Topics:Interior Design Bathroom remodel Bathroom staging Bathroom remodel ideas Bathroom remodel on a budget Bathroom remodel mistakes Bathroom remodel trends 2020 Bathroom tile Small bathroom remodel Holidays Bathroom remodel costs
August 20th, 2020
February 24th, 2020
This season, instead of heading to the store to buy decorations, first take inventory of your home and see if you have any of the items below to use as decor. My guess is that you will have at least a few of these items lying around your home. These instant decoration hacks can help save you money and time — use what you already have and bring some holiday cheer into your home. Look for expert holiday decor bonus tips along the way! I bet you've never seen the second decor tip on this list. 1. Put your cocoa mugs on display Chances are that a cute holiday mug is sitting in your kitchen cabinet right now. Yes it is great for holding your warm cocoa, but it is also the perfect subtle accessory to bring those Christmas colors into your open shelving entryway nook. Group a few of your favorite holiday mugs together with candy canes and pine branches flowing over the top for an easy, cheap, and beautiful way to decorate those smaller spaces. 2. Get creative "Have a lot of hair bows? We have a ton of bows in our house with three girls, so I decided to decorate a mini Christmas tree with them! It's an easy last-minute tree decoration that every girl mom has! And if you need some more bows (or want an ornament that can be used another way) you can always pick up a 20-pack of bows online for under $12!" Annie 3. Bring the outdoors indoors Nothing like cozying up by the fire with a good holiday Hallmark movie cued up for the night. Instead of hauling in your logs from outside or the garage, try displaying them in a nice stack or propped up in a basket to bring that woodsy winter feeling indoors. It will save you a trip outside. 4. Don't be wreath shy There are a lot of ways to use a holiday wreath. Have you ever thought about putting them indoors? Front doors are known for getting all the decor attention, but it's time to use the dead space on your inside doors. Wreaths willinstantly spice up your interior as you walk through your home during this holiday season. 5. Keep your chalkboards in the holiday loop Chances are you have some sort of chalkboard, letter board, or whiteboard laying around your house. This is the perfect customizable piece that can be updated as holiday wall art. Don't be nervous if you think your handwriting isn't pretty enough to be displayed. Instead, have each family member write down something that they are grateful for on the chalboard. This creates a sweet, meaningful, and personalized art piece for the holidays. 6. Gather ornaments off the tree, as well as on "For an inexpensive way to repurpose household items as holiday decorations, try setting a tray of sparkling ornaments against a wooden coffee table. This can produce an elegant feel to rustic holiday decor. You can also incorporate more sparkle and shine by wrapping empty boxes with silver and gold paper and placing it by the fireplace to brighten the room." Emilie 7. Use wrapping paper to make your tree pop Instead of grabbing the wrapping paper with elves and Santa Claus cartoons all over it, opt for a classy, graphic wrapping paper. You can find unique wrapping paper at craft stores, boutiques, and online shops that help to glam up any Christmas tree. Wrapping paper can be an accessory for the whole month of December, not just the thing that you bought last minute to cover your children’s gifts. 8. Say goodbye to dead bathroom counter space Do you already have a cute basket or bowl filled with towels, soaps, or other decor on your bathroom counter? If so, you're in luck. You're already halfway through this decor tip. Take that basket and fill it with some holiday staples. Try mixing holly, ornaments, nuts, pinecones or fruit to instantly bring the holiday spirit into your bathroom. 9. Use the ultimate Christmas tree alternative — books! "I am a big fan of Christmas Tree alternatives, mainly because I am allergic to pine and prefer not to use a fake tree. For the last few years, I have recycled books to create a tree! Up until this year, I lived in a top-floor apartment, and it was a hassle carrying anything up those 50 steps to my apartment, so I would search for items inside my pad to create a holiday look while saving space. Over the years, I have advised clients on such a tree; it is fun to read the titles, in lieu of ornaments. Sometimes we use cookbooks! I do light the 'book tree' and add eucalyptus and dried lavender for a heavenly scent." Heather 10. Choose a simple, festive color scheme "For beautifully coordinated holiday home decor, it is recommended that you define a specific color scheme to make the decor pop! This will ensure all the decor is nicely coordinated plus it will help you avoid any unnecessary purchases of decor items where you, “can’t find anywhere to place them. If you cannot decide on just one color scheme, don’t worry — you can pick several for different areas of your house!" Lucy There you have it — 10 simple, affordable, and classy ways to decorate your home this holiday season.
