Renovating a bathroom is one of the most rewarding home improvement projects you can carry out. It’s a big job where time and money have to be spent. But the end result of a brand new, modern bathroom is completely worth it.
Plus, a shiny new bathroom will always add value onto your property, making it a key project if you want a return on investment.
However, you do have to carefully consider a number of things before jumping in and choosing that luxury new bathtub. Renovating a bathroom can be an overwhelming task, taking up a lot of time and coming at quite an expense. Make sure you’re prepared for every step of the process beforehand by doing plenty of research. So you know exactly what to expect, from start to finish.
Here’s a simple 8-point checklist for what to consider, to ensure your project stays on track.
1. Choose your contractors carefully
The most important factor of your bathroom renovation is the quality of the contractor carrying out the job. You must completely vet out any contractors you are considering first. Looking closely at reviews which span over a period of time.
It’s really not worth taking the time out to meet with a contractor, and then find out they don’t have a license, or there are certain tasks they don’t feel skilled enough to carry out.
Before you do your own research, ask your family and friends if they have a recommendation. Word of mouth is always the best. If no one can help, search online in your local area. Sites like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace often advertise, but don’t be drawn in by those claiming to be cheap and affordable. They need to be fully vetted out with reviews and ask for as many before and after photos as possible.
2. Carefully consider your financing
If you are in a fortunate position, pay for your bathroom renovation out of your own money, in one amount. Loans and credit cards are obviously the next step if you can’t quite afford to pay for the job at once, but if you can, do try to save up first.
3. Set a budget
Before you start to look at bathroom items, set yourself a budget of what you are prepared to spend. By setting a realistic budget, this will help you along the way when it comes to making big decisions about what to include and what not to include. It might be that you want a small bathtub which comfortably sits in the corner or a larger, deeper bathtub which is more of a luxury focal point. Assess where you want to invest the most money, and then shop around at specialist retailers such as Bathdisc.
Before you even start to shop around though, first work out what you can realistically afford and then subtract the amount allocated to labour. Then, you’re left with an amount to spend on tiles, fixtures and fittings, etc.
Sometimes there are problems along the way that you don’t expect to encounter. After all, you won’t know the state of your walls and floor underneath the current tiles until the contractor removes what is currently there. This is when you may come across extra costs.
4. Have a sequence to work to
There are certain ways of working when it comes to bathroom renovations, which can save a lot of mistakes and clean up time. For example, if you start at the top of the room, nothing can really affect the ceilings and upper walls. However, if you were to start with the flooring and lower walls, by the time you move onto the ceilings, any problems could stretch out to the lower areas of the room.
5. Factor in installation problems
It’s easy to forget about the problems that might be discovered by the bathroom fitter at the beginning of the project. You’ll be so engrossed in looking at new bathrooms, admiring design magazines and going through figures that hidden problems may not occur to you until they are discovered.
Some of the most common include installing a vent which leads out of the house safely, water damage from any leaking pipes over the years, plumbing errors, old corroded plumbing, or any non-waterproof tile shower/tub surrounds that may have damage.
A professional bathroom fitter will have encountered these over time, so do ask about these topics before the start work.
6. The design and functionality
There are so many factors to consider for a completely finished bathroom. These include how many walls to tile, the paint colour, mirrors and vanity units, taps and flush handle, and even grouting colour. One tip is to think of longevity. It’s easy to get swept away with fashionable bathroom interior trends, but an elegant, muted colour bathroom will stand the test of time.
Remember that the overall design should work hand in hand with functionality – everything should sit in the correct places for an enjoyable bathroom experience. Keep in mind all the users of the bathroom too, and that the layout and design work for everyone.
Ensuring you have the correct measurements from the very beginning is so important – precision is key when dealing with bathrooms. Before even shopping around for fitted bathrooms and fixtures, you must have the correct specifications to hand.
This is vital when purchasing tiles, as you’ll need to know how many can fit the length and width of a wall. You don’t want to be left with spare tiles you’ll never use, plus you don’t want to be left too short either.
8. The finish touches
No renovation is complete without those little finishing touches which make all the difference. Chances are you’ll be so wrapped up in the bigger picture – the bath, shower, sink and vanity area, that you’ll not even think about the shower cord or the door handle. Create a checklist before you begin that lists all the details you will need updating, and keep referring to it along the way.
Above anything else, a professional contractor and high-quality fixtures and fittings are most essential. Invest time and money into these two areas, and a smooth running, stress-free bathroom renovation should be yours.