The Bathroom Design Process
Establishing specific parameters is an important step in the project plan. Here you’ll consider whether you’ll simply remove and replace existing fixtures and cabinetry or perform a complete bath remodel that may alter the existing bath footprint.
Bath renovation projects generally fall into one of two categories: remove and replace, or complete remodeling. Determining which type of renovation you will be undertaking is the first step in defining scope.
Remove and Replace
A remove and replace project can be defined as the change-out of existing bath cabinetry and fixtures without any major modifications to the basic layout. In other words, it entails the removal of old items and installation of new ones in their place. In a bath remodel, you might choose to replace some or all of the following elements:
- Bathroom vanity and vanity top
- Storage cabinetry
- Bath/shower/toilet fixtures
- Cosmetics (paint, new windows, etc.)
Some homeowners might want to tackle some of this work themselves, hiring specialty contractors for the more difficult tasks. Many suppliers also provide installation services for an additional fee. If you want more extensive help, bath designers, remodeling contractors and design/build firms can provide design, installation and project management services.
Major reconfiguring of the bath design is possible within the existing four walls of the space, enabling improved functional layout and creation of additional storage space. When making such extensive changes, the creativity and functional problem-solving of a professional bath designer is a worthwhile investment.
Complete Bath Remodel
In a full bath remodel, more drastic changes are implemented when your objectives cannot be realized within the existing four walls. Typically, the process begins with the “;gutting” of the entire existing bath by tearing out the walls, insulation, wiring and piping down to the frame. Why go so far? Older homes often have outdated plumbing, electrical and mechanical infrastructure that can’t run all the modern amenities. Extra insulation can help keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Gutting a room also provides the best opportunity to reconfigure plumbing access points and ventilation features.
Remodel work may also include expansion efforts to increase the square footage of your bath footprint by moving walls into adjacent spaces, removing walls to create one larger space, or by building a new addition to your home.
A project of this size requires skilled labor from several different trades, which means it also requires a project manager. If you’re not up for doing it yourself, a general contractor or design/build firm can do it for you. Some bath designers and architects also provide project management services.
Once you’ve established the type of bath renovation you’ll be doing, you’ll be able to lay out the required tasks for execution in a preliminary project plan. This, paired with your budget calculations, will contribute to the final definition of project scope. You may find along the way that alterations may be required to accommodate unplanned obstacles and new ideas, but having a defined scope and project plan in place will allow you to quickly evaluate your priorities and make adjustments when the need arises.Next: Plan For The Right Investment