If you plan to renovate your bathroom, start with this checklist to help keep things running smoothly

Performing any major renovations to your home can be a daunting task, with a lot of details to consider before you even take a single step in the process. There’s a lot to factor into the decisions that you will make during and before this process even begins. Your budget, the products that you want to use, and whether or not you plan to change the layout are especially important to consider before beginning your project.

That’s a lot to consider, even before you call a contractor like Ottawa Home Pros.

We have compiled a useful checklist for anybody who is considering taking on a bathroom renovation project. Smart timing is essential to helping the project go along as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

The Checklist

– Start looking around for inspiration. Designers often recommends tearing out pages from magazines and catalogues and then using Post-It notes to write down why they like each bathroom design. Afterward, when you have a pile of inspiration and Post-Its in front of you, look through them and figure out what things these designs have in common.

– Ask around for contractor recommendations. Talking to a contractor might not be necessary at this point, but it never hurts to look around and ask friends, family and others for their own recommendations. This way, you’ll have a list of names to call when you’re actually ready to select a contractor and get the job underway.

– Start sketching out your ideas, especially in terms of layout. Do you plan to expand the size of your bathroom, or just renovate the existing space without making an expansion? Consider things like storage as well. Do you want a lot of stash spots to keep your bathroom organized and clutter-free? Can any existing spaces in the bathroom be renovated to become more useful?

  • Consider whether or not you want to move the toilet, sink or bathtub. If you plan to move the toilet, be aware that this is the most expensive fixture to move during a bathroom renovation. Also take into consideration that certain modifications will require additional plumbing work. One example would be if you plan to add extra body sprays to your shower.

3 Months before Demolition

  • Finalize your budget. The National Kitchen and Bath Association estimates that the average bathroom renovation costs $11,000. Once you have figured out how much you have, total, to spend, then you can expect to set two-thirds of that money aside for the cost of labor. After the cost of labor is factored out, you can then project how much you’ll have left to spend on fixtures, tiles and other assorted materials.
  • If this amount seems really low, don’t worry. You can opt for inexpensive solutions to create the same luxury look that you might be going for.
  • Hire a contractor. You’ll want these extra months to be able to go over your ideas with the contractor, obtain an estimate, and work with you to formulate a plan for renovating your bathroom. Your contractor should be able to give you a timeline of when they need certain materials, and when the project will be complete.
  • Never allow any work to begin until a contract has been signed.
  • Talk upfront about the pay schedule with your contractor. One common practice is to pay one-third at the beginning of the project, one-third at the halfway point, and the final third when the project is complete and you are satisfied.
  • Make any alternate plans for showering/bathing/other bathroom needs, especially if you’re remodeling the only full bathroom in your home.

2 Months before Demolition

  • Purchase the tiles and fixtures that you plan to use. Tile orders can sometimes be filled in as few as three days, but custom tiles, handmade tiles or hand-painted tiles can take up to twelve weeks to arrive. Play it safe by ordering very much ahead of time, at least eight weeks before your demo date. Fixtures can take four to eight weeks to arrive, so order those as early as you can, as well.
  • If you are ordering anything custom, such as a vanity or cabinets, check with the manufacturer to make sure that these items will be received in time.
  • Order your lighting fixtures, as these can take several weeks to arrive, as well.

1 Month before Demolition

  • Prepare for the arrival of your contractor. Empty bathroom cabinets and the medicine cabinet, and make sure that you have an appropriated space in your home where you can go about your routine out of sight of the contractor/s.
  • With all of the hard planning over now, you can focus on some of the more fun things, like accessories for your bathroom! Shop for your towel racks, soap dishes and other accessories to finish your brand-new bathroom. If you’re changing the color scheme of the room, check out shower curtains and towels.
  • Consider paint colors. It might be hard to select a color to go on the walls until the tile is laid and the fixtures are in place, but you can consider what colors you might like in the meantime.
  • Make sure to keep lines of communication between yourself and your contractor open at all times. Communicate with them the worries that you might have regarding your remodel, and never be afraid to speak your mind. When they arrive, ask what will be done that day. Keep yourself and your contractor informed.

The Final Days

  • Be flexible with your expectations. A project might take a day or two longer to get finished, but don’t get frustrated.
  • Inspect the contractor’s work. You’ll likely do this often during this process, anyway.
  • Relax and enjoy your newly renovated bathroom!