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The Art of the Bathroom Remodel


Your bathroom is your sanctuary, or at least it should be. Modern life is hectic. Days are filled with tight schedules, kids needing to get to school or practice, an early meeting at work, a plane to catch. Likely each day and night begins and ends in the bathroom whether preparing to start your day or end it. Aside from the kitchen, your bathroom is the most frequently visited room in your home.

Waking early in the morning and turning on the shower can be such a nice start to the day. The soothing sound of the water and the air filling with the warmth of the water can be incredibly inviting. At least for the next few minutes you can soak in the shower and clear your mind. Imagine for a minute a preheated floor and perfectly lit lights easing the early morning of having to get out of bed before you start your day.

Now for some fortunate people this is their reality, but for a lot of us our bathroom lacks some of these luxuries. In some cases maybe there is only a trickle of hot water, a slow running drain, outdated cabinetry that is too low. Maybe you even have carpet in your bathroom. I have to wonder what the thought was to put carpeting in a warm humid environment, it never really made sense.


Maybe you have wallpaper in your bathroom, and not the trend setting kind you just saw installed on your favorite renovation tv program. Themed wallpaper from a long forgotten decade, we all know it, we have all seen it. Nothing screams dated like a wall covering you just saw on a rerun of the Brady Bunch still on your walls.


Cosmetics are one thing. Maybe they don't bother you much. Maybe you are the type of person that says, its functional and that is just fine with me. There is a darker side to a lot of bathrooms out there, from leaky drains, cracked shower tiles, or even visible mold in the shower area. Has a shower leaked into the downstairs, and now you don't even use the shower anymore? More than a few times I have seen abandoned showers turned into makeshift closets or abandoned jacuzzi tubs turned into a home for plants.


Bathrooms take a tremendous amount of us and abuse. We have put together a template to use when considering a bathroom renovation. At the end, we will give you a few extras that you may want to consider adding to give your space that extra special touch.


Bathroom renovation has some of the highest rates of return possible for a homeowner. Buyers today expect to see updated bathrooms and kitchens. According to U.S. News, investing in a bathroom remodel yields about a 62% return on investment. — at least if you do it well. A successful remodel means thinking strategically about what upgrades you make, banking on current trends and timeless features.


Circa 1970s hall bath

Planning is essential to a successful and long lasting bathroom renovation. Once your existing bathroom has been removed its important to update some of the mechanical aspects of your bathroom.


Now is also a great time to upgrade the exhaust fan in your bathroom. Exhausting odor and moisture in a bathroom is essential to prolonging the life of your new bathroom. Be sure that your contractor vents the exhaust fan properly according to local building codes and best practice.


Consider adding extra lighting in this stage as well. Having light over your tub and shower area is a great addition. Lighting can really enhance the space dramatically.


Consider how your family uses the space and maybe add additional outlets for counter top appliances like hair dryers and electric tooth brushes.

And certainly don't skimp on storage. Vanities with ample drawers and cabinets are great, but you may want to consider additional shelves or over the toilet cabinetry as well.


It is so important to work with a contractor that takes the time to listen to your needs and help design a space that maximizes it functionality. It is also a best practice to permit a job so when items like electrical and plumbing are modified you can feel confident that your contractor is adhering to local code requirements.


There are a myriad of choices available to a homeowner to fit every design taste and budget. Spending an adequate amount of time in the planning phase can help adhere to a budget, but also allow for a renovation to happen on a prescribed timeline minimizing work stoppages and expense overages.


If you are going to the trouble of renovating your bathroom, we think you should strongly consider a few luxurious splurges to really make your bathroom a place you enjoy being in.


Warm floors are so nice on a chilly morning

A heated floor, such as Ditra Heat, is probably not only the most sought after upgrade but truly one of the most valuable. Rolling out of your warm bed on a chilly morning and stepping barefoot onto a toasty warm floor is an incredible feeling of comfort. These systems have become very affordable to install and operate. Most can be programmed to turn on and off at prescribed times, and some have smart technology feature to allow for the greatest level of customization. Most systems run on electricity and are designed with the highest level of safety possible. If the thought of water and electricity scares you a bit, put your mind at ease. When properly installed you have nothing to worry about except how warm you want the floor to be.


Some other nice upgrades are dimming controls on lighting, a bluetooth or app enabled speaker system, touch control sink faucets, and glass doors instead of shower curtains.


So what can you expect this to cost? Cost can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. A realistic range for a hall bathroom renovation is between $12,000 and $15,000. This is for a standard hall bathroom with moderate finishes and all new hardware and fixtures. Master bathrooms deserve special consideration. We will discuss these considerations in a future blog.


If you are seriously considering renovating your existing bathroom, schedule a consultation with us. We can help make the process much easier on you and guide you every step of the way providing peace of mind that you renovation will be done right. Working with a knowledgeable contractor is probably the most important part of the process. A poorly executed bathroom renovation can be very costly down the road.


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Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137

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