How Do I Plan a Bathroom Remodeling Project?

Bathroom cabinets and countertops

Remodeling your bathroom is an exciting project and an excellent way to give new life to a part of the house every occupant uses daily. However, success requires proper planning, as with any other home renovation project.

Follow this step-by-step guide to plan the perfect remodeling project for your bathroom, from concept and design to budgeting and installation.

The Concept Stage

The first step of any bathroom remodeling project is conceptualizing. You need to ask yourself several questions to determine your project’s purpose. This can help you budget for the remodel.

  • What type of bathroom is it? (master bathroom, guest bathroom, powder room, or a children’s bathroom)
  • Will it include accessibility modifications? (e.g., support bars, limited mobility access, etc.)
  • What functions and amenities should it have?
  • Will the project be primarily cosmetic changes or a full remodel?
  • Do you intend to keep the house, or are you thinking of selling it in the future?

Three Types of Remodeling

There are three broad categories of bathroom renovation projects. Although your plan may fall into one or a combination of these, each comes with unique challenges and considerations you should keep in mind.

Upgrading the aesthetic appeal

If your plan includes changes to your bathroom’s overall look and feel, you will primarily focus on new materials rather than structural upgrades. Check your existing walls, flooring, trimmings, plumbing fixtures, and cabinetry for aesthetic elements that need updating.

Verify that your foundations can support the changes you need. Starting a remodeling project and finding out your underfloor has mold and mildew or your plumbing is corroded and damaged can mean additional renovation costs.

Improving the functionality

Upgrade projects focused on changing or improving functionality require more work, materials, and effort. Examples of functional remodels include:

  • Replacing the sink with a larger model
  • Installing a second sink
  • Removing the bathtub for a shower cabin
  • Cutting an alcove into the bathroom wall closest to the bathtub
  • Installing a new toilet
  • Upgrading the shower cabin’s accessibility, for example, cutting lips or ledges or building a frameless shower
  • Installing a humidity-resistant sound system or television

Increasing your home’s resale value

If you intend to sell the property in the future, you may want to include features that appeal to potential buyers. Bathroom renovations typically cost more than remodels to other areas of your home. But, they have a lower cost-value ratio, so you see a larger ROI once you sell your home.

Some popular bathroom remodels that can increase your home’s resale value include:

  • Replacing an old vanity or countertop with luxury materials like granite
  • Reflooring with high-end stone or tile
  • Installing a walk-in shower or a soaking tub
  • Removing old whirlpool jet tubs
  • Installing underfloor heating

Budgeting Considerations

Although every bathroom remodeling project is different, having an idea of how much you should expect to spend is critical for planning your budget.

Set a baseline budget

According to statistics and estimates compiled by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the best way to estimate your project’s costs is to calculate 5% to 10% of your home’s fair market value.

For example, the average bathroom remodeling project in a $100,000 home should cost $5,000 to $10,000. Light and entry-level work typically cost $3,000-$5,000, while high-end and extensive projects may cost $30,000 or more.

Hire contractors

Depending on the amount of work you intend to contract out, you will spend 50% to 75% of your budget on labor. Although you can cut costs by hiring a contractor with less experience or going the DIY route, your project’s quality may be lower than you originally envisioned.

Additionally, the more extensive your remodeling project, the more room for error and the costlier the mistakes. Not all remodeling projects can or should be done by unqualified or inexperienced individuals.

For example, if your project involves plumbing and electrical updates, you should ensure your contractor has experience in these areas.

Get several quotes

Regardless of your project’s scope, hiring a professional contractor with a history of high-quality work in bathroom design is the only way to stay within budget and avoid spending more than necessary.

Contact multiple local contractors and get time and cost estimates from each. A common practice is to get numbers from at least three licensed contractors. These numbers help you get a better and more realistic idea of your project’s costs and the exact services provided.

Bathroom Remodeling Project

Time Management and Permits

The projected timeframe for your project’s completion depends on the size of your bathroom and the extent of the remodel. Time management is crucial to avoid overspending and to minimize inconvenience.

A small bathroom makeover can take two to three weeks. These remodels are typically quicker than complete renovations because you don’t need to get permits or wait for inspections.

Full bathroom remodels require a permit to penetrate a wall or move plumbing or electrical lines. If your remodel requires significant demolition and a dumpster parked in your street for waste disposal, you may also need a permit.

Permits can take up to six weeks to be finalized. This means that your projected completion timeline could be as long as ten weeks.

Establish a Preliminary Diagram

Planning your bathroom’s new layout is crucial before starting your project. Using an app like RoomSketcher can help you create a preliminary diagram of your bathroom project’s layout.

A diagram allows you to visualize how your final bathroom will look. It integrates precise measurements with a bird’s eye view of the room, including where each appliance, fixture, and entryway is located. A sketch can also help you view potential issues like doors, windows, drains, and other structural elements that could cause an obstruction or complicate your remodel.

Sketching a diagram on an app allows you to save or alter the layout if issues arise. It also enables you to communicate your project vision to your contractor more effectively.

If you’re replacing your countertop as part of the remodel, choosing the material for your new counter is a critical step. Motor City Granite & Cabinets help you with the design stage of your counters. Our knowledgeable team can guide you through selecting natural or engineered stone.

Choose Your Project’s Materials

After budgeting the project, you should be ready to make your final selections on your project’s materials, colors, finishes, and textures. Ensure you have a checklist of every material you need, organized by type.

An example checklist may include the following:

  • Major fixtures, such as bathtub, shower, toilets, and sinks
  • Lighting implements, faucets, and mirrors
  • Storage space and cabinetry
  • Bathroom flooring type and materials
  • Wall materials
  • Paint colors
  • Decoration and accessories, such as towels, soap holders, and bath mats

Source your materials from a reputable supplier like Motor City Granite & Cabinets. Beyond fabricating the high-quality materials for your bathroom project, we also assist you with the design and installation.

Prepare for the Project Start

Although you may be tempted to save money by installing your new bathroom fixtures yourself, you can ensure everything is done correctly by hiring professionals. We can help you prepare for the remodeling process and reduce the amount of stress you experience while the work is being done.

To set yourself up for a seamless bathroom remodel, you should:

  • Make sure the building materials are already present and ready to be used
  • Prepare a dry, safe spot for storing the materials
  • Ensure you have an alternative solution for showering and other bathroom needs while the project is ongoing
  • Adjust your schedule; you should be available when the contractors are working so they can answer your questions
  • Prepare for any last-minute changes and decisions

Contact Motor City Granite & Cabinets for Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

Motor City Granite & Cabinets is a leading contractor specializing in fabricating and installing countertops in the Detroit area and Oakland County. With our complete countertop service, we help you from design to fabrication, all the way to installation.

We have over three decades of combined experience in countertops, bathrooms, cabinetry, kitchens, and other home improvement projects. For a quote or more information, call us today.