How To Prepare For Bathroom Renovations

Bathroom renovations are among the most popular of all home improvements. A bath makeover can completely alter the character and personality of a home. When shopping for homes, kitchens and baths, more often than not, will make or break the decision. This is especially true for women. I completely gutted and remodeled the entire interior of the 40 year old home where we currently live. Of the entire 5 bedrooms, den, kitchen, and study, my wife's favorite room is the master bath. While it's easy to get excited about the prospect of ripping it all out and starting over, there is much planning and preparation to be done first. You need to get started with a checklist that will, eventually form your scope of work. Beginning the process will immediately lead to a variety of questions that must be answered. If you're looking at cosmetic repairs, such as changing the paint or wallpaper and installing some new mirrors, the questions will be relatively simple for example: What color of paint or wallpaper pattern do I want? (Even though it can take some homeowners an eternity to answer that one). However, if were talking about replacing a tub or shower or installing new vanity cabinets, it gets a little more complicated. Among the things to consider are:

If you're replacing plumbing fixtures, will the existing plumbing adapt to the new or have to be reconfigured?

If you are changing the entire layout of the bathroom, what will be required to move plumbing and electrical, repair drywall, and reconfigure cabinets, etc...

If you're planning to install new flooring, what type of sub floor do you have and what prep work will need to be done?

What finishes are you considering for counter tops, floors, walls, etc...

These are just a few of the basic questions that must be answered before you can begin a bathroom renovation. More than likely, you will need to consult with some professionals in order to find the answers. By this time you will, most likely, have decided how much, if any, of the work you plan to do yourself. There are some aspects of the work where this may be an option, such as demolition, painting, carpentry, and tiling. I would recommend, however, that you leave the plumbing and electrical to professionals unless you have a previous background or an extensive knowledge of these trades.

Once you've decided on a general scope of work, it's time to start talking to the pros to determine whether or not all of your plans are feasible. Do you plan to act as your own general contractor or hire one? It's a big job. Think about it and make sure you've got the time and are willing to devote it. Depending on the size and scope of your project, you may need to consult with a draftsman or architect about having a set of plans drawn. In some areas plans may be required to obtain a building permit. You will then need to begin interviewing contractors and if acting as your own general, subcontractors . For access to contracts, qualification forms, estimating forms, and many other helpful tools, check out our Do It Yourself Home Repair Kit

Selecting Your Finishing Touches

The final results of bathroom renovations project depend on the finishes you select in the beginning. These selections will also determine the hidden details such as plumbing and electrical, the pace or schedule of the project, as well as the cost. Therefore, these are among the first decisions to be made, even though they will be the last phase of the work to be completed. Before you ever begin to begin to meet with contractors or talk to an architect, you should begin shopping for finishes and fixtures. Some of the key decisions include:

Plumbing Fixtures

This is where it all begins for a bathroom renovation. Tubs, faucets, lavatories, commodes, shower accessories; these are the decorative touches that will set your bath apart and give it personality.

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