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7 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Bathroom Renovation

Your bathroom is arguably one of the most important and complex spaces in your home, and like your kitchen it must capture an ideal blend of form and function. That makes a bathroom remodel particularly challenging since you need to worry about everything from layout to design, floors to ceilings, and plumbing to lighting. Mistakes are therefore as common as they can be costly, so here’re the top 7 — along with the proactive things you can do to avoid them.

#1:
Don’t Make Things Up as You Go
Do: Plan, Plan, Plan

One thing leads to another throughout a bathroom renovation, so make sure you plan your project—from must-haves and nice-to-haves to material selections, lighting, countertops, plumbing, flooring, and color. And, be sure to include present and possible future needs as well. Space is usually limited, materials need to be carefully chosen, and fixtures are connected to plumbing or electricity; so once you start it becomes difficult, costly, and sometimes impossible to change your mind. Detailed planning is also vital to ensure you don’t exceed your budget or blow past the scheduled completion date.

#2:
Don’t Be Penny Wise and Fixture Foolish
Do: Select Quality Fixtures

They say you should never save money on sushi or eye surgery — or bathroom fixtures! Sinks, faucets, shower valves, toilets, and other plumbing are available across a wide range of costs and quality. You get what you pay for and will end up paying more in the long run if you use cheap, off-brand fixtures. Good suppliers or an online retailer like Build.com are worth the added expense, money that you’ll get back through avoided damages, repairs, and replacements.

#3:
Don’t Put a Dent in the Vent
Do: Properly Vent Your Bathroom

Robust air circulation isn’t merely more pleasant, but it prevents mold and mildew. So you’ll want to ensure your bathroom fan has sufficient capacity for the size of your bathroom, is of the highest quality, and vents outside the house. Per code, venting into a wall cavity, joist opening, or attic is unacceptable. It compounds all your avoidable circulation problems at once while also putting moist air into those spaces, which can cause mold. Work with your contractor to create the ductwork necessary to properly vent foul air outside and bring fresh air back inside.

#4:
Don’t Immediately Pull the Plug on the Tub
Do: Keep the Tub

Some bathtubs take up plenty of room, and lack the flexibility and even the aesthetics of smartly designed shower stalls. But be cautious before removing the old bathtub while you think about your home resale value, which is immediately reduced if you don’t have one somewhere in your home. As an alternative, think about replacing the tub with something more modern, or if budget and space allow, go for an upgrade and install a whirlpool or jacuzzi unit that more appropriately uses the space in your bathroom. Your spouse will thank you!

#5:
Don’t Lose Steam on the Theme
Do: Choose the Design Carefully

Think about how much time you and your family spends in the bathroom, and how much that experience is influenced — for better or worse — by an efficient, comfortable, and appealing design. Keep the look consistent and pleasing, and don’t forget about the importance of layout, too. Maybe making the toilet the first thing you see isn’t the best idea, while a better idea is making sure you have enough room by the sink and tub to brush your teeth and move about.

#6:
Don’t Forget Essential Lighting
Do: Get the Light Right

Bathrooms demand excellent task lighting, essential for everything from shaving to grooming. Natural light is also easy on the eyes and refreshing during the day, so where possible supplement artificial lights with indirect sunlight. Numerous task lights — not to mention hair dryers, shavers, and electric toothbrushes — all need easily accessible and nearby electrical outlets, so ensure they’re handy and well-placed. Mood and color lighting adds a great touch.

#7:
Don’t Pile on the Tile
Do: Use Skilled Labor

Many homeowners insist on tiling the shower themselves, or hiring a contractor of questionable reputation or quality. Even small mistakes can lead to big leaks, which in turn send water into walls and floors. The resulting damage can be significant and difficult to fix, instantly negating the money saved. Similar DIY often happens with towel racks and other wall fixtures, which are not only dangerous when they’re torn down, but can take big chunks of the wall with them.

Trust Your Bathroom to a Pro

Family owned and operated, Riverside Construction is eager to responsibly and safely work with you to bring your bathroom dreams to life. Now is actually a great time to remodel, and Riverside Construction is pleased to conduct most design work remotely and effectively; we also help protect your family by conducting all work according to strict EPA lead-safe-certification regulations.

