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Update: Planning a bathroom remodel can be quite a difficult process. It’s not just about good interior design and the best materials – you have to also consider plumbing, ventilation, wiring and lighting too. This all becomes slightly more difficult than normal remodeling because a bathroom is a wet room that requires specialist equipment to protect materials from moisture and electricals from coming into contact with water. Then, of course, there’s your budget to consider! How much can you truly afford to do? Is a sunken whirlpool tub a realistic option?

A remodeling plan is essential for any remodeling project. A bathroom, however, may require more careful planning than a remodel of most other rooms of the house. There are several reasons for this. First, you will need to know what work must be done by licensed contractors or subcontractors. Second, you will need to plan for pipes, plumbing fixtures, electrical wiring, adequate lighting, and a host of other details. Third, the better your plans, the smoother the project will go. Fourth, careful planning affords a number of opportunities to save money on your bathroom remodel.

There are many sources of design and floor plan ideas. Early in the development of your bathroom remodeling plan you should review various designs, floor plans, fixture, equipment and material options, and begin comparing and selecting the elements of these designs that will create a bathroom that will meet your needs. Start by looking at design and decorating articles in books and magazines. Look at new houses and showcase homes for the latest trends in bathroom design. Visit your local home improvement store and talk with the staff about design trends, materials, fixtures, etc. You need to know what is available and what your options are before you start making firm decisions.

As you look at materials and design options, you should be gathering an accurate understanding of the costs of the items you want or need. In light of your understanding of costs, develop a budget. Decide how much money you can comfortably spend and allow for about a 20% increase in cost for unanticipated problems, price changes, etc. Base your budget on estimates from

You will then be ready to develop a floor plan for your new bathroom. Here are some key questions to answer in designing the plan. Will you. . .

  • Enlarge the current space?
  • Replace plumbing fixtures?
  • Leave plumbing fixtures in the same location, or will you move them?
  • Add a shower or a tub?
  • Include a vanity? Single or double?
  • Add windows?
  • Add or remove a closet?

Begin by measuring and drawing the basic floor plan of the space. Then add to your drawing everything that will be in a fixed position – sinks, tub, shower, toilet, etc.

The next step in developing your bathroom remodeling plan is to make a detailed list of materials, fixtures and supplies. Your list should include models and styles (and colors) for each item. For example, will you use wall-mounted sinks or will you use a vanity with cabinets beneath? What type and size tub will you use? Which faucets, sinks, mirrors, etc. have you chosen?

Then create a schedule. Outline when you want to begin work and when you want the project finished. Be sure to allow for additional time for drying, setting, etc. For example, if you use tile, you will need to allow at least 24 hours Bathroom Remodeling Workbook by Dan Fritschenfor tile to set before grouting and then several days to let the grout set. You will need to allow drywall mud to dry and set prior to painting or wallpapering.

Then decide and note what work you will do and what work a contractor will do. Be clear about your plans when you seek estimates from contractors. You can find great contractors at Then choose your contractor or sub-contractors and get the appropriate permits and approvals from your local go vernment. Finally, spend time sealing off the rest of your house, keeping children and pets away from the construction area, and check on your insurance coverage.

If you have planned carefully, explained the plan to your contractor, and worked within your budget, you should be ready for a successful bathroom remodel. Remember: the key to a low stress and successful bathroom remodel is a good plan.