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15 Common Mistakes When Renovating a Bathroom

Chris Bishop here of Bishop Builders. I am a general contractor in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. With over three decades of hands-on experience in the construction business, I've seen it all when it comes to bathroom remodels in the Texas.

I've got some advice to share with y'all from my firsthand experience. Bathroom remodels can be downright tricky if you're not careful. From plumbing pitfalls to design disasters, there's plenty of mistakes folks tend to make along the way.

I'm here to steer y'all clear of them. So saddle up, grab yourself a cold one, and let's dive into some common slip-ups folks make when remodeling bathrooms in Texas.

Image of a bathroom renovation in Dallas: 15 common mistakes when renovating a bathroom

Ignoring the Budget for a Bathroom Remodel

Now, let's talk about a common mistake I've seen time and time again. This is ignorming your own budget for the project. Folks can easily get carried away with dreams of marble countertops and rainfall showerheads without giving a second thought to their wallet.

Sure, it's easy to get swept up in the excitement of a remodel, but let me tell you, ignoring your budget can leave you in some real trouble. Sticking to your budget isn't about pinching pennies. Instead be practical and make sure you can afford the changes you want without emptying your pockets.

It’s easy to get carried away with all the different design options available, but overspending can leave you with a half-finished bathroom, or a lot of debt and regret.

Bathroom Renovation: Not Considering Space

Not Considering the Space for a Bathroom Remodel

Let's talk about another common mistake. This is not considering the space before launching into a bathroom remodel. It's a bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – it's just not going to fit right.

Every bathroom has its unique layout and dimensions, whether it's a compact guest bath or a spacious master suite. Ignoring these factors can lead to a host of problems. Maybe that oversized bathtub you're eyeing won't squeeze in, or perhaps that trendy double vanity will crowd the room.

Before you start knocking down walls, take a good look at your space and think about what will work best. Trust me, a little extra planning upfront can save you a lot of headaches later on.

At Bishop Builders, we will help you design the space and have the experience to make suggestions you may not have even thought of. For example, on bathroom remodel we recently did was a bathroom addition in an attic space. The homeowners were envisioning a small, not very function space, but they just wanted a bathroom there.

We suggested they open up the ceiling, extending the space upwards and adding a window to the wall there. The end result was a beautiful light space with plenty of room for a full bathroom.

When Planning a Bathroom Renovation Don't Skip Out on Details

Now, let's chat about another common mistake and that's skipping the planning phase of a bathroom renovation. It's tempting to dive right in, but without a solid plan in place. Take the time to sit down and hash out your vision for the space.

Consider everything from layout and fixtures to budget and timeline. It may seem like a hassle, but believe me, a little planning upfront can save you a lot of trouble down the road. So grab yourself a pencil and paper, partner, and start sketching out your dream bathroom. Work closely with your general contractor to make a thorough plan. You'll thank me later.

A renovation project requires careful planning to ensure everything is executed smoothly. Skipping the planning phase can lead to cost overruns, design mistakes, project delays, safety hazards, and even an incomplete renovation.

bathroom remodel construction professional

Not Hiring Professionals for Kitchen Remodels

Let's talk about a common misstep that can turn your bathroom remodel into a nightmare...not hiring professionals. Sure, the DIY spirit runs deep in Texas, and they sure make it look easy on HGTV, but when it comes to major renovations, it's best to leave it to the experts.

Trying to tackle plumbing, electrical work, or complex installations on your own can lead to more headaches than not. Professionals have the skills, experience, and know-how to get the job done right the first time, saving you time, money, and stress in the long run.

So before you reach for that toolbox, consider contacting some professionals to get a few bids and get some sound advice. While DIY projects can be satisfying and cost-effective, a bathroom renovation is not the time to cut corners.

Not hiring professionals for your bathroom renovation can result in safety hazards, poor quality work, legal or insurance issues, cost overruns, limited design options, and a longer time to completion.

Choosing Style Over Functionality in Your Bathroom

Ah, here's a misstep that I've seen quite often. Homeowners choosing style over functionality in their bathroom remodel. It's easy to get swept up in the allure of trendy fixtures and flashy finishes, but if they don't work well in your space, you'll may regret these choices.

Before you start picking out fancy faucets and designer tiles, take a moment to consider how you actually use your bathroom. Do you need ample storage for towels and toiletries? Is a spacious shower more practical than a luxurious tub?

