416 days — that’s the amount of time the average adult spends in the bathroom during their lifetime. That equals one year, one month, and 21 days. Whether you're showering, brushing your teeth, doing your hair, or using the toilet, your bathroom is a place with which you’ll become well acquainted.
When building a house, the builder often constructs the bathroom to meet the general expectations of a wide range of homeowners. This has resulted in a “one-size-fits-all” approach to bathroom design. However, the truth is that one size does not fit every homeowner’s unique needs and stylistic preferences. As a place where you’ll spend over a year of your life, your bathroom should be specifically built to meet the uniqueness of your lifestyle.
Our team at Lamont Bros. works with clients across the Portland Metro Area to design and build custom home remodels. As one of the most popular types of projects we see, bathroom remodeling is a fantastic way to improve the style, value, and functionality of your home. If you’re on a mission to learn more about the process of remodeling a bathroom, this is the place for you.
Welcome to our Ultimate Bathroom Remodel Guide. Here, we’ll cover everything you as a homeowner need to know about bathroom remodeling, including costs, design, features, and process. You’ll also be able to access other bathroom remodeling resources on our website from this page. Feel free to use the table of contents to skip to the section that addresses your specific questions.
Why Remodel Your Bathroom?
Your reason for remodeling your bathroom might be different from other homeowners. Whatever your reasoning may be, it’s important to identify that motivation for remodeling early on. It will affect nearly every aspect of your project. Here are a few common reasons people choose to remodel their bathroom:
Improve design & functionality
Oftentimes, one of the greatest motivators for people remodeling their bathroom is that it doesn’t work the way they want it to. There’s a problem with the way their bathroom was designed, and they want it fixed.
Maybe the toilet blocks the door from opening all the way. Or it could be that the vanity was placed too close to the shower and has begun to show signs of water damage. Perhaps your bathroom even commits the greatest design sin of all — having carpet. Whatever the case, poor bathroom design can have a negative effect on the way you use your bathroom.
Often, re-designing a bathroom can be a challenging task to do correctly on your own. You must be sure that you don’t create additional design flaws by solving the current ones. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by working with a professional designer.
A designer brings years of experience and expertise to your remodel. They can help you identify the root cause of issues in your bathroom’s design and find creative solutions. Better yet, you won’t have to worry about those solutions creating other problems in the design.
Care for your personal needs
No one is going to interact with their bathroom the same way. Because different people have different routines, habits, and personal care needs, their bathrooms should look different, too.
A young family might want a bathroom with a large bathtub so they can bathe the kids all at once. In contrast, an elderly person with limited mobility might opt for a larger shower with a bench and have no tub at all. A household with teenage children might need a bathroom with a separate water closet for the toilet and shower. That way, one kid can shower or use the restroom while others get ready at the sink.
How your lifestyle translates to an effective bathroom design is another tricky topic to navigate. You might be able to easily identify your own needs and expectations, but how to effectively design a bathroom around those needs is a different story.
Fortunately, this is where having a professional designer on your team can add tremendous value to your remodel. The skill set of an interior designer is uniquely qualified to create a space for you that complements and enriches the way you live. They can listen to you describe your personal needs and expectations and then translate that information into a bathroom design tailored specifically to you.
Increase home value
The greatest value of a custom bathroom remodel is in the way it enriches the quality of your life. It’s in the experience that you get every time you step into a space that is uniquely designed for you. However, this isn’t the only value that a custom bathroom remodel adds to your life.
When considering a bathroom renovation, many homeowners want to justify the decision based on its monetary value. They want to make sure that a remodel adds value to their home. In most cases, remodeling is a great way to increase your home’s value. The trick is to be patient and allow the investment time to grow.
According to Remodeling Magazine, a bathroom remodel adds about 55% - 65% of its price back into the home’s value immediately upon completion. What does this mean? Well, it means that if you’re hoping to remodel your bathroom and then sell your home to make quick cash, it’s not going to happen. However, if you plan to remodel your bathroom and continue living in your home, a remodel can actually turn a profit when given enough time.
This is because homes increase in value by an average of 7% per year. If you remodel your bathroom and immediately add value to the home, that added value will also grow along with the house.
Let’s say you have a home worth $600,000. You remodel your bathroom for $65,000. Immediately, you make 65% back in added value to the home, or $42,250. After 10 years at 7% growth, the original value of the home would now be worth $1,180,000 for a total gain of $387,000.
Now, factor in the value added by the bathroom remodel. After 10 years, the remodel alone adds $83,000 in additional value to the home, bringing the total home value to $1,263,000. Subtracting the initial cost means that a $65,000 remodel would profit $18,000 after 10 years.
So, if you plan to live in your home for a long time, remodeling is a great way to add to your home’s value while also investing in your quality of life.At Lamont Bros., our team uses a proprietary Remodel Investment Calculator to help homeowners determine how a remodel might affect their home’s value over time. Try plugging in your own home’s value to compare side by side what your home would be worth with and without a remodel.
$65,000 bathroom remodel value after 10 years
Update Style & Visual Aesthetics
Maybe your bathroom works perfectly fine the way it is. The issue is that you don’t like the way it looks. Whether it’s outdated, boring, or just doesn’t reflect your style the way you wish, aesthetics do matter. It’s your bathroom — you’re allowed to want it to look a certain way.
At Lamont Bros., we remodel dozens of bathrooms every year. From our experience, we can tell you that some bathrooms really just need a makeover. Outdated styles coupled with years of wear and tear can do a lot to bring down a bathroom’s appearance. Even if they still work great, bathrooms like these aren’t the kind that makes a homeowner smile every time they walk in.
The good news is that it’s way easier to change a bathroom’s surface appearance than it is to change its layout. Additionally, cosmetic upgrades often have the most direct impact on home value. So, if you’re looking for a way to justify upgrading your bathroom’s appearance without feeling vain, just call it an investment in your home.
Most popular interior design trends fit under what experts call Transitional Style, which is a mix of both classic and contemporary influences. It couples the warmth and comfort associated with more traditional styles with the cleanliness and simplicity of modern designs.
If you’re looking to bring your bathroom into the 21st Century while still maintaining a unique sense of “you” in the design, working with a designer is yet again a great solution. A designer can advise you on how to update your bathroom’s style in a way that adheres to your personal design preference while also adhering to the best practices of interior design.
Types of Bathroom Remodels
Given that there are many different reasons people have for choosing to remodel their bathroom, there are also different ways to go about it. Each type of bathroom remodel accomplishes different goals. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your bathroom remodel, one may work better than another. You can read about the main types of bathroom remodels below.
If the purpose of the remodel is to update the visual appearance of your bathroom while sticking to a strict budget, a cosmetic refresh is a good option for you. A cosmetic refresh updates the finished surfaces such as countertops, plumbing fixtures, and flooring. It won’t change the layout or any of the major components including the toilet, shower, vanity, or bathtub.
