Remodeling a bathroom is a great way to increase a home’s resale value while creating a functional and comfortable space. Designing a personal oasis or Victorian style bath will create a luxurious space and potentially reimburse you for the effort. Replacing old fixtures with energy efficient models will help save money on future bills. These appliances, also, tend to function better than other models. It’s important to be aware of what is not working in your current bathroom. Keep a list to track necessary changes. These could be the need to add more space, counter space, storage and lighting. Another list should be kept that organizes ideas and items into what is necessary and what can be sacrificed. This list will help you know where particular items are located and help keep the budget under control. Remodeling a bathroom can take four to six weeks. Knowing your budget will help save you time and frustration. With a planned budget, some decisions will be quicker and easier, such as whether to replace or keep a tub or toilet. Keep in mind that remodeling a bathroom often has a snowball effect. For example, a new shower that requires new plumbing will require a new floor and at this point you may as well replace everything else while you’re at it. Below is how to guide on reinventing a space with the least amount of money. It is also designed to make re-modelers aware if professional help is needed and how to find the perfect contractor.

Refinishing or Replacing

Generally refinishing will cost a tenth of the amount replacing requires. This is because refinishing does not require tearing up a floor or wall. It, also, saves on installation prices. If a tub’s main cause of concern is its color or a few scratches, refinishing is definitely the way to go. Getting an old or new tub through any door is an issue that leaves behind some accidental damage. Replacing items mostly comes into play when the floor or wall is being ripped out. If this is the case, getting a new tub and toilet are better options than refinishing the old ones. It costs a lot less to install a new set-up than it does to rebuild an old one. Generally refinishing a sink and replacing one cost about the same. With this in mind, getting a new sink may be a better investment. A newer model could potentially save you money in the future and have a longer life-span. Tile and hardwoods are easy to repair and are generally refinished it at all possible. Grout is easy to remove and hardwoods can be polished and stained.

Do It Yourself

Avoiding plumbing can help you afford fancier fixtures or a new shower that provides a more spa-like experience. Changing handles, faucets and the shower head are the easiest way to remodel. Keep the same tub and commode, while replacing the vanity, sink, mirror and lights. Replacing a vanity can make things more comfortable and provide more counter space. You can even replace a toilet without help as long as it’s the same in width as the old one. Adding a taller toilet will provide more back support and be a more comfortable seat. Generally, added lighting makes a bathroom seem more comfortable by making it appear less cramped. Moving the vanity lighting to eye level will better define faces and eliminate dark shadows. Creating a more relaxed atmosphere, a dim light is best over the shower or bathtub.

Professionals Only

It’s important to know what you can and can’t do. It’s always better for things to done right the first time rather than to have to pay for someone to fix your mistakes. Anything that requires additional plumbing, wiring or the demolition of walls and floors requires a professional. However, there are smaller tasks that can be done by you or a professional, depending on your comfort level. For example, replacing a commode is a tricky task even when additional plumbing isn’t required. Adding a skylight, replacing a shower, moving a toilet or anything that requires reconstruction should be overseen and accompanied by a professional.

Hiring a Professional

Up to six months before your designated start, research potential contractors and ask friends, co-workers and neighbors for referrals. At this point, a contractor’s help is necessary. However, architects and bathroom designers are also good sources of information and input for intense projects. As professionals in structure reconstruction, they may even be recommended by a contractor. Three months prior to your project, potential contractors should be narrowed down to three at most. From this point, double check their credentials, insurance and license. You should, also, research their past projects and look for any complaints, regarding their quality of work. After settling on a contractor, make sure expectations are clear and covered in a written agreement that will protect the interests of both parties. This contract should be checked by an attorney and specifies who provides any necessary fixtures. Often a contractor will order any pieces that he is to install and handle their deliveries.

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