For many homes, the bathroom is one of the smallest spaces and a major source of contention and aggravation. This turbulence is compounded when it’s time to perform a renovation, no matter how minor. Performing the seemingly easiest tasks can cause major headaches if you’re not prepared, get in over your head or don’t hire professionals. Learn from the mistakes made by others before you and avoid the pitfalls of these five common bathroom mistakes.Not Setting a Realistic Budget
Many homeowners fall into the trap of spending beyond their means or taking on too much debt to perform unnecessary renovations and upgrades. Before you even pick out a single bath mat or one hand towel, set a realistic budget and stick to it. Include concessions for any necessary repairs, accessories, labor and the cost of replacing the toilet, tub, vanity sink
, mirrors or any other component you want altered. Now set aside at least 10 to 15 percent of this number for any unexpected mistakes and mishaps that plague almost every remodel. Be meticulous to ensure you have enough money for all the project’s specific components. Watching Too Much HGTV and TLC
The advent of HGTV, TLC and their dozens of television shows devoted to DIY projects has had a two-fold effect on homeowners. On one hand, the programs have inspired many to tackle simple home improvement projects instead of hiring unnecessary and costly outside help, which is a great way to save money and time. Unfortunately, many of these same homeowners don’t realize the shows are expertly edited and often fit a project that took three days into a 30 minute program. Don’t fall into the trap of attempting a renovation task that is far above your level of expertise or potentially dangerous. Hiring the Wrong Contractors or Tradespeople
For the most part, contractors are reputable, honest people that want nothing more than to perform the job well and please their clients. There are also other unscrupulous charlatans that will bilk an unsuspecting homeowner of their hard-earned money. Don’t choose people based solely on availability and price. Instead, do your homework and hire competent professionals that are licensed, reputable and dependable. Get everything in writing and if the contractor doesn’t live up to his obligations, don’t be afraid to stop payment on his check and look elsewhere for assistance completing the job.Cutting the Wrong Corners
Everyone wants to save money and there are several strategies to keep your renovation budget under control. This doesn’t include cutting corners to save money on necessary repairs and quality products in order to fill the room with unnecessary upgrades and accessories. For instance, purchasing an inexpensive brand of flat paint may seem economically feasible at the time, but don’t be surprised if the paint begins to peel after years of exposure to the humidity and temperature fluctuations that occur in the bathroom. There are also certain brands of tile, wall coverings, flooring and even carpet that are designed specifically for use in the bathroom. Don’t run the risk of ripping up defective or inferior materials in a few years by performing the job correctly in the first place. Time Isn’t on Your Side
You special ordered a certain type of glass tile, granite vanity or European low-flow toilet. The company assured you the product would be there soon, so you decided to start the renovation ASAP. Unfortunately, three weeks pass. The products haven’t arrived and your bathroom is completely non-functional. To avoid this unwanted scenario, don’t make the mistake of starting the renovation before all the materials are in your hands. Conversely, don’t underestimate the amount of time required to perform a specific task, especially if you’re doing the work yourself. Be realistic to ensure your bathroom renovation is complete in a timely and convenient fashion.
A more involved bathroom renovation project
, including changing the space’s square footage, performing major plumbing or changing the room’s layout, requires you purchase permits. It’s better to have a permit and not need one, than need one and get caught by the inspector without one. Err on the side of caution to prevent incurring huge fines, or a long work stoppage, if you’re caught completely gutting your bathroom without the necessary paperwork. This article was written by Ryan Tupper. Ryan is a DIY consultant, plumber, and contractor, with over ten years of experience helping others with their bathroom renovation projects.