In a cosmetic refresh, the goal is to improve the appearance of your bathroom by making several small, manageable changes. Keep in mind that this approach will not work to solve any major design flaws.
Common features of a cosmetic bathroom refresh may include:
- Re-finished vanity
- Fresh paint
- Updated countertops
- New plumbing fixtures
- New flooring
If your bathroom needs more attention than a simple cosmetic refresh, the next step up would be a pull-and-replace. Instead of only replacing the easy, simple surfaces in the bathroom, a pull-and-replace remodel replaces everything.
That’s right — the entire bathroom gets stripped down to bare walls and rebuilt with brand-new components. It’s important to note that, in a pull-and-replace remodel, nothing moves places. The shower, sink, and toilet all stay in exactly the same place. They might look different, but in terms of layout, nothing major changes.
If your bathroom is experiencing some minor design flaws, a pull-and-replace might be able to solve these problems. The question to ask is whether the design problems are product-related or layout-related. If it’s product-related, you can select a new product that functions better. For example, if the vanity takes up too much space in front of the toilet, you can opt for a vanity with different dimensions. However, if the issue is layout-related, a pull-and-replace remodel won’t solve that because it doesn’t alter the layout.
Here are a few features you might see in a pull-and-replace remodel:
- Updated vanity & countertops
- Fresh paint
- Replaced shower
- New bathtub
- Updated lighting fixtures
- New plumbing fixtures
- New Flooring
Full Custom Remodel
If a totally personalized bathroom is what you’re after, a full custom bathroom remodel is the way to go. These projects tend to be more extensive and offer a much wider range of design options than cosmetic refresh or pull-and-replace remodels.
In a full custom bathroom remodel, nothing is off limits — you can rearrange your layout, extend your bathroom, knock down walls, or even move the bathroom altogether. It’s all about designing a bathroom that fits perfectly to your needs. The opportunity to change the overall layout also lends itself well to solving any design issues, as well.
Full custom remodels are substantially more expensive, but many homeowners choose to go this route because of the freedom to design their bathroom however they wish.
Features commonly seen in a full custom remodel include:
- Total re-design of bathroom layout
- Major structural changes
- Updated vanity & countertops
- Fresh paint
- Custom shower
- New toilet
- Updated lighting fixtures
- New plumbing fixtures
- New flooring
Changing the bathrooms you already have is great, but what if you just need more of them? If you find yourself in the position of needing another bathroom in your home, what you need is a bathroom addition.
People choose to add a bathroom to their homes for any number of reasons. Some do it due to lifestyle changes, such as having children or becoming disabled. Others do it to improve their home’s layout by adding bathrooms to areas of the home where they need one. Still, others do it to increase the value of their property, especially in older homes that only have one bathroom.
This is hands-down the most complicated and expensive type of bathroom remodel. It will involve lots of design work and likely take a long time to construct, as well. Before committing to a bathroom addition project, there are a few things to consider.
Consider where in the home your new bathroom is going to go. Will you be adding square footage to the home to create the new bathroom, or will you be converting the current space in your home into one? If the latter, consider what space in your home makes the most sense to turn into a bathroom. A large closet or a small bedroom might work depending on the size of the bathroom you desire.
Plumbing is an extremely important part of your bathroom’s design. When adding a bathroom, you’ll save costs and construction time by building the new bathroom closer to existing water drainage and supply lines. The closer to the main sewer stack your new bathroom is, the easier it will be to build. You should also make sure your current sewer and supply lines can legally support another bathroom on the existing system.
As you develop the designs for your new bathroom, you should also begin to think about what features you want it to have. Do you want it to have a bathtub and a walk-in shower, a shower-tub combo, or neither? These features will directly influence the size and functionality of the bathroom, so it’s important to decide early on in the process.
Cost of a Bathroom Remodel
The cost of a bathroom remodel depends on several factors, including the size, type, and quality of materials used. At Lamont Bros., our average price for a bathroom remodel in 2021 was $61,000. However, average costs aren’t especially helpful because your remodel could be significantly less or more expensive. It all depends on what you want to accomplish.
It may be more helpful to consider the cost ranges for the different types of bathroom remodels:
Cosmetic Refresh: $35,000-$45,000
Full Custom Remodel: $65,000-$100,000+
Bathroom Addition: $150,000+
To better understand how different factors can affect the costs of a remodel, let’s take a look at sample budget breakdown of a bathroom remodel.
The total cost of a bathroom remodel covers both the design and construction of the project. In the chart below, separate budget items include labor and materials for each category.
Plumbing & Electrical — Any time you move something that uses water or electricity in your design, a specialized tradesman has to move the hookups for it. Plumbers and electricians are in high demand and charge accordingly.
Painting & Drywall — Making major layout changes often requires removing or reinstalling drywall. The process of patching, mudding, and texturing drywall is a process that requires skill and attention to detail.
Tile — Although the tiles themselves don’t usually cost much, the process of installing them does. Tile setting is all about precision and requires many hours to do correctly. You can read more about the cost of tile below.
Finish Work — This includes all of the detail work relating to the finished surfaces in your bathroom. Trim, mirrors, cabinet hardware, door and window casings, and any touch-up work fall into this category.
Cabinets & Countertops — Depending on what type of vanity you choose, your cabinet and countertop costs may vary. If it’s a simple mail-order set, the cost will be much lower than a custom-build vanity cabinet with quartz countertops.
General & Administrative — Any construction company you hire to remodel your home will have overhead expenses. The more value a contractor brings to the project (showroom, design services, project managementin-house carpenters, etc) the higher their G&A.
Demolition — In order to begin remodeling, the construction team must prepare the space. Demolition is more than just breaking things. It’s a complicated process that requires lots of planning and attention to small details.
Design — If you want a bathroom remodel that is uniquely suited to your needs, the best place to start is with a professional design. A skilled designer can translate your expectations onto a set of completed design plans.
Framing — When your bathroom remodel involves structural changes, your team may have to do some framing work. This usually includes adding or removing walls, but framing also comes into play when changing the size or location of doors and windows.
Cleanup — At the end of your remodel, it’s common for your remodel contractor to hire a professional cleaning service. This way, your remodeled bathroom is spotless and ready for you to use.
How to reduce the cost of your bathroom remodel
If your goal is to keep your remodel costs as low as possible, there are a few steps you can take to avoid big expenses. Be advised, some of these options may limit what design features are available to you.
Prioritize your needs over your wants
When it comes to narrowing down a budget, one of the most effective methods is to focus on your needs. These are the things in your bathroom remodel that have to change. Your wants are the things that would be nice, but you can ultimately live without them.
Consider what in your current bathroom can stay the same. Instead of moving your sink, toilet, and shower, can you get away with just moving one or two? Instead of replacing the bathtub you never use, might it make sense to get rid of your bathtub altogether?