Guest Post by Leah Tuttleman Are you feeling drab everytime you walk into your bathroom? Are you selling your home and looking to add a bit of resale value? Are you wanting to give your bathroom a facelift, without the eight-week rennovation timeline? You're not alone. With 25 years of experience as an interior designer, here are my thoughts on the upcoming bathroom trends of 2020 to give you a solution to these common bathroom remodel questions — plus small bathroom design bonus tips and tricks. Trendy bathroom tile Tile continues to dominate in every bathroom in the house. Breaking away from the traditional brick bond layouts on wall spaces, vertical tiling looks popular for 2020. It offers something fresh and new. One simple way to create a big impact in any bathroom is to create a statement floor or wall, and nothing achieves this quite like patterned tiles. Bathroom floor tiles offer a long-lasting, scratch resistant and easy-to-clean alternative to other flooring options. Best of all, they cover a huge variety of the latest trends: from encaustic-styled patterns to lifelike wood to stone effect designs. The charm and elegance of vintage elements will continue to be popular throughout 2020. Using encaustic styled period patterns in your bathroom is one way of creating your own slice of vintage paradise. Fixate on fixtures Just as stainless steel is becoming less popular in the kitchen, it’s time to say good bye to chrome in the bathroom. Many fixture manufacturers are churning out a variety of minimalistic designs, creating a sleeker, cleaner, no-fuss fitting. Unique faucets will complement simple vanities and sink shapes as we see a rapid shift with many consumers moving away from traditional styles and leaning into contemporary styles and finishes. You may also start hearing the word “maximalism” more in 2020, which is characterized by a style that both evokes glamour and opulence, while remaining minimal in shape, ultimately made maximalist solely by a product’s hue or finish. Instead of chrome and brushed nickel, opt for gold, copper, brushed brass, and black matte. Another major fixture trend is mixing and matching finishes and products. The trend goes as far as mixing spouts, handles, and finishes as well as marrying a modern design with timeless shapes. This ain't your grandma's wallpaper Wallpaper has gotten a bad rap in years past, but whether you’re looking to add a statement wall or cover your entire bathroom in a tasteful pattern, wallpaper is back. Natural color palettes are at the forefront, typically in grey tones and black matte – luxury is in the subtlety. Using wallpaper in the bathroom is an easy way to add character and personality. However, if you are feeling a little hesitant to dive head first into the wallpaper trend due to the stress of commitment or possibly damaging your walls, look into removable wallpaper. A variety of companies are selling removable, peel and stick wallpaper — this can help you take the wallpaper plunge without having to say yes to a longtime commitment or possibly sacrifice your walls. Bonus tip: What should you do with your small bathroom? A small bathroom remodel will require a bit more tetris-like planning to ensure that your bathroom is as functional as it is beautiful. Perhaps it is in your best interest to re-work the plumbing to ensure that your bathroom is maximizing its space. You'll be surprised how possibly switching the location of your shower with the sink can add a few square feet of usable space. In addition to logistical changes, here a few small bathroom remodel ideas to keep in mind when faced with decor dilemas. Make storage space as purposeful in design as it is in functionality Mirrors help to accentuate the space and make it appear larger Showers with a glass door rather than a blockade of a shower curtain will help visually expand the bathroom Busyness in patterns and decor can be mistaken for clutter, so opt to go more minimal Don't be afraid to chase these bathroom trends in 2020. If you're looking for even more bonus tips, check out our 19 latest budget-friendly design ideas for your upcoming bathroom remodel. Leah Tuttleman is an ASID Allied member since 1995, has worked over 25 years in the design industry. Leah received her BS in Interior Design from The University of Arizona in 1984. She’s currently an interior designer for Re-Bath, a full-service bathroom remodeling brand.
