At some point, most homeowners with outdated bathrooms experience some form of water damage in at least one bathroom in their home. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, your toilet will eventually leak, you may bust that rusted shutoff valve under the sink as you try to replace a leaky faucet, or you may have a faulty shower head that sprays water onto the walls, causing mold and drywall damage.
Regardless of the reason why your bathroom ends up with water damage, you’ve got to fix it. And what better time to turn your old, dated bathroom into the bathroom of your dreams! Even the smallest of budgets can turn an ugly and inefficient bathroom into a designer masterpiece. All you need are a few tips and a little guidance on how to get there.
Set your budget and stick to it
Bathroom remodels can eat up your budget fast. That’s why it is best to set your budget ahead of time and stick to it. Do a little research into the different types of materials that you may want to use, like granite countertops versus tile, whether or not you are going to replace flooring or install a heating element in the floor, and price out your fixtures and hardware. Remember, you still have to prepare your walls, floors, and surfaces for any changes you make, so be sure to add that into your budget first. Also, you’ll need to figure in unexpected expenses when budgeting your bathroom remodel, especially when it comes to water damage as it often takes some exploring and a professional eye to determine the extent of the damage.
Assess the damage
Water damage can range from minimal to very expensive. Before you start ripping out drywall or cabinets to get rid of damaged material, you should assess just what needs to be done. This way you can decide whether it’s within your skill set as a do-it-yourself project, or if it exceeds your available time and capabilities. There is nothing worse than starting a project, realizing you’re in too deep, and then finding out that a professional won’t be available for a few days or more.
If you have mold as a result of water damage, it’s important to remove ALL mold (including damaged drywall, carpet, or ceiling tiles), and make sure your workspace is completely dry before you paint, caulk, or otherwise seal off a space. The Environmental Protection Agency has published an informative guide that addresses mold cleanup and prevention that is pretty easy to follow. We highly recommend reviewing this guide before starting your remodel.
Conservation and re-purposing
When ever possible, try to re-purpose bathroom cabinets instead of replacing them entirely. Often times you can save a significant amount of money and create a whole new look simply by painting or staining the cabinet a different color, installing new hardware, or changing the countertop and fixtures. If you are really longing for a new look, you can have new doors made for the cabinet and still keep the frame. This way, you are still re-using a key part of the cabinet, and you won’t have to make any adjustments to flooring or baseboards due to the cabinet’s base measurements.
Remodeling your bathroom after water damage has taken place doesn’t have to be stressful. If you take your time and stay within your budget, you will not only end up with something functional and fabulous, but you will be able to take pride in the fact that your new bathroom is now your own personal creation.