Another thing to think about is the cost difference between custom and mass-manufactured products. Of course, having something custom-made for your bathroom adds significantly to the “wow factor.” However, anything that has to be made to measure is going to cost a lot more. To save money, opt for standard-sized, pre-made features when you can. Vanities, shower inserts, shower doors, and windows all fall into this category.
Hire a professional designer
Wait, hiring somebody instead of doing it yourself can save you money? When it comes to designing a bathroom remodel, absolutely. Interior designers are exceptionally good at value engineering. If you want to save money when your remodel starts construction, you’ll want those designs to be airtight.
The benefit of working with a designer when value engineering a remodel is that they have a strong understanding of how designs and project costs interact with each other. If you want to reduce the cost of your remodel, your designer can help you identify practical, common-sense methods of achieving that by changing the design of the remodel.
What can make a bathroom remodel more expensive?
On the flip side, there are certain design choices that can dramatically increase the cost of your bathroom remodel. If you’re looking to keep your costs low, here are a few things to avoid.
Few design features will put a bigger dent in your remodel budget than tile will. There’s a reason it gets its own category in the cost breakdown above — tile costs a lot of money.
Be that as it may, tile also has a lot of good qualities, too. It’s durable, easy to clean, waterproof, and looks amazing when properly installed. The challenge is that it takes a lot of material and labor costs to install correctly. Because of this, avoiding tile can save you 10%-15% on the total price of your remodel.
The more plumbing work that needs to be done on your bathroom remodel, the more expensive it will be. Plumbers are in high demand and charge by the hour.
Sewer and drainage lines are the most difficult plumbing systems to move around. Supply lines aren’t as much, but can still hurt your bottom line with enough changes. Fortunately, there’s a very easy way to avoid incurring astronomical plumbing costs: don’t move plumbing features.
This goes for your sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub. Any time you move any of these, both supply and drainage lines have to be re-routed. Avoid making these changes, and it can save you 20%-25%.
Are luxury designer features in a remodeled bathroom cool? Yes. Do they cost 10 times as much as their entry-level counterparts? Also yes.
For homeowners who are willing to pay thousands for internationally recognized designer branded products, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. But for homeowners who care more about saving their money, you might want to forget about the $5,000 smart toilet with gold trim.
The truth is that while luxury fixtures can be visually stunning and made from high-quality material, there are usually more budget-friendly options that will function the same way. If achieving a high-end visual style while still maintaining a budget is important to you, a good remodel designer can help you identify products that balance quality, visual appeal, and affordability.
Bathroom Remodel Contractors
If you want your bathroom remodel done correctly, you have to hire the right professional to do it. The scope and complexity of the project have a direct impact on who is best suited for the job. Here are a few examples of common contractors for bathroom remodeling.
An owner/operator is a self-employed construction professional who both manages the business and performs a large portion of the work. In some cases, they may hire out some of the more specialized tasks to a subcontractor. Owner/operators tend to have a wide range of construction skills and are well-suited for small-scale projects.
If you hire an owner/operator, keep in mind that they typically won’t offer any design services, so you’ll be on your own for the design. You should also expect to not fully know how your remodel will look until it is complete. Since there is a flexible scope, this lends itself well to a design-as-you-go approach.
During construction, the owner/operator will be likely working on multiple jobs at the same time. There could be times when yours is just waiting for them, and since they are the only ones working, your project could take longer.
Sometimes an owner-operator is the best fit, especially if you are looking for an inexpensive option. They tend to have less overhead and they spend less time writing scopes of work, ordering materials, planning, and coordinating the project. As the homeowner, you will be expected to provide some of the materials yourself. If you prefer to be very involved in the project and do some of the management this approach could be a great fit for you.
Economy Bathroom Showroom
You’ve probably seen advertisements for bathroom remodel showroom that promises unbeatably low prices. It’s true that these showrooms do offer some great deals. Many homeowners also appreciate having the opportunity to see products in person before purchasing them.
Economy-level retailers are great if you’re looking for a fast, inexpensive way to refresh your bathroom. They focus primarily on vanities, countertops, epoxy coating on existing surfaces, and manufactured shower/tub inserts. Most even offer some form of in-house installation services.
However, it’s worth noting that the material and installation tend to be of lower quality due to the fast pace and high volume of sales. Economy showroom remodelers also have very limited customization options and are primarily focused on providing low-cost products at the expense of quality.
Big Box Stores
For homeowners who want to try remodeling their bathroom themselves, one popular option is to use the local Home Depot or Lowe’s. This option typically involves a lot of back-and-forth between the home and the store, and a lot of trial and error. If you’d rather just do the shopping and leave the work to someone else, most big-name building supply stores offer installation services through partnerships with local contractors.
Depending on the scope and complexity of your planned remodel, going this route may or may not be a good idea. If you’re just updating a few finishes, such as paint, flooring, or finishes, you can find all of those things at the store and probably install them correctly. However, an extensive, complicated remodel involves way more than just buying the right items. In this case, hiring a professional might be a better option. The challenge when working with store-provided contractors is that the homeowner often has to play the middleman between the two.
While using your local big box store to remodel might make sense, it’s important to identify whether you have the time and energy to devote to a project like this. Even if you're not doing the work yourself, you'll still have to coordinate between the store and the contractors. It’s also worth noting that the quality of products and installation falls somewhere between economy showrooms and established remodeling contractors. Beyond that, you’ll also find yourself limited in terms of design options, as there are very few customization options available when working through a big box store.
Established Remodeling Contractor
Capable of overseeing small and large-scale projects, a general contractor tends to be a more popular option for home remodeling. Unlike an owner/operator, an established general contractor typically has a handful of employees. They may also hire outside subcontractors to do more specialized work.
The benefit of a working general contractor is that they can use their network of connections to find qualified subcontractors to work on your bathroom remodel. It saves you the trouble of having to find them yourself.
However, general contractors are still not designers. So if you hire one to do your bathroom remodel, you’ll also need to hire a separate designer to create plans for the project. This is where things get complicated. Having your design and construction teams separate means you'll have to bridge the gap between the two.
When you work with a design-build firm, your designer and construction crew are all part of the same team working toward the same goal: your remodel’s completion. As a result, design-build firms excel in remodel projects that involve coordination between the design and construction teams.
Even in cases like cosmetic refresh remodels where design work isn’t necessary, it’s still beneficial to have designs that function as a single source of truth for the project. Working with a design-build firm, you’ll get to see the designs beforehand, allowing you to fine-tune any details before moving to construction.
A design-build firm is also the best option to keep you in charge of the cost of your remodel. Because most design-build firms use fixed-price contracts, you’ll know exactly how much your remodel will cost before construction begins.
