If you’ve spoken with anyone who’s remodeled a bathroom, you’ve likely heard some variation of, “It turned out great! But I wish I had known _____ beforehand.” Every remodel comes with a specific set of potential headaches, but if you know what to expect ahead of time and which common mistakes homeowners make, you’ll be able to plan wisely and minimize stress. Here are the eight most common pitfalls to avoid as you prep for your bathroom remodel in the Chicago North Shore area.
1. Not Planning Details in the Beginning
It seems like it should go without saying, but never begin demolition without a thorough replacement plan. Identify your specific goals and formulate a specific plan to fulfill them. Even small decisions shouldn't necessarily be saved for later. Even a small decision- such as which tile you’ll use to border a bathtub—can influence your overall style and color scheme, and not having all materials on-hand also delays your overall timeline completion.
2. Not Planning Layout Properly
Another common mistake relates to room flow and layout miscalculations. Let’s say, for instance, that you have your heart set on a gorgeous, spacious vanity. You may plan your bathroom layout with this vanity as a non-negotiable centerpiece, only to discover after installation that your choice didn’t leave you enough space for foot traffic around your shower or between your toilet and sink. 3D imaging is a wonderful tool to help you realistically conceptualize your space before installation.
3. Neglecting to Add Enough Storage
While it’s true that you’ll generally want to err on the side of preserving more space between fixtures, this doesn’t mean you need to opt for an overly minimalistic design. Be sure to retain enough space to store linens and personal items in closets, cabinets, and built-in nooks.
4. Don’t Make the Toilet the First Thing You See
For specific layout advice, it’s almost never a good idea to make the toilet the first thing you see when you enter a room. This doesn’t mean you need to build a private room for your toilet (though that isn’t a bad option), but it does mean you should think carefully about ways to visually reduce its presence to make your room classier, even if your space is small.
5. Neglecting to Plan for Proper Ventilation
Don’t forget to plan for things you can’t see, especially ventilation. Easy maintenance is almost always dependent on proper ventilation systems, particularly in such humid environments as the Chicago North Shore area. Don’t forget to ask your contractor how to ensure proper air circulation before beginning your renovation since you’ll need to plan HVAC systems and electrical installation around this consideration.
6. Installing an Exterior Window in the Wrong Spot
Many contractors will recommend pairing a strong fan with an outside window as a ventilation “back up.” Be careful, however, about where you place your windows, particularly if you’re remodeling a bathroom on the ground floor. For instance, installing a window behind an outdoor shrub might provide sufficient privacy in the spring and summer months and then become problematic in the fall and winter when it loses its leaves. Be sure to consider placement carefully.
7. Not Introducing Natural Light
Some homeowners will try to solve the window privacy situation by keeping it always covered by curtains and blinds. Unfortunately, however, this robs your room of its natural light, which is extremely important to combine with overhead (and even spotlights) since your bathroom is the place you prepare yourself to meet the day. Even solar tubes and windows closer to the ceiling can accomplish this objective.
8. Don’t Underestimate Your Project Timeline
Finally, everyone who has remodeled will tell you not to be too optimistic on your timeline. Your remodeler will give you their best guess as to project completion, but sometimes they will make discoveries within the home itself, such as water damage or wiring that isn’t to code, that will delay completion. So maintain optimism, but don’t plan a party for the day after your bathroom remodel in Chicago is estimated to conclude!