Bathroom Remodeling FAQs

Bathroom remodelling

Questions, questions, questions--isn't life all about asking the right questions and and finding answers to them? Your bathroom remodeling project is no exception. Questions must have started popping up in your mind the day you started thinking about renovating the bath. So, we've decided to simplify things by compiling common bathroom Q & A's all in one place, so that you don't have to do the digging yourself.

Bathroom Remodel

Q: Where should I start?

A: The best way to begin is by doing a little homework and then drawing up a budget that works for you. You'll need to step back, take a good look at the existing room, and decide what will stay and what will go. If you are being haunted by hideous counter-tops, terrorized by terrible tiles, or frightened by freakishly-outdated fixtures, it's time to show them the door. Next, choose your basic layout and color scheme, and hit the ground running, with the confidence that you know exactly what fits your needs and tastes. If you are unsure (or totally convinced) of your ability to do any of the remodel work yourself, now is the time to bring in a skilled contractor and introduce them to your plans for bathroom bliss.

Q: Do I need any permits?

A: That depends on the type of work that you plan to do. If you are planning to make changes to plumbing or electrics, permits are required in most areas. Also requiring a permit is work that adds/resizes window or makes changes to load-bearing walls.  If you are nervous about the prospect, the best thing you can do is take a bit of time to explore your local building codes. (Hint: contractors are a valuable reference when it comes to obtaining this sort of information). Regulations often differ from location to location, so it's better to be safe than sorry. If you find that you do need a permit, be sure to secure one ASAP to avoid fines, tax issues, insurance troubles, or possibly being shutdown altogether.  If you are informed, it is unlikely that your bathroom redo will present you with any serious problems.

Q: Do I need to replace everything?

A:'s your bathroom, do what suits your needs, taste, and budget, so while your local home improvement supplier would like you to think so, the answer is a resounding "no!" If you really like something you already have, hang on to it. Your one of a kind sink basin can look like new if paired with fresh hardware. Thinking of going retro? Scour flea markets for old fixtures that can give your bathroom a new look (as well as save you tons of money). Recycling groups are another great resource for reclaimed materials. If you want to go new but without shelling out the big bucks, explore home wholesalers to get what you want at deep discounts.

Q: I need a new look but I can't afford to fork over $10,000 (or more). Any suggestions?

A: Upcycle, upcycle, upcycle! The amount of reusable items out there just waiting for someone to love them again is nothing short of astounding. Places like Habit for Humanity ReStore, Craigslist, and eBay abound with second-hand fixtures and finds to be had for (often) next to nothing. Want unusual accessories for your "new" bathroom? Check out online craft mega-store Etsy, and purchase unique bathroom cabinets, accessories, art, and a lot more directly from craftspeople.

Q: What should I include in my remodel, and what should I forget about?

A: It's easy to be seduced by the myriad of home shows on TV and suddenly discover that your life just won't be complete if you don't have a 500 sq ft bathroom with jacuzzi tub, two-person shower, separate bathtub, and heated floor tiles. The question is, what do I really need and what can I afford? While we spend a good deal of time in our bathrooms, we don't generally use them as recreational areas. If you have kids or simply enjoy a long, drawn-out soak, include the tub by all means, but if you have a small bathroom and live in an adults-only household, a comfortable shower should suffice. After the novelty wears off, many people who install jacuzzi tubs see them quickly become catchalls for dirty laundry. Why not forego that particular luxury and put the dollars you save towards something for the family, or give your vacation fund a big boost.

Q: I love my old bathtub, but it's looking worn. How can I make it like new again?

A: Good news! If you are even only slightly handy, you may be able to restore your tub to a like-new appearance all on your own. For about $150, you can purchase a basic refinishing kit. You'll need a few things like a sander, face masks, paint brushes, and a spray gun to complete the job, but when all is said and done, you can be proud of saving a ton of money by doing everything yourself.

Q: Which type of paint is the better choice for bathrooms, flat or semi-gloss?

A: If you want to be able to do a quick wipe-down to rid your bathroom walls of stray hand-prints and other uninvited markings, stick with the semi-gloss. Wiping down flat paint causes it to begin to break down more quickly, leading to frequent repainting, and you will be hard-pressed to surfaces looking as good as new. Areas around light switches, doors, and near the shower are notorious hand-print collectors, so the ability to wipe them clean is imperative (especially if you have kids, or if someone in the house has a dirty job). Because semi-gloss paint is more reflective than flat, and also helps to give lighting a boost.

Q: Will a bathroom update increase the value of my home?

A: Most definitely (but only up to the established neighborhood maximum.) Because we spend so much time in them, updated bathrooms are often a big selling point when it comes to getting the best return on your home improvement investment. Some factors that contribute to the value of a bathroom remodel are: quality of work, square footage, and comparable values in your neighborhood. You should also figure in the cost of the remodel as well as the amount of the mortgage.

Did we answer all of your questions or do you have more on your mind? Why not ask the pros directly? Using our website, you can post your specific questions and get answers and tips from relevant and experienced contractors.

Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba
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