Guest Post by Elizabeth Pandolfi Now that your house is on the market, you may be wanting to overhaul your bathrooms to boost resale value, but is now really the time? It’s understandable to want to start bathroom demolition day, but a complete remodel is typically not the most cost effective way to boost your home's value. On average, homeowners spend between $9,600 and $11,000 on a remodel — typically spending more money on the rennovations than what the added value to the home would be. Most real estate agents agree that doing a full bathroom remodel is not always the most cost effective nor the most time-effective option. Instead, opt to make your bathrooms clean, updated, uncluttered — these are the types of things a buyer wants to see when they tour your home, and you don't have to break the bank to do it. Since bathrooms are one of the most important rooms in the house to convince potential buyers to make an offer, agents generally advise home sellers to start by working with what they have. Opt for the small scale facelift verses an entire reconstruction. There are easy ways to transform the look of your bathroom if you focus on three things: fresh, clean, and functional. If you keep your bathrooms spotless, smelling fresh, and functional, you can’t go wrong. Here are a few easy, cost-effective bathroom staging ideas that will help you win over potential buyers. Scrub, scrub, scrub The number one thing you can do to give your potential buyers a good impression? Clean! It’s an investment that will pay off in spades — in fact, the ROI on a deep cleaning when it comes to selling your home is more than 900 percent! This is especially true in a bathroom, where dirt and grime can make the space feel not only dingy, but unhygienic. Just take a look at this video from HomeLight to see how important a clean and inviting bathroom can be for your home sale. Remove all personal items No matter how attractive that toothbrush holder is, buyers won’t want to see your personal grooming items when they’re touring your home. Just like with any room in your house, buyers need to be able to see themselves in the space — not the former owners. Seeing your mouthwash or shampoo in the bathroom will make it that much harder for them to imagine their family living there, which can negatively impact the likelihood they’ll make an offer. Choose white, textured towels and linens You can never go wrong with fresh white towels and linens. By purchasing some new, inexpensive linens specifically for staging your bathroom, you’ll give the whole room a fresher look. Pay attention to texture, too — soft, fluffy textures will create a more luxurious look and appeal more to buyers than flat ones. Update bathroom fixtures Outdated hardware in your bathroom can give a dated, tired look. Invest a bit of money in new hardware, and you'll be surprised how such a small detail gives the illusion that your bathroom is years newer than before. Hardware doesn’t have to be anything super high-end either — just stick to a simple, modern, neutral design and you’ll have a winner. Add minimalist decor Once your bathroom is spotless and clutter-free, it’s time to add in a couple of minimalist decor touches. A small vase of pale flowers or greenery on the countertop, an unobtrusive botanical print on the wall, and perhaps a lightly scented candle should do the trick. These elements make the space feel homey and inviting, but not overly personal with too many tchotchkes. Remember, the more stuff you put in your bathroom, the smaller and more cramped it will feel. Let the room open up and breathe by keeping items to a minimum. Whether you are staging your home for resale, a vacation rental, or a quick spruce up, these staging hacks are quick and easy solutions to cure your bathroom blues. Elizabeth Pandolfi is a writer and journalist based in South Carolina.
