Bathroom budget basics
A bathroom renovation is costly, time-consuming and inconvenient on a good day. Still, the results are worth the investment when you consider your return in terms of personal enjoyment and future resale value. And if you carry out the project correctly, it can be a smooth and seamless process. As a designer, here are some things I’ve learned first-hand about bathroom renovations.
Every good design starts with a clear set of priorities
What is your goal for the renovation? What do you want your bathroom to do for you? Separate your needs from your wants. Are there obvious problems that need to be corrected? Moisture issues, outdated electrical and plumbing should be prioritized over the “extras.” Then, consider function. Who will be using the space, and how? Do you need double sinks? Are you a bath or shower person? Next, consider resale value – and for all you “shower people” out there, ensure your home has at least one tub!
Have a budget and stick to it
And, very importantly, be realistic. Bathrooms can be the costliest of spaces to renovate, due to the number of trades needed per square foot. A modest bathroom reno can easily run from $15,000 to $60,000 or more, depending on materials and other scalable selections, greatly influencing the budget.
When drafting your budget, don’t rely on a contractor’s estimated costs. Instead, get a detailed quote to ensure your budget is being allotted to your expectations. Bathroom renovation spending can quickly escalate beyond the original budget, usually due to poor planning and indecision, but sometimes due to unforeseen factors that are discovered only after you’ve opened the walls. For this reason, I always recommend having a 20-percent contingency fund.
Communicate with your team
Don’t just assume that you and your contractor or interior designer are on the same page. Communicate your wants and needs. For example, suppose you’re working with a professional bathroom designer. In that case, this is your single touchpoint for all things reno, from planning and design to material selections, trades, project management, budget and timelines. Any changes to the plan should be communicated immediately to help minimize disruption and costs to the overall schedule and project. With renovations way up this past year, enlist your trades early on in the reno process to give your contractor ample time to book required sub-trades and ensure project materials are ordered and can be delivered on time.
A bathroom renovation has many moving parts, which is why many homeowners choose to engage with a professional designer to manage this project, from concept to completion. When it comes to a significant space, such as a kitchen or bathroom, it is well worth your investment to get the job done right the first time.
Three key areas to consider when planning a reno
- Bathtubs act as the focal point and influence the overall bathroom design. Freestanding bathtubs are all the rage, and come in classic or contemporary designs. If you’re seeking style but are challenged for space, consider this: Many freestanding tubs are long enough to soak outstretched, yet they take up far less space than a traditional built-in!
- Cabinetry is essential for the storage and function of the room. Once you’ve decided on a single or a double sink, consider how much storage space you need. You may want custom-designed and -built cabinetry; however, stock cabinets are far less expensive and come in a range of dimensions to suit most spaces.
- Flooring needs to balance function and fashion. This hard-wearing element can take a beating, so ensure durability is one of your must-have criteria. Due to the nature of the bathroom, flooring materials should be water-resistant. Marble, stone and ceramic are the most popular choices.
Diana Rose is the Principal and Creative Director for Diana Rose Design. Nationally published known for creating tailored interiors that enhance and complement your lifestyle. Servicing Toronto & GTA, Muskoka dianarose.design @dianarosedesign