With hundreds of remodeling shows and magazines assailing us throughout the day, many of us feel as though, through osmosis, we’ve absorbed enough information to tackle a full bathroom remodeling project on our own. However, that sense of empowerment and energy can quickly wane if you do not take the time to prepare all angels of your remodel. Remember to plan ahead, stay motivated, and expect the unexpected!
It is easy to become frustrated by money, time and lack of inspiration; but a great bathroom remodel can improve the overall value of your entire home and is always at the top of a home buyers’ priority list. Months could be spent researching all the details of ‘How-To: Bathroom Remodeling’, but there are a few ‘Must-Dos’ not to miss out on. Keep in mind the key points of Universal Design, Inspiration, Space, and Budget to help save your sanity and, hopefully, allow you some fun!
The point of Universal Design is the idea of accessibility. Physical barriers, resale value, aging family members, and common sense should always be on your mind when planning your bathroom remodel. Will you still be able to use this bathroom when you have become elderly? Does a bigger tub mean the door will not open all the way? Universal Design is about making it functional and beautiful for everyone.
A friend recently completed a bathroom remodeling in her 1950’s style bungalow and asked us over to admire her handiwork. The hole in the counter top had been too small for the new, ultra-modern, square sink and it sits, unintentionally, two inches above the counter. Her small faucet, of a different brand, spills water over the back lip when hands are squeezed beneath it. We all, of course, tell her she did wonderfully. Plan out each fixture carefully throughout your bathroom remodeling project and if too intimidated by the huge variety, stick to the same brands, which are designed with compatibility in mind.
Find lasting inspiration. Whether you prefer ultra-modern, traditional, or period pieces, plan out a style you can live with; even eclectic design needs cohesion. The easiest way to do this is with a theme: plan your bathroom remodel around a color scheme, a beloved piece, or even a favorite location. Then keep it simple. You do not need bamboo covered walls and Japanese art everywhere to have an Asian theme. If you choose a traditional design use only a few ornate pieces, such as wall sconces or a cabinet, to add subtle interest and avoid having your bathroom remodel resemble a preserved historical estate.
With modern designs, consider using a mirrored wall, as opposed to individual frames, to keep clean corners and minimal detail.
Unless you have a contractor on speed dial or immense budget, it is best to work with the space you have. Bathroom remodeling is about both aesthetic and function and requires thoughtful planning of pieces within the dimensions of the room. A full-sized cabinet will not fit into a 3’x5’ bathroom! Hanging shelves on available walls will free up limited floor space. Lighting is another greatly overlooked aspect of many bathroom remodeling projects. Light fixtures can add decoration as well as effective illumination in small spaces, and dimmers add control to otherwise jarringly bright lights.
One of the most important keys to bathroom remodeling is the budget. Find out exactly how much money you are able to spend for your project in the beginning; otherwise you will find yourself quickly losing track of money spent. Let contractors know your budget up front and ask them to work within your limits. During construction of a bathroom remodel, unforeseen electrical or safety issues could also require additional labor and money. Plan your budget, yet allot a portion of your funds for emergencies only. You’ll be much happier to have used less than expected, rather than break the bank.
Bathroom remodeling projects can open doors to the rest of your home’s design and is a great starting place for beginners. Plan accordingly, and when in doubt, keep it simple. After conquering the major elements of universal design, inspiration, space and budget, the rest of your bathroom remodeling project should fall into place and can be easily modified if you decide you would like a change later. Patients with any endeavor will return the favor!