Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Remodeling 101: Part 2 - Bathrooms


A typical bathroom remodel takes 2-6 weeks, depending on complexity. This overview includes the most common elements of a bathroom remodel. It is important to review and understand these elements in advance before hiring a designer and/or contractor. This will help the professionals you work with create a design and project overview within your budget and time frame.
  • What is your budget for this project?
    • As mentioned in our previous post, it is important to discuss your budget with your contractor and/or designer. A qualified design/build firm will have experience in working with budgets and be able to guide you in the general direction to meet your needs. They will not increase their fees to match your budget or try to convince you to increase your budget. They will explain to you if and why your budget is on target or unrealistic. 
  • What is your goal for the remodel?
    • Are you looking to update, add space, or both? What is the ideal bathroom you envision yourself in?
  • Technical aspects of the bathroom remodel include:
    • Current square footage and desired square footage.
    • Will your project require an engineer or architect? Most likely you will not need either unless you are moving walls and/or the ceiling.
    • Does your project need to be permitted? Your project will require a permit if you are moving electric and/or plumbing. Check with your local municipality for permit regulations. Your contractor/designer will be able to advise you on local rules and regulations.
      • Your designer/contractor can help you with these technical aspects but having a general knowledge of what may come up in your initial conversation is very helpful to both parties.
  • Other elements of the bathroom remodel include electrical, lighting, walls, plumbing, windows, doors, shower/tubs, toilets, vanities/cabinets, counter tops, sinks, and flooring.
    • Electrical - Will you need a service upgrade? Do you need a sub panel? How many outlets and switches will you need? Would you like your lighting on a dimmer switch?
    • Lighting - What type of lighting fixtures would you like? Do you want recessed lighting and/or flush wall mounted lighting? 
    • Walls - Will you need any wall paper removed and/or installed? Would you like the walls textured or smooth? What color and finish of paint do you envision for the walls and ceiling?
    • Plumbing - Will the plumbing need to be upgraded and/or relocated. Most of the time, I advise my clients that we will be upgrading their plumbing behind the wall. The reason for this, especially if it is a newer home, is that the builders use inexpensive materials that are no longer sufficient. 
    • Windows - Are there any windows that need to be removed, moved, or installed?
    • Doors - Are there any doors that need to be removed, moved, or installed?
    • Showers/Tubs - You will have to decide if you would like a tub/shower area or shower area only. If you would like a tub what type/color would you prefer? Do you want tile on the floor or back splash  Do you want a tile listello (this is the decorative band that runs around the shower walls)? Do you want a nook for your shampoo/soap? What type of materials would you like? Pattern? Tile Size? Grout color? Do you want an installed bench? Do you need grab bars? Do you want a glass door? What type of faucets would you like?
    • Toilet - Will you be keeping your existing toilet? If not, what make, model, and color?
    • Vanity/cabinet - Will the vanity be custom ordered or pre-built? What type of material, color, and stain? What door and drawer type? What type of accessories (knobs, pulls)? 
    • Counter tops - What type of material and finish? What type of edge detail? Would you like a back splash?
    • Sinks - How many sinks? What type of sink? What color and finish?
    • Flooring - What type of flooring materials? Would you like a tile, wood, or PVC baseboard?
These are the questions your designer/contractor is going to ask you when discussing your bathroom remodel. Look at your existing bathroom and write down what you do not like. Then look at pictures and decide on the type of bathroom you would like. Talk to your designer/contractor about your ideas. Be flexible and understand that they are professionals in their field and want to help you achieve your vision. They will explain what can and cannot be done and why. You can then, together, come up with a solution and plan for the bathroom remodel.

Blog post by Aja De Los Santos, GM & Head Designer at Investcove Properties 

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