Planning for the Best Bathroom

  • Added:
    May 14, 2013
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Planning for the Best Bathroom Photo by Donny Piers

The bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in the house, yet the most hard-working. This little utilitarian space hasn't always gotten the design attention it deserves. But that's no longer true. Today, standard fixtures and surfaces are moving aside for sleek silhouettes, efficient functioning, and intriguing materials. Choice abounds, which makes the homeowner's job more challenging, but a lot more fun, too.

With all the goodies available to you, the last thing you want is to be harried into a decision in the home improvement aisle or during a fast-moving meeting with your contractor. As with most home endeavours, the best place to start envisioning your new bath is on paper. Whether you are creating a new bathroom or updating an existing one, planning is essential. Gather a notebook of information and inspiration, taking colour copies or tear sheets from books and magazines. Visit home stores and websites for brochures and printouts of what's in the marketplace.

As you get a feel for what's out there, think about how you want your bath to look and feel as well as function. Of course, the bath needs to do what it;s always done- accommodate the basic hygienic needs of your family. But today's bath functions as an everyday retreats as well. Is it more important that your bathroom energizes you for the morning rush or relaxes you after a long day? How will the room need to perform and for whom” A hard working kids' bath, a gracious guest bath, or a master suite? Here are a few tips that can help you make decisions about your space's look, layout, and level of luxury.

Budgeting

Envisioning a new bath is a fun, creative process. Sure it is OK to dream big... as long as you keep reality in mind. Consider first what can't be changed – most likely the size of your budget and the space itself. You will save money in the end with careful thought and planning at the start because you will avoid having to make hasty decisions on big-ticket items during the building process – and costly redos if things don't run smoothly.

Pounds and Sense

A well-designed, updated bath is a high-value room – from the perspective of both homeowner and homebuyer. But it is never a good idea to over-improve your home for the market of your neighbourhood. For better or worse, how elaborately your update is linked to the real estate picture – if you want to see a return on the investment.

When home prices are soft, it is harder to reccup those remodeling pounds if you sell your home. The market will go up and down, but an old rule of thumb still holds: If you are planning to stay in your house for another 10 years, upgrade away. If not, consider what changes you can make on a budget. The investment, after all, is no small one. These days, the average cost for a midrange bath remodel is £10,000. Factor in high-end fixtures and finishes, and the average cost jumps to more than £20,000. If you have to alter your plumbing lines, move interior walls, or bump out an exterior wall to make room for the bath of your dreams, plan on closer to £40,000.

The Budget-conscious Bathroom

A cosmetic update is another way to go. This generally includes paint, updated faucets and lighting, new accessories (such as knobs, mirrors, and towel rods), a new floor or shower wall, and one new fixture. Small-scale bathroom project can come under £5,000, especially if you do the work yourself or can accomplish the renovation without hiring a contractor.

Picking the Right Pro

Unless you are a seasoned and confident do-it-yourself, an extensive bathroom remodel is best left to the professionals. Architects and general contractors will be familiar with the building codes and the process of obtaining a building permit, which varies form municipality to municipality. Permits are generally required when structural work is involved or the basic living areas of a home are changed. Depending on the size and complexity of your project, consider calling in an expert, especially one who can show you a portfolio of successful bathroom projects. Remember to get at least three estimates for your project to be sure you are getting the most for your budget. You may also need to hire a rubbish clearance company to take care of the builders waste.

Author's Profile

Donny Piers is a freelance writer, who often writes guest post on green cleaning and home improvement. He is also well informed about the professional rubbish clearance in London, and would be glad to help you on that subject as well.


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