4 Tips for Surviving a Bathroom Remodel

In September, October, and November of 2015, I posted blogs about having my master bathroom remodeled. Having learned a lot through the experience, I’m happy to share four tips to help you weather the ordeal should you decide to do a similar renovation of your own.

Boxes take over my master bedroom.

Boxes take over my master bedroom.


1. Move out of the master bedroom for the duration of the work.

This saved time because the contractor could keep his equipment in the room, plus, he didn’t have to cover and uncover my furniture every day. Also, the new cabinets and fixtures could be stored in the bedroom for ready access when needed. Take enough outfits to last one week when you move into your temporary sleeping space. Replace or supplement with additional items on the weekend when construction isn’t happening. Make sure you have all the toiletries, soap, makeup, hair care products, etc., that you’ll need in your temporary bathroom as well.

2. Get a referral for a designer or contractor from someone you know who has had work done recently.

At first, finding a referral proved difficult. Based on responses to my inquiries, I gathered that not a lot of people have been putting money into home improvements since the housing market went bust. I eventually received a referral from my friend Anne. Ironically, Anne found her designer via a flyer. It worked out and Anne was very happy with the result. So although it’s possible to use advertisements to find someone who can do a good job, by working with Anne’s designer I had much more confidence and less anxiety.

3. When setting your budget, decide the maximum you want to spend then subtract ten percent from the total. Use the reduced figure to plan the remodel with your designer and/or contractor.

I was fortunate. After opening the walls, my contractor didn’t find any major issues that required costly fixes. The few minor issues he found could be handled within the original estimate. That isn’t always the case. By keeping a little money in reserve, I was in a better position to deal with unanticipated problems without spending more than I wanted to or could afford. And not having to spend my reserve meant I had a nice bonus to apply to something else—bathroom accessories!

Calder inspecting the work.

Calder inspecting the work.


4. If you have a pet, decide what you need to do to keep your pet safe.

Calder is an indoor cat that has never shown any interest in trying to escape from my house. However, with workers and delivery people going in and out, I couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t bolt outside if he got spooked. Also, it wouldn’t be safe if he got underfoot while someone carried a heavy, unwieldy package. So, I decided to lock Calder in my home office when I left for work and let him out when I returned. This required some time to prepare and make the office an acceptable place to keep my cat all day. By not leaving things to chance, you can have confidence that no injuries or issues will occur.

I hope these tips help you have as good of an experience as I did. Good luck and happy renovating!


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  1. Hi Sue, You had a great idea to link back to you other posts about the project.

    • Colleen on January 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm
    • Reply

    Good planning. The results are fantastic!

      • Sue Remisiewicz on January 31, 2016 at 5:10 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks! I’m very happy with it.

  2. Good advice for any remodeling job, thanks.

    • vicky wright on January 24, 2016 at 3:53 pm
    • Reply

    Calder says the counter is too high to reach in an easy jump. It will have to be lowered.

      • Sue Remisiewicz on January 31, 2016 at 5:06 pm
      • Reply

      He and I are negotiating. I think I have him to where he’ll accept more access to napping on my bed in place of getting on the sink.

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