From meticulous planning and thoughtful design considerations to avoiding common pitfalls, knowing the dos and don’ts of bathroom remodeling will have you renovating right. In this post, we’ll provide insights necessary to navigate the complexities of a bathroom remodel to ensure your project’s success.

Bathroom Remodeling Dos

Do: Hire a Professional Design Build Firm

Bathroom Renderings and Floorplans

Hiring the right design build firm may be the most important decision you make since the multi-faceted nature of a bathroom remodel involves both design and construction with a cohesive approach. Your design build firm can:

  • Offer a streamlined and consolidated process to manage both design and construction, thus eliminating potential communication gaps that may arise if using separate designers and contractors, and enhance accountability throughout the project.
  • Bring a wealth of expertise and experience in both the aesthetic and technical aspects of bathroom design to help avoid design flaws that could lead to costly modifications during the construction process.
  • Maximize functionality and offer tailored solutions for space optimization, enhanced storage and accessibility elements, if required.
  • Minimize potential delays and miscommunications through a unified team.
  • Help you potentially avoid unforeseen expenses, and deliver value for every dollar spent, through expertise in budgeting and resource allocation.

Do: Create a Realistic Budget


A well-thought-out budget serves as your financial guide to help you stay within any budget allowances while helping to alleviate unnecessary stress or complications. A realistic budget can:

  • Set the parameters for your project so you are not enticed by design options or features that may surpass what is practical.
  • Act as a preventive measure or safety net against potential overspending when unforeseen challenges and discoveries arise.
  • Encourage a disciplined approach to decision-making, prompting you to prioritize aspects and distinguish between what’s essential and what’s desired. This ensures that critical components such as plumbing and structural improvements are addressed before allocating funds to aesthetics or non-essential features.
  • Foster effective communication and help find solutions within the budget allowance.

Do: Research Local Building Codes

Like any city, Madison, WI has specific building codes and regulations. Adhering to these codes is not merely a legal obligation, it helps ensure the safety, integrity and compliance of your bathroom renovation. Here are some of the benefits of researching the local building codes yourself:

  • Familiarization with the local building codes helps you to know the safety standards and minimize the risk of structural issues down the line. Non-compliance can result in fines, delays or even having to undo or redo aspects of your bathroom remodel, leading to unnecessary expenses and headaches.
  • Your understanding of the codes empowers you to engage in informed conversations with your design build firm, and positions you as an informed and vigilant homeowner, leading to a more collaborative and transparent working relationship.
  • Since building codes are dynamic and often revised, knowing the latest information helps you stay abreast of and adapt to any changes or updates so that your project remains compliant with the most current standards.

Do: Prioritize Functionality

Basement Bathroom Remodel

While aesthetics are what you see, functionality is what can make or break your enjoyment of your bathroom remodel. Functionality not only looks impressive, it serves practical purposes. Here’s why you should prioritize functionality:

  • A well-designed bathroom enhances efficiency and convenience. This means strategically planning the layout, optimizing storage solutions, and ensuring that fixtures and features align with your practical needs.
  • Thoughtful design minimizes wear and tear, reducing the likelihood for future repairs or renovations. Investing in durable materials and fixtures can extend the lifespan of your bathroom and offer a sound return on investment.
  • Resale value of your home rises when bathrooms are well-organized, efficient and tailored to the various needs and uses.
  • A well-designed bathroom seamlessly integrates functionality and aesthetics through thoughtful placement of fixtures, smart storage, and efficient use of space.

Do: Invest in Quality Materials

Primary Bathroom Vanity Remodel

Making the choice for high-quality or premium materials during a bathroom remodel can yield numerous benefits while contributing to the project’s overall success and longevity.

  • Since bathrooms are exposed to high levels of moisture, temperature fluctuations and frequent use, investing in high-quality materials like moisture-resistant tiles, durable countertops and robust cabinetry can help your components withstand the daily rigors, minimizing the need for early replacements or repairs.
  • Quality materials enhance the overall aesthetics and visual appeal with superior finishes, textures and color retention. While the initial investment may be higher, the long-term enjoyment more than pays off.
  • High-quality materials are often designed with practicality in mind, offering easy maintenance, and enhanced stain and wear resistance.
  • Eco-friendly options are often available.
  • Potential buyers often prioritize homes with premium bathrooms, potentially increasing your home’s resale value and attractiveness to future buyers.

