(BPT) - So you’ve decided it’s time to remodel your bathroom. Whether you’re excited at the idea of creating a new look that will add value to your home, or simply relieved that you’ll no longer have to look at dated fixtures and cracked tile, you’ll be facing a lot of decisions about materials, colors, fixtures, flooring and more. The options are vast, and you may wonder: What is the best way to get started?
“Whether you’re creating a new master suite, refreshing a powder room, or building a new home, it’s an exciting time to contemplate a beautiful new space,” says Gray Uhl, director of brand education for American Standard. “Shopping for fabulous new bathroom products is a highlight of the experience, but it can get a little overwhelming.”
Bathrooms continue to be a remodeling priority for many homeowners. The average mid-range bathroom remodel costs $15,782 and returns more than 65 percent of that investment at the time of resale, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. An upscale bathroom remodeling project costs about $50,000 and returns more than 58 percent when you sell. Doing some or all of the work yourself can save thousands in labor charges – money you can put into choosing the best materials – as long as you know how to do it correctly.
In a free e-book, “The How to Buy Guide for the Bathroom,” American Standard offers information on everything from how to get started to how to choose the toilet shape that’s right for your space and lifestyle. The guide says homeowners should begin by considering five key points:
1. Consider how you will use the space and allow it to guide your renovation plans. Do you want your bathroom to be a spa-like retreat for the masters of the house? Or is it more important that the room be able to handle more intense use from the whole family? Gather input from everyone who will use the room, and evaluate what’s already present that works – and what doesn’t.
2. Will you hire a professional or attempt to do the job yourself? While DIYers may save on labor costs, professional designers and licensed contractors may be better able to help you maximize your space and stay on budget. Ultimately, hiring professionals may save you time and money.
3. Measure – everything! Nothing’s worse than falling in love with a vanity or jetted tub only to find neither fits in the space you have for it. Before you begin shopping, determine how much space your bathroom has for key fixtures such as the sink, toilet, shower and furniture. And mentioning tubs – be sure the one you choose will fit through the bathroom door before you buy it.
4. Get educated before heading to the store or showroom. Compare products and prices and check out product reviews. Decide what materials to look for and identify how you want installations to be done.
5. Set a budget and establish priorities. A professional can help you best determine how to achieve your objectives within the framework of your budget. Remember to allow yourself a budget cushion in case surprises crop up during the process – and they almost always do.