Ultimately, with a design-build firm you have one entity who you entrust with your design experience, your budget and the final remodel. Using this model, you can focus on offering input to enhance your remodel's design rather than be the middleman between all involved parties.
Ultra High-End Contractors
Sometimes, homeowners want their bathroom remodeled by the best of the best — the top tier of remodeling contractors available. These designers, architects, and craftsmen offer the greatest quality, boldest designs, and highest prices in the business.
Most of the homeowners that use these services have their own household staff to manage many aspects of the project. The clients only involve themselves where they consider it essential.
While most of these designers and artisans live in tier-one cities, there are some projects like this that get completed in the Portland Metro area. Typically in these projects, time and money are not major considerations.
How to Evaluate Your Contractor Options
The best way to find a good contractor is to contact several different remodelers in your area and narrow down the options until you find one that aligns best with your vision and values. As you consider potential contractors for your bathroom remodel, it’s important to know which questions to ask in order to select the best fit. Here are a few things to look for in a contractor:
1. The contractor understands your goals and can help you accomplish them
The contractor understands the challenges you are experiencing in your bathroom and how to solve them. You trust their personnel to work in your home.
The contractor seems to mostly understand the issues in your bathroom and has a pretty good idea of how to solve them.
You don’t believe the contractor understands your needs. You do not trust the contractor or feel safe having them in your home.
2. The contractor is a good fit for your project
3. You are on board and excited about the contractor’s process
The contractor’s process makes sense to you. You feel like you are in control of the project and can make decisions for your home. You are excited to work with the contractor.
The process mostly makes sense, and you’re willing to work with it. You feel somewhat limited by the process, but still able to make the decisions that matter.
You fundamentally disagree with the contractor’s approach and don’t like their process. You fear that the contractor will take control of your project and leave you out of decisions.
4. The contractor is a strong balance between quality, process, and cost.
The contractor’s past work showcases excellent quality. Their process is designed for a great client experience. You trust that your money will be well spent remodeling your bathroom with them.
n terms of quality, process, and cost, the contractor is stronger in one of the three, but still does the other two relatively well. You are still confident that the remodel project will be somewhat balanced.
The contractor is clearly prioritizing either quality, process, or cost at the expense of the other two. You are concerned that the remodel's value will be too heavily focused on one specific strength.
Signs your Contractor is or isn't a Good Fit
Here are a few indicators that a contractor may or may not be a good fit. Watch for these things when considering your contractor options:
- Fixed-price contracts — The total cost of the project is stated up front.
- Licensed, bonded & insured — The contractor can legally perform the work.
- Positive online reviews — The most useful contractor reviews are found on Houzz and Google.
- Takes ownership of failures — The contractor responds respectfully to any negative reviews.
- Client Testimonials — Real people sharing real experiences matters.
- Longer than minimum warranty — Shows the contractor will stand behind their work.
- Cost-plus contracts — Can end up costing much more than originally expected.
- Unlicensed contractors — may not have the skills or certifications to do the job.
- Murky CCB certification — Missing or multiple CCB numbers indicate dishonesty.
- Extremely low bids — Estimates that seem “too good to be true,” usually are.
- Too eager to do the work — Good people are often busy and don’t need your project to survive.
Financing A Bathroom Remodel
Deciding how to finance your bathroom remodel can be a difficult decision. On one hand, a bathroom remodel can be a small enough project that it might make sense to just pay cash if you have it. On the other hand, a major primary bathroom renovation can cost over $150,000, a price that could definitely justify financing. Below is a breakdown of the options you might be able to use.
Home Equity Financing
If you purchased your house more than two years ago, it probably has grown in value since then. When your home is worth more than what you owe on it, congratulations — that’s equity. You can borrow against this equity for renovations, and there are many ways to do it.
Home Equity Loan
A home equity loan is a second mortgage that borrows against the home’s equity. When you take out a home equity loan, you can usually get a lump sum of up to 80% of the equity in your home. After this, you pay a regular monthly payment on the loan in addition to the payment on your first mortgage. The repayment plan for a home equity loan is generally between 5 and 30 years.
Alternatively, a home equity line of credit functions in much the same ways as a home equity loan, with one key difference. Instead of getting a lump sum, your home equity functions like a credit card. During an initial “draw period,” you take out what you need as you need it and make small payments on the amount borrowed. Once again, you can borrow up to 80% of your home’s equity. A standard draw period lasts approximately 10 years. After this, you enter your “repayment period,” in which you start making larger payments to pay off the loan.
Many people choose to remodel their home using an equity loan because it gives them a way to access their home’s equity without completely refinancing it. This can be a great way to remodel during a time when interest rates are high, especially if you managed to snag a lower interest rate when you bought the home.
But what happens if you want to combine your first mortgage with a home equity loan so you only have to make one payment? In that case, you’d do a cash-out refinance. This is when you refinance your mortgage for the home’s current value. Essentially, it’s like a home equity loan, but your home’s original mortgage and the home equity loan are rolled into one mortgage instead of two. Depending on the program, you can borrow up to 90% of what your home is worth.
A cash-out refinance usually makes the most sense when you want to access your home’s equity and refinance your home. Most people do this to get a better interest rate when rates are low. However, when interest rates are high, it’s better to just get a second mortgage and pay a higher interest rate on that. That way, you don’t raise the interest rate of your first mortgage along with it.
Private Renovation Loan
Our team at Lamont Bros. also works frequently with local lenders to help homeowners find more personalized loan options. Local bank loans are not federally-backed and as a result, have fewer regulations. They also tend to approve funding faster and be more lenient with inspection requirements. Additionally, local bank loans can be used on a secondary residence, rental property, or ADU, whereas a federal loan may only be used on a primary residence.
Unsecured Renovation Loan
In some cases, homeowners may be able to fund their remodel with an unsecured loan. These types of loans are unique in that you do not borrow against any collateral. As a result, unsecured loans are limited to a maximum borrowable amount and have higher interest rates.
EnerBank offers one of the most popular unsecured renovation loans for home remodels. The maximum amount for these loans is $75,000 at an interest rate of 0% for 12 months or 5-8% for 5 years.
As rates for traditional mortgage rates continue to rise, many people are turning towards unsecured loans, as the interest rates can sometimes be lower. However, it is worth noting that the loan term is a maximum of five years. For this reason, unsecured loans are good options for homeowners who want to remodel now but expect an investment to pay off in the near future.
Bathroom Design Layouts
There are four main features that contribute to the design of a bathroom — the sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub. When designing a bathroom remodel, it’s crucial to think about how each of these elements will interact with the rest.
Types of Bathrooms
The first thing to consider when designing a bathroom remodel is what type of bathroom you want. There are three common types of bathrooms, defined by which features they include. You’re probably familiar with the concept of a full bathroom vs. a half bathroom. Different bathrooms have different purposes and will be used in different ways. To that end, you may want to consider whether you want to convert a bathroom to a different type of bathroom.
