Remodeling your bathroom in New Jersey has the potential to be a very rewarding experience that adds tangible value to your home while also improving your family’s long-term comfort and quality of life.
On average, bathroom additions provide an approximately 86% return on investment (ROI), while you can recoup about 60% to 70% of your costs in potential resale value for a bathroom remodel. However, you must first commit to a significant investment of time, energy, and money, with the goal of making the most of it.
Bathroom Remodeling Pitfalls to Avoid
As you prepare to upgrade your bathroom in Morristown or the surrounding area, a lot of your focus will be channeled toward developing drawings and a solid plan of action. There are several important steps to take during this process, and it’s important to carefully consider and prepare for those. In addition to planning what you should do, it's also helpful to be aware of what pitfalls could crop up and what you can do as a homeowner to prevent and mitigate them. Here is a look at some common home remodeling mistakes to be wary of:
1. Lacking a Plan
They say that failing to plan is planning to fail, and this is especially true if bathroom remodeling is what you have in mind. At first glance, renovating a bathroom may seem like a small project, but attempting any sort of demolition or construction without a plan is a surefire way of spending more money and energy than necessary.
As part of your planning, there are several things to consider. Are you changing the layout of your bathroom, adding space, or simply updating specific components? Are you refreshing your design style or picking a new one? What are your main project priorities? Using your vision as a guide, your design-build bathroom remodeler will collaborate with you to develop a feasible design plan that meets your lifestyle needs and personal tastes.
Another part of the process is planning for how your routine might need to change while your bathroom is indisposed. If you’re working on the only bathroom in your Morristown house, ask your contractor about setting up a temporary shower to use. Even in homes with more than one bathroom, you’ll want to talk with other household members about how to maximize privacy and make sure everyone is able to use the bathroom for bathing and dressing as their work and school schedules demand.
2. Setting an Unrealistic Budget
There are two common mistakes related to bathroom remodeling costs. The first prevalent issue is not establishing a maximum budget from the start, instead of leaving your investment open-ended. The problem is that your preliminary budget—even if it’s just a ballpark range—is used to develop your design plans and determine a scope of work and the type and quality of fixtures, features, and finishes you can include.
The second common pitfall is setting an unrealistic budget that’s not based on data from the remodeling industry in New Jersey. Once you’ve decided on a level of remodeling, whether that be a minor cosmetic upgrade or a major bathroom transformation, do some research on the average costs for similar projects in the area. The best source of good, reliable information will be your remodeling contractor in Morris, Essex, or Union county.
3. Not Knowing When to Splurge and When to Save
It's true that you get what you pay for. However, a seasoned bathroom contractor can enlighten you about options that meet your expectations at a lower cost. For example, attractive and solid frameless glass showers may take your home value a notch higher. If the framed shower option seems a good fit, ask yourself if paying extra for a frameless version is worth it. The same goes for higher-end paints, stone floors, quartz counters, and any other premium product.
Ultimately, there will be times to splurge and times to save when remodeling. That’s why it’s so important to identify your project priorities before initiating the design phase. If the current bathroom layout is cramped and dysfunctional, it’s probably more worthwhile to invest in relocating your main bathroom components and adding square footage even if it means choosing mid-range or economy-grade fixtures and materials. On the other hand, if you know you’d get long-term use and enjoyment from a luxurious standalone tub or a spa-style shower, consider splurging on those types of items.
4. Overlooking Bathroom Ventilation & Lighting
Bathroom fans are often the last thing on people’s minds during a remodel, but proper bathroom ventilation shouldn’t be ignored. Excess moisture content in the bathroom can result in perilous mildew or mold buildup that is capable of ruining other remodeling work and undermining your investment. You’ll also want to install an appropriately sized bathroom exhaust fan to help with ventilation and scaling down moisture concentration in your bathroom. Talk to your preferred bathroom remodeling contractor about the options available.
Another element that is often overlooked or de-prioritized is lighting. However, the methods you choose for illuminating your bathroom set the tone for the space. The lighting for bathrooms should ideally include some source of natural light, which appeals to your senses and can help brighten your mood. You may also want a mixture of general and task lighting to highlight certain fixtures or allow you to better control the ambiance in your newly remodeled bathroom.
5. Neglecting Your Bathroom Storage Space
You want your bathroom to be beautiful and inviting, but function should take precedence when you’re renovating. Think about your bathroom layout and if it makes sense for the primary users of the space and their specific needs. You also want to choose fixtures and materials that are high-performing, durable, and require a level of maintenance with which you're comfortable.
Another important element that contributes to the function of your New Jersey bathroom is storage. That includes not only your vanity but other storage solutions, such as medicine cabinets, built-in nooks, or a closet. Your remodeling contractor can work with you to develop creative ideas for storage that are tailored to the specific size of your space and your other remodeling goals.
6. Installing the Wrong Bathroom Materials
As any bathroom remodeling contractor will tell you, not all flooring is good for your bathroom. The best type of bathroom floor is one that sheds water, such as porcelain tile, ceramic tile, and vinyl plank. On the flip side, laminate flooring, solid hardwood, and engineered wood are not the best. This is because wood-based floors are prone to decay despite their enviable beauty.
Professional bathroom remodeling contractors will often use sealed stone because the sealing process makes the material resistant to moisture. Note that natural stone also needs sealing to prevent any moisture from infiltrating the surface. Always ask your bathroom remodeling contractor about the best floor type to avoid problems in the future.
The high moisture levels and quick temperature changes also impact your walls and vanities, so you will once again want to install materials designed specifically for the bathroom.
7. Not Using a Professional Remodeler
If you’re a handy person, it’s natural to want to invest in your home by occasionally renovating rundown or outdated spaces, like a bathroom. Certain remodeling tasks are simple do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for most homeowners; for example, changing out your cabinetry hardware or repainting. However, once you start moving toward any tasks that involve structural changes, layout reconfigurations, plumbing modifications, or rewiring, it’s best to hire a professional remodeling contractor. A professional will help make the bathroom renovation process more efficient and less frustrating. Although you’ll pay an additional cost for remodeling services, they can help save you money in the long run by ensuring the work is completed correctly the first time.
Finding a Bathroom Remodeler in New Jersey
Bathroom remodeling can be a rewarding experience—especially if you know what mistakes to avoid and you expect the unexpected. The best way to gear up for your remodeling project, mentally and in practice, is to have a solid remodeling team in your corner. We have just such a team at JMC Home Improvement Specialists. As a full-service design-build remodeler, we have the expertise and personnel to help you complete your New Jersey bathroom remodel, from start to finish.