Breaking out the sledgehammer before the notebook
Never begin demolition without a well thought out plan for how you’re going to put it all back together again. Even if you’re hiring out the project in its entirety to a GC you’ll want your bathroom “out of order” for as few days as possible.
A major renovation (particularly one that involves wet walls) is not something that can be simply figured out as you go. It’s OK to make minor adjustments along the way, but plan in advance to avoid flying by the seat of your pants.
Being unrealistic with your budget
Too many homeowners make the mistake of fudging the numbers when their price estimations wind up higher than they’d like.
Just because you lower the price on your spreadsheet doesn’t mean your plumbing supply company, electrician or contractor will do the same.
If your estimate comes out high you’ve got two options:
- Find more money (including financing)
- Lower your expectations
Trying to do a $30k makeover with a $20k budget will inevitably lead to cutting corners at the very end or, even worse, an unfinished bathroom.
Not fixing slip-ups as you go
Ever hear the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine”?
When it comes to errors & miscalculations, don’t opt for cover-ups or your issues will compound the deeper you get into your project. A small mistake now can turn into a big problem later.
It’s tempting to leave that crooked tile or fill in the poorly measured gaps with silicone, but you’ll regret it down the line.
See a mistake. Fix it. Period.
Settling for poor ventilation
Often people get so caught up in the fun stuff that they forget about the nuts and bolts. Don’t skimp on a cheap bathroom fan, and make sure you install additional ventilation if you’re adding extra water (i.e. steam shower) to the room.
Forgetting to leave room
There is such a thing as too much good stuff. Don’t overcrowd your space with extra sinks, oversized showers and other goodies just because you’ve got money in the budget.
Sometimes less is more, particularly if you don’t have the square feet to fit all your dreams into one room.
Removing the tub
Ripping out the tub can potentially backfire if you wind up putting your house on the market soon after your renovation.
Maybe you never use “that old thing,” but in general the market expects homes to feature at least one tub. At the very least families with young children need the basin for bathing little ones.
This isn’t to say you should never remove the tub—just be sure to think it through.
Using porous materials
Thinking outside the box and implementing wood or other porous elements into the bathroom has the potential to cause big problems down the line if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
The same goes for carpeted floors. Don’t be afraid to go non-traditional, but make sure you fully understand what you’re signing up for.