A half bathroom contains two of the four main features of a bathroom — a sink and a toilet. Also commonly called “powder bathrooms,” a half bathroom takes up very little space. They are often found in areas of the home where guests are most likely to be. This is typically on the first level near the entryway or living room.
Due to their small size and limited functionality, half-bathrooms are best for homeowners who enjoy entertaining guests and want a separate bathroom for guests to use.
The middle ground between a half and full bathroom, a ¾ bathroom typically has a sink, toilet, and shower, but no bathtub. Many people don’t even differentiate between a ¾ and full bathroom because both have at least some form of bathing capability. However, some municipalities — including the City of Portland — do make the distinction between the two.
A ¾ bathroom offers a good balance between space and functionality. It doesn’t take up as much room as a full bath, but it still can be used in much the same way. As a result, ¾ bathrooms are great for teenage children and overnight guests.
As the name implies, a full bathroom contains all four major elements of a bathroom: sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub. The added functionality of a bathtub often carries a more luxurious feel, but can also be used for practical purposes like bathing younger children or pets.
You’ll usually find a full bathroom in one of two places — either as a primary bathroom or as a kids’ bathroom. Many full bathrooms use a shower-tub combo, which combines the two into one unit. This saves on space while still maintaining the full bathroom designation.
Bathroom Design Principles
Once you have an idea of what type of bathroom your remodel will be, then comes the task of designing the layout. This determines where each feature will be located within the bathroom. There are a few different methods of designing a bathroom layout.
Priority Placement Method
A common rule when designing a bathroom is to arrange the different amenities based on how frequently they will be used. The more often you expect to use it, the closer to the door it should be.
This means that the sink should come first on the priority list, because it gets used the most. People use the bathroom sink to wash up before meal time, after using the restroom, and to get ready for the day.
After the sink, you’ll want to prioritize the toilet. Your toilet will likely see less use than the sink, but more use than the shower. As a result, it usually goes in between the two. You’ll often see toilets placed directly next to the sink vanity.
Wet Zone / Dry Zone Method
Many bathroom designers like to separate the bathroom into a wet zone and a dry zone. This approach is based on the principle that a bathroom has two main purposes — bathing and using the toilet.
The dry zone contains the toilet and sink vanity. It’s the area of the bathroom where a user goes and expects to stay dry. Hand washing, getting ready for the day, and using the toilet all happen in the dry zone.
Your shower and bathtub should go in the wet zone, where there is a higher volume of water usage and the user is expected to get wet. This zone should be further from the door and contain towel racks and drying mats to prevent water from tracking into the dry zone.
Plumbing Efficiency Design
As previously mentioned in the costs section, plumbing can quickly drive up the price of your remodel. To save plumbing costs, you can use a plumbing efficiency design for your bathroom remodel.
The first step in designing a bathroom for plumbing efficiency is to identify where the main sewer stack is located. This is the large vertical drainage pipe that runs waste out of the home. Once you identify the wall where the main stack is located, you’ll want to design a bathroom in which all major components connect to that wall. So, your sink, toilet, and shower drain will all run into the same wall.
Using this system can save a lot in plumbing costs because it requires very short drainage and supply runs to each feature in the bathroom.
Selecting a Shower Design
Spatially and visually, the shower will make up a large portion of your bathroom’s design. You’ll also probably use it several times per week. As you design your bathroom remodel, consider how your shower can enhance the space’s visual appeal and comfort. A bathroom remodel is a great opportunity to decide what size, style, and systems you want your shower to feature.
Types of Shower Walls
The type of shower walls will have a significant impact on the design, longevity, durability, customization, and visual style of the shower. As you choose your shower walls consider those factors as well as the cost associated with each type.
Fiberglass Insert — $15,000 - $19,000
The most budget friendly option, a fiberglass insert is a pre-manufactured fiberglass enclosure. They are typically installed in one piece, although some fiberglass inserts made specifically for remodels come in multiple pieces.
Fiberglass insert showers often have built-in shelves and come in standard sizes. It’s common for homes to have fiberglass tub/shower combo inserts. Many homeowners looking to remodel their bathroom opt to convert their tub/shower combo into a walk-in shower.
- Easy to install
- Readily available
- Limited color and size options
- Prone to cracks and scrapes
- Visually uninteresting
Synthetic Shower Wall Panels — $18,000 - $23,000
An increasingly popular choice for remodeling, synthetic shower wall panels feature more customization options and better visual appeal than fiberglass at a more affordable price than tile or stone.
Made from a waterproof laminate slab, shower wall panels can imitate stone, wood, or concrete surfaces. However, these products require a shower floor pan made of a different material — these panels aren’t designed to hold weight.
- More visual appeal
- Good balance of cost and style
- No grout
- Requires a different shower pan
- May look fake up close
- Sizing limited by shower pan
Custom Tile Shower — $25,000 - $35,000
Timeless and traditional, it’s no surprise that tile showers are still the most popular choice for bathroom remodels. Tile also offers endless customization possibilities in terms of color, size, and laying patterns. A tile enclosure can fit any size space you want it to, making it a great option for large walk-in showers.
The disadvantage of tile is that it has high labor costs — the smaller the tile and more intricate the laying pattern, the higher the price. Additionally, traditional grout used to seal the space between tiles requires consistent maintenance in order to prevent leaks, which can damage your home’s structure.
Fortunately, some epoxy grout products, such as Laticrete Spectralock, require significantly little to no maintenance. However, epoxy grout can be 2-5 times more expensive than traditional grout.
- Highly customizable
- Many material and sizing options
- Strong visual appeal
- High labor and material costs
- Grout requires maintenance
- Takes longer to install
Slab Shower — $35,000 - $45,000
Stylish, stunning, and visually unparalleled, slab showers are an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking that “wow” factor for their bathroom remodel. A slab shower wall consists of an entire slab of natural stone or porcelain. It adds style and flair, often considered a focal element of the bathroom’s design. Unlike tile, slab showers have no grout lines, and as a result, require less maintenance.
The slabs themselves are expensive, bulky, and difficult to maneuver inside the home. They are also usually very heavy, making installation a challenging process that costs a lot of money. While some products, such as Dekton Slim, are lighter and maneuverable, this is the exception to the rule.
The slab walls must be cut to size prior to installation. The more cuts required, the more expensive the slab shower. For this reason, slab shower walls are not great options for showers with complex shapes.
- Strong visual appeal
- No grout lines
- Long lifespan
- Most expensive option
- Difficult to install
- Not good in complex spaces
Types of Shower Pans
In many cases, your shower will require a separate shower pan. This is a large sloped basin that occupies the floor of your shower and channels water toward the drain. There are different types of shower pans and it’s important to consider your options to decide which is best for you.
