We Know: All About Bathroom Remodeling

Why remodel a bathroom?

Bathrooms that are in disrepair or outdated are often remodeled. Some homeowners remodel a bathroom just prior to putting the house on the market. A newly remodeled bathroom usually increases the value of the house. When a homeowner performs all or most of the remodeling work themselves, they can save a lot of money if they know what they are doing and plan carefully. The overall costs of remodeling a bathroom vary substantially, depending on what work is done, if a professional is hired to do the work, the quality of the fixtures and other supplies, and the bathroom's size.

Should I remodel the bathroom myself?

This depends entirely on your remodeling skills, experience, access to tools, and confidence. Many people work in combination with a professional. For example, they may hire a professional plumber to install or replace the plumbing but then install the cabinetry themselves. If you're lucky enough to know someone who's an expert in an area that you are not, you may be able to trade goods or services with them to get their help for free or at a reduced rate.

A permit may be required, depending on the work that's being done. Before you begin, consult with the building authorities in your area. If you're planning to hire a contractor, in most cases they'll handle acquiring all the necessary permits, though they'll likely pass on the permit fees to you.

How do I find the right professional to remodel my bathroom?

Though you can check the phone book for listings, and perform an Internet search for professionals in your area, word of mouth is your best bet. Ask around and get recommendations on who is good to work with and is reasonably priced. You want the company or individual to have experience in the area for which you're hiring them, but they should also be bonded and insured. If you can't find someone from word of mouth and decide to hire an unknown, ask for verifiable references. And always get a detailed written estimate for any work you're considering getting done.

What do most people remodel in their bathroom?

Again, this can depend on your budget, style, and size of the room, but the following is a list of renovations that are commonly performed:

  • Replacement of the sink cabinet or vanity. In many cases, the sink bowl can be reused in a new cabinet or vanity, provided that the measurements are the same.
  • New paint, wallpaper, wainscoting, or plastering for the walls. Any of these methods done to the walls can make a dramatic change to a bathroom.
  • New fixtures. Ceiling or wall lights can literally brighten a room. There are many styles from which to choose that can fit your bathroom's new or existing theme.
  • Shower enclosure and shower fixtures. A new enclosure or even a new shower curtain can make a drastic difference. Shower and tub enclosures can be costly, though there are several kinds to choose from, including glass and acrylic.
  • New flooring. Any bathroom flooring should have a non-slip surface and be moisture resistent or waterproof.
  • Accessories. These finishing touches can include new towel and toilet paper racks, trash can, and countertop items like a soap dispenser.

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