Perhaps you've been toying around with the thought of remodeling your bathroom — maybe for resale, or maybe because you can't stand to walk into your linoleum-tiled bathroom any longer. You may be asking yourself these questions: How much will your bathroom remodel cost? How long will your bathroom remodel take? What should you consider for a small bathroom remodel? After combing through research, talking to professionals, and tracking down a real home owner to share her DIY bathroom remodel experience, we have the bathroom remodel answers that you’ve been looking for. How much will your bathroom remodel cost? If you plan on just changing the paint, hardware, and light fixtures, then you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars. If you are planning to rip out tile, sinks, flooring, and countertops, then plan on spending a few thousand dollars — price varies greatly depending on materials, contractors, square feet, unexpected problems, and desired upgrades. Below are general gauges that you can use to help measure the cost you should to set aside for your bathroom remodel budget. Average costs Due to several varying factors, pricing ranges anywhere from $2,000 to a $55,000 upscale bathroom overhaul. You can usually expect an ROI of 70 percent on your bathroom remodel if you're planning to sell your home in the near future, a better ROI compared to updating bedrooms. Labor costs 40%–70%* of your whole budget. Materials costs 30%–50% of your whole budget. Small Bathroom Remodel Costs Large/Master Bathroom Remodel Costs The average cost of a small bathroom remodel is around $6,000. The average cost of a large/master bathroom remodel is around $12,000. Expect to spend up to 5% of the value of your home on powder or small bathroom remodel. Expect to spend up to 10% of the value of your home on a master bathroom remodel. Labor costs Expect labor to cost 40%–70% of your budget. For example, if your materials cost $4,000, your labor could cost $6,000. If you’re hiring hourly, an average wage for a general contractor is $50–$75 per hour; however, labor costs fluctuate depending on your location. *Those who opt to do DIY bathroom remodel work will save on labor costs, but run into the risk of encountering or creating bigger problems that could end up being costly. Materials The kind of materials you use to remodel your bathroom affect the total price dramatically. For example, a stone bathtub can easily cost over $10,000, while a classic white fiberglass or acrylic bathtub will cost you around $300. Think about how you want to spend your money. For example, look for cheaper options like choosing quartz countertops that mimic the look of a more expensive marble countertop and other material swaps that you can make. Unforseen costs When remodeling your bathroom, it’s difficult to budget for all of the costs that come up. There might be issues with plumbing, electrical or mold. The remodel might take more time than you think which could incur more labor costs. How long will your bathroom remodel take? As always, the time will vary greatly by the scope of your remodel as well as your choice of contractor and unexpected problems that may arise. Below are timelines and estimates provided of how long a bathroom remodel should take with hired contractors and professionals. A small bathroom remodel can take around 3–6 weeks. A large bathroom remodel can take around 6–12 weeks. Average bathroom remodel timeline Initial consultation and aquisition of permits 1 day–6 weeks Demolition 1–2 days Framing and carpentry 1–2 days Windows and doors 1–3 days Electrical and plumbing 1–3 days Installation of new appliances (sink, toilet, shower) 1–4 days Walls (insulation, drywall, sheeting, paint) 2–4 days Tilework 1–3 days Cabinetry and counters 1–2 days Flooring 1–2 days Fixtures and decor .5–1 day Details and inspection 1–3 days Clean Up 1 day Keep in mind that this reflects the ideal timeline. It is very likely that unexpected problems will arise, such as plumbing issues or traces of mold. Certain workers may be sick or overscheduled, causing a delay in the workflow. Wrong parts may be delivered, or parts may not be delivered at all. The point is that there are a plethora of things that can go wrong. Always give yourself an extra couple of weeks to complete your remodel if you have a strict deadline What should you consider for a small bathroom remodel? A small bathroom remodel will require a bit more detail-oriented planning to ensure that your bathroom is as functional as it is beautiful. Plan ways to maximize your small space, both with logistical changes as well as with design changes. Perhaps it is in your best interest to re-work the plumbing to ensure that your bathroom is maximizing its space. You'll be surprised how possibly switching the location of your shower with the sink can add a few square feet of usable space. In addition to logistical changes, here a few small bathroom remodel ideas to keep in your budget when trying to maximize your space. Make storage space as purposeful in design as it is in function. Mirrors help to accentuate the space and make it appear larger. Showers with a glass door rather than a shower curtain help visually expand the bathroom. Busy patterns and decor can be mistaken for clutter; opt to go more minimal. For a few bonus tips that go more in-depth on this topic, check out our insights here. Do you still feel unsure about the gritty details of a whole bathroom remodel process? In her own words, homeowner Carmen Smith shares three tips she learned through experience with her DIY small bathroom remodel project — the triumphs, mistakes, and lessons learned: If you start a project without a plan or timeline in place, there is a good chance you will fall short in some areas. Don’t believe me? We thought we 'planned' out our huge gut job of a bathroom remodel and what was supposed to be a six-week timeline turned into nearly 11 months. Our final project was exactly our vision, but the process was brutal. Here are my top three tips that could help you remodel your small bathroom succesfully: 1. Be sure of your timeline This one is super important. Really take the time to sit down and look at your calendar. Do you have any trips planned? Do you have any upcoming life events like weddings, birthdays, or anniversaries that will take you out of town? If you can’t get it done in six weeks, then don’t shoot for that. Wait until you have some nights and weekends clear to get this done, especially if you have young children. 