Fiberglass and Acrylic Shower Pans
Functional, durable, and inexpensive, these plastic-based shower pans are a good entry-level option. They only come in standard sizes and colors, so don’t expect much in terms of customizability.
- Low maintenance
- Limited color and shape
- Minimal visual appeal
Dekton Shower Tray
If you’re looking for something that carries a little more character, Dekton Shower Trays are a good mid-range cost option. It’s a composite engineered material that can be made to look like stone, concrete, or solid colors. A major benefit to Dekton is that it can be custom-cut to size, so you can have a custom-sized shower without being limited by your pan.
- More visual appeal
- Customizable sizing available
- Synthetic surface may appear fake
- Higher price range
- Longer lead times (shipped from Italy)
Cast Iron Shower Pan
Made of a solid iron core with scratch-resistant enamel on top, cast iron shower pans are some of the most durable, long-lasting options on the market. They’re very expensive and difficult to install, but easy to clean, last a lifetime, and require very little maintenance.
- Timeless, classic design
- Long lifespan
- Very expensive
- Only offered in standard sizes
Custom Tile Shower Base
When customization is your goal, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more customizable option than tile. Though the most expensive option due to labor and installation costs, tile can fit with nearly any design style and any space. Of course, tile also comes with the added maintenance challenges of grout.
- Very customizable
- Stylistic versatility
- Most expensive option
- Grout requires maintenance
Deciding if You Need a Bathtub
As bathtub popularity continues to wane in favor of showers, many homeowners wonder if their home needs a bathtub at all. And if so, what type? These decisions will have a huge impact on the space and function of your bathroom remodel.
Does my house need a bathtub?
If you find yourself never using your bathtub, it’s completely fair to wonder if you even need a bathtub at all. It’s your home, and its design should fit your needs. At the same time, you want to make sure you can sell your home at a reasonable price, someday.
Consider the Pros and Cons of Having a Bathtub
In some cases, having a bathtub in your home is good even if you don’t use it, yourself. Remember, a bathroom without a tub is considered a ¾ bath, not a full. This can affect the value of your home by 5-20%. A bathtub is also good for bathing kids and pets, and if you choose the right tub, you can greatly enhance the visual appeal of the bathroom, too.
On the other hand, bathtubs take up a lot of space — the average tub is 50% larger than a 38” x 38” shower insert. If you have a shower/tub combo, this can be a tripping hazard when stepping over the tub wall to get in the shower every day. Having a separate tub in the bathroom means more space to clean. Due to their shape, cleaning them can be a bit of a challenge.
Consider the Resale Value a Bathtub Might Add
The first thing to think about when deciding if you need a bathtub is how long you intend to stay in the home. If this is your forever home and you have no intention to sell, do whatever you want. Your home should serve your needs first and foremost — if you want to remove your bathtub to make additional space during a bathroom remodel, go for it.
However, if this is a home that you do eventually plan to sell, its need for a bathtub depends on the type of home it is. Condominiums and townhomes are generally designed for adult residents without young kids. Since the major benefit a bathtub provides is being able to easily bathe children, a bathtub isn’t necessary for these types of homes.
In a suburban single-family home, there’s a stronger argument to keep a tub. Chances are, a large portion of prospective buyers for this type of home will have young families who practically require a tub. Not having a bathtub in this type of home can be a significant road block in selling the home.
Decide Where in the Home Your Tub Should Go
As a general rule of thumb, a single-family home should have at least one bathtub. However, that doesn’t mean it needs to be in the primary bathroom.
If you're in the group of people who don't really need or want a tub in the home, consider putting it in a bathroom you won't use often. Since the biggest motivation for keeping a bathtub in the home is for kids to be able to use it, the best course of action is usually to put the tub in the kids’ bathroom.
Types of Bathtubs
After you’ve decided if your home needs a bathtub, then it’s up to you to choose what type of tub is best for your home. How frequently and in what way you plan to use the tub will determine which option will best serve your needs.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, fiberglass is a common material used in budget-tier bathroom features. Bathtubs are no exception. Fiberglass bathtubs are inexpensive and easy to manufacture. Because they only come in standard sizes, customization options are limited. Fiberglass bathtubs come in alcove, corner, and drop-in options, but not freestanding.
You’ll most often see fiberglass tubs as part of a tub/shower combo, but there are separate fiberglass tubs, as well. Fiberglass is more prone to staining, cracking, and scratching than other bathtub materials. During use, fiberglass does not retain heat as well as other options, so your bath water may cool faster.
- Least expensive option
- Tub/shower combos can save space
- Lightweight & easy to install
- Limited customization options
- Minimal design appeal
- Poor heat retention
With more design options than fiberglass, plastic-based acrylic offers greater design flexibility. It’s more common to see freestanding acrylic tubs, which is a popular design feature in current bathroom remodels. Acrylic is also stronger than fiberglass, but still may crack or scratch if abused. In addition, it offers much better heat retention.
Due to the process used in manufacturing acrylic tubs, they have a much wider range of customizable options including size, surface texture, and color. Given the wide range of design options, it can be difficult to accurately estimate the cost of an acrylic tub.
- Least expensive option
- Tub/shower combos can save space
- Lightweight & easy to install
- Limited customization options
- Minimal design appeal
- Poor heat retention
Porcelain-Enameled Steel Tubs
When you’re looking for something functional, long-lasting, and reasonably priced, a steel bathtub may be the right one for you. These bathtubs feature a steel core layer with an exterior layer of porcelain enamel. The result is a strong, highly scratch and stain-resistant surface.
These types of bathtubs are most commonly made as inserts rather than freestanding tubs and are limited to standard sizes. Though they have a strong outer layer, the steel is prone to cracking as it ages. It’s also a poor thermal insulator, and the heat retention is not much better than fiberglass.
- Very strong outer layer
- Higher quality materials
- Lasts longer than lower-tier options
- Prone to cracking over time
- Limited design customization
- Poor heat retention
Cast Iron Tubs
Largely agreed to be the top-tier option for bathtubs, cast iron tubs are the most expensive tub option. They offer great quality and incredibly long lifespans. Though more limited in design than acrylic, cast iron features many different design options including contemporary free-standing and classic claw-footed tubs.
Cast iron features the best heat retention qualities available. Not only does it retain the heat of the bathwater — it also evenly distributes the heat throughout the entire surface of the tub. The main challenge with cast iron is installation. A single bathtub can weigh over half a ton, so getting it into the home can be difficult, especially if it requires going up stairs.
- High-quality materials
- Lasts up to 70+ years
- Excellent heat retention
- Very expensive
- Heavy and difficult to install
Luxury Stone Composite Tubs
Made by combining ground-up stone with synthetic resins, stone composite bathtubs are making a splash in the luxury bathroom industry. By blending natural rock with a man-made binding agent, high-end bath manufacturers have created a product that offers the best of both worlds.
