You’ve decided that your bathroom needs a makeover, either because it is falling apart or because you’d like to design it better. Renovating your bathroom makes it more pleasing to use, more functional and gives you a much better return on investment in the future should you decide to sell your house – in fact, much more than renovations on much of the rest of your house. Before sitting with your actual bathroom renovation plans, though, here are six things to consider.
- Your Budget
Every renovation has a cost attached to it, and you need to determine whether you can afford the costs attached to yours before you begin dreaming about that crystal chandelier or that gold-plated bathtub! There is, after all no use planning anything if you cannot afford it, so sit down and come up with a budget. Also, set aside a margin of at least 10% for unexpected expenses that are sure to come up once the renovation starts.
- The Layout
Carefully consider the space you have to work with and what you intend for it in the long run. If you have limited bathroom space, consider putting a shower in place of a bathtub and opt for a pedestal sink instead of a large vanity. Plan for cabinets strategically so that your bathroom counter does not get cluttered, and consider shelving and nooks within the shower area.
Even if you’re young still, it is never too early to plan your bathroom design if you intend to age in place. Your physical ability and mobility may decrease as you age, so consider accessibility and safety solutions along with your bathroom renovations. For example, you may want to install grab bars and anti-skid flooring to increase safety. Use curved edges around your vanity, and make the shower area a bit bigger if possible.
- Hidden Problems
Be prepared to find hidden problems that you didn’t know about, when you start off your bathroom renovation. Some problems that many homeowners are confronted with include:- Hidden water damage- Structural deficiencies- Wet beds – old tiles that are set on concrete beds, and which are expensive and difficult to remove.While you can’t hide from these possible problems, being prepared for them is one way to handle them. This is where a large portion of the flexible part of your budget get used up. In case you encounter wet beds, consider whether you really need to remove the older tiles as they may often have coats of concrete and even wire lath that can be brutal to remove.
- Plumbing Solutions
Think carefully about your bathroom’s plumbing lines and all its fixtures as you lay out the electrical lines, framing and plumbing. You may either choose to leave your supply lines exposed for a more vintage look or you may conceal them for a more modern look. Ultimately, the layout you choose for plumbing is determined by your overall bathroom design.
Think about how to save water when you choose your plumbing bathroom renovation fittings. You can save a lot of water, for instance, with low flow shower heads and with toilets with water efficient flushing. If you love long luxurious baths, consider adding a three-quarter-inch supply line for a faster, more consistent water flow. While this doesn’t really help you go green and save water, it’s a great idea if you’d like to splurge once in a while.
No bathroom is complete without good lighting. When planning your bathroom renovation, try to get in as much natural light as possible so that you can save electricity during the day. If there is insufficient natural light where you bathroom is, you need to install a comfortably bright light. Smaller bathrooms need just once central light. For larger bathroom spaces, install wall lights at strategic areas. Install dimmers if you’d like to enjoy a hot bath in a slightly darker environment. Also, be sure to add wall sconces that flank your bathroom mirror.
The right ventilation is crucial for all bathrooms, and what better time to plan your ventilation than during a bathroom renovation? Keep your bathroom free of mold and mildew with a good fan. Include windows in your bathroom that you can open up periodically and let fresh air and natural light inside. If you have the cash to impress, you may also choose to invest in an automated ventilation system that is triggered once a pre-set humidity is reached.
In summary, consider your budget and your bathroom space before planning your renovations. Set aside some extra money for hidden problems that may come to light later and plan your fixtures for long term use. Planning renovations in detail helps you have greater control over your budget and results in a bathroom that is designed to impress.