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Tips for successful bathroom remodeling

By John Kirchner December 17, 2009

Renovating a bathroom is second only to a major kitchen remodeling project in terms of “Interior Home Remodeling Return on Investment,” or IHRRI (which we just made up and promise to never use again). It can have great benefits – improving your happiness with the home and improving its resale value down the road – but it can also entail great work.

Always used and often overlooked, one or more of your bathrooms night have fallen in to disrepair or out of style. And either of those problems can affect the value of your home. Even if you’re not in the market to sell, perhaps you’ve just grown tired of the old tile, peeling plaster, or powder blue toilet and tub.

With that in mind, here a few tips for getting the job done on time and on budget – and according to your tastes.

Dollars and cents need to be well spent

Much like the kitchen remodeling project we discussed in an earlier post, make sure you have your arms around how much you want to spend on this project, and then dive into some pricing – both online and in your local shops. You might have some tough choices to make, as that towel warmer could fall by the wayside if you insist on the whirlpool tub and steam shower. The more you know about the pricing of these items, the better your chances are of getting the most value out of your purchase.

Make it the right room for you

Since the last time that room was done, a lot has changed. Cool products, stylish design trends and more can make time spent in the bathroom both more comfortable and more enjoyable. Review some of these ideas and decide what might work well for you.

Be smart about your contractor

This job is going to cost a lot, take awhile, and make things tough around your house. Hiring the right person can minimize the impact of this job on your family and your wallet. Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission on finding good contractors.

Plan ahead

Planning to sell your home? Use neutral tones and be conservative about your bath, shower, toilet and sink. Prospective buyers won’t want your style, even if you think it’s great. They’ll want to see a relatively blank canvas on which they can make their own mark, or a house or room they can easily envision themselves in. On the other hand, if you intend to stay awhile, make sure your design decisions are something you will enjoy for a long time.

Green is good

There are numerous options for making your bathroom remodel more energy efficient. The biggest resource-burner in a bathroom will always be your water usage. You can save thousands of gallons of water a year by installing a low-flow toilet or a toilet with dual-flow options so you can choose when you need a little extra water to get the job done. You can also install low-flow shower heads and faucets in the sink to minimize your water usage.

For heating and cooling purposes, consider adding radiant heat to your flooring. In many cases, this heat source can replace your furnace as the primary method of warming the room. Once you’re efficiently heating the room, make sure to trap as much of that heat as possible by properly insulating the walls and installing the most energy-efficient windows possible!

For a few more ideas, check out these tips from CalFinder.

Photo courtesy of urbaneapts on Flickr