Riverside Construction is Lafayette’s top award-winning, design-build remodeling company. For 12 years we have provided loyal clients personalized and enjoyable remodeling services, delivered on time and on budget. By listening intently to your needs we provide the region’s best work: Take a look at our bathroom portfolio, and let’s schedule a free consultation!

What to Include in a Successful Aging-In-Place Bathroom Remodel

When you first purchased your home, you may not have given much thought to how future lifestyle changes may necessitate a home remodel. As a matter of comfort and safety, it’s important to keep in mind universal design features that can accommodate everyone’s needs and/or requirements, regardless of age or ability.

Whether you build a new home or remodel your current home, incorporating universal design features may minimize injuries for you or a loved one such as slipping and falling in the bathroom and prolong the stay in your home.

Here are a few aging-in-place bathroom design elements that will provide maximum convenience and livability in your home:

Bathtub/Shower

To minimize the chance of falling when getting into the tub or shower, consider installing a new walk-in tub. Instead of climbing over the edge, you simply open the door. When closed, it’s watertight.

Homeowners who prefer to keep their conventional tub and shower in place can opt for a glass door to replace the shower curtain, which is beneficial for the added stability it provides. And since you’re doing upgrades, a flexible, hand-held shower, grab bars and a stool to sit on when bathing will make for a much safer and comfortable experience.

Cabinets

The cabinets where you store toiletries, as well as first aid supplies and medicine, should be easy for anyone to access. And if you or someone else in your family will be using a wheelchair, it’s helpful to lower the cabinets so they can still be reached from a sitting position. As people age, they often take more medications and use other health remedies, so make sure to install cabinets with ample size for better organization and easier access.

Floors

Slippery bathroom floors are particularly dangerous for people who experience difficulties with mobility, balance, or vision. While bathroom tiles are often preferred for their ease of cleaning, some can be quite slippery and hard, although, in recent years, slip resistance has improved for many tile choices. Rubber flooring is an excellent non-slip option, while Vinyl is ideal for creating a softer surface. For best results, consider adding additional thin rubber bath mats wherever water might accumulate, such as near the sink and shower/tub to help prevent falls.

Grab Bars

Whatever a person’s age, it makes sense to proceed with caution in a wet and slippery environment, especially when moving about in the bathroom. This is where grab bars can make a difference for your aging-in-place bathroom remodel. Install grab bars to assist you when you get up and down from the toilet and get in and out of the shower and/or bathtub. Adding grab bars doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice appearances, though. Unlike stark, institutional metal bars that you see installed in bathrooms at medical facilities, you can find home grab bars in a range of colors and styles to nicely compliment your bathroom design.

Lights

There are two primary considerations to keep in mind for lighting when upgrading your bathroom. Lighting must be abundant and adequate so you can see clearly, avoiding accidents; this is especially important since our eyesight tends to worsen with age. The lights must also be easy to access when it comes time to change them. Ideally, you’ll want multiple light sources, so if one bulb goes out, you’ll still have plenty of light until you change it. Another suggestion is to switch to eco-friendly LED bulbs that can last for years before burning out.

You also may want to consider adding lights powered by batteries, avoiding the hassle of rewiring the bathroom and giving you a great deal of flexibility for where you place them. Want a light right next to the toilet, or above a towel rack? No problem! Individuals with mobility issues can make the bathroom even safer by installing some motion sensors to switch lights on and off automatically when you enter and leave.

Sink

Whether you are recovering from an injury or are experiencing aches and pains such as from arthritis, it makes sense to switch out clunky, uncomfortable knobs to handles, which are much easier to manage. You can also install a foot-operated faucet, allowing hands-free control. As is the case with bathroom cabinets, you may need to lower the bathroom sink to accommodate a person sitting in a wheelchair. You can reduce the chance of injury from hot water by installing scald-prevention devices at the shower/tub and sink.

Every aspect of the bathroom should be evaluated for potential slip and fall problems. For example, choose rounded edges for the bathroom counter, to lessen the chances of injuries caused by falls.

