Bath Renovation Realities

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Home renovation is always very exciting in the early stages...we make Pinterest boards of our dream bathroom, spend much our free time online looking at tile, lighting, plumbing fixtures, and cabinets. Often we buy stacks of Home Design magazines, watch home renovation tv shows for hours on end, and survey friends, family and co-workers who have recently renovated about their experiences. There is an excitement about the whole process, and in the end, there will be a beautiful new bathroom.....and if it goes anything like the tv shows, it will be done under budget, in a matter of days, right?! ;) Let's get started on the demolition! I'm going to bring you through a survival guide to get through any bath renovation with some of the realities you may endure, and how to handle it.

Bath Renovation, Bathroom renovation, diy bath renovation

Demolition Day!

So, the project is finally ready to begin! It's demolition day! You cannot WAIT for your old bathroom to be demolished. It seems like FOREVER  since you've picked out all the tile, cabinetry and fixtures.....but the day has come. If you've renovated before, you know you've had this excitement. When a project finally begins, we tend to envision the end result, and forget about what we may need to go though to get there. If you will be living at your home through the bath renovation, keep in mind things may be a little frustrating while you use a different bathroom in your home, or end up sharing one, etc. ( if you happen to be able to move out during the renovation, things may be a bit easier for you through the first few weeks of the process) I recommend keeping all of your bath products handy in caddies, and stackable cartons. Before I  began my bath renovation, the thought of not being able to easily find all of my makeup, hair brushes, and shower stuff was stressing me out. So, I went out and bought a few stackable containers, and some inexpensive organizers. You can find the containers at Home Depot, and even most dollar stores. Homegoods has some of the best organizers for the bath, and the bonus is that you can keep them for use in your new bathroom. Getting your stuff organized while you're displaced from your bathroom is key to sanity.

How long is this really going to take?

Now the construction is well underway....Typically only design and construction professionals are happy about seeing the daily progress at this phase. It's usually all of the rough framing in the early stages that you see, and it's NEVER actually pretty. However, rough plumbing, electrical, and framing are the most essential things to making the bathroom function properly. It takes time. Inspections take time. Hang in there.

The early stages of the project usually leave most people frustrated, because the dream bath is not quite in view anymore. There's dust, there's noise, and there's sometime unforeseen change orders (this can happen once walls are opened and things that were not visible come to light. It's not the norm, but something you should be prepared for just in case). Rest assured that things are in fact, happening. Just because it doesn't quite look pretty, the construction is still moving along. I always like to have an established timeline of construction with the installer. Before the job begins, get the rough time frame, and as it continues, check in with your installer on the progress. It helps to understand what, and when, it  is happening. I always like to tell people that once the tile starts to go up, you are going to want to check the progress every day, because the renovation starts to become fun again!  All the pretty stuff you picked out is now beginning to be installed....

Things are starting to look good again...

Now, the tile is finally going up. Every day, something new appears....cabinets start to go in, and they look great! Soon, a countertop...and then faucets. I love this part of renovation. Nothing makes my day like a client sending me a photo of something in their home that was just installed, that they LOVE. On the flip side, as we near completion of construction, there are always going to be little things that you may not love, or that need fixing. This is sometimes a reality in renovating . As things start to look good, we also may have to make some small tweaks. A touch up here, or there. A replacement door on a cabinet. This happens. And it's ok. It all gets resolved in the end, and then you have a beautiful, newly remodeled bathroom to enjoy.

A few final thoughts on the bath renovation process...

In my career thus far I've probably designed well over 100 bathrooms, it's my favorite room in the home to design. I've lived through my own recent bathroom renovation, as well as those of numerous clients over the years, and the best advice I could give it this...

Sometimes renovating can seem stressful for various reasons...but it's best to just try and keep the end goal, of a new bathroom, in sight throughout the process.  Consider working with a design professional, to help the process be more seamless. Refer to the "before" photos if you will all be so worth it in the end!

Until Next Time,

alena capra, alena capra design, miami dolphins cheerleader, interior design, interior designer

Alena Capra

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