A bathroom remodel is no small undertaking. Many little details go into the project -- so unless you’re a professional who has been doing this for years, you’re probably not going to know the nitty-gritty details that go into the decisions you’re going to have to make or the processes you’re going to have to follow.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do your research to learn more, though. As a homeowner, being involved in the process alongside a professional contractor and plumbers in Alexandria could mean you’re avoiding flushing money down the toilet.
That’s why we broke down exactly what you need to know about a bathroom remodel -- from budgeting and determining how much value does a bathroom remodel add, to finding the right contractor to living through the remodel and everything in between.
How to budget for a bathroom remodel
There are a lot of moving parts that go into a successful bathroom remodel. Not following the proper steps can be the difference between a smooth transition and a long, bumpy path. Unsure where to start? Here are some tips that can make your bathroom remodel budget easier on you (and your budget):
Establish what you can afford. The national average to remodel a bathroom is $9,627 -- about $2,500 on the low end and $23,330 on the higher end. That’s quite the range. So how can you determine what you can spend? First, you should conduct an honest examination of your goals, the materials needed to achieve those goals, and your available finances.
Determine how much value does a bathroom remodel add. When considering a remodel, it’s a smart idea to determine the effect it will have on your home’s value. Once you have this information, you can compare it to other homes in your neighborhood to determine if you’re going to over-improve your property. It’s not always about property value, though.
Part of this process should be estimating how many years you’ll spend in the home. If you’re going to be there for only a few years, for example, you should look at the remodel as an improvement on investment. If it’s going to be for a longer period of time, you should make your decisions based on what makes your family the most comfortable.
Know what you want. A bathroom remodel can get very overwhelming, very quick. With an abundance of options out there, it’s not uncommon to lose sight of what you really want. The first step in crafting a budget for your remodel is researching what is available in the market today (browse home magazines, view online slideshows, talk with Alexandria bathroom remodeling professionals, etc.). Once you have a wish list, you can take a look at price tags, add it up, revise it based on your resources and turn that into a reality.
Ask for real numbers. When speaking with contractors, it’s important that you’re getting realistic estimates. If one designer quotes a project for $10,000 and another claims to quote the same project for $3,000, this should be a red flag. To make sure you’re getting the best estimates, choose your materials before the project begins. It’s also important to remember to budget for labor, which will account for about a third of your overall costs.
Give yourself wiggle room. The only constant across all remodeling projects is that you’re going to end up spending more money than you originally planned. This may be because you find surprises in your home along the way, your taste changes from your original design or you need additional resources. The key is not letting this overspend get out of hand. To prepare for the unknown, it’s best to set aside an additional 30 percent cushion to your budget.
Tips for picking a bathroom contractor.
Unfortunately, not all contractors are created equal. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking to hire a professional to remodel your bathroom:
- Ask for referrals. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a contractor who you can trust. Ask your friends, family and acquaintances what contractors they’ve used. When talking with them, make sure to find out what they liked (and didn’t like) about the experience, how the company handled issues and if they’d use the same person again.
- Look up credentials. Once you’ve done your initial research and found some names, it’s important to follow up with a phone call or visit to their website to figure out if he or she has the required licenses from the state and local municipalities. It’s also smart to check if the contractor has any designations from professional associations (like the National Kitchen and Bath Association or the National Association of Homebuilders). This will help determine how credible the company really is.
- Have a design in mind. It’s important to note that not all contractors are designers. In fact, most aren’t. While they’ll be there for you from the initial design to the last screw, you’ll want to make sure you come into a project with a bathroom design plan for them to execute.
Living during a remodel.
Bathroom remodels aren’t a simple undertaking. Are you wondering how long does it take to remodel a bathroom? According to The Spruce, you can expect your full bathroom remodel to take a total of 23 days (which translates into four and a half weeks assuming that no one does work on weekends). That’s assuming there are no dead days and that every job is started right when the prior was completed. Realistically, that means you’re looking at about 46 days (or nine weeks).
Here’s how can you live comfortably while your bathroom is torn apart and rebuilt:
- Schedule projects wisely. If your family is at work and school during the week and need access to the shower, try scheduling projects that don’t involve plumbers in Alexandria (like repainting or replacing light fixtures).
- Reach out to neighbors. Most homeowners have endured some sort of remodel, so they’re understanding of what it’s like to go through. If you’re close to your neighbors and comfortable asking them for help, you may want to consider asking them to use their bathroom for a few days.
- Install a temporary bath. If asking your neighbors for help isn’t an option, you can ask your contractor if they’re able to set up a temporary bath. In most cases, you can build these by setting up a temporary bath in the basement that drains into the utility tub floor drain. You can also opt for outdoor plumbing solutions traditionally used for camping.
Remodel your bathroom today.
Remodeling your bathroom is an exciting project. Without the right game plan, it can also be a huge hassle — one that ends without the bathroom you wanted in the first place. Talk to plumbing and bathroom remodeling experts before heading too far down the wrong path. Contact the Alexandria bathroom remodeling pros of John C. Flood at (703) 783-0247 or reach out to us online to start the conversation.