Bathroom remodeling is one of the most popular home improvement projects a homeowner can undertake. If done properly, the return on investment can help to put you into the profit column when it is time to sell, which is where we would all like to eventually land. The big question is how much can you spend and still be able to get your money back out of your house?
The first thing you must ask yourself is how long do you plan to stay in your home. You will, of course, need to be more cautious about your selections if you think you will be moving in a shorter period of time. If you are going to be in your home for any length of time you may want to splurge on those items that you have always wanted. Do it once and do it right is my creed. That doesn’t mean it has to be expensive.
The next step will be to decide if you are going to hire outside help or go it alone. Should you decide to go it alone there are several things you will need to consider. First, are you going to do all of the heavy work such as demolition, plumbing, tile setting etc..? I would encourage you to reconsider if you have never done any of these things before. Getting halfway into a project only to discover that you are in too deep can get expensive and be a terrible inconvenience. Think of no working bathroom for weeks, wouldn’t that be horrible! If you decide to hire out the work there are two ways you can go about it.
You can act as the contractor and be responsible for permits, inspections, scheduling subcontractors, overseeing the work and generally making all decisions pertaining to the job. Once again, if you have never done this before and you are doing an extensive remodel this is not a good idea. There are two very strong reasons why you may not want to act as the contractor and they are:
It takes a lot of time to do all of this and if you are already working a full time job it can be close to impossible to pull this off without some serious issues coming up. From dealing with sub-contractors who no-show and trust me they will, to dealing with last minute issues that come up and every other little detail that can go wrong (and some of them will) the wear and tear may just not be worth it.
You do want to have the end result be something you can be proud of. Let’s face it, even if you do all of the labor yourself it is still expensive so you want your bath to live up to it’s best potential.
Please think long and hard about this before you jump into acting as subcontractor, the job is not as easy as it looks. That being said, let’s assume you have decided to go rogue and do the whole project solo. You may want to enlist the help of an interior designer. They can often point you in the right direction when it comes to resources and if they have experience in working with builders and remodelers may be able to help you with finding sub-contractors should you decide you need help.
Unfortunately, many interior designers have bullied their clients and therefore the perceived experience of working with a designer is often one where the client has no say in their project and any idea of a budget has gone out the window. If you choose to work with a designer make sure you select one you feel comfortable having honest dialogue with. There are designers who want to hear your concerns and budget requirements up front so that they can help you in the very best way they can. You will want to do some homework before hiring someone.
Thinking through how involved you want to be in your bathroom remodel will help you achieve success. My intent is not to discourage you, I just want you to realistically examine if your skill sets match your desired outcome. If you decide they don’t, can you find a tradesmen and craftsmen to execute the work for you or are you better off hiring a general contractor to get the job done? These are all things to consider before you start your project. I would love to hear about your project and see your before and after photos! Please feel free to share them with me.