Bathroom renovations are high on the list of home improvements among many new homeowners. Often, these rooms can appear outdated, or simply not fit your style at all. On the other hand, a good bathroom renovation can add dollars to the value of your home when it comes to selling up.
However, it’s all too easy to make mistakes when renovating your bathroom. More often than not, these can be avoided fairly easily, but if you’re not careful, you could find yourself regretting some of your choices, and the large dent in your wallet. Here are 8 mistakes to avoid when you renovate your bathroom.
Making It Up as You Go Along
When remodelling or renovating your bathroom, it’s essential that you have a clear plan, not just in mind, but also on paper. You need to know exactly what you want, and how you’ll achieve it. If you’re hiring contractors, a solid plan will ensure they know exactly what to do, allowing things to run far more smoothly, and ensuring you’ll get what you wanted.
By not making a plan, you will inevitably run into problems and delays, or even run out of cash to complete the work. With a good plan in place, the disruption to your life will be minimized.
Choosing the Wrong Materials
It’s tempting to go for beauty over practicality, but in the bathroom, it’s essential not to fall into this trap. The most stunning wood or metal finishes won’t be so attractive if they cannot handle moisture, and start to warp or rust after a few months. With a bathroom renovation, it’s important to select materials that are durable and capable of withstanding moist conditions for prolonged periods of time.
Changing the Plumbing Unnecessarily
One of the most expensive aspects of a bathroom renovation is relocating the plumbing. So, if you can, it’s best to keep fixtures such as the toilet, sink, and bathtub in their original positions. Otherwise, the cost of moving the pipework can soon build up, adding a lot of time to the project in the process. Beware also of buying fixtures with the drain in the wrong spot — a common mistake is buying a shower or bathtub with the drain in the centre or to one side when the pipework is on the other side.
Skimping on Contractors
If your budget is tight, you might be tempted to opt for the cheapest contractor you can find, but beware. They’re often cheap for a reason, and may not do a good job. You don’t want your dream bathroom to turn into an eyesore with mismatched and uneven tiling! At best, things might look shoddy, but at worst, cheap contractors may not even be licensed, or use illegal practices to cut costs, compromising your safety. Re-doing their bad job will cost you more in the long run, so be sure to research contractors, and prepare to pay more for someone decent.
Not Budgeting Properly
Another major mistake is not budgeting properly for the work. It’s easy enough to price up materials and labour, but you need to be sure you can cover additional work that might come up. Many renovations reveal excessive damp patches, asbestos or other things that need to be taken care of before work can resume, so it’s best to add at least 15% to your budget to allow for such things.
Forgetting About Storage
A functional bathroom relies on ample storage. When you think about it, there’s a wealth of things to store away in the bathroom, and it’s worth factoring this into your plans from the start. You don’t want to leave it until the end and realize you have to add awkward, space consuming shelving or cabinets. By thinking about it from the start, you can implement smart storage, such as recessed shelving.
A good ventilation system in your bathroom doesn’t only help clear the steam from your mirror. It also helps to prevent damp spots and mold, by reducing the moisture content as soon as possible. In many bathrooms, the ventilation fan installed is not as powerful as it needs to be to do the job adequately. It’s worth spending a bit extra for something powerful enough, ideally with a timer that allows it to run for around 15 minutes after you finish washing, to allow excess steam to be removed.
Not Thinking Ahead
What’s popular now, probably won’t be in a few years to come. It’s best to keep your bathroom simple for the most part, and only add personal touches and splashes of colour in features such as towels, shower curtains, and decor. For a base colour, a neutral, pastel palette is timeless, and makes this often small room appear bigger.