Water flowing from a fauvet tap to the sink bowl

Creating a Budget

Making a budget for the project is a bit like forecasting the weather. If everything is on schedule, the cost will probably be close to your estimate, if not right on target, at least for the material portion. But not all remodeling projects go per schedule.

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A luxurious bathroom

Deciding If It’s Worth It

Remodeling magazine, owned by Hanley-Wood, LLC, publishes an annual “Cost vs. Value Report,” which you can find at This annual survey compares the cost of a typical remodeling project with the value of the property after the completion of the project if the house were sold, for whatever reason, a year later. The figures used in this section are a national average, but you'll find figures adjusted for different regions of the country at the magazine’s Web site.

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A bathroom wit white walls, curtains, and countertops

Establishing A Budget- Doing major reconstructive surgery

Remodeling a bathroom is expensive because of all the plumbing pipes and electrical wiring that are under the floor and behind the walls and therefore expensive to relocate. You can change the infrastructure of your house, no matter how complicated, but you’ll pay the price. With few exceptions, there’s very little that can’t be rearranged in your bathroom, but the cost of the project can double if the existing plumbing has to be modified.

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A sink with silver faucet

Establishing Budget- Making cosmetic changes

In many ways, you get the biggest bang for your buck with a simple makeover. An outdated color scheme, old mildew-spotted paint, and pitted or rusty fixtures can make an otherwise usable bathroom look like the restroom at the local truck stop. A few basic changes can breathe new life into and create a fresh clean odor in the dingiest of bathrooms. Depending on the state of your loo, you may decide to choose one of these scenarios or combine several for a complete makeover. If you decide that new paint and wallpaper and a vanity and countertop swap will fill the bill, add the cost for the two projects together.

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Hand typing on a calculator with cash underneath it

Adding Up the Costs

 Before you can begin to plan your bathroom makeover or addition, you have to get a realistic handle on how much the job will cost. This chapter gives you a ballpark idea of what you’ll probably have to shell out to accomplish a simple bathroom makeover, a deluxe master bathroom addition, or anything in between.

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Small bathroom in home

Surviving bathroom remodeling in a one-bath house

What if you live in a one-bathroom house, and you want to remodel it, but you have to live in your house while the bathroom is being remodeled? Now that's the challenge that tests the mettle of a family or a relationship.

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Roomy bathroom with windows and blue walls

Being there 24/7

You need to stick around the house during the remodeling. You may be tempted to avoid the project completely and take off on a vacation. What the heck, hand the house keys to the contractor, hit the road, and return to a perfect new bathroom. Wrong!

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A bathtub under construction

Bracing Yourself for the Construction

The bathroom is only one room, but you'll be amazed at how much material goes into making it fully function as the bathroom of your dreams. So where does all the stuff get stashed when it's delivered prior to installation? You guessed it - wherever there's space in and around your house. Some folks feel that tripping over and living around large boxes and building materials are the worst parts of remodeling because those annoyances discombobulate their daily life. But if you can mentally prepare yourself for being displaced for a while, it's not nearly so bad.

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A bathroom decorated according to feng shui

Creating positive forces by using feng shui

Want to include some feng shui when designing your new bathroom? The main problem with incorporating this ancient Chinese art into your bathroom is that a bathroom has drains, the largest being a toilet, which eliminates energy (along with wastewater). The solution is to make sure that the toilet isn’t visible when entering because it drains the room of energy. A better choice is to locate a toilet behind the door or a wall so that you can’t see it from the doorway.

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An updated bathroom with hardwood floors

Playing with the possibilities

After you have the basic floor plan, you can start playing with the possibilities. People in the remodeling industry like the saying "Anything is possible, given enough time and cash," and the operative word here is cash! Forget about budget for a while (of course, you really can’t forget your budget forever) and explore what you can do in the existing space. Consult your wish list and notebook clipping file for inspiration.

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