Your standing in your bathroom and you look around and realize that besides a couple coats of paint, the bathroom hasn’t been updated in a long time. Once this realization has been hit you, you decide that it is time for a bathroom renovation. So where do you begin?
How involved do you what to go? ‘Involved’ in this case has two meanings: 1) how involved are you going to get with the actual work and 2) how involved is the project going to be. Are you looking to change out the toilet, vanity and faucet, which may require some help, but many DYIers could tackle these activities or are you looking for a complete tear-out? The answer to the 2nd question, will determine the answer to the first.
Let’s say the decision is made to go down to the wall studs and sub-floor. Since this is the chosen approach, you are going to need to bring in the professionals: a showroom professional and a contractor, preferably one that has experience with bathroom remodels. But before you engage the professionals, you need to do a little homework.
Who can help in this process? Ultimately, this bathroom is about you, so you need to go to the Internet or buy some home design magazines and fire up your creative side. This process will take some time, but it will open you up to the wide variety of options that are available, both on the style side and the product side. Understanding the size of your space and creating a couple of rough sketches of how you would want the new bathroom configured in the existing space. Gathering all of this intel will be critical to your next step: finding a bath & plumbing showroom professional.
NEXT STOP: The Showroom
If you want this project to get done with the less amount of headaches, on time and on budget, a bath & plumbing showroom professional is key. They bring product knowledge, design knowledge and vast experience to the project. A showroom environment provides an excellent opportunity to see products as well as bathroom displays that will further enhance the creative process. It is also likely that you can kill to two birds with one stone when you visit a bath & plumbing showroom. One by establishing the critical relationship with a showroom professional and often they will have suggestions for competent contractors.
Obtaining a contractor: The National Kitchen & Bath Association estimates that an average bathroom renovation costs about $11,000 and that roughly two-thirds of that cost comes is tied up in labor, so do your due diligence in finding the right contractor. If you can obtain at least three names, this will provide a decent cross section because every contractor might have a different approach to the project. Key things to know when vetting a contractor: have they done a lot of bathroom projects, do they represent themselves in a professional manner, are they insured, do they have a website where you can go to see their past projects, who do they hire for sub contractors (plumbers & electricians) and can they articulate time estimates.
Labor is roughly 2/3rd of your costs, so picking the right contractor is critical.
So now you have a rough design concept, a contractor and a bath & plumbing showroom representative, the next step is the fun part: finalizing the design and choosing the products. The Ultimate Bath Store showroom professionals have laid out many design concepts. They know the in’s & out’s of bathroom projects and they are an invaluable source to the contractor. They also have the most experience with the products. They receive regular visits from manufacturer representatives and they have seen the products in action.
So, once you’ve reach that point, where you’ve decided that your bathroom needs an overhaul, stop by an visit Mike Alber in our Burlington, Vermont showroom, Karen Schooner in our Concord, NH showroom, Tiffanie Chase in our Exeter, NH showroom, Jean Tillinghast or Gay Quartella in our Groton, Connecticut showroom, Darlene Brown in our Lebanon, NH showroom, Marianne Fox or Diane Tetreault in our Lowell, MA showroom, Collette Camberis or Michelle Pattle in our Manchester, NH showroom, Tracy MacKay in our Portland, ME showroom, Shelia Garcia or Shelley LaPanne in our Rochester, NH showroom, George Burkett in our Rutland, VT showroom, Beth Craver in our Westerly, RI showroom and Karen Essex in our Worcester, MA showroom.
You’ll be glad that you did.