, and equipping it with modern features. But most of all, it will make visits to the bathroom more enjoyable for you.