We have a contractor coming this weekend to finally take a look at our bathroom. We moved into our house in early 2011, a cute 1922 Craftsman bungalow in NE Portland. The previous owner was making updates to the home in hopes of flipping the house for a profit, unfortunately, the market was terrible and he ended up having to sell the house mid project. This left the house with more than a handful of projects and renovations that still needed to be completed, the upstairs bathroom being one of them. In order to discuss a budget with a contractor, I worked to assemble a bathroom planning wish list to uncover our true wants and needs.
The Current Bathroom
The bathroom currently looks more like an attic space then anything else. There are no walls, no floors, no ceiling, no electrical, but some minimal plumbing. We also had the bathroom insulated shortly after we moved in, which was done in conjunction with getting the upstairs and basement completely rewired, removing the old knob and tube wiring from the house. With the basic plumbing in place, there is a setup for a toilet, sink and separate shower and tub. The bathroom is also a generous size for the age of the home, approximately 8’x14′.
Why the Wait?
We’ve been sitting on the bathroom project for two reasons. Number one, is that is it is going to be an expensive project. So, financially, we need to be able to afford to build it. I have it in my head that if I’m going to do this, I want to do it right, or as close to right the first time. I’d rather live without a bathroom upstairs, then have a very basic bathroom that I will want to redo again in 5 years. Number two, I can’t settle on a layout. Without having an existing bathroom to go off of, it leaves the design of it wide-open. As always, I have lots of ideas, but I feel like I’ve been lacking the basic knowledge of how everything can come together—in comes the contractor. I’m hoping the contractor can give me an idea of cost to see if the project is even doable yet, and I want to pick his brain to see what he would envision for the space as far as structure and layout. I think having an outside experienced opinion is going to help me in figuring out what I can and can’t do in the space.
The New Design
As for design, I have boat-loads of ideas, refining what I’d like over the past five years. For look and feel, I want the design pretty timeless, keeping the bathroom mostly true to the period of the house, with its craftsman details and the woodwork I fell in love with. I will want some modern amenities, however, like a separate shower and tub. To help communicate with the contractor, I started a list of our wants if we could build our dream bathroom. I figured this list gives us a good jumping off point to discuss the bathroom with the contractor and he can start reeling us in from there. Here’s the list:
Bathroom Planning Wants
- Small hex tile with a pattern or boarder
- Clawfoot tub that is both deep and long for soaking. I’d also like the tub to have a painted exterior
- Separate large standing shower with glass enclosure
- Double pedestal sinks
- Double shower heads
- Shower bench
- Shower niches to fit all of our bath products
- Some type of shelf or niche by the clawfoot tub
- Subway tile in the shower that goes to the ceiling – maybe with some type of simple border
- Recessed medicine cabinets
- Built-in storage – Enough to hold all the tp, bathroom products, medicine, beauty items, etc. A LOT.
- Light sconces above or around the mirrors
- Enough space around the toilet – I hate when you feel so cramped within a space
- Paneled ceiling
- Trim around the doors and windows and built-ins to match what’s going on in the rest of our house
- Ceiling fan
- Ceiling lights
- Heated floors
- Ability to have music/speakers in the bathroom
I’m sure there are things I’m forgetting, but hopefully this will be a good starting point in our first meeting with a contractor. A list like this is a great way to help refine what you want out of a space and narrow your ideas. Even with five years in my own home, I’m a newbie at a large-scale renovation, so I just want to make sure I’m doing my best to plan it right.
Have your own bathroom remodel coming up? What on your list of wants? Did you find making a list helpful?