Bathroom Ideas: 5 Steps to Making the Most of Your Space

Of all the household rooms, bathrooms are the most frequently used. They should be warm, comfortable, uncluttered, and allow for privacy.

Here are 5 steps to think about before remodeling your bathroom.

1. Draw it out. Even if you can't draw, look at your space and try to sketch it out on a piece of paper. Then, as if you're working with a clean slate, draw the ideal layout of your perfect bathroom. Don't be afraid to move walls around or eliminate them entirely. This is an important starting point.

2. Budget. Almost as important as your dream bathroom is what you can afford. This will dictate how close you can come to your dream. If money is no object, congratulations, Warren Buffet.

3. Once you figure out your budget, go through some home and design catalogs, web sites, and stores and get a sense for the types of material and items you'd like in your bathroom. Note: Once you figure out how much a new bathtub costs, you may need to re-adjust your budget.

4. Get an estimate. Talk to some friends who have had good experiences with contractors. Get their advice and the contact numbers of the contractors. Have multiple contractors come bid on the job and go with whom you feel most comfortable. Read as much about working with contractors as possible and try to find your favorite contractor on Yelp to read their reviews.

5. Pick a time. Most contractors will blow their estimated projected time and go long. To that end, when choosing a contractor, be sure to pay for the job, not the time. A contractor paid by the hour will invariably take longer to complete the job. But just as important: Be sure to pick a time that the construction fits into your life. Any sort of construction to your house will be an inconvenience so it's important that you have the construction work durning a time when you don't need your house for, say, a big party.

For more inspiration, check out Lonny's bathroom galleries.
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