Bathrooms are a key part of every house. While they might have started out providing key functions, bathrooms are evolving to become more of a retreat within the home, a place where you can relax in a jacuzzi tub or steam shower. When you're building a home or planning a bathroom remodel, you need to put together a roadmap that outlines the activities you are planning for this room. For each activity, you need to identify the features you want.
Now you're wondering who's dreaming as most of our bathrooms are smaller, i.e. a full bath might only be 5 by 8 feet and there's not much you can do within that space. Maybe … maybe not. Antique vanities are gaining popularity and they can set the tone for a very different feeling when you're in the bathroom.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall … What Do I Want in a Bathroom?
When you start planning a bathroom remodel, you need to weigh your budget versus your goals. If you want to turn an existing bathroom into a spa like retreat, then chances are you will need more space. Annexing space from an adjoining closet or bedroom isn't difficult but it will add significant cost to the project and that will be your first decision.
Don't despair as most bathroom remodels stay inside the existing bathroom walls and you're better off not moving the plumbing as that can also add costs where you can't even see those new pipes (they're not that pretty) when you're done. Here are some quick tips for planning your bathroom remodel. Following this, we'll share 2 road maps, leading to photo journeys through each project.
- Decide on your budget as bathroom renovations can range from under $1,000 (painting and new towels) to $25,000/more when moving walls, plumbing and replacing all fixtures down to the floor.
- Pick your bathroom focal point, i.e. the one “must have” to create your dream bathroom. Subtract the cost of your new bathtub or vanity, and you now have the budget for all other changes.
- Identify problems to address during the remodel, i.e. do you need more light or better ventilation? Add the cost of these improvements and subtract them from your budget.
- Painting is probably the best bang for the buck, so you'll want to subtract the cost of the paint (recommend quality paint form a paint store) and now you have to decide who's going to do the painting, i.e. if you do it yourself, then you've got money for more fixtures.
- Your budget will now tell you what else you can include in your bathroom remodel. Bigger items include a tile floor, new vanity – counter top – sink, or maybe you'd prefer crown molding or wainscotting along with painting and new towels? When you add new features to your bathroom, today's vanity won't dominate your visual space like it does today and depending on the finish, you might paint it so it blends into the walls?
Now that you've sorted out your major decisions (for a checklist, see Prioritizing Your Bathroom Remodeling Goals), you're ready to put together a road map of what you will be buying. It's best to keep track of your expenses (see Building Your Bathroom Remodeling Budget) as you go along so if one item is over budget, you can drop something or make sure to spend less than planned.
Bathroom Road Maps to Get Your Started
While I try to accommodate all my handyman customer requests, it often involves bringing in other home professionals to get the right job done. To help my customer who wanted to remodel 2 bathrooms in the 90 days following the closing on his new condo, I invited an interior decorator to take the lead on all design and aesthetic product buying decisions. The design road maps shown here are Jennifer Myers, Jennifer Myers Interiors, recommendations following a walk through with the customer.
With a client who traveled extensively for business, we had to get creative on approval to keep the projects on schedule. Many of the photos shown here were placed online to keep the customer updated, and in some cases that's how products got approved like the tile chair rail design. Other times we brought products like the vanities and light fixtures to the client's office.
Our customer originally wanted this bathroom to be a dark, chocolate brown with tiled walls. The room was simply too small for the color and the cost for tile walls wasn't supported by the condo's home value. Come on the photo tour to learn how this bathroom renovation took a turn for the better (hint: we removed a wall).
Second Floor, Shared Bathroom
The lesson learned is you'll save time, and a few headaches, if you collect all the new fixtures for a remodeling project ahead of time. This avoids having to synchronize the handyman working and the decorator (or owner) shopping at the same time.