2. Have a budget A real one. A realistic one. If I’m being honest, we wanted to get this bathroom done for under $5,000 (and believe it or not, we were very close to that!), which meant we would be doing this all ourselves. There is no way we could have paid someone to do this for that budget. If you have expendable funds, that’s great. If you’ve been saving a long time for this, that’s great too. The less you can do without going into debt, the better and more relieved you will feel when it’s done. 3. Know your limits If you learn anything from reading this, please heed this advice. This one point can derail the first two. If you think you can handle sheetrock but then mess something up, you will end up spending more money and way more time trying to fix it. My husband felt he could do anything and everything, and as it turns out, there was a lot of information available that proved helpful. At the end of the day, determine how much your time is worth. Bonus Tip: Where should you start with your bathroom remodel? First things first, you need to start talking to a few different bathroom remodel companies and general contractors. They will let you know what they can do in your desired budget. Second, now that you have the logistics figured out, it is time to give a little more thought to your design. Check out these timeless bathroom decor tips to help point you in the right direction.
A bathroom remodel adds luxury and value to a home. However, depending on how a homeowner goes about their bathroom remodel, the price could fluctuate by thousands of dollars. You don’t want to be flushing your money down the toilet. Here are some simple, money-saving tips to keep in mind when you remodel your bathroom: 1. Renovate your tub instead of buying a new one If your bathtub is structurally fine but just needs a facelift, look into resurfacing the tub or ordering a bath liner. Resurfacing can change the color of your tub and make it look brand new. This requires the use of chemicals and should be done by a professional. It will usually cost a couple hundred dollars. If your tub is a little dinged up and you want a new surface to it, you can order a custom bath liner that will fit snugly over your existing tub. 2. Keep plumbing where it is Moving plumbing around will quickly raise the price of your bathroom remodel by thousands of dollars. To move pipes you usually will have to get in the flooring and walls. Keep remodeling costs low by leaving your toilet, vanity, and shower where they already are. If you’re redoing your shower, try to keep the drain and spigot in about the same place to take advantage of the existing plumbing. If you’re planning a full scale renovation (moving walls and appliances), consult a plumber or knowledgeable contractor about how to keep the plumbing costs low. 3. Skip the fancy toilet A basic toilet can cost you as little as $100. Though you might not want one that cheap, a $1,000 toilet is excessive. A water-saving toilet might save money over time, but you can get an efficient toilet without all the other bells and whistles. If you’re replacing your toilet, consider if you really need to replace the whole thing. Most toilets come in two or more parts. Do you need a whole new one, or just a new bowl? Does it look okay, but doesn’t work so well? Look into just replacing some interior parts. 4. Search for damaged (and discounted!) appliances When a hardware store has a chipped, scratched, dented, or otherwise compromised appliance, it can’t sell it for full price anymore. These type of appliances make their way to scratch and dent sellers. These stores are also called appliance outlets, open-box appliances, or appliance clearance. You can find things like bathtubs, shower surrounds, sinks, toilets, hardware, cabinets, and countertops. Most of these types of appliances are sold at a large discount, usually more than 50 percent off. Sometimes the scratch or dent is on a place that won’t be seen in your bathroom, like the side or back. If the appliance is broken, it may cost less to repair than it would to buy one brand new. 5. Think about what the bathroom will be used for most If you’re remodeling your master bath, you might want to spend some extra money on luxury fixtures like heated floors, a rain shower, or soaker tub. However, if you’re remodeling a different space like a powder room or guest bath, it’s unlikely you’ll miss these elegant touches. If you’re remodeling a bathroom that you aren’t planning on spending much time in, keep it simple. 6. Only add luxury where it matters If you’re only going to take a bath once a year, skip the jetted tub. If you live somewhere warm, you probably don’t need in-floor heating. However, if you’ve always dreamed of a walk-in shower, that’s where you should splurge. If a generic white sink is just fine for you, don’t get a marble one. Prioritize your “must haves” first. 