Although bathrooms are small, they account for a lot of the value in your home. If you make mistakes in your bathroom as you're renovating, you could even up going drastically over budget, and your remodeling could take twice as long--or longer! Let's go over seven of the most common bathroom remodeling mistakes homeowners make, along with how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not having a Plan for your Remodeling Budget
When you create your renovations budget, it isn't enough to just allocate a set amount of money to your bathroom project. This is just a first step. You should break down the amount farther to cover all of the elements of your bathroom. How much will you spend for a new toilet? How much will it cost to replace the tile? How much money do you need for the sink area? When you break down the costs, you'll be less likely to overspend in any area, which means that it will be easier to avoid going over your budget overall.
Not everyone who does home improvement needs a city permit, but that depends on your location and the scope of your project. It's better to be safe than sorry; check with your city to see if you need permits to do the work. This is most likely the case if you are completing a project that deals with new plumbing. You may also need an inspector to verify the work, especially if you plan to sell the house in the near future. If you work without permits, you city could not just shut you down, but also issue large fines.
Mistake #3: Sacrificing Too Much Quality for Cost
When it comes to materials, there is a wide spectrum of items available for bathrooms. Some cost a lot, while others are of a lesser quality and made for people with low budgets. You don't have to spend a fortune to create a nice bathroom, but beware of products that are extremely inexpensive. If you sacrifice too much quality for cost, you will likely have to do more repairs and another complete renovation in less than a decade. You'll spend much more money in the long run.
Mistake #4: Choosing Products not Made for Bathrooms
Many people don't realize that not all interior products are made for bathrooms. Even though your bathroom likely has a vent, this environment is still humid, and interior products may not stand up to the water very well. Look for paints and other supplies that are made specifically for bathrooms. They're often slightly more expensive, but you'll save money in the long run, since these materials will hold up better.
Mistake #5: Not Planning the Layout Well
Depending on the size of your bathroom, layout may be extremely important. If you're renovating an existing bathroom, consider keeping the layout the same, since that means you won't have the extra expense of moving pipes. However, if you're creating a bathroom from scratch, think about the space you need to make the room comfortable. Remember, you can save space by using pocket doors, angling fixtures, using non-standard sizes that are a bit smaller or fit the space better, and eliminating the bathtub and instead installing just a shower stall.
Mistake #6: Changing your Mind
When remodeling any room in your house, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is changing your mind. Once a plan is set in motion in the construction world, it is difficult to alter that plan without costing any money or wasting any time. For contractors, time is money, so just a few days of delays can cost you thousands of dollars. Beyond that, you risk having to pay your contractors even if they can't finish a job. Sometimes, they'll have another project scheduled immediately after yours, so a small delay might mean that the work is left unfinished. Unfortunately, you'll still have to pay for the project in most case, since they upheld their side of the contract. In terms of materials, changing your mind can also be a huge mistake. Not only is your first instinct usually right, but you run the risk of not being able to return items, especially if they were custom ordered for you.
Mistake #7: Getting in Over your Head with DIY Projects
DIY projects can save you a lot of money, but know your limits. In bathrooms, some projects are best left to the professionals, since making mistakes could mean that you have to start over from scratch. When in doubt, hire a contractor to help you. Mention that you're willing to help with the work, which could mean that the contractor will lower the overall labor costs, since he or she won't have to bring as many people to complete the job. If you are set on doing the project yourself, at least take some classes on the skills you need at a local home improvement project before you start.
Key Hiring Tips
Hiring a contractor is an important decision so it is best to get all the information you can on each company. This includes checking references, insurance and licensing information. On a larger project a designer or architect is required in order to get the permits. Smaller projects still require a plan and the job will turn out great with the a little organization.