July 26, 2012


Sawhill Custom Kitchen and Design

Remodeling can be a stressful endeavor, but with a few helpful hints, you can avoid some of the typical remodeling horror stories. In a previous blog, we discussed kitchen remodeling. Now it’s time to discuss another great home improvement – bathroom remodeling! Bathrooms are one of the most difficult to endure because of the “inconvenience factor.” Extra planning is especially needed if you don’t have a spare bathroom to use during the remodeling.

Hopefully, if you’re planning a bathroom remodeling project you have a second bathroom with a shower that can be used during the remodeling. If not you could have your contractor look into installing a temporary shower in the basement by the floor drain. Otherwise, it’s time to see how good your relationship is with your neighbors! Or plan on using the shower at your health club, community center or golf club (make sure you’re a member!). If you only have one bathroom in the home then the contractor will have to make sure that the toilet is reconnected after each day’s work has been completed. If you’re trying to reuse your existing toilet you may want to look into purchasing a cheap toilet to use during the remodeling so that the existing one does not get damaged during the remodeling.

Even if you do have a spare bathroom there are still some important things to consider and plan for, but certainly, this makes life easier than the family with only one bathroom.

OK, so you’ve decided on the location of your temporary shower, or what neighbor or club will be seeing a lot of you over the next few weeks. Or you’re the fortunate family with more than one bathroom. If you have multiple people using the temporary shower or spare bathroom, you may need to work out a schedule for showering, etc. And you may want to ask the contractor about your hot water heater’s capacity if people are going to be showering one after the other in the morning. Maybe it’s time for someone to change their normal schedule and plan on showering in the evening?



Once you’ve worked out your schedules and where you’ll be showering, now let’s look at a few hints to help save you some other frustration once the remodeling actually begins. Remember you will have to remove all items from the cabinetry, countertops, tub/shower, etc. For items that you won’t need on a regular or daily basis, you should place them in boxes and mark the boxes with the contents. And of course, remove these from the entire remodeling area. All your daily grooming items have to be moved to the new bathroom, or put into a travel case, or store them in a small plastic bin (with your name on it). This is also a good time to do some “purging” of items that maybe you just really don’t need or use any more.

If your project involves the remodeling of an adjacent bedroom, like for a master bathroom remodeling, then this room also needs to be cleaned out and all the furniture moved to another area. So here’s another thing to plan for. Where are you going to sleep?

Contractors should cover all your existing floors leading from the exterior doors to the remodeling area with drop cloths or some other type of floor protection. But it’s a good idea to also remove all area rugs in and around the remodeling area. This will prevent accidentally tripping over the rug, and make the rugs easier to clean when the project is completed. And don’t forget that dust will travel throughout your house through the ventilation system, so cover furniture and floors in surrounding areas with sheets or plastic to protect them from the remodeling dust.

Some other things to decide and discuss before the contractor shows up to start remodeling include:

• Communicate to your neighbors that you will be remodeling and that there may be more noise and traffic in the neighborhood than usual.
• If you live in a condominium or townhouse, please discuss the remodeling with the association and your surrounding neighbors. Find out what the rules are concerning elevator usage and parking for the tradespeople.
• What bathroom facilities are available during the remodeling for the tradespeople, or would you like the contractor to supply a “porta-potty?”
• Discuss access and security to your home. Is a lock box for house keys acceptable and what needs to be done with the security system?
• Where do you want the tradespeople to park?
• For safety reasons, please keep pets and/or children out of the remodeling area at all times!
• Clean out an area in the garage so that it may be used as a staging area for materials delivered to the job site prior to their installation. Many contractors like to make sure that all the plumbing fixtures are in stock, and on-site before tearing into your bathroom.
• Discuss with your contractor any items you would like to keep, reuse, or donate to charity.


What’s left to do on the day the remodeling starts? Whether you’re working with a contractor or not, make sure you’ve addressed the bullet point items noted above. Then make sure you or the contractor seals up the doorways, close or seal heat registers and cold air returns in the remodeling area to help control dust during your remodeling. And make sure floor protection has been installed wherever needed.


Hopefully, these tips can help make your remodeling project less stressful and more enjoyable. It’s important to be prepared before the project starts and to have patience during the remodeling. Try to have tunnel vision and focus on how beautiful your home will be when your project is completed!

Questions?  Ready to take the next step?  Contact us or stop by our showroom at International Market Square in Minneapolis to learn how we can help you design and remodel a beautiful bathroom space that you will enjoy for years to come!

Posted by: Tim Aden, CMKBD

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Sawhill Custom Kitchen and Design

July 26, 2012