A bathroom renovation task is no easy feat, but with enough preparation & planning, there are certainly things you can do to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Here at Zen Kuchen, we’ve created this guide to help you plan before renovating your bathroom.
This guide is ideal if you’re only just thinking about renovating your bathroom or considering whether it’s something worthwhile doing in the future. Either way, you’ll have some good thoughts to rest on & be better prepared for when the time comes.
1. Set Your Goal
The first thing you should do is set the main goal. .
In other words, consider what might be your main reason for renovating the bathroom. Perhaps you might want to:
- Increase storage space
- Make it look modern or luxurious
- Make it feel more spacious
- Increase the value of your property
- Make it more accessible (primarily for the elderly and disabled)
Whatever your goal, it’s important that you have this nailed down because it will influence future decisions, like for instance which items you purchase or whether you need tradesmen with certain specialist knowledge.
2. Getting Inspired
There are certain places you can go to for inspiration once you have a goal in mind. You’re probably aware of these methods:
You can even come & visit the Zen Kuchen showroom if you’re near us (we’re based in Richmond, London).
Always keep in mind the main goal however, otherwise it’s very easy to get carried away!
A good method to help keep you organised and speed up the process could be to store your favourite designs in a folder, or save the links to what you’ve found.
These can be used to build a mood board to help you envision what your bathroom should look like and communicate to your designer what you like & don’t like.
3. Staying in Budget
It is very easy to get excited and carried away during the renovation process, but remember that it’s very important to stay within budget, otherwise this can delay the whole process.
According to homehow.co.uk, the average cost of remodelling a bathroom in the UK is somewhere around £3,000 to £6,000.
On the high end, prices can begin at around £10,000 and go beyond £20,000+.
Within these higher price ranges, you should expect to have a professionally trained designer assisting you with design ideas, as well as professional tradesmen taking care of demolition & installation, however some companies can also do it for cheaper depending on who you go for.
There are certain advantages to hiring professionals, especially if you have little DIY experience or if you’re very busy. Let’s explore this a little more…
4. Should You Go DIY or Hire Professionals?
Did you know that (according to a survey from Plentific.com) 1 in 3 homeowners regret their DIY endeavours.
Having no prior renovation or design experience might risk leaving you in a situation much worse than before you started.
We wrote an article on how long it takes to remodel a kitchen if you were to go down the DIY route vs hiring a professional, and the points covered are quite similar to the experience of renovating a bathroom, so you might want to check it out.
However, unless you specialise in certain trades, you’re likely going to need:
- A plumber
- And a waste disposal expert
Electrical and plumbing work might require certifications of compliance, so it’s best to check with your local council or ask a local expert to see what you might need.
Some professional services won’t be compulsory, yet can still be extremely beneficial.
For instance, a professional designer can help your project run smoothly, and we’re not just saying that because it’s a service we offer here at Zen Kuchen.
Having a professional designer can help if:
- Design is not your strength
- You have never remodelled a bathroom, kitchen or home before
- You might risk lowering the price of your property if you get it wrong
- You find yourself overthinking too much on whether a particular design is worth it
Plus, working with a professional designer the first time can help you plan future projects more effectively should you decide to embark on those projects yourself.
They can also help you cut costs (if you’re after a premium look) by recommending low-cost materials and layout options that’ll enhance your bathroom while keeping the costs low.
5. Address The Temptations Early On
Let’s be honest, it can be very tempting to buy a new sink or bathtub that you love but is slightly (or massively) over budget – however it’s important to stick to what’ll fit within your initial budget plan, otherwise things risk spiralling out of control.
A good way to do this is to address these temptations early on.
Make a list of what you might get tempted to splurge on, if there’s anything in particular that you can see yourself getting attached to.
For instance, the sink, depending on its design, can be the key statement piece of the bathroom. If you’re building the bathroom to emphasise this key area, it might be tempting to go for something a little more extravagant–after all, it will be the star of the show.
However, by addressing these temptations early on during the design phase, you’re mentally preparing yourself for when the time comes to purchase new items.
6. Consider the Long Term costs
Most homeowners tend to forget about the cost of maintenance in the long-run. As with any room in the property that gets used frequently, things might need replacing and upkeep over time.
For example, the worktops you choose might dictate how much time & effort needs to go into periodically maintaining them.
Marble for instance, requires a little more maintenance than other materials to ensure it remains in pristine condition over the years. Certain cleaning materials should be avoided, such as vinegar. All these maintenance procedures need to be kept in mind over the long run otherwise you risk wearing out your bathroom prematurely.
Something homeowners forget is the cost of plumbing products & the cost to fit them. Intricate designs might require unconventional fabrication methods to ensure fitment or good flowing water. However, if these require repair in the future, the cost might be higher than standard since it might take a plumber longer than usual to find the problem and assess the situation.
Again, this is something a designer can help you navigate around by keeping things as simple as they need to be and warning you in advance if you’re heading for trouble.
7. Understanding Time Scales
As part of your plan of action, something to bear in mind is how long it will take you to finish the whole project.
Even if you’re not in an immediate rush to complete your bathroom, it’s still incredibly important to get an idea of how long the process can take.
If you’re hiring the services of a contractor (or even if you decide to do it yourself), consider how long it’ll take them to source all the fixtures and fittings, as well as completing the project.
Some questions to ask might be:
- How long will it take for delivery from their supplier when ordering a new bathtub or sink?
- Will they be able to order it immediately?
- Is there a chance it might be on back-order due to high consumer demand?
Make sure to factor in how far your product source is from your home (or how close if you’re ordering from a nearby supplier) especially if it’s a custom made item.
It’s also highly recommended that you create some kind of schedule and goal that you’re going to stick to because going without a bathroom means you’re going to need to make changes to your daily routine, and you might not want to put up with these changes for very long!
Many homeowners get tempted to purchase and fit their new sink or bath before they’ve gotten around to beginning work, especially if it’s a small project.
However, we strongly recommend against this if you’re not a professional yourself – there’s always something that can go wrong, especially when working with plumbing and electricity, and how you install the new sink or bath can have a direct impact on how easy it will be to fit worktop surfaces afterwards, how well they match up to flooring, how well light switches are situated in relation to taps and how much space is available for toiletries.
If unsure what work needs doing before you fit your new sink or bath, it’s best to consult with professionals for advice.
8. Temporary Toilet & Shower solution
For those who don’t have a second toilet or bathroom, this can be a little tricky.
Some renovation services offer to set up a temporary toilet and sink so you at least have some option for when you need to go. This is a question worth asking if you’re going to hire a professional fitting service.
If that’s not an option, there are certain things you can do:
Wash the night before – goes without saying, but without good planning, it’s easy to forget!
Set up a washing station – if there’s space in a suitable room elsewhere in the property, this could temporarily meet your needs.
Use a local gym for showers – if a gym is close, this could be a good option.
Install an outdoor shower – although perhaps not ideal in the colder months, which in the U.K. means 90% of the time!
Hire a portable toilet – for worst case scenarios, such as for plumbing issues that don’t go to plan or if you’re nowhere near any gyms, this might turn into a viable option.
Need help renovating your bathroom?
At Zen Kuchen, we don’t just design & fit kitchens, but we do bathrooms too. If you’re based in or near London, we’d be delighted to help you. Our showroom is based in Richmond, and our designers are on hand to offer tips and guide you through your journey.
If you’d like to set up an appointment with one of our expert designers, or to get a quote, then get in touch by heading over to our contact page where you can send us a message, or contact us directly via email or through the phone.