One such product is the Quarrycast Volcanic Limestone composite manufactured by Victoria and Albert. This material features competitive heat retention, extremely high durability, several design options, and is light and easy to install. Of course, these desirable qualities come at a price — Victoria + Albert's tubs can be double or even triple that of a standard cast iron tub.
- Quality material
- Designer styles
- Durable and long-lasting
- Good heat retention
- Easy to install
- Extremely expensive
Choosing a Vanity
The sink vanity in your bathroom plays a direct role in how the bathroom functions. After all, the sink is likely going to be the feature that sees the most use. When remodeling a bathroom, you should consider how that bathroom will be used and what type of vanity will best serve that purpose.
Pedestal/Wall Mount Sink
A pedestal or wall mount sink is a simple sink basin with no storage or countertop area. These types of sinks take up very little room and are therefore well-suited for bathrooms where space is extremely limited.
Pedestal or wall mount sinks work best in:
A half bathroom with limited storage needs, primarliy used by guests.
Featuring a sink basin mounted to a support frame, console sinks typically have an open shelf below the sink. Because it is exposed, this shelf is better for storing items in a “display” style, such as folded towels, rather than toiletries, but it can be used for temporarily storing personal items if you have overnight guests.
Console sinks works best in:
A ¾ bathroom for overnight guests that may require more storage for basic bathroom items.
This type of vanity consists of a sink mounted to a cabinet with doors and drawers. A vanity cabinet has more storage space at the expense of taking up more room. These vanities are great for storing toiletries, towels, and cleaning supplies for the long term.
Vanity cabinets work best in:
Full bathrooms that are used daily by at least one person for getting ready.
An extended cabinet with two sink basins, a double vanity takes up a lot of space. However, it offers a lot of storage and countertop area. This option offers enough room for multiple people to get ready at the same time.
Double vanities work best in:
A primary suite or kids’ bathroom where multiple people will be using the vanity at once.
Finding the Right Plumbing Fixtures
To help organize and sift through the many different options when it comes to plumbing fixtures, our team at Lamont Bros. uses a “Good, Better, Best” ranking system. This categorization method breaks down the options by material quality, design features, and customization options. When designing a bathroom remodel, the fixtures you need to consider are your faucet, toilet, and shower head.
Chances are, you’ll use the faucet more than any other plumbing fixture in your bathroom. Here are some options when selecting what type of faucet will best serve your bathroom needs.
Good: $100 - $500
Faucets in this category feature basic designs with one or two handles. Design options are limited and won't feature any special functions. Here, you’ll likely find entry-level materials including chrome-plated plastic, brass, or stainless steel. Good level faucets include products by Moen or Price Pfister.
Better: $800 - $1,200
More design styles become available in the “better” tier. This category also features higher quality finishes including brass, nickel, and matte black finishes. Some touchless faucets also fall into the better category. Common better-level faucet makers include Hansgrohe and Kohler.
The top-tier faucet category features designer fixtures with defined visual style and smart features including touchless flow and electronically controlled temperature. Gold and gunmetal also join the finish options. Rohl and Waterstone are both faucet makers that fall into the best tier.
There’s a lot more to toilets than most people think. Taking some effort to consider all of the options can make the difference between a toilet that works and a toilet that truly fits your needs.
Good: $400 - $800
Entry-level toilets feature the classic “toilet” design. It has a porcelain bowl, tank, and visible pipe curves at the bottom which can be difficult to clean. American Standard is one of the most popular manufacturers of mass-produced, good-level toilets in the USA.
Beter: $1,000 - $1,800
In the mid-tier category, you’ll find skirted pedestals which are more visually appealing and easier to clean. Tankless wall-mount toilets in this tier take up less space and have a more contemporary design. Toto is a popular manufacturer of better-level toilets.
Top-of-the-line smart toilets make up a bulk of the best category. Here, you’ll find products like the Kohler Veil, a $4,500 luxury fixture with a heated seat, built-in bidet, motorized lid, and self-cleaning capabilities. These toilets will ruin every other toilet for you.
Each category of shower heads features different levels of customization and control over water pressure and temperature. The more you care about fine-tuning your shower experience, the higher tier you can expect to land on.
Good: $100 - $500
This category of shower heads may feature a few different spray patterns, but not much in terms of additional options. Good-level shower heads may have plastic internal parts and offer stainless steel or chrome-plated plastic hardware. Moen and Delta both fit into this category.
Better: $800 - $1,200
The better-tier opens up more spray patterns, finishes, and design features, including rainhead showers and wall-sprayers. You can also select shower-heads with independent water pressure control valves in this category. Shower head manufacturers in this tier include Hansgrohe and Kohler.
Once you get into the best-level shower heads, customization is the name of the game. You can set up your shower with as many sprayers as you want. Nickel, bronze, and gold finishes are available in this category, as well as touchscreen-controlled digital thermostats.
Current Bathroom Design Trends
Want to design a bathroom remodel that’s uniquely you, but still maintain some universally popular design features? Here’s a list of current design trends that will improve the quality of your bathroom experience no matter who is using it.
If there’s one thing that motivates people to stay in bed in the morning, it’s the thought of having to get up and walk barefoot across cold tile to get in the shower. With heated tile floors, you no longer have to worry about cold feet.
A bathroom remodel is the perfect opportunity to add this luxury feature to your home. Since you’ll likely be replacing the floor anyway, your build team can take the chance to add heating elements underneath your flooring, making you walk from bedroom to shower a more enjoyable experience.
Though they’ve long been the norm in European countries, bidets are only now starting to gain widespread attention in the U.S. Considered a gentler, more ergonomic alternative to toilet paper, a bidet uses a jet of water to clean up after using the restroom. It’s an especially popular choice among older adults and people with mobility challenges.
Bidets come in many different forms. In Europe, it’s common for a bidet to have an entirely separate basin, which is often placed next to the toilet. Others are built into the toilet itself. One increasingly popular option is the bidet toilet seat, which can be easily installed onto any standard toilet by swapping out the old seat.
Have you ever put your towel in the dryer just so it would be warm when you stepped out of the shower? Imagine having a towel rack on your bathroom wall that does the same thing.
Electric towel warmers look a lot like normal towel racks, except they heat your towel and dry it out faster after use. For the unit itself, you can expect to pay around $500-$800. Installing the rack doesn’t take too much labor, but it does require a dedicated circuit, which could be expensive if your electric panel is a long distance from your bathroom.
Japanese Soaking Tubs
Want to include a bathtub in your remodel, but don’t think you have enough room? Maybe not for a standard 6-foot-long tub, but don’t give up quite yet. Many homeowners who find themselves strapped for space choose to go with a Japanese soaking tub.
