How to Prepare for a Bathroom Remodel

A bathroom remodel is a significant undertaking and can take weeks to complete. It’s essential to understand the process and prepare accordingly.

Bathroom Remodel

Set a budget. This will help you decide about materials that fit your price range. To learn more, visit

Find vetted contractors and line up estimates. Depending on your project, you may also need to obtain permits or building board approvals.

Before beginning any remodeling project, it’s crucial to set a budget. A bathroom remodel can be an expensive proposition, but the right planning and budgeting will keep the costs under control. Homeowners should start by asking themselves why they want to remodel their bathrooms. Is it to enhance the room’s appearance or increase its functionality? It’s important to make sure that the renovation is in line with your personal goals and that it doesn’t cancel out other projects on your wish list. You should also consider the return on investment of your remodel. According to a 2023 report by Remodeling, an average midrange bathroom remodel will bring back 55 to 60 percent of the cost.

The budget for a bathroom remodel will depend on the scope of work and the materials you choose. It’s important to do your homework and find the best prices on everything from toilets and tubs to showerheads and faucets. You can get price quotes from home improvement stores, online or by phone. You should also check out the rates of different contractors. You may be able to save money by choosing more affordable materials or by doing some of the labor yourself.

It’s a good idea to set aside 5-10% of your total budget for unforeseen expenses. These expenses can include unexpected damage or the need to change your plans. It’s also important to take into account the regional differences in material and labor costs. The cost of materials and labor in one area could be a couple thousand dollars higher or lower than another.

Renovating a bathroom on a tight budget is possible with the right tools, resources and research. To help you stay on budget, make a list of your goals and priorities for the space. Then, identify what you can afford to spend on each goal and what needs to be cut from the plan. Finally, determine how much you can afford to pay for contractor and labor costs.

To cut costs on a budget, try to keep the existing footprint and plumbing if possible. This can save thousands of dollars. You can also save on the cost of new fixtures by refinishing your sink and bathtub instead of replacing them. It’s also important to keep an eye out for bargain items at home improvement stores and thrift shops.


Before you begin a bathroom remodel, it’s important to develop a design. It will help you stay within your budget and make sure that the finished project fits your needs. A professional designer can help you with this process, but you can also do it on your own. In the design phase, you should decide how much space you need and what type of fixtures you want.

It’s also a good idea to consider storage options in your design. You might need more cabinet space, or you may want to install a linen closet. Lastly, you should determine what kind of flooring you want. If you need to replace the current floor, you should choose a material that is durable and can handle moisture.

If you’re replacing the toilet, you should install a water-efficient model that uses less than 1 gallon per flush. This will save money on your water bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Also, be sure to choose a color for your new walls that is compatible with your fixtures and accessories.

A full bath is often a family bathroom, so think about who will use it. If you have children, for example, you might want to include a tub and plenty of storage for bath toys. If you’re planning to age in place, you might need to add a handrail or grab bars to the shower or bathtub.

During the remodeling process, it’s a good idea to remove or protect furniture and valuables from dust and debris. It’s also a good idea to schedule breaks and keep in mind that the renovation will be disruptive to your daily life.

While your contractor is working on your bathroom, it’s important to take steps to minimize disruption to your family. Keeping children and pets out of the construction zone will prevent them from getting into the mess and making a bigger mess. You should also plan ahead to accommodate your family’s routine, such as providing alternative bathing arrangements.

While your contractor is working on the plumbing, it’s important to disconnect all of the water and sewage lines in the room. This will prevent unforeseen problems, such as mold and mildew, from developing in the walls. If you’re painting the walls, be sure to choose a paint that is formulated for bathrooms and has additives that inhibit mold and mildew growth.


If you’re planning to remodel your bathroom, it is essential to make sure that the renovations are done according to local regulations. Failure to do so may result in costly repairs and rework. In addition, it could also cause problems when you sell your home. In 2018, one homeowner in Nassau County learned this lesson the hard way when they were caught renovating their bathroom without a permit.

Local building codes, enforced by authorities like the Department of Buildings (DOB), outline construction project standards. These standards are designed to ensure safety, functionality, and compliance with community guidelines. While the specifics of these rules may vary from city to city, the general rule is that any changes to plumbing, electrical wiring, or structural elements require a permit. This includes ripping out walls, adding windows or doors, and installing new electrical fixtures.

Cosmetic alterations, however, generally do not require a permit. Painting rooms or repairing plaster are examples of such alterations, as is replacing simple fixtures and updating decor.

The scope of a bathroom remodel will also determine whether or not a permit is needed. If your bathroom remodel consists of replacing simple fixtures and making cosmetic alterations, then a permit is not required. The same goes for simple layout changes, such as converting a bathtub into a shower or moving the toilet.

Any change that significantly alters the ventilation system will require a permit. This is because ventilation systems have a huge impact on your home’s indoor air quality. If you’re unsure whether your renovations will require a permit, be sure to contact your local building department for guidance.

The process of obtaining a permit can be time-consuming and complex, but it’s important to do so before starting any work. If you’re hiring a contractor, they will typically handle the permitting process on your behalf. They will also help you navigate any building board approvals if necessary. Taking this step can save you time, money, and headaches down the road.


Depending on the scope of the remodel, you may need multiple contractors to help with the work. A reputable contractor should have professional contacts for subcontractors in the plumbing and electrical fields. You may also need a painter, tile installers, and carpenters. You should be sure that any contractors you hire are licensed and insured. Ask to see proof of insurance during the initial consultation, including general liability, workers’ compensation, and property damage coverage.

A good bathroom remodel should include new drywall and paint. The walls should be sanded smooth and primed before painting. Choose a high-quality, moisture-resistant paint in a color that coordinates with the rest of the room. If you want to add wallpaper or a wainscot, the contractor should be able to provide you with samples and suggestions.

If your bathroom remodeling plans include moving the toilet, tub or shower, sink, or any other fixture, you will need a plumber and an electrician. These kinds of layout changes require major structural work, wiring alterations, and possibly even full fixture replacement. It’s a good idea to talk to the contractors about their experience in working on these types of projects and get quotes before proceeding.

If you’re doing a full-scale remodel, the contractor should be able to quote you for all the materials required. If you are choosing to supply some of the materials yourself, the contractor should be able to give you an accurate price estimate for those items as well.

It’s important to remember that dust will be everywhere during a remodel, so you should be prepared for that. It’s a good idea to cover or move furniture in any rooms that will be affected by the remodel and to tape off areas where work is being done. You should also check with your homeowners’ or condo association to make sure you’re in compliance with any policies that could impact the renovation.

A new, updated bathroom can be a luxurious retreat for you and your family members. But a successful bathroom remodeling project requires planning and cooperation between all parties involved. With the right plan in place, your dream bathroom can come to life with minimal stress and disruption.

Casey Marguez