A bathroom or a kitchen renovation is an exciting task. But before jumping to choose the latest tile or bathtub design, there are some less exciting things to consider so your project turns out just the way you dreamed it. Because renovating a bathroom can be overwhelming, time-consuming and costly, we recommend couple of things for your checklist to make sure that your project stays on track and the renovation runs smoothly.
Every year, the Appraisal Institute of Canada surveys its members and compiles a list of renovations that yield the best return on investment. Year after year, refurbished kitchens and bathrooms head the payback list: 75 percent to 100 percent of the outlay for these projects can be recovered upon resale, a bathroom can result in $1.71 increase in value for every $1 spent on renovation.
If you do not know already, you should work up an idea of how much you want to spend on your bathroom renovation. Setting a budget will help guide you as you make decisions about what to include in the remodel. Once you have figured out what you can spend and subtracted the amount allocated to labor, you will have a clearer sense on what you can pay on tiles, fixtures and extra.
Many people assume that if they are remodeling a small bathroom it will only take a few days, or, anyway, it will take much less time than a larger one. This is not necessarily the case. Depending on how many items you are changing in the bathroom, your contractor will have to go through all the same steps as for a larger bathroom. However, planning refers not only to defining the duration of the renovation works but also certain intermediate steps such as ordering and purchasing tiles, fixtures, custom-built vanity or cabinets to make sure they can be delivered when your contractor needs them. Planning time is also crucial for those with only one bathroom in their house as they will have to make arrangements where to take a shower and use the toilet while the bathroom is taken apart.
If you are doing a major upgrade to your bathroom consider doing a “full gut”. When done by a professional with expertise you end up with a zero problems bathroom that will function flawlessly and add tremendous value to your home for many years to come. Depending on the age of your home and how well it was built, the biggest hidden problem you may encounter is water damage, so look for structural deficiencies in the floor framing, not properly vented plumbing, old corroded plumbing, non-waterproof tile shower/tub surrounds, etc.
Design style and functionality
When first starting out, start by thinking about the look you want for your bathroom. There are many factors to consider like paint color, tile choices, vanities, showers, tubs, faucets, etc. It can get overwhelming very quickly so start with some research. You can start to piece together elements that you like into what will become the final design of the bathroom or you may choose a design item you want to feature in the bathroom and then work the rest of the bathroom design around it.
Design should work hand in hand with functionality so consider who will use the bathroom and how, consider an eventual resale of the house and also take a moment to think how the bathroom design will fit in with the rest of the house.
There are 3 major limitations which really make size matters in bathroom renovation: the overall size of the bathroom (usually the smallest room in the house), the location of existing plumbing pipes and electrical wiring and the typical standard dimensions of bathroom fixtures. Therefore, make sure you have the correct measurements and specifications when you go to the store. More frustrating than trying to shop without measurements is to end up purchasing stuff that does not fit.
Ventilation is crucial in a wet room like the bathroom. It is also a tricky task which needs good planning: choosing the right fan, the right position for its installation and dealing with the electrical wiring. Poor ventilation can leave your bathroom damp, mouldy and can even harm your health. A well-ventilated bathroom, however, is not just a healthy bathroom. Continual airflow can also prevent both the decay of any wooden trim or fixtures and the saturation of building insulation.
Plumbing fixture, lighting, cabinets, storage, shelving and bathroom accessories, walls and flooring. All these can be chosen in a variety of combination, colour finishing and features. Even if you personally do not care about going green one way or the other, the market is trending toward this so it’s something to consider. And there are many budget friendly options for adding a green touch to your bathroom: a low flow toilet that uses less water and saves you money in water bills; low-VOC or no-VOC paints; vanities made from sustainable harvested wood; recycled glass tile surface countertops, etc.
Choosing the right contractor can make the huge difference in all your bathroom renovation experience. There are couple things that you should consider before hiring a contractor:
- how long have you been in the industry /business?
- are you licensed, bonded and insured, carrying a WCB policy for your employee?
- are you member of any professional association?
- signing a written contract that stipulate the scope of work, details, materials, budget and time line of the project