Posted by Bruce Borden in Home Maintenance

From start to finish, a bathroom remodel can be a huge, difficult undertaking. Not planning your bathroom renovation project can result in an even more painful ordeal.

Instead of finding yourself with a bigger mess than you can handle, read through our quick expert advice to ensure a successful bathroom design update.

In this guide, we’ll cover 3 commonly overlooked phases of bathroom remodels that are well deserving of your time before starting your project:

  1. Budgeting for a Bathroom Remodel
  2. Designing a Bathroom Remodel
  3. Planning a Bathroom Remodel

How to Budget for a Bathroom Remodel

In addition to helping you start to scope out how long your bathroom remodel will take, a list of your desired bathroom updates will give you a better indication of how much it costs to remodel your bathroom.

Bathroom Faucet Selection

The number of wish-list items will also help you gauge the likelihood of being able to DIY your bathroom project vs. hire a professional contractor.

When dreaming up your new bathroom look and functionality, involve any key decision-makers in the process of creating your wants vs. needs list.

Ask the following questions about your bathroom goals:

  • What isn’t working today in our bathroom routine?
  • What would be nice to have, but not a requirement?
  • What storage improvements do we need?
  • How much do we want to replace or upgrade all at once?

If your bathroom upgrade is starting to look like a bigger deal involving plumbing, installing fixtures, laying tile, or other significant changes, a contractor may be the way to go.

Start by taking a look at your current spending and make note of what could be cut down temporarily to devote to your bathroom renovation.

A spreadsheet could be helpful for budgeting your home project.

Next, start to research the main areas of your bathroom you want to replace, such as soaking tub, shower enclosures, flooring, wall tile, vanities, etc., and make a list of your top 3 picks in order on your spreadsheet, including their prices.


If you are hiring a professional to carry out your bathroom work, spend time researching highly rated, fully licensed and insured bathroom remodelers in your area. Get quotes on their websites or a tool like

Add another line item detailing your vetted professionals of choice and their price ranges.

Finally, give yourself a goal date for when you’d like to have your bathroom improvement all saved up for. Many personal banking apps offer special savings accounts just for home projects like these.

How to Design a Bathroom Remodel

If you are DIYing your bathroom, consulting hardware store professionals will be well worth your time, especially if your remodel requires changing out flooring, toilets, showers, etc.

Gold Shower Head

You’ll also want to make sure you start with the right design elements and build your new bathroom look from there.

Even seemingly smaller bathroom design considerations such as sink height, different flooring from the bathroom to the hallway outside it, and other similar aspects make a huge difference in the overall finished product.

This is another step to your bathroom remodel where your wants vs. needs list will come in handy. Prioritize your needs items from your list, and budget for those first.

Owner's Bathroom Dual Vanity

Incorporate future bathroom elements into your research, even if you don’t plan on tackling all of them at once. This will ensure that the various elements all match and look right together, including metals, color schemes, textures, lighting, and more.

Don’t buy a portion of flooring, tile, or other similar products—wait to purchase however much you’ll need in full (of course with some extra materials accounted for).

In the event that an item is discontinued, you’ll want to have all that you need.

Owner's Bathroom

How to Plan a Bathroom Remodel

Once you have your bathroom design finishes picked out and included in your budget, start to piece together the timeframes of everything coming together in your bathroom project.

Orchestrating these different steps in your spreadsheet is a great way to organize all the timelines involved from any contractor work, item ship times, installation estimates, and more.

When planning your bathroom remodel timeline, allow for a few buffer days, just in case there is a hiccup or two throughout the process.

Account for the impact of this space being temporarily unusable, and make other accommodations by prepping another full bathroom in your home or making other arrangements.

Guest Bathroom

Even if your bathroom update ends up taking slightly longer than you had originally hoped, the most important thing is to really love your new bathroom space!

The more intentional you can be with the steps to your envisioned bathroom project, the better your renovation will be.


Bruce Borden


Bruce has been with M/I Homes for over 20 years, has been the National Customer Experience Manager for over 10 years, and has been in the home building industry for over 30 years. Happily married and a proud father, Bruce enjoys outdoor activities and home improvement projects, and has never met someone he didn't like.

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