Do: Consider Aging in Place Features


Let’s face it, we’re all getting older. While you’re planning your bathroom renovation, consider how you will use, or need to use, your space in the future. Adding aging in place features now can:

  • Reduce the risk of slips and falls with the addition of grab bars, non-slip flooring and curbless showers.
  • Create a more inclusive living environment, with wider doorways, wheelchair-accessible sinks and walk-in or roll-in showers accommodating individuals with mobility challenges. This can appeal to multi-generational households or individuals with temporary disabilities, making the bathroom a universally accessible space.
  • Be a cost-effective long-term investment by preemptively addressing potential future needs, helping you avoid costly retrofits and future disruptions for aging in place adaptations down the line.
  • Increase your market appeal, especially with the aging demographic.

Bathroom Remodeling Don’ts

Don’t: Rush the Design Process

Shopping for Tile

Trying to rush the design process is a common pitfall. Your design phase lays the foundation for the entire project, so take your time in making decisions here.

  • Engage in comprehensive planning with well-thought-out considerations of spatial layout, fixture placement and materials choices. Rushing may lead to oversights or hasty decisions.
  • Explore design options and refine your vision. Look at color schemes, styles and personal aesthetic preferences, and avoid fleeting trends.
  • Collaborate with the design build professionals with open and detailed discussions to address your vision, budget and potential challenges.
  • Carefully consider your budget to establish realistic financial parameters.

Don’t: Neglect Ventilation

Bathroom Vent

Adequate bathroom ventilation isn’t a luxury, it’s a fundamental component that plays a role in maintaining the health, durability and comfort of your bathroom environment. Proper ventilation can:

  • Prevent mold and mildew from moisture accumulation.
  • Preserve the structural integrity since unchecked excess moisture can permeate walls, ceilings and fixtures, potentially causing deterioration, rot and damage to building materials.
  • Contribute to the overall comfort by eliminating odors, dissipating steam and helping to maintain a fresh environment.
  • Improve indoor air quality by eliminating pollutants and airborne particles that can lead to potential respiratory issues and discomfort.

Don’t: Forget About Storage

Madison-WI-Transitional-Bathroom-Remodel-CabinetsProper storage enhances the overall functionality and daily convenience, and helps eliminate the clutter and challenges of a less organized space. Well-thought-out storage solutions can:

  • Enhance visual appeal and practicality with a neat and organized bathroom environment.
  • Maximize available space, making the most of every square inch.
  • Keep supplies like towels, toiletries and cleaning supplies easily accessible and properly stored.
  • Adapt to the household’s evolving needs for storage requirements.

Don’t: Overlook Energy Efficiency

Look for energy efficient features that can contribute to the overall efficiency and functionality of your remodeled bathroom, along with cost savings and environmental responsibility. Ideas include:

  • LED lighting or CFL bulbs that can provide bright and natural illumination while consuming less electricity.
  • Water and energy conservation features like low-flow toilets and water-saving faucets.
  • Features that qualify for incentives, rebates or tax credits offered by local or federal programs.

Don’t: Ignore Future Maintenance Requirements

Condo Bathroom Vanity RemodelDuring the design process, you’ll want to consider a practical and strategic approach to the long-term maintenance needs of any bathroom. Here’s why:

  • Bathrooms are subject to daily wear and tear and poorly-chosen fixtures may deteriorate more rapidly.
  • Incorporating future maintenance needs leads to a more cost-effective and efficient bathroom. Some materials and fixtures may require specialized care of more frequent maintenance to retain their appearance and functionality.
  • Investing in low-maintenance materials and fixtures can minimize the time and effort required for upkeep.
  • Understanding the maintenance requirements helps homeowners develop a maintenance routine that preserves the beauty and functionality of their bathrooms.

Exceptional Bathroom Remodels with Sweeney Design Remodel in Madison, WI

Sweeney Design Remodel is a reputable and experienced firm specializing in providing a range of design build services to the Madison, Wisconsin area. Our strength lies in our collaborative approach to design and construction. We understand that a successful bathroom remodel requires a seamless integration of creative design and expert construction, along with collaboration with our homeowners.

Our clients love our emphasis on personalized solutions and we’ll help you through the dos and don’ts of a bathroom remodel. We’ll work closely with you to design a bathroom that is not only a reflection of your unique tastes, but a practical and tailored space that meets your functional needs. From our first meeting through construction, we prioritize excellence at every stage and will help you select the materials, finishes and style to meet the highest standards of quality and durability.

Contact Sweeney Design Remodel today to begin planning your bathroom renovations.

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