Discovering the Three Stages of Bathroom Renovations

Bathroom renovation

Similar to kitchen remodeling, bathroom renovations improve the value of your home and increase your comfort. A new bathroom can also add natural light to your home and enhance functionality in your living space.

Bathroom renovations fall into three stages, and all three come with varying budgets, deadlines and planning requirements. Start your bathroom remodeling by deciding which stage the project fits into, and then handling the renovation accordingly.

Stage One - Face Lift

You might be considering a stage one bathroom renovation if you are:

  • happy with the general layout and size of the room.
  • on a limited budget.
  • want to DIY this project, but have limited skills and experience.
  • renting your home.

Bathroom remodeling projects in this stage involve cosmetic alterations and do not include any plumbing, demolition and structural work. Some elements of stage one bathroom renovations include:

  • painting the walls
  • replacing the shower curtain and/or window treatments
  • installing new trim around doors, windows and baseboards
  • bringing in new accessories
  • installing new lighting
  • installing new taps and faucets (requires limited plumbing skills)
  • installing storage cabinets and shelves

Stage one renos cost significantly less than most invasive work and can be completed in a short time, anywhere from a few hours to a weekend. Feel free to DIY almost everything in this stage or hire handyman services to get the remodeling done quickly and efficiently.

Stage Two - Plumbing Changes

You might be considering a stage two bathroom renovation if you are:

  • looking to replace any of the bathroom fixtures, including bathtub, shower, toilet or sink.
  • certain that the structural parts of your bathroom will be able to handle plumbing alterations.
  • planning on spending a little more money.
  • updating or upgrading the fixtures.

Any and all plumbing modifications are included in this stage. Whether you're replacing or moving a bathroom fixture, this type of remodeling allows you to significantly improve the look and functionality of your bathroom. Some projects included in a stage two bathroom renovation include:

  • replacing the vanity
  • installing a double sink to replace a single sink
  • installing a new freestanding shower
  • upgrading for water conservation, such as putting in a low flow toilet
  • improving the layout of your bathroom for better traffic flow

You'll need a larger budget for this project, and can expect the room to be out of commission while the plumbing alterations are made. Moving or replacing a toilet takes just a few hours, but replacing a bathtub or shower may require a weekend's worth of work. Unless you're a licensed plumber or have extensive home renovation experience, it's best to hire a professional for stage two bathroom renovations.

Stage Three - Gut the Bathroom

You might be considering a stage three bathroom renovation if you are:

  • noticing water problems on the walls, ceiling or flooring.
  • required to update or upgrade the structural, electrical or plumbing systems for safety and durability.
  • considering an expansion to the bathroom.
  • looking to maximize the value of your home.

This stage includes structural changes, extensions and all major renovations to the shape, size and set up of the bathroom. Most stage three projects start with demolition and removal, before progressing to a complete rebuild with new framing, materials and fixtures. Some elements of a stage three bathroom renovation include:

  • replacing drywall on the ceiling and walls
  • replacing the flooring and/or floor framing
  • knocking down and rebuilding walls
  • replacing or adding windows or doors
  • changing or adding fixtures and bathroom furniture
  • retiling the shower and/or tub

A project of this scope requires a significant investment, but also increases the value of your home by the same scale. After gutting and removing all of the existing structural and aesthetic elements, your new bathroom will feature modern, durable and stylish features that truly meet the needs of today's families. When a facelift and plumbing changes just won't cut it, plan for a stage three bathroom remodeling project in your home.

Can You Shift From One Stage Into the Next?

You may begin your bathroom remodeling project at stage one, but soon decide that your existing fixtures don't work with the new dècor. Shifting into a stage two project is fairly straightforward, although you'll need to adjust your expectations and expand the budget.

Many stage two projects end up as stage three renovations, especially in older homes. You may not be able to accurately assess the condition of your bathroom until the fixtures are removed and the structure exposed. If water damage, deterioration and safety risks are uncovered at that point, you'll have no choice but to progress to a stage three project.

Consider your money well spent on bathroom renovations of any stage. Whether you're investing a small amount in a bathroom facelift or a significant amount in a complete gut and rebuild, this room plays an important role in your home. All renovations done with care and proper planning will improve your home and add quality and comfort to your daily living.

Be sure to apply for the proper building permits when moving from stage one into stage two and beyond. While you won't need to do anything special for a facelift, any changes to the plumbing or structure of the room requires a permit to ensure that all aspects follow local building codes.

Are you considering a bathroom renovation? Think about whether your vision fits into stage one (a bathroom facelift), stage two (plumbing changes), or stage three (gutting the bathroom). Each of these bathroom renovations involve various elements and present varying budgets and timelines. You can move from one stage to another, but deciding on where to begin will help your renovation to run smoothly and efficiently from day one.

Posted by: TrustedPros
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area. Read real customer reviews, browse photos and compare credentials.

Find your home service pro
comments powered by Disqus

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.