10 Tips to Survive a Bathroom Remodel

10 Tips to Survive a Bathroom Remodel

Of all the rooms in your home, the bathroom is meant to be a place of peaceful solitude. Whether it’s soaking in the tub with a glass of wine after a long day or simply getting a couple minutes of alone time (I hear you, parents of toddlers!) So when you decide to remodel your place of peaceful solitude, the quiet sanctuary of your home, you may be thinking, “How am I going to survive this?” Beyond my assurance that you absolutely will survive this, let me humbly offer the following 10 tips to not only survive your bathroom remodel, but to make the most of it!

1. Take a Deep Breath

Seriously. Take a yoga class, download a mindfulness app on your phone, or set yourself a daily calendar reminder to stop and breathe. You want to remodel your bathroom because you envision something better for your current space. Deep breath. Repeat after me: The dream bathroom I want is going to be so worth it.

2. Pick Out Your Materials Early in the Design Process

Enlist the help of your Contractor or Designer to pick out materials that fit your dream bathroom (and your budget!) Pinterest is a great place to start with the dreaming, and the professionals you hire are going to steer you in the right direction for your style and budget goals. If you wait to the last minute to pick out your materials, you may delay your project, so be sure to talk with your contractor about when he or she needs your selections finalized. If there are two of you in the decision-making process, don’t assume the other party doesn’t have an opinion.

3. Schedule a “Moving Day”

This is the best advice floating around the internet regarding how to survive a bathroom remodel, but it bears repeating. When you have a scheduled start date from your contractor, schedule one or two days beforehand to move everything out of that bathroom one or two days beforehand. I mean everything. The contents of your shower, your vanity drawers, artwork on the walls, shelves or mirrors that aren’t built-in, all of it. If you have a closet that is only accessible through this bathroom, I would recommend moving the clothes you will need into your bedroom as well. Take this opportunity to get rid of any items you no longer need or want.

4. Create Temporary Spaces

If this is your only bathroom or if you have a big family who will all be sharing a small bathroom, you’ll want to do some extra preparation. In addition to your contractor having a portable restroom onsite for the duration of the project, consider setting up these temporary spaces:

  • A vanity/getting ready station on a dresser or table in your bedroom.
  • A toothbrushing and face washing station by the kitchen sink.
  • A quiet sanctuary space in a guest bedroom, office, or even in your backyard if you have fair weather. (Note: if your backyard is where the remodel crew is using saws, maybe that’s not the best option!)

5. Get By with a Little Help from Your Friends

Friends, family, and/or neighbors will probably offer help when they hear you’re remodeling your bathroom. They might offer their shower if you’re without a bathroom temporarily, or they might offer to take your kiddos or pets for extra play dates. Accept their help gratefully, and when they do their next remodel project, do the same for them. It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.

6. Utilize That Gym Membership!

If you’ve only got the one bathroom and the bath or shower are going to be out of commission between plumbing rough-in and trim out, take advantage of the showers at your gym. Bonus if you work out first. Stress can build and research shows working out reduces stress. This can really help you survive a bathroom remodel!

7. Bring the Crew Donuts

Pick a day where all hands are on deck. Everyone there is working hard to keep your bathroom remodel on design, on time, and on budget. Donuts are a thoughtful, yet affordable way to show you appreciate all of their efforts.

8. Communication is KEY

Know who your point of contact is with your Contractor – both on-site and in the office. Talk with them about where they will need to set up tools, stage materials, park vehicles, etc. And ask questions. We’ve all heard “there’s no such thing as a stupid question” but in remodeling, the stupid question is the one you never asked. Clear communication with your Contractor is possible. Not only that, it is essential to the success of your bathroom remodel.

9. Plan a Mini-Vacation!

Plan to get away for a couple days during the remodel. Maybe you have family or friends you can stay with. Or if you can afford to stay in a hotel for the entirety of your project, even better! But even just a couple days mid-project will go miles in the R&R department. If you have nice weather, consider taking the family camping for a budget-friendly vacation. Or, in planning for your remodel, add some “getaway” money to your budget. During your bathroom remodel, you will have people in your home making noise. Hammers and saws are going to be loud no matter how courteous and respectful your Contractor is. Prioritize getting away for some peace and quiet. Really.

10. Roll with the Punch List. Er… I Mean Punches

Even if you’ve got an amazing Contractor who has done their due diligence to estimate, design, and build the job, chances are there will still be some unexpected hiccups along the way. Unlike new construction, there are a lot of unknown variables in a bathroom remodel. There could be water damage or dry rot hiding beneath your flooring that isn’t discovered until demolition. (Unfortunately, in Vancouver WA and surrounding areas we see our fair share of water related damages on older homes.) There could be an electrical issue that needs to be resolved to pass inspection. The wrong tile might be delivered, and the right tile might be on back order.

You Can Survive a Bathroom Remodel!

Harken back to my first point: breathe. Your Contractor will work with you to get through the hiccups. Remember: you will survive this bathroom remodel AND it’s going to be so worth it!