Toilet

To make it easier to use the toilet, it’s a good idea to replace the original with a new, higher unit that is easier to sit on and stand up from. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of installing a taller seat. People with mobility issues can add a bidet, making personal hygiene all the more convenient.

Upgrading Your Home With Universal Design for Aging-in-Place

There are some important considerations to keep in mind when preparing a bathroom remodel for homeowners who want to harness the principles of universal design to accommodate issues such as disability and aging-in-place. An excellent way to start is by signing up for a free home remodeling seminar. Homeowners can stay on top of the latest design ideas by checking out our remodeling portfolio. And once you have a better idea of what you need for your bathroom remodel, you’ll want to speak with one of our expert designers. Give us a call at 765.838.1644 today.

 

What You Should Know Before Remodeling Your Bathroom

Although a more closely-knit space, bathrooms are one of the most important rooms in your home. As the saying goes, “good things come in small packages.” If you are considering a bathroom remodel, an affordable, stylish and functional design can make all the difference in your long-term comfort and use of your space.

Follow these helpful tips to ensure your bathroom renovation stands the test of time:

Determine How You and Your Family Uses the Bathroom

Your bathroom is a personal space, unlike any other room in your home. You should take some time to consider how you use your bathroom first. You may be someone that uses their bathroom to quickly shower, shave, brush their teeth and go. Or, you may be like other people who consider their bathroom like an oasis—a place to relax, unwind, light candles and reinvigorate themselves.

Regardless of how you use your bathroom, be sure to get input from all members of your household that use it. How many people use the tub or shower at one time? Do you need more private space for the toilet? How are you currently using the space and will your needs change as you get older?

Perhaps your bathroom is primarily used for your children. If that is the case, you may consider keeping your bathtub, rather than replacing it with a shower. For improved, functional space, you may want to consider building a bank of cabinets for each child to store their personal items.

Is your bathroom particularly cold in the morning chilling you to the bone? You may want to consider heated flooring, or installing a modern towel warmer.

While it is important to plan for all of the functional necessities of your new bathroom, you will also want to take some time to dream big.  Have you always wanted a spa-like bathroom with rain-style showerheads, a no shower enclosure, or bench seating? Or have you coveted the idea of a separate vanity to do your hair and make-up?  Flush out your list of requirements (no pun intended), separating “nice-to-haves” from “must haves” before establishing a budget. Then, value-engineer back, making choices on what features you need and what you can afford.

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Budget Considerations

Speaking of budget, most people have no idea how much a bathroom remodel costs, and, rightly so. There are many variables that have to be considered when planning for one.  Regardless of your budget, size or style requirements, most bathroom remodels fall under these three categories:

Cosmetic Remodel

In most cases, a cosmetic remodel is going to be the most-cost effective approach.  It involves changing certain elements of the bathroom without affecting the original footprint of the space. Essentially, you are giving the bathroom a “refresh” by updating amenities like the sink, fixtures, cabinet hardware, paint, mirrors and lighting. This type of remodel can usually be done in a short amount of time and with little disruption to your life.

Remove and Replace Remodel

This is your mid-range option that requires more labor and materials. Everything in the bathroom is replaced (toilet, sink, shower, flooring, lighting, cabinets, etc.) but every component goes back exactly where it was originally—the footprint of the bathroom remains unchanged. This usually involves removing drywall down to the studs, particularly if there are signs of mold or leakage. With a Remove and Replace remodel, you will end up with a completely new bathroom with minimal disruption to any other area of your home. 

Custom Remodel

The custom remodel is where your “dream list” comes into play. The sky is the limit. You have an opportunity to build your bathroom from scratch customizing the space to meet your needs exactly, limited only by budget. A custom remodel is perfect for someone with a smaller bathroom that needs a lot more space; or a bathroom with a poor original design that is in need of a more functional or visually pleasing design. This renovation option is more time consuming and usually involves renovation in more than one room in your house to accommodate the added space.

In case you’re having a hard time deciding which remodel is right for you, a qualified design/build remodeler like Riverside Construction can guide you through this process and help you determine which option best fits your lifestyle needs and your budget. Please contact us if you think we can help.

