National Association of Realtors: Thinking About a Bathroom Remodel? Do These 5 Things First

NEW YORK, Aug. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The bathroom might be the smallest room in a house, but it's one of the most complex to remodel. After all, most bathtubs won't fit through a finished doorway. Yet, by taking a few simple steps upfront, homeowners can set up their bathroom for a straightforward remodel that will get done on time and under budget. Check off these five essential steps before starting. 

#1 Figure Out a (Realistic) Budget 

A savvy first step for any home renovation project is figuring out how much to spend. For most projects, the budget will be a range to accommodate unknown situations and unexpected costs that are inevitable. When building the budget, plan for essential materials, like bathroom flooring, fixtures, and any eco-friendly upgrades, but be sure to leave space for labor if a contractor will help complete the job.

Keep in mind that having a smaller budget doesn't mean homeowners can't tick off all the items on their list. It just might mean there's extra room for creativity and plenty of opportunities to DIY.

#2 Weigh Simple Fixes vs. a Full Renovation

When planning a remodel, decide what's the priority. For example, if a bathroom remodel is intended to create a space for an aging relative, a full renovation may be in order. However, sometimes simple fixes can freshen up a space with much less effort.

For example, do the bathroom walls need shiplap or could a fresh coat of paint do just as well? And is a brand new clawfoot tub absolutely critical or will refinishing the current bathtub at a much lower price suffice? Remember, remodels can always be a mix of big and small changes, and not everything in the space needs to be wow-worthy.

#3 Decide Whether to DIY or Hire a Pro

DIY renovations can save a lot of money. However, if done incorrectly, DIY can become costly later on. For example, refinishing a tub usually costs about $500 for a professional, while a DIY bathtub refinishing kit is a fraction of the cost. However, a professional can offer a better paint job, a nonslip finish, and a warranty. On the other hand, tasks like installing a new faucet or vanity are quick and simple to handle without a pro.

#4 Think About What Materials Work for the Space

Homeowners should think about the primary person who will be using the space. Whether that's a small child or older adult with mobility issues may warrant choosing different materials. Features like stain resistance or anti-slip could better accommodate certain groups. Then, if specialty materials are needed, plan to put them where they matter most, like flooring and lower fixtures.

#5 Come Up with a Plan and Timeline

A reasonable plan and timeline can help homeowners frame a remodel realistically. Before embarking on any remodel, think through the renovation from A to Z. Start with obvious issues like if any large objects should be removed from the bathroom and what materials to order. Then, figure out what tasks need to be completed and how long each one will take. Having a plan in place is the best way to set practical expectations and keep the project moving forward. It may also help head off any bathroom remodel surprises that have a way of cropping up.


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