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Bathroom Remodeling Basics

Yes, it is the smallest room in the house. Yes, people may spend less time in it than in other rooms. But this small room can be one of the most difficult ones to remodel. It is also the room where so many DIY home remodelers come to grief. You may be able to fix a leaking faucet or unclog a blocked drain. Those are repairs, not remodeling. Bathroom remodels can range from the simple renovations and freshening up to a complete makeover that give the home a completely new bathroom. It’s important to know what you want to do and to have your budget in place before you begin. Most importantly, you need to be sure of your abilities – if you have not done this type of job, on a similar scale before, it’s advisable to seriously think of calling in a professional. You may think that doing the job yourself will save money. But if it is too much for you, the end result will be a bathroom that no one will want to use. Alternatively, getting in a remodeling contractor to do the repairs and finish the job will end up costing you more than if you had given the job to a professional in the first place. And, do not think that a small bathroom is easier to remodel than a bigger one. It is not. Space constraints often add another dimension of difficulty to the job.

Whether you are planning on doing the remodel yourself or have a remodeling contractor to do the job, there are a few basics that you need to know. These will help you to avoid mistakes or understand the difficulties the contractor faces.

Bathroom Remodeling Facts you Need to Know
  • Changing the locations of windows and outlets are tough complicated jobs that are typically done only as part of a major remodel.
  • Plumbing cannot be moved in a slab home
  • Plumbing should never be placed on an outside wall
  • Plumbing should be as easily accessible as possible
  • Know how old the plumbing in the home is.  If it is going to need replacement in a couple of years, it will be a big mistake not to do it as part of the remodel. You don’t want to duplicate your expenses a few years down the road.
  • If the bathroom remodel involves relocating fixtures, you may need to obtain a building permit. This is even more likely if the work is being done in a rental property.
  • Spa type bathrooms can appear to be an inviting proposition, if the budget permits. But do not get carried away. Putting in a sauna can be great. But only if it is going to be used regularly. Otherwise, space is being wasted and even things that are not used deteriorate over time.
  • A big bathtub is nice, but it should not fill up the entire room.
  • Unusual bathtub designs can add style to a bathroom. But that is not their primary purpose. Sit in a tub before buying it to see how comfortable it is.
  • You will need more storage space than you think. Make the maximum use of under the counter spaces and consider using the space between wall studs for recessing a tall cabinet.
  • A clear shower screen will make the room feel more open.
  • One person’s bathroom can be another dungeon. No matter how sure you are about what the remodeled bathroom should be, factor in the opinions of others who will be using it.
  • Mold buildup is a major bathroom problem. Ensure that there is enough ventilation to allow the room to dry out within a reasonable time. Consider installing an exhaust fan.
These are just a few of the factors you need to keep in mind when planning a bathroom remodel. Do it yourself only if you are sure you can handle the job.

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