Also called ofuro tubs, these more compact baths feature a built-in seat and are meant for sitting rather than reclining. As a result, they tend to have a smaller footprint and a greater depth, meaning users can soak in water that reaches up to their shoulders.
If you've ever wanted to combine a sauna with a shower, then a steam shower is the luxury bathroom feature for you. A steam shower is a sealed shower enclosure connected to a steam generator.
Steam showers are typically activated by a digital control panel. When the user wants steam, they can press a button to engage the steam generator. The generator boils a reservoir of water and provides a steady supply of steam to a vent in the shower wall.
Not only do steam showers add a sense of luxury to your bathroom, but they're also good for you. Evidence suggests that steam showers can benefit your skin, cardiovascular, and immune health.
Bathroom Remodel Process
Homeowners headed into the bathroom remodel process usually have a lot of questions. The thought of tearing your bathroom apart can be nerve-wracking, even when you know you’re getting a brand-new bathroom afterward. A bathroom remodel goes through several stages and can take many months from start to finish. During this time, you can expect a few changes and interruptions to your usual routine.
Timeline & Phases
From the moment you begin the process by contacting a designer, the typical bathroom remodel takes between 20-25 weeks to complete. When working with a design-build firm like Lamont Bros., the remodel process is broken into three separate stages: design, pre-construction, and construction.
During the design stage, your design team will guide you through the process of designing your new bathroom. They’ll help you establish your budget as well as your expectations for how your bathroom will look and function. The design phase usually lasts about 7-13 weeks. There are two phases in the design process:
Phase 1 - Design Concepts: The design concepts phase is the time for you to get all your ideas out on paper. Your design team will help you decide what design features, layouts, and aesthetics will work best for you and your bathroom. This typically takes about 2-5 weeks.
Phase 2 - Construction Drawings: During this phase, your design plan will take shape and solidify. By the end, you’ll know exactly how your bathroom remodel will look and what it will cost. Generally a 5-7 week phase, your design team will check and double-check every detail to make sure you get exactly what you want. You’ll get to see your complete architectural drawings and sign a construction contract before moving on to the next phase of the project.
You won’t have to do much during the 8-10 week pre-construction stage. During this time, your team will order all of the products for your remodel and pull the necessary permits. Before construction on your bathroom begins, you and your build team will hold a pre-construction meeting to discuss the details and timeline of your project’s build.
The actual construction of a bathroom remodel begins sometime between week 18-22. At this point, your design team will hand the project off to a dedicated build team, who will see your project through to completion. The design team will remain involved with the project to make sure it is built correctly, but your main point of contact will shift from the design team to the on-site builders. In total, this stage lasts between 3-6 weeks.
Phase 1 - Site Protection: To make sure your home remains clean and undamaged during the remodel, your team will spend a few days implementing a site protection plan. This may involve putting up plastic barriers, floor coverings, and air filters. This will usually take 1 day to complete.
Phase 2 - Demolition: To make room for a new bathroom, the old one needs to go. The demolition process takes careful planning and attention to detail to get the space prepared for new material to go in. While some homeowners prefer to do this themselves, we recommend leaving it up to a professional. Demolition usually takes about 1 day.
Phase 3 - Rough-in work: During this phase, the new bathroom will begin to take form. Framing, plumbing and electrical utilities go in first, followed by drywall and paint. This phase takes about 2-3 days, during which it may feel like your bathroom is making fast progress.
Phase 4 - Inspection: After the rough-in is completed, an inspector will come to your home to make sure everything is on track to meet building code. If you're working with a Field Issuance Remodel (FIR) certified contractor, this process should only take about 1 day.
Phase 5 - Finish Work & Close Out: Now it's time for the final push. This is where a lot of the detail work comes into play, so it may feel like things start to progress more slowly. Rest assured, there's a lot going on. Plumbing and lighting fixtures, tile work, and flooring will all go in during this phase. Once the bathroom is completed, your contractor may hire a professional cleaner to clean the space so it's spotless when you're ready to start using it. All in all, this phase takes 5-15 days to complete.
What to expect
A lot of homeowners ask whether they can live at home during their remodel. Absolutely, you can! However, be thee warned, life might look a little different during construction. It’s important that you know what to expect during a home remodel so that you can prepare. Here are a few pointers to help you get started:
Get to know the people & schedule
It’s normal to feel a little nervous having strangers working in your home. In our experience, remodel carpenters tend to defy many of the stereotypes of construction workers. Most of them are friendly, outgoing, and polite people who genuinely enjoy their job and care about your remodeling experience. If you take some time to get to know them, it might help ease your concerns about who is coming in and out of your home.
Most build teams prefer to start work early in the day - usually between 7:00-8:00 A.M. They’ll work a normal 8-hour day and be gone before 5:00 in most cases. Some may work weekends, but out of respect for our employees and their families, Lamont Bros. encourages our staff to only work during the weekdays. Other companies may do it differently.
Plan to use a different bathroom
Your build team will partition off any of the construction zones in your home with plastic barriers. Although the staff will clean up at the end of each day, there are still some safety hazards in an unfinished construction site. Therefore, while your bathroom is under construction, you won’t be able to go in and use it.
We recommend using a different bathroom somewhere else in the house until the project is finished. This won’t be as functional or user-friendly as the one you're used to, but it will give you at least something to work with until your new bathroom is ready. If you live in a single-bathroom home, that's a little trickier. Your contractor may rent a portable bathroom for you to use, during the day. A gym membership can provide you with a shower during your bathroom's downtime.
Expect a few interruptions to your usual schedule
There are a few reasons why construction might interrupt your regular day. The first is noise. A remodel jobsite can get pretty loud at times. The closer you are to the work zone, the louder it will be. Power tools can easily drown out the sound of somebody’s voice, making it very difficult to converse, watch TV, or focus on work if you’re at home during construction.
There may also be days when your remodel requires special equipment, such as a dump truck, concrete mixers, or cranes. These will likely cause a lot of noise, and will also affect parking and traffic around your home.
You should also expect to be present at a few meetings during the remodel. The rough-in meeting takes place before any plumbing or electrical work. It’s your opportunity to walk the subcontractors through the space and clarify any expectations with them. We’ll also do a punch-list walkthrough when the bathroom reaches around 90% completion. At this meeting, you’ll be asked to create and sign off on a punch list of detailed work that you want to be completed before closing out the project.
Ready to Start Designing?
Now that you’re a full-fledged expert on bathroom remodeling, are you ready to take the next step? If so, keep up on your research! We have plenty of useful material on our blog to answer any questions you might have about remodeling your bathroom. There, you’ll find extensive information on everything from cabinetry selections to the bathroom remodeling process.
If you’re ready to make big decisions about how your bathroom can better fit your needs, we’d love to talk with you! Click the button below to schedule a free consultation with one of our bathroom design experts. We’ll guide you through the entire process of remodeling your bathroom and answer any questions you still have.