7. Limit the fancy tile Tile is usually priced by the square foot or by each piece. If you’ve been dreaming of a custom tile mosaic, do it, but don’t do it in your whole bathroom. Use nice or custom tile as an accent, maybe in the shower, in a certain part of the floor, or as vanity backsplash. In the rest of the bathroom, use a generic (and inexpensive!) tile that matches your custom accent. Less expensive tile could be subway tile, vinyl tile, or ceramic tile instead of porcelain. In recent years, vinyl flooring has grown in popularity due to its durability, price, and wide range in colors and design. You can even get vinyl planks that look just like hardwood floors. You could consider taking wood-style vinyl up your bathroom walls for a sauna look. 8. Don’t buy a generic accessory at a high-end retailer If you’re shopping for your accent tile at an artisan or custom boutique, don’t also buy your generic tile there. Chances are you can find something similar at a more affordable store. Another example, if you don’t care what style your towel bar is in, look for a generic one at a warehouse store. 9. Focus on small, impactful fixes Sometimes all your bathroom needs is some new lighting and accents. Add some extra lighting by the vanity. Change out fixtures like door handles, faucets, drawer pulls, or light fixtures to give your bath an updated feel. Add mirrors to make your bathroom feel larger. You can easily add crown moulding to your bathroom for under $100. Crown moulding makes the room feel taller and more elegant. Consider framing your mirror or adding a piece of statement art. 10. Do your own painting Though painting takes time and patience, it’s a relatively easy job. If your bathroom doesn’t have extremely tall walls, this is easily a job that you can tackle yourself instead of hiring it out. If you aren’t sure what color to paint your walls, buy a small amount of paint of a few color options and paint them in swatches on the walls or on poster boards that you can hold up in different parts of the room. 11. Haul your own materials and garbage If you have a truck (or can borrow one), you can save on disposal and delivery fees by hauling away garbage or picking up materials yourself. If you’re doing demolition as part of your remodel, you’ll definitely have some scraps to get rid of. 12. Go to the store to buy the materials yourself If you’re paying your contractor by the hour, you don’t want to pay them to roam Home Depot. Most contractors charge at least $50 per hour. Talk with your contractor about what he’ll need, make a detailed list, and take care of the errand yourself. Though it might take you a couple of hours, it will save you money and will help your project get done faster because the contractor can keep working while you’re picking up what they need. Also, while you’re at the store you’ll be keeping your eyes out for specials and sales, something your contractor doesn’t have as much interest in when they’re spending your money. 13. Always get more than one bid Make sure to ask several contractors or companies how much they will charge for your bathroom remodel. You’ll be able to compare the quotes and see which is best. Before you ask, do your research and make an estimate about how much you think would be fair. This knowledge will give you some bargaining power and help you be able to tell if you’re being overcharged. 14. Get a full cost breakdown from the contractor This will help you know which prices are negotiable. Labor cost is extremely variable, but the materials cost might be fixed. If you can, only pay the contractor for the labor cost and buy all materials yourself to ensure you’re getting the best price. 15. Make and stick to a budget Before you begin your bathroom remodel, define how much money you have available to spend. Do your research about how much each part of the remodel is going to cost. The average cost of a bathroom remodel is around $10,000 but costs can easily get out of hand and reach double or triple that. Find out how much your big ticket items and labor will cost, then decide how much you have left for the smaller touches. Leave wiggle room in your budget for surprises like mold and mildew or the project taking longer than anticipated. 16. Schedule your remodel in the off-season Contractors typically don’t charge a flat fee for their services. Their labor cost fluctuates depending on several factors, including how busy they are. If your contractor is busy, they won’t be itching for new work and will give you a higher bid for their services. However, if they don’t have many jobs lined up, you’re more likely to get a good deal. Construction off-season is usually in the winter. 17. Create a comprehensive design plan before you begin If you don’t have the remodel completely mapped out from start to finish, you’ll end up spending more money as you change your mind on design plans. Begin with mood boards (like Pinterest), a free design consultation from the company you’re working with, or drawing it all out on paper. 18. Do some remodel work yourself Some remodel work, like plumbing, electrical work, or intricate tiling, is better left to the professionals. Some remodeling requires permits, and if you do it wrong it could even be dangerous. However, some remodeling can be done as a DIY project. Consider painting, installing fixtures, doing clean up, and helping in demolition and the removal of old appliances. 19. Pick a well-reviewed company or contractor Most bathroom remodel horror stories begin with a bad contractor. Check out their previous work and ask for references. Check the contractor’s licenses. If you hire a lousy remodeling company or contractor you could end up thousands of dollars poorer with a bad bathroom. See our list of the best bathroom remodeling companies here.
