A Comprehensive Bathroom Remodel Checklist

A Guest Post by Adrienne McGuire


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Remodeling your bathroom can be one of the most impactful changes you can make in your home. A design that not only resonates with your aesthetics, but also makes your morning and evening routines easier can be a breath of fresh air in your everyday life.


The Medford Design-Build team understands the importance of a positive experience and a quality finished product. Our trusted team of professionals can get your project completed on budget and on time, yielding beautiful results that will last a lifetime. We will work with you to create a detailed plan based on your vision for your remodel and provide a detailed custom design package to outline every aspect of the process.


Here is a helpful checklist with tips to prepare you for the experience of having your bathroom remodeled:



1. Hire a Design-Build Company

You might think a bathroom remodel is pretty straightforward, however, they can be very complex and involve a series of delicate and difficult steps. Not only are there a lot of design details that you might not consider, but there are also parts of the demolition and installation that require some knowledge and experience. Unless you are extremely confident in handling electrical rewiring, flooring removal and installation, plumbing, and above all, reacting properly to unexpected complications, it’s a good idea to hire a professional! You’ll never regret having a beautiful bathroom that you can trust to have been installed flawlessly from the start.


2. Budget

A big factor in the outcome of your bathroom remodel is your budget. The reality is that remodeling is expensive, and even more so if you intend to hire a professional to manage it. For some insight on what your remodel might cost, check out the price chart we have put together on our website. While these prices are not exact, they are very close ballpark numbers based on our years of experience completing each specific type of remodeling project. This cost vs. value report is also a great place to start. Its pricing is not exact either, but it will provide you with a realistic expectation for the cost of your project. Knowing the general cost of a bathroom remodel and the amount that you intend to spend will help you to make informed decisions about your bathroom remodel and also help you to prioritize what you want most out of your project.


3. Time

Despite the relatively small size of most bathrooms, remodeling can take more time than many homeowners anticipate. Renovating even a small bathroom takes just as many steps as remodeling any other space, and perhaps more if relocating wiring or plumbing is involved. We typically tell our clients to plan for roughly 12 weeks for completion from start to finish. That’s 6 weeks to complete the design phase (finalize plans and renderings, order all of the materials, and obtain the necessary permits from the city) and another 5-6 weeks to complete the construction (demolition, installation, and final inspections). See our recent blog for more information about what to expect for the timeline of your remodel.


4. City Permits

Before we can get started on your remodel, we’ll need a building permit from the city. Our licensed plumber and electrician will pull their own permits as well. Depending on the age of your home and the materials used in installing your bathroom originally, you may be required to have your bathroom tested for lead and asbestos. There can be lead present in paint, porcelain enamel bathtubs, and sinks or ceramic tiles — regardless of their age.

If your bathroom tests positive for either lead or asbestos, there will be additional costs and procedures involved with their removal and disposal.


5. Unseen Issues

As we proceed through the bathroom remodel process, we keep our eyes peeled for any hints of hidden problems. We try our best to acknowledge any red flags ahead of time, but it’s important to understand that some things may not be discovered until the demolition begins. If your home is not brand-new, especially if there were any mistakes made when your bathroom was originally built, there is a chance that unforeseen issues may present themselves once the walls are opened up. Faulty electrical wiring, mold, evidence of leaks or corrosion, and termite damage are all possible issues that could cause a delay in construction. As professionals, we believe in completely resolving any issues before creating your new bathroom. The goal is to provide a quality remodel that will last for years, not a quick fix that will allow these issues to resurface in a year or two. These issues do not arise in every remodel we do, but we do like to make our clients aware that this is a possibility.


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6. Layout & Functionality

Because layout and function go hand in hand, you’ll want to carefully consider who will be using the bathroom while you live there, who would be potential buyers should you choose to sell it in the future, and whether or not the bathroom you’re envisioning will flow with the rest of your home. Determining the layout of the remodeled bathroom is part of what we address with our floor plans and renderings, allowing you to see exactly what the room will look like and how it will function once the changes are made.


7. Design Elements

If you’re serious about remodeling your bathroom, you probably already have an idea of the look and style you want. If you need inspiration, a good place to start is by searching on Pinterest or Houzz for elements like colors, flooring options, bathtub styles, vanities, shower surrounds, faucets, and lighting fixtures. Even if you can only come up with a single striking element that you feel strongly about, you can make this item your central focus, then create the rest of the bathroom around it. Our talented Interior Designer, Stephanie, can certainly help you select each of your items to really pull the final design together. These selection items will also be included in your 3-D renderings, providing some clarity on how specific colors, fixtures, and materials will look.


8. Measurements

Ultimately, your bathroom remodel will have three limitations in addition to your budget: size, location of pipes and wiring, and the dimensions of the fixtures you intend to use. We will carefully measure each component of your existing bathroom to ensure that the layout and fixtures you’ve selected will work within the parameters of your space.


9. Cabinets, Storage & Shelving

Bathroom storage is tricky, and as anyone who suffers from inadequate bathroom storage will tell you, it’s important to get it right. If your bathroom is particularly small, or shaped in some unusual way, it’s even more important to create functional storage that doesn’t intrude into other areas of the bathroom.

We’ll be able to give you recommendations based on your bathroom’s individual characteristics, but in general, you’ll want bathroom storage that is easy to reach, fits the dimensions of your bathroom, accommodates your items, and matches and enhances your bathroom’s overall appearance. Our bathroom vanities are custom designed and installed onsite for a quality, high-end finish. You don’t want to skimp on quality in this area; high-quality cabinetry will hold up better over time and help your investment age gracefully.


10. Walls & Flooring

There are virtually endless combinations of colors, textures, and finishes to choose from when it comes to the walls and flooring of your bathroom. The one guideline we highly suggest sticking to is that your choices be water-resistant. Anything that is not water resistant (hardwoods!) is likely to become warped or damaged due to constant moisture and humidity in the bathroom.

When you’re choosing these materials, think about long-term cleaning and maintenance. You may love the appearance of subway tiles, but if you don’t love cleaning and maintaining lots of precise lines of grout, this may not be the right choice for you. Remember, too, that these tasks will be increasingly difficult as you age; if you’re having your bathroom remodeled when you’re only 45 years of age, you will still need to imagine how you’ll handle maintaining these surfaces when you’re 60+. The key is to strike the right balance between aesthetics and practicality.



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11. Lighting

Selecting the right lighting for your remodeled bathroom will make a huge impact in the final product. We typically install strategically placed recessed LED can lights, along with decorative accent lighting to ensure a beautiful and functional outcome. No one wants a beautiful bathroom that is dimly lit!


12. Ventilation

Bathrooms are subject to more heat and moisture than any other room in the home, so they require excellent ventilation. The ventilation we install will be expertly designed to keep your beautiful new remodel from developing dampness and subsequent mold, which presents a problem for both your health and the longevity of your bathroom.

In order to fully protect your beautiful new investment, you should run the ventilation fan every time you shower or bathe.



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Remodeling your bathroom might seem overwhelming, but this checklist should provide you with the basics of what the project will involve. With 30+ years of experience, our team has the knowledge and the skills to take your remodel from concept to completion! We will make the remodeling process as straightforward and hassle-free as possible for you, with beautiful results handcrafted to last a lifetime.


If you need help remodeling your bathroom or would like more information about the process, our team would be happy to help. Contact us today!


Warm Regards,

The Medford Design-Build Team


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