If you’re unsure whether or not it’s time to remodel your bathroom, try standing in the center of this vital room of your home and giving it an objective once-over. Perhaps you spy an outdated, worn toilet whose glory days are over. Are there worn patches on the seat? Does the lid and seat combo slide from side to side or, worse, back-to-front when in use? Does the tank wobble and sweat? Has the tub/shower also seen better days? Do chipped tiles, ribbons of peeling caulk, stains or rust mar the tub area? Is there a lime-clogged showerhead, or perchance one that drips, drips, drips? Even if your bathroom fixtures are in good shape, your family may have grown or times and styles may have moved on. Possibly, you just yearn for a streamlined, state-of-the-art upgrade. Whatever the case, yes, it may be time for a bathroom remodel.

Reasons for a Bathroom Remodel:

Reasons for remodeling your bathroom are many and varied. Ask yourself if any of these scenarios apply to you:

  • You desire a more aesthetically pleasing, luxuriously appointed bathroom.
  • Extensive or emergency plumping repairs are required.
  • Your bathroom has become too small to handle the needs of your growing family.
  • Plans to sell your home loom in the not-too-distant future.
  • The bathrooms fixtures and accessories need revamping for a senior or someone with disabilities.

If one or more of the above circumstances pertains to you, then the next step to consider before a bathroom remodel is examining the state of your finances.

Examine Your Budget and Determine the Scale of the Remodel

How much money can you devote to the project? If your bathroom budget is tight but you’re handy with tools, then you may want to undertake most or some of the remodeling work yourself. A word of caution, however: a bathroom that’s out of commission for an extended period of time because of poor planning, missing but ordered fixtures or a frustrated do-it-yourselfer can lead to frequent trips to the gas station or the neighbor’s house for longer than initially expected.

Any jobs you don’t feel comfortable attempting yourself need the expertise of a plumber or contractor. An honest assessment of your skills and the amount of time you can devote to the remodeling job is required. Areas ruined by water damage can involve extensive drywall, electrical or floor repairs, including structural fixes that can pose challenges to any weekend do-it-yourself warrior. And remember, an expert called in to fix a botched repair job is a blow to your well-detailed budget. In any event, before jumping into the remodel with both feet, take the time to:

  • Prepare detailed remodeling plans. Now is the time to make that checklist of everything you need and want in your new bathroom.
  • Have the right tools for the right job.
  • Create a timeline for the project and plan on sticking to it.
  • Honestly assess your abilities. Decide how much of the bathroom remodel may need to be handled by a professional.
  • Realize that fixtures, floor and wall treatments, cabinets, shower doors, plumbing components, new ceiling or wall lighting, vanities, saunas, Jacuzzis, etc. need to be ordered and delivered well ahead of time so they’re ready to be installed when the time is right.

Envision the Possibilities

Dream about your new bathroom. To gather ideas about innovations in bathroom plumbing, fixtures, lighting, wall and floor coverings and the like, walk through home-improvement stores, flip through glossy magazine pages, poll your friends and family, visit informative websites. Older bathrooms, for instance, may never have seen wonders such as:

  • surface-mounted bowl sinks made of glass, metal or porcelain and available in vibrant styles and colors
  • curved shower rods that make for a more expansive shower experience
  • fabulous water- and energy-saving fixtures
  • stylish vanities and custom-cut vanity tops
  • heated towel bars
  • innovative storage cabinets and shelves
  • recessed lighting inside showers and above tubs
  • “rainhead” showerheads

Even if budgetary constraints make adding a Jacuzzi or high-tech gadgets unlikely, little touches such as trendy overhead lighting, designer shades of wall and trim paint, gorgeous drawer pulls or cabinet knobs personalize your bathroom remodel and give your new “home office” pizzazz.

Some plumbing companies not only manage a bathroom remodel’s plumbing repairs and installations, but they also offer interior design services and can make certain that drywall, electrical and structural repairs have all been done to specs to satisfy rigorous insurance requirements. Calling in an expert can often be a money-saving move in the long run.