Mold. Miscommunication. Money pit. When you’re starting a bathroom remodel, these aren’t things you want to hear. You finalize your design plans and cross your fingers that everything will go smoothly. You dream of shiny new floors and a spotless tiled shower that will make your bathroom feel like a palace. Some bathroom remodels go well, but some don’t. Here are seven stories of bathroom remodels that didn’t go as planned: "The biggest $25,000 lesson I learned" Karina Rabin’s story starts when she hired a man on the Home Depot contractor list to paint her garage. After that went well, he offered to redo her bathroom tile too. Rabin says, “I was very hesitant because he showed me previous work on his phone, and I didn’t like it.” However, she went forward with the remodel. “I bought the tile and once they started to install it, I was in love with the design.” Once it was finished she had one of her friends, who works as a general contractor, come and see how it turned out. The friend pointed out that there were cracks in the wall, none of it was straight, the tile was in the wrong order, and there were leaks and mold behind it. Rabin says she fought with the contractor she had hired about his terrible work. She found out he had lied and didn’t have any sort of license. Rabin laments, “Our mistake that we didn’t check.” Rabin hired another contractor, a friend of a friend, to redo the tile work. He charged her only a fourth of the price that the first guy did. Better, right? Not completely. This second contractor didn’t tile all the way up the shower which caused problems when the plumber came. I asked Rabin what she would have done differently. “What I would have done different is RESEARCH these people. Ask for references and look at reviews. The biggest $25,000 lesson learned for a little bathroom which we still cannot use.” "I noticed leaks coming through the ceiling" Matthew Ross from California encountered some serious problems as he tried to tackle the bathroom remodel in his first home. Ross recounts, “In order to save costs, I attempted to do a lot of the work myself or contract out each individual job to local handymen. However, the remodel process was much more involved than I thought and I ended up making some serious mistakes, especially when it came to my master bathroom. “Instead of putting in a shower pan or building a new custom basin, I had a local handyman try to resurface the existing hot mop for me. Long story short, I noticed leaks coming through the ceiling on the floor below the master bathroom about three months later. I then had to completely tear out the shower once again and start from scratch. The whole debacle cost me well over $20,000.” "We had to do a lot more than anticipated" Sarah Elsley from the United Kingdom didn’t plan on renovating her bathroom just yet. She was going to start with renovating the kitchen and then move on to the bathroom after she had saved up. While in the middle of gutting the kitchen, they found bad pipe. Elsey says, “The leak had slowly rotted the kitchen.” They needed to remove and reroute the whole pipe. It ran under the bathroom, so they “had to remove the bath, sink, and toilet and all of the floorboards from the upstairs bathroom. The tiles came off the wall, the floorboards came up so we could get to all the plumbing underneath. We also found that the leak had rotted some of the joists so these had to be replaced as well. We had to do a lot more than anticipated. We found plastic sheets stuffed into the brickwork to make it level (and some of the bricks weren't secured with cement; they were just laid on top of the plastic tarpaulin). There were so many unexpected problems.” "We discovered a wall full of ants" Shilamida Kypershteyn remodeled her bathroom while living in New Jersey. Kypershteyn tells about when she first met the contractor she hired, “He was actually a recommendation from a patient of mine, so I didn't think to do that much research. We met at the tub and tile store, and he seemed to know what he was doing. We were in a rush, which was probably our first mistake!” On the first day of remodeling, Kypershteyn got a call that while the contractors were ripping down the walls, they found mold and needed to stop. Kypershteyn went to look at it the next day and discovered that it wasn’t mold, but actually a wall full of ants! The second day of construction got worse. “The guys were working and all of a sudden we heard a loud thump. One of the guys