7 Steps to Getting Ready for Your Bathroom Remodel

Sharon Greenthal
Written by Sharon Greenthal
Updated December 17, 2021
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Remodeling a bathroom while living in your home can be disruptive and cause friction among family members if you don't plan well for it. But don’t stress; these eight steps will help—not just with the construction, but with making sure everyone in your home is safe, happy, and clean during the process.

1. DIY or Contractor - Which is Right for You?

Vanity in a luxury concrete bathroom
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The cost to remodel a bathroom without hiring a contractor will be between $3,000 to $8,000, depending on how high-end you choose to go. When you hire a local contractor for a bathroom remodel, a good portion of the cost comes from the labor involved, including the subcontractors. 

But while there are some aspects you can choose to DIY, homeowners should hire experts to do the more complicated plumbing and electrical work to avoid mistakes and potential injury, which can be painful to both your body and your wallet.

“Adding storage, painting, and lighting are relatively easy DIY projects that allow you to avoid potential problems with plumbing or water issues,” says Eugene Colberg, architect and founder of Colberg Architecture. “The last thing you want to do is get stuck not having the right tools or knowing how to get it done properly. Touching the plumbing can be risky.”

2. Plan the Layout

If you plan to keep the existing layout in your bathroom, it will be a much easier and faster remodel than if you want to move things around. The plumbing work involved in relocating a shower, toilet, or sink is extensive. 

You may want to change your tub and shower configuration. If you rarely use your bathtub, you can remove it and use the additional space to create a large and luxurious spa shower. But know redesigning your shower may require additional plumbing.

3. Know Lead Times and Order Scheduling

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If you're working with a contractor, talk with them about lead times for each subcontractor if you're ordering supplies for the project. Ideally, you will have everything on hand before the construction begins, but some supplies may take longer than others to arrive, so lead times are essential to understand.

If you’re going the DIY route, you still need to plan for timely shipments of supplies so you don't waste any time during the project. Trust us: The less time a family is without a bathroom, the better for everyone.

4. Clear Out the Bathroom

Before construction begins, empty the bathroom. Take everything out of the drawers, cabinets, and other storage areas. Don’t forget to take down any decor, like hung photos, as well so these don’t get in the way (or damaged!) during the remodel. 

5. Create a Bathroom Schedule

No matter how many people live in your house, being down one bathroom will make getting ready for the day more complicated. 

A schedule can reduce some of that stress. Give each family member an allotted time to shower and get ready for their day in the remaining bathroom (or bathrooms). Being under construction is challenging enough—no one wants to add bickering siblings or spouses to the situation.

If you have room, use other areas of the home for double-duty. For example, a desk can become a makeup table, and a hallway mirror can become a hair-styling station. Remember—it's only temporary

6. Give Everyone a Caddy

A man carrying his toiletries in a caddy
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If you are doubling or tripling the number of people using a bathroom, give everyone a caddy to carry their toiletries back and forth. Doing so will keep you from cluttering up the precious little space available. Likewise, install temporary hooks in each bedroom for bath towels instead of piling them up in the available bathroom to dry.  

7. Be Prepared for the Unexpected

If you understand from the start of your remodeling project that unplanned and unwanted delays, expenses, and problems will happen, it will be much less aggravating when they do. In the end, you'll have a beautiful new bathroom, and it will have been worth the few weeks of inconvenience.

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