Bathroom Remodel

Plan it right from the start

It's no secret that along with a kitchen remodeling, a bathroom upgrade is one of the keys to modernizing your home's appearance and increasing its overall value. The kitchen and bath are the areas your guests will see when they come for a visit, so maintaining them is very important.

A bathroom makeover not only looks great, but it can also change the way you feel about your home. But even though you dream of transforming your bathroom into a day spa, there are certain realities that will determine if it's possible or practical.

Bathroom Remodel Prep Questions:

  • What do I want to change? (Paint, sink, faucet, tub, toilet, floor, cabinets, etc...)
  • What can I change? (How much space do I have to work with?)
  • What is my budget? (How much can I afford to spend on upgrades?)
  • What is my Do It Yourself I.Q.? (Can I do the work myself or with friends?)
  • What is my threshold for adversity? (Will I want to call a pro if I get in over my head?)
  • What are my limitations? (Plumbing, electrical, carpentry, flooring, etc...)
  • What are my time constraints? (Will I need to devote evenings and weekends and for how long?)

Once you've determined these factors, you can begin to plan the work. When remodeling an older home, you may dealing with the last guy's shoddy work. Bear in mind that homeowners were swinging hammers in their homes long before the cable networks saturated your television set with home improvement shows. The problem? Some of those people didn't know what they were doing!

You might be surprised to find a single nail holding up your medicine cabinet, or a gaping hole behind your mirror, or maybe that your storage cabinet is nothing more than a piece of plywood with prefabricated doors! Things you've taken for granted become unnerving discoveries once you remove the facades and begin to dig into a job like this. The challenge is to figure out what you can improve on without going overboard and spending beyond the scale of your home's actual value.

Bathroom Remodel on a Budget

There are some ways to spruce up your bathroom without ripping out the fixtures and starting from scratch. Provided your tub, toilet and sink are a matching neutral color, there's plenty you can do without calling in the cavalry.

Saturday afternoon projects that will make a big difference in your bath:

  • Upgrading old light fixtures, receptacles, wall plates.
  • Replacing a faucet that's lost its finish.
  • A fresh coat of paint for the walls and ceiling.
  • Installing a new "peel and stick" vinyl floor.
  • Changing knobs and pulls on cabinets and drawers.

Small jobs like these will change the overall appearance of your bathroom and give it a "like new" appearance for pocket change. As with any remodel, take your DYI temperature and be sure you're prepared. Have a contingency plan for all scenarios, and remember, as optimistic as we may be, every weekend warrior should have Murphy's Law etched in the front of their toolbox as a reminder.

Brian Mckeon