Renovating a bathroom can be an exciting and rewarding project, but also a challenging one. There are many components to consider and details to attend to, which means there is lots of opportunity for hassles or unintended costs. However, with careful planning and preparation, you can ensure your bathroom renovation runs as smoothly as possible. By following the key tips laid out here, you’ll be enjoying your new dream bathroom in no time, completely stress-free.
Create a thorough plan
Creating a comprehensive plan is one of the most important first steps in ensuring your bathroom renovation runs smoothly. You need to decide on the scope of the project: are you embarking on a full bathroom overhaul involving structural changes, or do you just want some simple updates and surface improvements to create a spa-like feel? This will help you map out required tasks and the nice-to-haves early on.
Once you have defined what needs to be done, create a step-by-step plan that breaks down the work into manageable stages. Account for every detail, from hiring contractors and ordering supplies to repainting and fixture installation. It is much easier to plan tasks on paper first before diving into the physical work. A good plan should have a logical and realistic sequence of steps to keep things efficient and minimise disruption.
Check contractors’ reviews
Hiring experienced and reputable contractors is key to the success of your bathroom renovation. Don’t just go with the first or appealing cheaper quote — do your research to find candidates that will get the job done right. “Whether you decide to opt for a simple bathroom fit, a design and supply service or a fully managed project, it’s worth doing some research to check you can trust your chosen company to provide the service you expect”, explains the bathroom specialists at The Brighton Bathroom Company. “Word-of-mouth recommendations are a good place to start. You can also look at a retailer’s reviews online”.
Look for contractors with a history of positive reviews mentioning high quality work, reasonable prices and good communication. You can then shortlist three to five promising contractors and meet with each in person to discuss your project.
Obtain any relevant permits early
Obtaining the proper permits before starting your bathroom renovation work is not just recommended, it is required under UK building laws. But the earlier you can gain permission to make any changes, the better, as this will avoid hold-ups to the work being carried out. The specific permits needed will depend on the scope of your renovation. Simple upgrades like repainting walls, replacing fixtures or minor repairs are unlikely to need permission, while more complex work involving structural changes or additions will typically require full planning permission. Always check with your local council to determine what level of permit is needed for your particular project.
Your contractors should handle the permit application process on your behalf, as they’ll have the technical knowledge to ensure forms are filled out properly based on the work. However, you should never leave it solely to the contractors — stay involved every step of the way to guarantee there are no avoidable delays or complications in the process.
Don’t overestimate your budget
You need to create a realistic budget that you feel confident you can work with, but also add 10% for any unforeseen costs. Underestimating costs is just as problematic as overspending because overestimating what you have available can lead to significant delays, wasted time and financial stress partway through the project. It is far better to factor potential unexpected expenses into your budget from the beginning.
Once you have determined the scope of your renovation through drawings and specifications, get multiple itemised estimates from contractors for the work. Remember, the cheapest bid may not be the best option — make sure the estimates are as comprehensive as possible based on the details and design ideas you have provided.
Use the estimates along with your own research on the costs of materials and fixtures to determine a total budget amount. It’s also worth checking in regularly while work is underway to ensure there’s no budget creep. It gives you the opportunity to address any financial concerns promptly and prevent the project going over budget.
Make sure your ideas work with existing plumbing
It’s not essential for your renovation to keep to the existing layout, but it can help you keep costs and the time required to carry out the work down. Moving pipes around can certainly be done but it’s labour-intensive, time-consuming and very costly, so see if it’s possible to do what you want to with the plumbing layout that you currently have. This means keeping the main fixtures of your sinks, shower or bath, and toilet where they currently are. It also reduces the risk of plumbing damage occurring which is stressful to resolve.
Prepare the space in advance
The more you can do in advance, the quicker your bathroom upgrade will be complete and ready to use. The first step is to remove all furnishings, accessories, storage items and decor from the room, and make sure countertops and vanities are cleared. You also need to protect any fixtures or finishes you plan to keep like bathtubs, sinks, lighting fixtures, doors or trim that will remain. Also, remember to turn off water supply lines, power circuits and similar utilities where necessary and mark their locations clearly for contractors so they can get to work quickly.
Advance preparation and cleanup may not be glamorous, but it will make for a much smoother bathroom renovation. Your investment in time and effort preparing the space will be rewarded with a renovation that moves efficiently without unwelcome surprises or damages.
While upgrading a bathroom requires an investment of both time and money, with diligent preparation and planning the process can go very smoothly. By following the tips listed here, from preparing in advance and working closely with contractors to sticking to your budget, you’ll minimise any unnecessary headaches and prevent unwanted surprises.0