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Bathroom Resources

Planning Your Shower Remodel

If you are looking to increase the value of your home, you may be considering how to improve your bathroom. Perhaps most of the space looks good, but that shower needs quite a bit of help to regain its former glory. Or perhaps it needs a complete replacement with something newer, nicer, and even safer. Here are the best tips for shower remodels.

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Decide What You Actually Need in Your Bathroom

A shower remodel should take into account all the elements that turn the shower experience into an escape from the day – an oasis of sorts, right there in the middle of your own home. To that end, it’s important to consider what someone would enjoy as a spa-like experience, as well as the more practical matters.

For instance, do you want to change your shower into a shower-tub combo, to allow for more flexibility for those who might want a good soak at the end of a challenging day? Or perhaps the shower is already a fantastic oasis on its own and just needs some upgrades with tile and fixtures to create a stand-out segment of your overall bathroom.

Adding a sturdy bench and handrails is always a good idea, especially if you might be courting buyers who are hoping to age in place over the years. You could even consider a full revamp of the shower space to include a step-in tub and shower combo, depending upon the kind of room and structure you have to work with.

It’s also important to keep in mind that whatever you do with your shower might affect other elements of your bathroom as well, and what you intended to be a small project could turn into a full bathroom remodel. For instance, choosing to expand a smaller shower might mean having to move the sink or toilet, which then means rerouting plumbing, which could mean working on the walls or replacing flooring. So be sure of what you’re getting into when you choose to create a new shower space!

Take a Hard Look at Your Budget

You might covet that gorgeous subway tile and those rainfall showerheads, but does your budget allow for that? Let your imagination run wild at first, then start looking at materials and shower options as you get more realistic about the design.

Slowly narrow down what you’d like versus what you can afford. At the same time, keep in mind that if you intend to put the house on the market, the shower should be designed in the way that will appeal to more buyers – something like adding the aforementioned grab bars or creating a roll-in shower with no lip might be appeal to those who could see eventually needing those benefits.

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Don’t Hesitate to Meet with a Realtor and Designer

Get outside opinions on what others might want to see in your shower remodel. A realtor can give you a good idea of the pulse of the market right now, and indicate what most buyers are impressed with as they walk through a remodeled bathroom. A designer can look at your initial plans and tell you what might work better – or be honest about what might not work at all, no matter how appealing the idea might be.

Take advantage of the services of experts, because it’s a safe bet that they know a lot more about the market and home design than you do.

Be Prepared for Surprises

The bathroom is filled with fixtures that use a lot of water, and as any homeowner knows, water can lead to big problems.

A contractor might get into the shower, pull away some tile, and discover that the studs behind are rotten after years of water damage that you didn’t have any idea was occurring. Or there might be problems with the pipes, necessitating replacement. Or there could even be last-minute surprises, like a shower stall that is simply too big to fit into the space, even though you and the contractor measured half a dozen times – the manufacturer simply sent the wrong specifications. Now what?

There’s a reason experts recommend adding a 20% line of contingencies in your budget. Hopefully, you won’t have to use that extra cash, but if you do, at least it’s not going to be a break-the-bank kind of surprise.

Choosing the Right Contractor for the Job

Of course, the success of your shower remodel depends greatly upon the contractor you choose to make it happen. A good contractor can take one look at your plans and tell you what will work and what won’t, and why.

He or she can also give you a firm idea of what their quote will be, and how you might be able to negotiate it down by doing some things yourself, using different materials, or choosing to go about the changes in your bathroom in a way you hadn’t considered before. Lean on your contractor’s expertise for the best outcome possible.

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