5 Tips for Avoiding Overwhelm During Your Remodel
Doesn’t it seem like everyone is talking about their bathroom remodel? It’s such a popular home makeover that on any given year, about 13 percent of American households are remodeling their bathrooms, according to data from the National Kitchen and Bath Association. That’s about 14.2 million bathrooms—and a whole lot of people gleefully selecting new tile, paint, shower enclosures, and lighting.
If you are ready to take the plunge and ready to embark on your very own bathroom remodel, you are probably excited. While the final results are totally going to be worth it, the remodeling process itself—planning, budgeting, demolition and building—can be stressful. With that in mind, here’s how to approach a bathroom remodeling project without getting overwhelmed.
Tip 1: Budget Like a Boss
Money is one of the biggest stressors in life, and when you are doing a remodel, it might feel like money is about to fly out of your wallet. Avoid any drama by having a well-researched and realistic budget.
Remodeling Magazine estimates that a midrange bathroom remodel will cost $21,377 and a luxury, upscale version will be $67,106, though this varies by region of the country. (You’ll recoup some of that investment should you sell your home; read more on that in 6 Upgrades to Instantly Boost Your Home’s Resale Value.)
Decide what your cost ceiling will be, committing not to spend a penny over X, no matter what. Next, add in a 10- to 20-percent buffer, within your budget, as a contingency plan. When it comes to any remodeling project, the goal is to avoid unwanted surprises that will keep you up at night.
Bonus tip: Settle how the contractor and laborers will be paid, well in advance of your project start date. Are there deposits that need to be paid? What’s the payment schedule? Get everything in the contract.
Tip 2: Compromise on Non-Critical Details
Your budget will of course include any must-haves. If you’ve always wanted a steam shower as part of your dream bathroom oasis, for example, then it goes in the non-negotiable column. (Psst… Buying a steam shower package can be a good way to save money.) You want to hold onto whatever is driving your desire to even remodel the bathroom in the first place.
But after that, the art of compromise may need to come into play. If a budget needs shaving down, for example, a sink can be reglazed instead of replaced. Cabinets can possibly be painted or stained, instead of you having to buy new ones.
Now, you may also have a partner who has opinions equally strong as yours. Maybe she really wants Musictherapy, and you want aromatherapy —or vice versa. Be flexible and open to discussion. Remember that this is supposed to be a fun project that will lead to the bathroom of your dreams, so don’t get too emotionally attached or bogged down on every decision.
Tip 3: Choose Your Pro Wisely
Of course, you’re working with a qualified contractor, electrician and plumber. Right? Right?! A bathroom remodel is not the time to overestimate your DIY level. When it comes to power, water, and details like obtaining the right building permits, a highly trained and experienced professional is the way to go.
Choosing the right building professionals can help you avoid stress not only during a home remodel, but also prevent future headaches later. Be honest and open about your goals and expectations with your remodeling team, and treat them fairly in return by listening to their professional advice.
Read Installing a Steam Shower: A Builder’s Perspective and Plumbing Do’s and Don’ts When Installing a Steam Shower for more advice.
Tip 4: Re-route Your Bathroom Routine
According to The Spruce, a bathroom remodel typically takes 23 days. Assuming contractors get the weekend off, that comes out to just over a month, about four and a half weeks. However, the timetable will vary based on the design the homeowner has in mind. Putting in a steam shower is one thing; a comprehensive redesign involving installing a steam shower, redoing the cabinetry and trim, relocating the toilet and wiring new light fixtures would mean a longer timeline to completion.
All of this means you’ll be down a bathroom for as long as it is a construction zone. Think about where you will shower and change during your bathroom remodel. Can you relocate your toiletries and activities to the guest bathroom, or perhaps share the kids’ bathroom? Move over, rubber ducky… the parents are moving in.
When it comes to swapping rooms, don’t wait until the moment the contractor is on his or her way to start the job. At least the day before your remodel is set to begin, re-home the soap, shampoo and conditioner, bathmat, towels, etc. Empty out cabinets and medicine chests. You don’t want to be running around like a crazy person, grabbing your hairdryer and toilet paper while the contractor is standing there.
Tip 5: Eyes on the Prize
Over the course of the bathroom remodeling, take an occasional break from your home to reset mentally. This is a great phase of life to catch a movie, a ballgame, or go out to dinner with friends—anything that pulls your mind out of the homespace for a quick break.
It can also be helpful to keep the finished product in mind. If things start to feel a little overwhelming—which tile color? Did we pay that deposit? Why am I still sharing a bathroom with Junior?—remember that this situation is very temporary in the grand scheme of life.
Take some deep breaths and know that soon the work will soon be done, and you’ll be relaxing and enjoying the everyday luxury of your dream bathroom.
Want more? Check out the 5 Stages Every Homeowner Goes Through Before Investing in a Steam Shower.