When you’re thinking about selling your house, you might walk through it and wonder what would be best to change in order to appeal to potential buyers. For most, that’s going to be the kitchen and the bathroom. But what if your bathroom is almost perfect – except for the unsightly shower?

That’s when the shower remodel comes in. Understanding how to prepare for the remodel, what to expect as it happens, and what you’ll need to keep in mind to keep sane during the process is important to know before that first hammer falls.

Table of Contents

Plan for the Big Day

Your design is set, you have negotiated a good quote with the remodeler, and you have even added in that extra 20 percent contingency line in the budge that experts recommend for the unforeseen issues that might pop up. The big day is coming up for the remodel. What do you do now?

Even though this remodel is just about the shower, it is a good idea to clear out the bathroom as much as possible. That includes the things in the drawers and shelves, and moving any freestanding furniture out of the way. Why? Because a remodel of any kind creates copious amounts of dust, and that dust tends to get everywhere. Though the contractor will put up heavy-duty plastic sheeting to contain some of the mess, make no mistake— you are going to deal with dust. So clean out that bathroom before the workers come in.

Another thing to consider is that your bathroom will be out of commission for a while. A lot of work in that shower will require turning off the water, and possibly the electricity as well. That means it’s not just your bathroom that will be unusable for a bit, but it could also mean you can’t use your kitchen or appliances throughout the house when no power is flowing. Plan to be out of the house during those times.

When the Contractor Starts the Work

How the work goes depends upon how extensive the shower remodel is. With a full bathroom remodel, of course, you can expect everything in the room to be involved in some sort of makeover. When the focus is only on the shower, however, the work might be much more contained.

A great deal of that depends upon what you’ve chosen for that remodel. If you just want to switch out the tile, add in a few new fixtures or improve the area around the shower, it might be a matter of slow, careful work confined to the shower space. But if you’ve chosen to replace a bath and shower combo with a large shower with glass doors, or chosen to create a walk-in shower with various showerheads, you might be looking at some serious construction work that could seem to take over the whole bathroom.

This can obviously also affect the time frame. Your contractor should spell out that timeline in the contract, but if they come across any unforeseen issues during the work, that time frame could drastically change.

Be Prepared for Surprises

Gallons of water pour through the shower every day. And as any homeowner knows, water tends to find even the tiniest little crack or hole to get through. Over time, that dripping of water onto the wood behind the shower or the subfloor underneath it can lead to rotten studs and other problems. If your contractor pulls away tile or a fixture to find soft wood behind it, that means the job just went from simple to more complex – and that means your budget just took a hit.

If something does come up, expect your contractor to immediately stop the work and consult you on what to do. You’ll go into the bathroom and look it over as the contractor explains the problem, how it might have occurred, and the options for fixing it. Then you’ll discuss the new time frame as well as the new cost of the additional work. Keep in mind that there are negotiations possible here, as most contractors understand the stress when unexpected things pop up – especially those that are going to be rather expensive to fix.

When the Work is Complete

Most remodels seem to take forever, so there’s often a happy delight when the job is declared over and done! Before the contractor leaves, go over the final work with him or her. Make sure you understand any sort of new maintenance procedures you might need to know to keep it all looking great. For example, are there particular cleaners you should never use on that new grout? Or certain cleaners you should use to clean the new showerheads? Make note of those things to keep the bathroom sparkling clean, not only for your own use before the sale, but for a better look when showing it off to potential buyers.

Many homeowners have turned to Modernize to find the contractor that makes a perfect fit for their unique project, whether it’s a small shower upgrade or a full bathroom remodel. Let us connect you with the contractors in your area who can make your remodel look great and help increase the resale value of your home.