Bathroom Remodeling Checklist

By: Mark Clement , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Home Improvement Tips

Remodeling a bathroom is one of the most challenging home improvement projects there is. You basically have to build a little house inside a tiny, incredibly private, and personal room. There’s a lot going on in a very small space—and almost always on a tight deadline.

However, in most bathroom renovations, there’s almost nothing skill-wise that’s totally elusive to most carpenters. You might do some basic framing, replace a window, hang drywall, tile, install some flooring, sub out the plumbing/electrical, and do some painting. But in the end, the service a contractor provides–along with his trade-craft–is the key to the castle.

Part and parcel for good service, in my book, is planning ahead.

Bathroom Remodeling: Being Prepared Is Vital

I spend a huge amount of time prepping for a bathroom remodel and the takeaway here–whether you’re doing it yourself or having it done for you–is that it’s important that you see some of the steps I list below come together. And the more complex a project is, the more I rely on checklists.

One of my checklists (there are several) is all about customer service and expectation management:

  • Mapping out the yard and the house: where can I place materials, where can I park, do I need parking permits, what are the restrictions, where can my guys park?
  • Where can I put my dump trailer or dumpster?
  • How can I enter and exit the house? What doors can I and can’t I use?
  • Do you have pets? Can you please see to ALL of their needs so we can work?
  • Can we take over a room inside the house for staging materials that can’t go outside, like bath furniture.
  • In a gut-remo, I emphasize this verbally and in email: YOUR HOUSE IS GOING TO GET DUSTY. I will do my best to minimize the dust, but I can’t control it entirely. Where there’s budget, I include a maid service to do a final clean-up after I’m done.
  • Halo Effect: In a gut job there is a lot of bang-and smash work and this can dislodge drywall, plaster, whatever in other rooms. I let them know this ahead of time and that fixing it will include be an upcharge.

After we do all this, we can actually do some work on the bathroom.


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  1. 46 Responses  to “Bathroom Remodeling Checklist”

  2. Aug 29, 2011
    For people who are trying to DIY the remodelling of their bathroom, the information contained on this blog is really helpful. God knows how many people out there are really looking for a good online source of information. Thanks!
  3. Aug 29, 2011
    That's a great bit of advice in preparation before the job starts. My first boss told me that 95% of any job is in the preparation...he was dead right. Customers do not understand how much work and the amount of trades involved....and yes, there is lots of dust no matter how careful you are! It's also very easy to lose a days labor in under estimating basic things like parking - and material placements. Even though we specialise in installing high end Villeroy & Boch bathrooms - we still have to work on a tight installation bugdet!!
  4. Aug 29, 2011
    I believe your checklist can be applied to my work too - customer service and expectation management. Anyway, pretty much - improving one's bathroom is the toughest jobs to do. And If you really want to make it more sophisticated and more attractive, I guess it will take you a longer time to finish it but at least once it's done you can really make sure that the client or yourself can say "what a job well done".
  5. Aug 29, 2011
    This is always time consuming task to make checklists, do preparation, planning and buying the necessary tools. But, as we say good preparation is a half of the job.
  6. Aug 29, 2011
    your checklist really includes those important considerations and that checklist can be a guide in your work.Bathroom Remodeling
  7. Aug 29, 2011
    Just having things planned out ahead of time with the contractor will save you a lot of time and headache down the road. Having designated parking and spots to put everything will just help it go smoother.
  8. Aug 29, 2011
    Great article for anyone out there looking for this info. Tom is right though, the LED faucets and shower heads are becoming very popular. Maybe you should do a follow up article discussing some of the new bath room technologies and materials, etc. that are available today.
  9. Tom
    Aug 29, 2011
    You should have included LED Shower Heads and LED Faucets in this article. They seem to be the next "big" thing for kitchens and bathrooms. thanks, Tom
  10. Aug 29, 2011
    This is a really great post. Keep up the good work.
  11. Aug 29, 2011
    Having a plan is crucial when it comes to remodeling. Doing the job as you go will cost money, time, and your sanity. Unless the homeowner is really confident(or low on funds), I would suggest having this job done professionally.