literally fell through the bathroom floor into the living room.”Shilamida says that she paid a large portion of the balance at the beginning of the project, but decided not to pay all of it up front. This didn’t go over so well, “Because we wouldn't put up any more money the contractor disappeared with all of our money and left us with a disaster to clean up. What was supposed to take a few weeks turned into months.” When I asked Kypershteyn what she would’ve done differently during her remodel, she said she should’ve had done her due diligence. She wished she had looked into the contractor’s past work, called references, and checked his licenses. "It took us almost a year to do by ourselves" No one fell through the floor during Carmen Smith’s bathroom remodel, but the project took much longer than expected. Smith says, “We gave ourselves a 6-week timeline and instead it took us almost a year.” Why did it take so long? Carmen and her husband did it all themselves. Smith works from home as a blogger and her husband works full time. “We grossly underestimated the time it would take to complete this. Neither of us had done anything like this before, things like sheetrock, backerboard, tile — all huge projects that required knowledge and skill.” In addition to tackling aspects of bathroom remodel that the couple had little experience in, the remodel was put on hold when Smith and her husband welcomed an adopted baby boy to their home. What would Smith have done differently? “ We should have had more help lined up. We also needed to have more of a plan.” Smith continues, “Because tile is such an intricate piece and a very focal point of our bathroom, we absolutely would have hired that out. We also will never do sheetrock ourselves again. We got it done and it’s fine, but it was brutal and a professional could have had it done in a day or two.” "Don't assume that you and the contractor are on the same page" When Shawn Breyer from Atlanta talks about the bathroom in one of his rental properties he says, “We had a lot of struggles with the contractor.” There wasn’t a clear definition of what the contractor would take care of and what was Breyer’s responsibility. He recounts, “When the contractor needed materials for the job, they would call us and make us go pick up materials for them after we got off of work. We would spend roughly five hours per week at Home Depot picking up stuff for them.” Breyer gives some advice to those starting a bathroom remodel, “When it comes to the quality of the work for your bathroom, don't assume that you and the contractor are on the same page about the end results. You may be expecting a move in ready, professionally cleaned bathroom while the contractor usually leaves the bathroom in broom swept condition with dirt and dust everywhere. Sometimes you can even encounter a contractor that gets 90 percent finished and proceeds to pull his crew off to work on the next home while sending back people as they free up. Make sure that your contract with the contractor has a section stating that they will complete the work in accordance with the local laws and settle on the condition of the bathroom when it is completed.” In addition to having to run errands for his contractor, Breyer didn’t like that the remodel took longer than he had been promised. “They had projected four weeks to complete the work, but it ended up taking them two months to complete it. We found out later on that the contractor was doing side jobs for the neighboring houses instead of working on our house. This delayed us being able to get a tenant into the property for an extra month.” “I flushed the toilet and it steamed my bum!" “I just flushed the toilet and it started steaming my bum!” This is not what Brian Davis wanted to hear from his tenant. The contractor had installed the toilet with the hot and cold water lines reversed! Davis says, “We both had a laugh over it, and the contractor sheepishly went out to switch the lines.” Davis talks about how misplaced hot and cold water lines are annoying for tenants or AirBnb guests who are constantly having to figure out how the plumbing works. In addition to being confusing and inconvenient, Davis says that reversed water lines “in some cases, like the toilet, if left uncorrected it’s a huge waste of energy, heating water that doesn’t need to be heated.” Bonus Tip! Before you start busting through walls and tearing out sinks, look at this guide to see what home decor trends and styles are out.