Tips for Remodeling your Bathroom
Preparation, coordination and communication are your keys to success.
By Rob Robillard
Many people do not know how to plan a bathroom remodel. As a restoration contractor I’ve seen many situations where homeowners have spent thousands of dollars in restorations that commence with no planning, no idea of a budget and with unrealistic expectations. Whether you’re a contractor or a homeowner doing the work, the planning process is the same. The premise of this article is to explain the process and help you develop a detailed scope of work that you can communicate in clear and concise terms.
Ask questions, look at other projects and research your products and materials before starting. There is a ton of “product” at supply stores and on the internet to compare and contrast. Consider using a checklist for manufacturers of fixtures, appliances, hardware, etc. I always suggest using products from quality manufacturers with a proven track record.
This is also the time to reach out for help on your design, if needed. For example, if you’re moving walls, do you need an architect to prepare detailed drawings? Having a drawing helps folks visualize the final product.
For the contractor, the goal of detailed drawings is to work out spatial issues, to anticipate design issues and to eliminate surprises. This also provides a picture for you and the contractor of what the finished product will look like.
Decisions are better streamlined with a drawing, which helps prevent subcontractors and workers from being hit with unexpected decisions or products requiring additional labor and/or materials to install.
Plan Your Remodel before Starting
Having a plan doesn’t mean picking out tile and paint colors and then smashing out the walls. It means thinking through the whole process, writing it down and trying to anticipate problems, time sinks and construction roadblocks.
Prior to starting the project, take the time and effort to thoroughly inspect the home and come up with a plan of approach. Hire an architect or general contractor to inspect and work up a scope of work. Plan so that one phase of the project transitions logically to the “next step.”
Many people assume that the contractor will make logical decisions in scheduling and planning the project. The fact is that a bathroom project involves numerous different subcontractors, and every one of them has their own schedule and agenda. Getting these folks to physically see the site, submit a proposal and commit to a schedule can be quite a task, but is imperative to do.
Your bathroom is about to become a construction area. Discuss and establish ground rules with your contractor, such as where lumber and materials will be stored, jobsite clean-up, dumpster location, use of the toilet and parking of vehicles. Also, discuss debris removal and dust containment.