How to Remodel my Bathroom Checklist

I got married, and my fiancee did not like my bathroom.  Or to be more fair, I did not know the bathroom was quite broken that it did need renovation work.  If this is your first time to plan remodeling, it would seem like a very difficult task.
(If you have already done it in the past, or plan to hire a contractor to take care of everything, then you would understand my experience already.)
1. Planning time: 2-6 months
  • Have an idea about what you like and can afford.  If you are a practical person, ask "knowing your house/condo/townhouse, what would be a reasonable investment?"  
  • Set a conservative/reasonable budget.  (Believe me. It WILL increase minimum at least 25% at the end)
  • Interview and identify a licensed and experienced contractor.  (There are many non-licensed ones, who are not necessarily cheaper).  This step is the critical task.  Best to find one referred by a friend of yours who have that contractor(s) worked on the other house before.  Thus, you can visit the contractor's piece of work.
  • Identify pieces of bathroom/restroom that needs to be replaced.
Bathroom components
  • cabinet, medicine cabinet, mirror, toilet, bathtub, shower rod, shower curtain, shower case, Vent
  • faucets, sinks
  • wall tiles, floor tiles, paint
2. Apply for remodeling permit.
  • Check with your city about permit rule and fee.  City often requires it.
  • The larger complexity and scale of the renovation work, the more expensive a permit costs.
  • Apply ahead of time
3. Start Purchasing Materials.  Here is my purchases info for my 2.5 bathrooms in this format

 [Location]: item name(s). *note

[]:toilets.    One-piece design toilet with water saving features about $350 each

[]cabinet. Internet-specials. I like the design $300.
     *Make sure counter-top is water-proof
[]bath-tubs. $700
[]:shower door & frame. $400
      *key is the color should match the paint and tiles color
[IKEA Store]:modern design wall-hanging cabinet with large drawers and marble counter-top. $800
      *I assembled the cabinet myself. Took sometime, but worth it.
[IKEA Store]large mirrors. $50 each
[][Panasonic]:vent. $150 each.
      *I did not know Panasonic make vent, in fact excellent vent at reasonable prices. 
      *They are not available from Home Depot or Lowes. Their vent is much more quiet than NuTone's and Broan's.   The noise level is measured in sones.  The lower sones number, the quiet the vent is.

      Panasonic Vent Choices.  Search "Panasonic vent" in

[][Kohler]:medicine mirror. $100 each
[Local tile store][made in spain]: wall and floor tiles. $3 - $50 per piece depends on the size.  
      *For 2.5 bathrooms, about $3000
[Local bathroom design store]: modern-design glass-faucet.  $75 - $100 each.
      *Dreamline brand offers excellent design faucets, but I did not want to pay $150 for a faucet.


  • In my opinion, Kohler offers the best American-brand bathroom and kitchen wares at affordable prices.  Their product prices vary.  I bought the one that made most sense to my house. I do not live in multi-million dollar mansion, so does not need to spend $2000 for one single bathroom sink.  Often, Home Depot offers 20% discount on Kohler products
  • Above can not cover what one needs to know all about remodeling.  Some contractors would tell you that they have special discounts from certain stores.  Choosing the right contractor is the key. We budgeted $15,000 for 2.5 bathrooms including a master bathroom.  At the end, we spent near $20,000, because we selected better materials and did not foresee miscellaneous materials costs.
  • This remodel put real stress on the relationship between me and Isa during those times, because we had different tastes. I like modern style, while she likes classic.  As a guy, I should just let her decide, regardless she is a better designer or not.  I learned a big lesson.

Good luck!

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