How to Get the Most Out of a Bathroom Remodeling Project

If you are living with a bathroom that just doesn’t work for you or your family this may sound like a silly question, but you’ll soon see the reasoning behind it: Why are you considering a bathroom remodeling project? The answer could provide you with clues as to what you want to avoid or include in your project.

If you are looking to stay in your home for a very long time then a bathroom remodeling project can be all about you. You and your family are the ones who will live with the beauty, necessities, and personal statement of expression for years to come, so make it your own.

If on the other hand you are doing it for resale values and plan on relocating within a few years you have many more things to consider. Studies show that a bathroom remodeling project will return about 70% of your investment for the first five or so years. Granted it may help in landing you a quicker sale, but be aware that you will not get 100% of your investment back. Plans should be kept accordingly. At the same time, if your home currently has only one bathroom and you are looking to add another, the amount you invest will give you a higher return. Second bathrooms are almost a prerequisite for home buyers. One caveat, however:  Adding to the footprint of your home to accomplish the addition of a second bath will very often be a losing proposition. Instead, see if you can find space enough within your home, even if it means using an existing closet or simply adding a ¾ bath.

It’s really wise to take the time and investigate what the collective intelligence of realtors, experts, and even consumer advocates advise you to do and not do when it comes to bathroom remodeling projects. (Consumer Reports even has advice for those looking to remodel their baths. )

In short, when it comes to bathrooms carefully choose the potential gain versus the real costs, and make sure potential buyers are likely to see things your way. For inspiration, you can look at sites like HGTV, which offer bathroom planning guides for anything from minor updating ideas to full bathroom configurations.

First Steps Avoid Costly Mistakes

Whether you are adding a second bath or remodeling an ensuite in a master bedroom, think about what you want to accomplish before making final plans. Does your present bathroom work for you and provide all of the fixtures you need, but it’s just outdated? If so you are in luck because it is very likely that existing plumbing will be reused, eliminating a lot of the costs. Tile can be easily stripped and updated, fixtures can be replaced and countertops upgraded to whatever your desire rather quickly. You’d be amazed at how fast a bathroom remodeling contractor can tackle all of these chores for less than what you might imagine.

If on the other hand your current bathroom calls for a complete remodel right down to the studs and plumbing needs to be installed or moved you’ll definitely want the help of a professional. The same is true of adding a second bath. In both of these instances, there is a lot to consider that the homeowner and weekend project warrior will not have the expertise to accomplish. It is the seasoned professional who will know all of the building codes and sub-contractors who need to be called in. For example, heating runs have particular code requirements when in an area where water is located. Electrical work also has special requirements to avoid accidental shock. Bathroom remodeling projects are not something you and a few of your closest friends want to tackle on a Saturday afternoon. Leave it to the pros.

Contrary to what many think, calling in a professional bathroom renovation contractor does not necessarily equate to extreme costs. In fact, a good contractor can often save you money and aggravation by anticipating all of the elements involved and plan accordingly. Rather than having to backtrack or rip out new improvements because a drain wasn’t right or the electrical to run the jet tub wasn’t planned for, professional bathroom remodelers have the experience to plan ahead which ultimately saves you time and unnecessary expense.

Picking the Perfect Bathroom Contractor

You cannot find a better contractor than one that is recommended by those you can trust, someone who has lived through and found satisfaction in a bathroom remodel. Such is the case with the comments on The reviews you’ll find on this site are from people in your area. In addition, unlike with other recommendation sites, we go through the added effort to verify all reviews; ensuring unscrupulous contractors aren’t touting their own supposed successes.

Look at the many profiles for bathroom contractors in your area. We’re sure you’ll find several that have experience in the projects you are looking to have completed, whether it is a simple swapping out of fixtures or an extensive remodeling or additional bathroom project. When you look at the profiles and respective reviews you have a couple of choices; contact 3-4 contractors yourself stating you found them on, or simply post a description of your bathroom remodel on this site and contractors will contact you.

All reputable contractors agree that there are certain things you should be looking for during the bid process:

  • Is the bathroom remodeling contractor a bona fide professional? You can ask any contractor for their license number and then call the local building officials for your area to make sure it is legitimate. Real professionals maintain good standing with local officials, keeping their licenses up to date.
  • Can the contractor and all sub-contractors supply you with proof that they have the proper liability coverage? This protects you and your property from accidents and damage to the worksite. On the same topic of insurance, all contractors and sub-contractors are now required to carry WSIB (Workers Safety Insurance Board) coverage. They should provide you with a copy of their coverage certificate but the law requires that you make sure it is up to date. Severe penalties, not the least of which is a work stoppage, can ruin an otherwise perfect experience. More information can be found on the WSIB site. (Pay attention to the Q&A section for more details. )
  • Is the contractor able to spell out all requirements for the job, the costs and time schedules, and who will be entering your home under his or her employ and as a subcontractor? Does the contract have schedules for payments and at what point in the remodeling process payments should be made? Will you be able to verify that all materials suppliers were paid by the contractor? (This last point is very important as suppliers and sub or general contractors can all place a lien on your home if they are not paid. )
  • Does the contract specify any warranties? Does it specify what happens in case there is a change in planning or delays?

Most homeowners find that a bathroom remodeling or installation project was not as bad or as costly as they anticipated. Taking these steps and keeping in mind your plans for the home will help keep your project under control and done to perfection. When it is let your friends and neighbors share in your experience on

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