If you’re getting ready to do a bathroom makeover, the most important advice you can heed is to stick with the plan. Regardless of whether a makeover is done by a homeowner or a professional, the bane of both is cost overruns. It’s too easy to go well over budget by purchasing just a few extra things or slightly changing the footprint of the space. A plan provides the necessary framework for you to implement your makeover while remaining within budget. It consists of the materials you’ll use, how you plan to make use of the space, and the types of upgrades you want to implement. But only when you stick with your plan will you be able to complete your bathroom makeover without going over budget.
WHERE TO START
The first step in planning your makeover is to sit down and assess the current use of the bathroom. If it’s the only bath in the house then every family member undoubtedly uses it. It will be a high traffic area that needs to be both functional and flexible. On the other hand, if there are multiple bathrooms in the house the one you are remodeling probably gets significantly less use. If it’s the master bath, it’s just you and your spouse. If it is a guest bath, it may only be used occasionally. The point is to make sure your makeover plan takes into account how the space is primarily used. That use is unlikely to change, so you want your remodel to be appropriate.
The next part of your plan is to think about how you can effectively use the space to maximize efficiency. That might mean replacing an old medicine cabinet with a full-wall rack that serves multiple purposes. It might involve replacing the tub with a shower stall in order to make room for a double sink. Because you are unlikely to make the bathroom any larger, it’s better to maximize the space already available. Simply making the space more efficient goes a long way in making it more usable as well.
BUDGETING FOR MATERIALS AND LABOR
The last, and most important, part of your plan is to determine how much money you can spend in total. Then break that amount down into separate categories of materials and labor. Regardless of what those numbers are make a commitment that you will not exceed your budget. When it’s time to start shopping for materials, price each component separately and keep a running total. Understand that if you spend more than you originally planned for cabinetry you will have to make up the difference somewhere else. With every new purchase, it’s necessary to do the math and make sure the numbers always balance. Planning is the key to any successful home improvement project, but nowhere is it more evident than the bathroom. Stick to your original plan and you’ll find it a lot easier to complete your makeover without exceeding your budget.