When you want to remodel your bathroom, the aim is usually to make it better. However, bathrooms are complicated rooms because of the plumbing and electricity involved, and renovations need to be done with care. One of the first mistakes I made was with the budget. There is the possibility of many unforeseen circumstances appearing including mold in the wall or antique plumbing that needs to be completely replaced. These repairs cost money for which you may not have budgeted. The rule is to plan on a 15 to 20 percent increase in your budget. With this in mind, you may want to wait a while before tearing up your bathroom.
Building codes exist for your safety. It’s important to learn about any building codes before you begin. If you use a local contractor, he will know the local codes. If you make the mistake of building without following the codes, you may have to completely tear down the work and rebuild according to the codes. If you have purchased a new bathroom vanity, you’ll have to uninstall it. This could happen when you want to sell your house, and the buyer does an audit to make sure your house is up to standard.
Plumbing and electricity are both governed by building codes. These systems need to be properly installed to avoid damage or injury from shocks, short circuits and blown fuses as well as burst pipes and flooding.
Make a Plan
Before beginning your bathroom remodeling and interior design, you should take the time to make a plan. A common mistake is to think that you can figure out what needs to be done as you progress with the work. Poor planning often means you need to do things twice. That will substantially raise your costs especially if your remodel is upscale.
A good plan will contain your budget, your materials, including any new purchases such as a new vanity or a bath vanity, exhaust fans, shelves, fixtures and faucets and a list of contractors. It is recommended to select your plumber, electrician, painter and contractor before you begin demolition. If you do this, it can help a lot when you make your budget because you’ll have estimates and quotes for each aspect of the job. Building bathrooms requires a unique set of skills, and a contractor that specializes in remodeling bathrooms will give you a better result.
Don’t skimp on skilled labor. A good tile setter is an artist and can make even a cheap tile look attractive, while a poor tile setter will make an expensive, imported tile look cheap. The lowest bid is not necessarily the best.
Your plan should include clearing distances. You don’t want doors that bang against other surfaces or to have your knees pressed against the wall when you’re using the toilet. It’s also recommended to keep the major plumbing lines in place. It will be a major construction project if you want to move the toilet from one wall to another. You may need to relocate a three inch drain and demolish the floor and wall to do it.
When making a plan, consider Universal Design. This is the concept that your bathroom will be useful regardless of your abilities. Anyone who is remodeling a bathroom should consider this, not just elderly people.
Some Small Mistakes that Can Have a Big Impact
You may not be bothered by small mistakes, and think you can overlook them, but it is in your best interest to correct any mistakes you make and avoid making others. Here are a few examples of things not to do:
• Buying mismatched hardware and fixtures. If you buy brushed nickel faucets for your bath vanity, make sure you also buy brushed nickel for your bathtub and shower fixtures.
• Overlooking small mistakes such as uneven brush work or tiles that are not properly aligned. You may think these small things won’t be noticed, but if you regularly overlook them, they will add up to an unattractive bathroom.
• Skipping prep work. It may seem time consuming and unnecessary, but the fact is it’s time well spent. Your final result will be better if it is built on a properly prepared foundation.
• Taking inaccurate measurements. If you aren’t sure how to take proper measurements, ask a friend for help or call a professional. If the dimensions are off, you won’t get the look you want.
• Buying cheap materials. You may think any vanity will do when you look for a bathroom vanity, but if you buy a cheaply made product, it will look shabby within a year. You can get a good quality, environmentally-friendly wooden or synthetic stone bathroom vanity for an affordable price. Also, trying to save money by skimping on your subfloor could result in water damage in the future.
- Putting a full-sized sink and toilet in a small bathroom. It just makes the room feel more crowded. Get the right size bathroom vanity that fits well in the small room.• Ignoring the lighting. Especially in a small bathroom, lighting is crucial.
• Installing a toilet, bath vanity, shower and tub that don’t match. They should all be the same color. You can check the color when you buy from Modern Bathroom.
• Buying the wrong bath vanity. If the bathroom is also a storage place, you may need a bath vanity that has cupboards and drawers. If you have a limited amount of space, a small open vanity may be your best option. In either case, it’s a good idea to have a place to store a few towels and medicines.
• Avoiding sealant. If you use natural, synthetic or porcelain or ceramic stone tiles, the grouting needs to be sealed. Natural stone also needs to be sealed. Unsealed grout will get dirty very quickly and become a breeding ground for mold.
• Avoiding installing shut-off valves for hot and cold water under the vanity, for the toilet and in the shower if applicable.
The main way to avoid expensive mistakes when you remodel a bathroom is planning. You have the idea and are in a hurry to get it done, but taking the time to think it through will save you time and money.