A Few Bathroom Remodeling Don’ts
In this economy, many homeowners are turning to home remodeling and improvement as a safe investment and to increase their home’s resale value. Bathroom remodeling is usually the area where most homeowners fix their initial attention.
While do-it-yourself bathroom renovation can be extremely invigorating and empowering when it’s successful, it can be totally devastating and overwhelming when it fails. If you think you want to take on a major bathroom project, here are a few things you should try to avoid.
- Don’t pick a design that’s too trendy. Most new or updated bathrooms should last ten years or more, so don’t choose design elements or plumbing fixtures that are overly modern. These “in” looks can become dated quickly and you’ll be left with a dysfunctional room that you’ll have to live with for years. Instead, go with classic designs that mesh well with the rest of your home’s style.
- Don’t forget about storage. It’s nice when a bathroom looks great, but if it doesn’t work as a functional space then you’ve wasted your time and money. Mix open display shelving with closed cabinets for a balance of style and privacy, organization and aesthetic.
- Don’t do carpets. Sure, carpeting will feel great on your bare feet when you step out of the shower or tub, but it will also trap moisture, odors, bacteria and stains. Not pretty. Choose bathroom flooring that’s easy to clean and can withstand the dampness and humidity.
- Don’t go crazy with color. Just because toilets, tubs and sinks come in different colors doesn’t mean you have to buy them. Opt for simple, tasteful colors—think white—and an understated presentation. Use flooring, decorative tiles and accessories to give pops of color.
- Don’t go it alone. Bathroom remodeling might seem simple, but it can often require complicated pipe work and plumbing repair that only comes to light after you start. If you don’t know what you’re doing, engage the services of a reputable contractor or plumber before you begin the project. Otherwise you may find yourself knee deep in disaster.
- Don’t expect it to go smoothly. There’s no such thing as just doing a bathroom renovation. Make careful plans, choose good quality materials, and make sure you can afford 10-15% more than your projected budget before you begin—unforeseen costs can add up quickly. It also makes total sense to hope for the best but plan for the worst.
- Don’t fall in love with impracticality. Yes, those decorative Spanish tiles are fantastic, but will you be cursing yourself in a month when you’re on your hands and knees trying to scrub them clean? Does that state of the art sink require total overhaul of your pipe work? Are your materials going to be durable enough to withstand every day wear and tear?
- Don’t cut corners. Bathrooms and kitchens return the most on investment when it comes time to sell your home, so this is not the time to be cheap. A good general rule: Anything that’s going inside your walls should be top quality—pipes, insulation, heating units, electrical elements, etc. You can shop the bargain bin for things like paint, some fixtures and accessories. Compare prices and keep notes to help you weigh cost versus value.