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We often hear that the kitchen is the heart of the home.  The only other rooms used more frequently than the kitchen would be the bathrooms.  Whether you’re preparing to sell or just renovate a bathroom for your family’s benefit, there are some considerations that will minimize the inconvenience and maximize what you get done each step of the way.

I only have one bathroom, so I can’t remodel it.

We agree you have to plan very carefully with only one bathroom so you can absolutely minimize the time your family cannot use it.  As with any renovation, planning is the difference between chaos and minimal discomfort. If your flooring is in good shape and you are just replacing the vanity and toilet fixtures, those upgrades can be accomplished in one day. You’ll want to ensure you have all the replacement parts the night before you start. You won’t want to spend your day going back and forth to a home improvement store for items since you can easily lose an hour or more each trip. For the one day, you might check with a close neighbour to see if they would allow you to use their facilities while this is going on. Or you may have to make a couple of runs to the corner gas station.

If, however, you need an extensive renovation involving vanity, toilet, bathtub/shower, plumber, electricity, wall remodel, or even flooring replacement, strategic planning is even more critical to minimize downtime and provide a quick turn-around on the project.  Whether you are doing the renovation or having subcontractors do it, again ensure you have all the supplies onsite before you begin. You’ll benefit from staggering your subcontractors so they are back-to-back, but not working on top of one another. Your family can use the kitchen sink to wash hands and faces, and even wash down if they have to; but if the toilet is going to be out of operation more than a day, it may be best to arrange for them to stay at a friend or family member’s home for the duration.

Two baths?

If you have two baths, or even one and a half baths, things will be decidedly easier, but it may cost a little more. If you need an electrician to come out, you can always use flashlights and lanterns in the bath so the electrician can do both rooms with one trip.  However, if you have to have a plumber to come in and work in each room, to keep one bathroom up and running may mean having the plumber make two separate trips. If you’re replacing floors, check with your contractor to see if the work will be completed in one day, since the toilets are taken up when new flooring is laid.  And if new tile is going on the floors, you will be without a toilet to use for up to several days if both floors are waiting for tile to dry before being able to clean and grout.

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