Bathroom Renovations: How to Create a Plan

Ask yourself, if you could do anything to your bathroom right now, regardless of cost, what would it be? It could be a dire emergency because there is mould or it may be just a dream that you want to bring to life.

Your renovation journey might begin for a variety of reasons from damage and repairs to adding functionality or improving the esthetics. Maybe you have spent hours on Pinterest saving your favourite ideas and are ready to try a few! 

How you will change your bathroom space is just as important as why you want to do it. That is why starting a plan is a good idea! Here are some questions you can ask yourself or your spouse, to determine if you need a full renovation or just a minor remodel.

  • Is there mould, mildew or water damage? 

If yes, then this will likely be a larger project. 

  • Do we only want to change a few things, or go for a whole new look? 

If you just want to change the cabinets, the light fixture or a few smaller things, then you won’t have to worry about tearing up the entire bathroom. If you have been saving ideas on Pinterest or stashing photos from magazines, and you want to change everything, then plan for a larger, longer and more expensive project. 

  • Is the hardware outdated, rusting or not very visually pleasing?

The hardware itself is not usually very expensive and light fixtures are easy to find and order. But usually, when someone wants to change the hardware, there are more changes such as cabinets, flooring or the entire bathroom.

  • Do you need new flooring, wall repairs or plumbing upgrades? 

Depending on the situation you might just require a small remodel, but if your pipes have leaked or there is water damage, you will likely need a more extensive renovation.

  • Do you have a lot of money to spend on this or are you on a tighter budget? 

There are financing options, loans and other options to help you pay for something like this, however, it is best to determine what you can afford, a minimum and a maximum budget is ideal to give you some flexibility if issues arise or are discovered.

  • When do you plan to start this project? Have you done renovations on the home before?

A timeline is always a good idea for both you and the renovation company. Knowing if previous work has been done, can help you determine what might need to be done.

Now rank these changes in the order of importance to you. Is there anything you could do without it if it didn’t fit into your budget? 

Let’s see how Ellie and John navigated their decision to get a full renovation instead of a simple re-modelling. 

Starting with the most important things that needed to be dealt with, they determined that they would indeed need a new tub and flooring. There had been leaks and some water damage, the potential for hidden mould and mildew. A renovation was the only way to know how bad the damage was.

The cabinets were very outdated and the fixtures could use an upgrade. Most of the bathroom was original to the older house and they also wanted to change the look and make it more modern looking. 

Based on this, they determined they needed a full renovation, to ensure that any water damage, old plumbing and other hidden things would be dealt with. They would also address the esthetic of the bathroom at the same time.

They determined that they should have enough budget to do a full renovation. They went online and found some great hardware, light fixtures and colour palettes that they liked and added these to the plan. Once they had this, they went to their local renovation expert for a quote. Since the couple included a budget and some of the features and hardware they wanted, it was easy for the company to give them a quote that fell within the budget they provided. 

Although this couple found that a full renovation was what they needed, others might not need to plan such a large project. Small changes can make a big difference and sometimes it is all you need. 

Eva and Ron thought they might have to do a full renovation, but after making a plan, decided they only needed to make some small changes.

They asked themselves the same questions but decided that since their home was newer, the plumbing was sound and no mould or water damage could be found. It was already a modern style home but the bathroom could use more storage for towels and other items. Eva wasn’t fond of the linoleum flooring and wanted tiles or wood instead. They were also getting older, so they thought about assistance accessories like grab bars and toilet height. 

They wanted to ensure their bathroom was flexible for them as they age. Since they invested in a newer home, they determined that they only needed to do some upgrades and esthetic changes.

They estimated the cost of new cabinets and flooring by comparing online, then took their plan to their local renovation experts. The renovation company was able to provide a quote for a remodel that fell within their budget and suggested some products that would help them save money.

Both of these couples started with the same questions but ended up with different results. 

If you are ready to start a bathroom renovation or remodel, use this guide to help you plan it out then bring that plan to us. If you are having any problems determining the scope of your project, we can also provide consultations.

A good place to start is to download our printable General Bathroom Renovation Checklist. A general list of questions has been provided in the image below, for more details and options available, please download the full checklist. 

You can also receive our Free NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) 64-Page Planning Guide, including bathroom & kitchen design tips.