Updating Your Bathroom: Where & How You Should Start

Are you daydreaming about updating your bathroom again? When you are finally ready to make the commitment and update your bathroom, it can be a pretty intimidating project to undertake. Below we have created a planning guide to get you through the first hurdles of creating a budget for planning the work. Use the following information and timeline to help make sure that once you start updating your bathroom, that you stay on track and ensure success.

Creating a Budget for Updating Your Bathroom
To start, think about what exactly you’d like to change about your bathroom. What would you like to fully update, replace, add, and fix in your current bathroom? Once you have a good list of what you’d like to include in your bathroom renovation, use our guide below to start a budget. We have laid out the approximate costs for updating each section of your bathroom to give you an idea of how much your project will cost. This will give you a starting budget that you can tweak as you get more specific information.

A Small Bathroom Refresh Project ($200-$5,000)
Updating your bathroom with a  small bathroom refresh project can include projects such as:

  • Painting the walls and trim
  • Updating the vanity
  • Replacing your sink and countertops
  • Refinishing your bathtub
  • Installing new light fixtures
  • Installing new window treatments
  • Installing new hardware and fixtures

A Small Bathroom Remodel ($5,000 – $15,000)
In this case, a small bathroom remodeling project can include projects such as:

  • Replace your current faucets, sinks, shower, and toilet
  • Replace your bathtub and/or shower or whirlpool
  • Move fixtures to other areas of the bathroom
  • Add new supply lines, drain pipes, electrical
  • Replace or add to your cabinetry and/or vanity
  • Add dividing walls
  • Replace your flooring

A Major Bathroom Remodel ($15,000+)
A major bathroom remodeling project can include projects such as:

  • New bathroom cabinetry and fixture layout
  • Add or remove doorways to create a whole to space
  • Moving and/or expand your bath
  • Replacing and/or moving plumbing and electrical
  • Upgrading all surfaces, finishes
  • Add a skylight and/or new windows

Create a Plan with a Timeline

The next step in pursuing your dream of having a new bathroom is to create a plan for the work to be done. A plan with a timeline will help you stay on track if you are completing the job by yourself or it will help you communicate (successfully), your plan to your contractor.

A Timeline for Updating Your Bathroom

Step 1 Research & Planning (6 Months prior to starting.)

Take this time (about 6 months out) before starting the project to figure out if there are building regulations that you need to follow and if there are any permits that you need to apply for. You can also use this time to find a contractor to help, they can often help you with regulations and permits.

Step 2 Floor Plan & Buy List (4 Months prior to starting.)

At 4 months out you can start to draw floor plans and hire your contractor. Have your floor plan handy during the project and while shopping for parts, etc. This is also a good time to make a list of all the things that you need to buy for this project. Your list may include things like tools, fixtures, and other equipment.

Step 3 Purchase Materials Needed (3 Months prior to starting.)

Make your final decisions about materials, tools, and products, and then purchase.

Step 4 Store Materials & Audit (1 Months prior to starting.)

Find a private and secure place to store your materials, tools, fixtures, products, and equipment. Create an audit of what you purchased and stored. Start to arrange for a dumpster if it will be needed. Keep a to-do list on you so that you are always on track and know what’s next.

Step 5 Final Arrangements (1 week prior to starting.)

Make sure you take “before” pictures of your entire bathroom. One thing about updating your bathroom that people most often forget and regret is not taking before and after photos. Then clean up and empty your bathroom of everything. Make arrangements for where to store all of your things, pets, and power tools. You will also want to arrange for a place for washing tools and other items. Make sure you have ample room for your contractors and their equipment as well. Inform your neighbors of your remodeling plan and make sure they have your contact information in case of issues. Make sure to hang about protective coverings to your other floors, rooms, air vents, etc.

Step 5 Start Work  

Make sure to take pictures each time you complete something.

Step 6 Finished Work  

Go through all of your work and make sure that it meets code and has passed inspection according to local regulations. Then make sure the area has been thoroughly cleaned, including your air vents. Gather and store warranties for any purchased materials and products. Make sure all of your related bills have been taken care of and keep copies of everything. Then take “after” pictures and enjoy your new bathroom!

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