By prioritizing functionality over style, you'll ensure that your bathroom not only looks great but works seamlessly for your everyday needs. So, before you go hog wild with the decor, remember: form should always follow function.

While a fancy bathtub might look nice, it won’t be very practical if you never use it. While style is important, choosing functionality over style can help you create a bathroom that is practical, safe, easy to maintain, and adds value to your home.

Ignoring Ventilation in a Bathroom Remodel

Let's not overlook a crucial aspect of bathroom remodeling: ventilation. Proper ventilation is essential to keep moisture at bay and prevent issues like mold and mildew from taking root. Yet, it's a detail many folks tend to overlook in the excitement of a remodel.

Without adequate ventilation, your bathroom could become a steamy sauna after every shower, leading to unpleasant odors, peeling paint, and even structural damage over time. So, before you start tearing down walls or installing that fancy new shower, make sure you've got a plan in place for proper ventilation. Trust me, your bathroom – and your sanity – will thank you for it in the long run.

The most effective way to achieve this is by installing an exhaust fan, which draws moisture and odors out of the room and expels them outdoors through ductwork. It's important to place the exhaust fan in the ceiling or wall near the shower or bathtub to capture steam and moisture effectively.

Additionally, ensure that the fan is properly sized for the bathroom's dimensions, with sufficient airflow capacity to exchange the air several times per hour. Consider adding a timer or humidity sensor to automate the fan's operation and route the ductwork from the fan to the outdoors using smooth, rigid ducts to minimize airflow restrictions.

Regular maintenance, including cleaning the fan and ductwork, is essential to ensure efficient ventilation and prevent mold growth. Proper bathroom ventilation not only maintains a comfortable indoor environment but also extends the life of fixtures and finishes, making it an essential consideration for any bathroom remodel or renovation project.

Overlooking Lighting in a Bathroom Renovation

Ah, let's shine a light on another often overlooked aspect of bathroom remodeling: lighting. Lighting is important for creating the right ambiance and functionality in your bathroom, yet it's a detail many folks tend to neglect.

Without proper lighting, your bathroom could feel dim and dreary, making it hard to get ready in the morning or unwind after a long day. Consider a combination of overhead lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting to illuminate different areas and tasks in the bathroom.

Think about incorporating dimmer switches to adjust the brightness according to your needs and installing fixtures that are moisture-resistant for safety.

Make sure your renovation plans include ample lighting, both natural and artificial.

Bathroom Renovation: Overlooking Lighting

Not Considering Storage in Bathroom Remodels

Ignoring storage during a bathroom renovation can lead to clutter, limited functionality, reduced resale value, expensive and time-consuming solutions, and safety hazards. To avoid these problems, it is important to consider storage options during the planning phase of your renovation.

This can include adding built-in storage such as cabinets, shelves, or drawers, as well as utilizing vertical space or adding storage solutions such as baskets or organizers. By prioritizing storage, you can create a more functional and organized bathroom that meets your needs and adds value to your home.

image of a towel rack for storage in a bathroom remodel

Choosing the Wrong Materials in a Bathroom Renovation

Choosing the wrong materials during a bathroom remodel can lead to durability issues, safety hazards, poor aesthetics, increased costs, and lower resale value. To avoid these problems, it's important to choose materials that are specifically designed for use in bathrooms and that meet your functional and aesthetic needs.

With so many options out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed and end up with materials that don't suit your needs or stand the test of time. Whether it's picking a flooring that's prone to water damage or opting for a countertop that stains easily, the wrong materials can spell trouble down the road.

Before you start loading up your cart, take the time to research and choose materials that are durable, water-resistant, and suited to the demands of a bathroom environment.

It's also important to work with a reputable contractor or designer who can guide you in selecting the right materials for your bathroom remodel. By choosing the right materials, you can create a beautiful and functional bathroom that adds value to your home.

Image of tile samples: choosing the wrong materials in a bathroom remodel can lead to problems

Focusing on Trends Over Timeless Design in a Bathroom Reno

Trends come and go, but a timeless bathroom design can stand the test of time. Consider classic elements like subway tile and neutral colors to ensure your renovation stays stylish for years to come.