 

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Design Style and Functionality

Aw, now the fun begins…starting the process of thinking about what you want your bathroom to look and feel like. As you consider paint colors, tile choices, vanities and fixtures, you can start with one design item that you want to feature in your bathroom and design around it; or piece several design elements together to create your final bathroom design. There are plenty of online resources, such as Pinterest and Houzz, which make this process easy, giving you a multitude of bathroom design options to explore.  

As you narrow your choices, you will not only want to consider who will use your bathroom and how, but how your newly designed bathroom flows with the rest of your home. Consistency is key. You don’t want to add a rustic, farm-style bathroom to a 1950’s-era brick ranch home, for example. Choose from fixtures that provide a variety of style, material and color choices that match the existing design of your home.

 

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Lighting is Key

Adequate lighting is important to have throughout your home, but in the bathroom it is essential. As the bathroom increasingly becomes a place to recharge and relax, lighting requires an extra thought. When it’s done right, the payoff is great. And, you can never go wrong installing sufficient and luxurious bathroom lightingConsider these three key areas to improve lighting in your bathroom remodel:

Vanity Lighting

Top on the priority list is making sure you have the right lighting above the vanity, used for illuminating your head and face. A common mistake people make is installing recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror, which cast shadows on the face. This makes daily grooming rituals, like shaving and makeup application, more difficult. Instead, vertical fixtures or sconces should be mounted on either side of the mirror to help cast an even light across the face.
Unfortunately, this is not always possible given vanity mirror size and positioning constraints. A Riverside design consultant can help you determine the best lighting placement for you.

Shower/Tub

The shower or tub is often the darkest area of the bathroom, and may require secondary task lighting. If the shower has a clear, glass door, a dedicated fixture may not be necessary. Otherwise there are plenty of moisture resistant recessed lighting options to choose from.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting serves as a substitute for natural light. You can consider a surface-mounted ceiling light, a pendant lamp or even a chandelier. Other options include “cove lighting”, which are rope lights hidden behind a molding dropped several inches below ceiling height – adding a soft glow around the room’s perimeter. Another option is adding a dimmer switch to adjust the mood in your bathroom.

 

Ventilation

Do you love taking long, hot, steamy showers? Did you know that you could be causing irreparable damage to your bathroom? Without proper ventilation, all of that humidity and moisture built-up in your bathroom creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can damage the drywall, flooring, wood framing and even your cabinets.

Thankfully, with proper ventilation, you can enjoy your hot, steamy showers and ensure your bathroom remodel lasts for many years to come. An adequate bathroom exhaust ventilation fan does just the trick. It removes excess moisture, odors and even mold spores that can lead to health problems. Before choosing a ventilation fan, make sure it is large enough to accommodate the size of your bathroom. There are also great fan options that include features like humidity sensors, automatic timers and built-in nightlights.

 

Think Long Term (Universal Design)

Once you decide to remodel your bathroom, it is important to maximize your investment by remodeling with your future in mind. Consider the principles of universal design, which is the design and composition of an environment that can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.  

Whether you are planning to live out your retirement in your home, or eventually sell it, you’ll want to consider universal design principles when remodeling your bathroom. Grab bars, wider doorways, shower seating and non-slip flooring will go a long way towards maximizing your investment.

 

Efficient Use of Space

If you’re like most homeowners, you never have enough storage space. When you’re planning a bathroom remodel, it is a perfect time to design plenty of added storage into your new cabinetry, shelving and even custom nooks.

If your bathroom footprint will remain the same, there are many creative ways to squeeze a little extra storage out of your existing space.

For example, while a pedestal sink may speak to your design sensibilities, choosing a vanity instead provides you with plenty of extra storage.  Adding niches and shelves in the shower create space for your toiletries, while keeping items off of the floor; and installing a medicine cabinet is an easy way to keep beauty supplies off of your countertop.  

For questions about remodeling a bathroom in your home, contact Riverside Construction today!

Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.

We also schedule complimentary bathroom remodeling seminars regularly each month. Let us know your interest in attending by signing up today.

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