Master bathrooms are a unique space, requiring functionality, practicality, and your personal version of luxury. As one of the most-used rooms in your home, bathrooms are essential to creating a healthy home that caters to your specific needs. Master bathroom remodeling is a significant undertaking and if you’re discussing a potential renovation, there are several important considerations to evaluate before you call a Design-Build contractor.

Renovations are a great opportunity to incorporate improvements that will serve you for years to come, but keep in mind the differences between a partial renovation and a major remodel. Partial renovations generally consist of cosmetic changes, whereas major remodels involve taking the room down to the studs and starting from scratch. This article focuses on major remodels and the unique considerations involved.

Understand why you want a master bathroom remodel

There are countless decisions to be made during a renovation, so before you go any further, make sure you approach the project the right way. Take time to understand why you want to pursue a remodel of this scope.

Get input from everyone who will be using this space. Evaluate how you are currently using the bathroom and discuss what’s not working for you. These discussions should go beyond the style of your cabinets or the tile you’d like in the shower. Your reasons for pursuing a remodel will feed into major design decisions, your project budget and the Design-Build contractor you select.

Do you prefer taking baths but lack a true soaking tub? Would you like the space to double as a dressing room as you get ready each morning?  Or are you looking to improve how the space functions because you lack adequate storage?

In order to have a home renovation that truly meets your needs, you must be clear on your goals. Write them down and share them with your contractor during your initial conversations. Completing this step will ensure your new space has the features you desire.

Understand what you want from your remodel

When you have a clearer understanding of why you want to pursue a bathroom remodel, you’ll be able to explore what you want from the space. Define and prioritize what’s important to you. You should consider items such as:

  • Do you want a statement-making bathtub?
  • Do you want to utilize the space for a walk-in shower or a steam shower?
  • Do you want a double sink vanity?
  • Do you want more storage space for your belongings? A walk-in closet?
  • Do you need special lighting for make-up application?
  • Do you have strong preferences when it comes to flooring? Do you want heated flooring?
  • Do you want to address ventilation issues?
  • Are you open to removing walls and/or reconfiguring adjacent rooms as part of the remodel?

Equally important is a list of what you don’t want. For example, some homeowners want to avoid a specific style of tile or countertop.

In order to accommodate the features you desire, you might find yourself exploring a home addition. The additional square footage could provide sufficient bathroom and closet space to incorporate a true master suite. We have a separate article on considerations for home additions.

While homeowners are encouraged to think deeply about their wants and needs, they should avoid the temptation to design the space themselves, as they tend to have a limited view of what can and can’t be achieved. Design-Build contractors can explain what’s feasible and will have ideas that homeowners have never considered.

Document your wants and be prepared to share them with your contractor during the initial conversations. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Your contractor will let you know if your wish list is overly ambitious. Once you commit to a complete remodel, it’s amazing what can be accomplished!

Proper planning is key

You may have a grand vision of the end result, but a vague understanding of the many activities that must take place along the way.

This is why the planning phase is so important. Partnering with a Design-Build contractor gives you the opportunity to explore various options and identify potential limitations. Your Design-Build contractor will place an emphasis on functional space planning and refine potential designs based on your feedback. Remember that most homeowners are not equipped to perform this work themselves.

This is also an opportunity to understand how disruptive the project will be – and it may not be as disruptive as you think. Your contractor brings years of experience and many successfully completed bathroom remodels. Homeowners can use this knowledge to make educated decisions on what’s best for their home.

Educate yourself on remodel timelines

The elapsed time to complete your remodel — from initial planning to a final walk-through — is probably longer than you would expect. Home improvement shows often give homeowners an unrealistic expectation of what’s possible, and most remodeling contractors don’t use a reliable project management process so homeowners are unsure when a project will be complete.

Planning and scheduling construction projects for success is a unique skill, and we have a full article explaining what’s involved. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • The design and planning phase typically ranges from one to three months, depending on the size and scope of the project. These phases are critical to accurately capture your vision and translate it into a realistic construction plan that can be executed by professional tradesmen.
  • The pre-construction phase can range from two to six months. Project size and scope play a factor, as does the production calendar of your contractor. This work includes tasks such as finalizing drawings and submitting them to the building department, creating a detailed construction schedule, coordinating various trade contractors, helping clients finalize fixture and finish selections, placing material orders and scheduling deliveries.
  • The construction phase can range from two to six months depending on project size and scope. During this phase you’ll often communicate with a project manager or lead carpenter who is responsible for day-to-day management of the project..

Understand how to budget for a remodeling project

Avoid the mistake of Googling ‘how much does a master bathroom remodel cost’ because every home is unique, and every project has different requirements. You should also resist the urge to obtain a dollar amount during initial conversations with contractors. Contractors often find it challenging to collect enough information to provide a confident proposal, let alone perform all the design and planning work necessary to provide a true written proposal.

A smarter approach is to gain clarity on what you are willing to invest to improve your home. Then you can begin to understand the true cost of a renovation which typically starts with an investment in design. Design work outlines clear and complete specifications for the work to be done. Once a design is complete, then the work on the quote can begin. For kitchens, bathrooms and other major renovations, it takes anywhere from several hours to several days of focused effort for a contractor to prepare a reliable and accurate quote.

Established and professional companies are compensated for their design time and expertise. This planning it critical to ensure your bathroom will be built to precise standards, while remaining on schedule and on budget.

Next Steps: Finding a Design-Build Contractor

Large scale, custom home renovations take a lot of planning and input from several experts. Design-Build contracting companies provide a robust range of in-house or contracted services that include interior design, architectural planning and engineering. This approach simplifies a project for the homeowner, giving them one point of contact during a renovation.

As a homeowner, you’ll need to have conversations with several design-build contractors to further understand their background and what they bring to the table

Interested in discussing your upcoming bathroom remodeling project? Contact Advance Design and Remodel to request a consultation.