Trends come and go, and what's popular today might look outdated tomorrow. While it's tempting to incorporate the latest trends in your design, opting for trendy fixtures, finishes, and styles can leave your bathroom feeling dated sooner than you think.

Instead, aim for designs that stand the test of time, incorporating classic elements that have long-lasting appeal. Think neutral colors, clean lines, and quality materials that won't go out of style anytime soon.

Sure, it might not be as flashy as the latest trend, but trust me, you'll appreciate the timeless elegance of a well-designed bathroom for years to come.

Ignoring the Plumbing in a Bathroom Remodel

Plumbing is the backbone of your bathroom, and neglecting it can lead to leaks, poor water pressure, drainage issues, expensive repairs, and even code violations that'll make you wish you'd paid more attention. Whether you're swapping out fixtures or rearranging the layout, it's essential to consider how your changes will affect the plumbing system.

Make sure you've got a solid plan in place for the plumbing. To avoid these problems, it is essential to ensure that the plumbing is properly installed, maintained, and updated as needed during your bathroom remodel.

It's also important to work with a licensed and experienced plumber to ensure that the plumbing meets all local codes and regulations. By prioritizing plumbing during your bathroom remodel, you can create a more functional, safe, and comfortable living environment for you and your family.

Image of a plumber working on under the sink plumbing: ignoring plumbing is a bad idea in a bathroom remodel

Remodeling Bathrooms Can't Be Rushed

While it's natural to be eager to see your vision come to life, rushing through the project can lead to shoddy workmanship, overlooked details, and costly mistakes. Whether you're doing the work yourself or hiring professionals, taking the time to plan and execute each step carefully is essential for a successful outcome.

From demolition to finishing touches, give each phase the attention it deserves and resist the urge to cut corners or skip important steps. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither should your dream bathroom. So, take a deep breath, pace yourself, and enjoy the journey.

Renovations can be stressful, but rushing the project can lead to mistakes and oversights. Take your time and plan for delays to ensure your renovation is done right.

Not Obtaining the Proper Permits in a Bathroom Remodel

Some bathroom renovations require permits from your local government. Skipping this step can result in fines and legal issues down the line. Make sure you've got the right permits before you start swinging that hammer.

Whether you're making major structural changes or just swapping out fixtures, chances are you'll need the proper permits from your local authorities. Ignoring this step can lead to hefty fines, forced removal of your improvements, or even having to tear down your work altogether.

Take the time to get the necessary permits. It's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to playing by the rules. If you're working with a general contractor, discuss upfront who will be in charge of getting any necessary permits.

Forgetting the Details in a Bathroom Renovation

It’s the little details that can make a big difference in a bathroom renovation. Don’t overlook elements like towel bars, toilet paper holders, and other accessories that can complete the look of your new space.

Sure, it's easy to get caught up in the major elements of the renovation, like the layout and fixtures, but it's the small details that truly bring a space together. Things like hardware finishes, trim molding, and towel hooks might seem insignificant on their own, but they can make a world of difference in the overall look and feel of your bathroom. So, before you call it a day, take a moment to consider the little things that will add character and charm to your space.

Not Factoring in Accessibility

If you plan to live in your home for many years, it’s important to consider accessibility. While accessibility might not be at the forefront of your mind right now, failing to plan for it could saddle you with costly and disruptive renovations down the line.

Features like wider doorways, zero-threshold showers, and reinforced walls for future grab bar installation can make a world of difference for aging homeowners or those with mobility challenges. So, you might consider incorporating these elements into your design.

A bathroom renovation can be a rewarding project if done properly. Avoiding these 15 common mistakes can help ensure your renovation runs smoothly and results in a beautiful, functional bathroom you can enjoy for years to come. If you're ready to renovate, contact our team at Bishop Builders today!



The Bishop Builders Team

Chris Bishop and Dennis Hall

Chris Bishop brings over 30 years of expertise to the construction industry in Texas. With a comprehensive understanding of construction techniques, materials, and project management, Chris oversees every aspect of the building process, ensuring exceptional quality and attention to detail.


Dennis Hall is the strategic business operations specialist. Dennis plays a pivotal role in the success and growth of Bishop Builders with his adept handling of contracts, seamless communication with clients, and financial management. Together, Chris and Dennis form a dynamic partnership, combining construction expertise with astute business acumen to deliver outstanding results.

Photo of Dennis Hall and Chris Bishop
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