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Getting Started with your Bathroom Remodel

Careful planning is the key to any bathroom remodel whether you are planning a complete remodel or just a cosmetic change. This planning will save you time and minimize problems.

The three factors that determine the extent of your project are time, budget and space. It is more efficient, if possible, to do a full remodel rather than to make small changes at a time. This is partly because it will be less expensive in the long run plus changing out some things will make it necessary to change out others. For instance, if you plan on changing out a bathtub, it is possible that you will have to do some wall surface demolition so you may want to change out all wall surfaces, this may then lead to other things you will need to change.

While a full remodel is the preferred method, it will be messy, inconvenient, challenging, time consuming and may require framing, drywall, plumbing, electrical, and tile work. So before do start your remodel, you will need to decide how much of the work you will need to contract out and how much you can do yourself.

Unless you are experienced with plumbing, you should set aside money in your budget for a plumber and you should always hire a qualified electrician. You might also want to consider using an architectural drafting service to develop your plan. Also, the plumbing and electrical must comply with local building codes. These codes may vary from place to place. Qualified plumbers and electricians should be aware of the proper codes. The proper permits must also be obtained and work may need to be inspected. Any work that is done without the proper permits is illegal and may void your homeowners insurance.

Next you will need to set a budget for materials as well as the amount you are willing to pay for services that you don’t do yourself. You should estimate the cost of fixtures, cabinets, pipe, fittings, lumber, and finishing materials such as dry wall and trim. Keep in mind that additional costs will be involved with getting things like new accessories such as towel holders and other things like shower enclosures and medicine cabinets.

A common reason that many people remodel is that they don’t presently have enough room in their bathroom. If you intend to expand your bathroom by using space from another room, an architectural drafting service becomes even more helpful as you will want a detailed floor plan before you begin moving walls.

Things you may need to consider when planning your new design are accessibility, convenience, and storage. As far as accessibility is concerned, doors should open inward and away from fixtures, floors should be “non-skid”, and countertops and tub deck edges should be smooth and rounded. Grab bars and low whirlpool deck steps are another accessibility concern. Features that can make your bathroom more convenient include double sink vanities, separate tub and shower units, adequate natural lighting, easy to clean floors, good ventilation, and partition walls for toilet, sink and bathtub. Storage issues that you should address include shelving for toiletries, counter space, towel bar and hooks, temporary laundry space, and plenty of drawers for multiple users.

Some of the jobs included in your bathroom remodel that are commonly done by the do-it-yourselfer include, demolition, dry wall, tile, vanity installation, faucet installation, fixture installation, light fixtures, switches and electrical outlets. Jobs that are often best left to professionals are rough electrical wiring (wiring from the electrical source to the receptacle boxes), rough plumbing (water lines from the water source up to, but not connected to, the fixtures and waste pipes from the area under the fixture to the sewer or septic system) and framing. Naturally, any of the above that you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself should be done by a professional.

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