The bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms when it comes to cost per Square Foot. In many case it even rivals ones kitchen with all the appliances & cabinets. In many cases the amount of time spent making decisions can even rival that room even with all its myriads of choices. That is one reason why we handed all our potential clients a basic questionnaire to help get them started. While this one was designed for remodels, it can also be used when designing one for your new house to help you, your builder / architect / designer get a head start on what you would like & need.
Budget & Type:
While many people are reluctant to discuss their budget for a variety of different reasons this is needed to help you achieve your goals. Ahh, but doesn’t the contractor just raise or lower our prices based on the budget? In some cases, some do; but then you might want to change your criteria as the good ones are looking at all the solutions available & their various price points. For example an acrylic surround, tile, or do you want imported Italian stone??? I have been in & worked on some where the price for the stone can cost twice as much (if not more) what one might expect to pay for a basic remodel.
- Your Maximum Budget:
- Amount you would like to spend:
Describe what type of Remodel or Renovation you plan on doing; (the higher the level – the more it runs)
- Level 1: Simple Facelift, Spruce up my bath with maybe a new floor, &/or countertops, &/or fixtures &/or maybe a new tub surround
- Level 2: Gut It and replace everything with new, keeping the location of the toilet, vanity, & tub in the same location as the old, which requires no Electrical &/or Plumbing Changes
- Level 3: Gut It and replace everything with new including the layout, while still keeping everything inside the footprint of the old room, which requires no Structural Work
- Level 4: Move it or Build It out for more space
For many the bathroom is more than just a room to take care of business, it is a way to relax, unwind and even in many cases jump start ones day & it helps if the room lends itself to that. While we will get to just what you are looking for a little later, it helps to envision what you want as you answer the following questions.
- My top three reasons for remodeling the bathroom are;
- My top three gripes about my existing bathroom is;
- How long do you plan to live in the house?
- How many bathrooms are in your house?
- Is there a special look or feel you would like for this room?
- If this is your only bathroom, what do you plan on doing while your current one is
- Who will be using this bathroom?
- How many people use this bathroom at the same time?
- Would you like the toilet &/or bidet in a separate room of its own?
- Do you prefer separate showering & bathing areas?
- Would you like a tub that can hold more than 1 person?
- Will this room be used for other purposes? (Dressing, Laundry, Make-up or Hair-care, Home Therapy aka Sauna, Spa, or Steam Shower)
- What appliances will you use in this bathroom? (Hair Dryer or Rollers, Electric Shaver or Toothbrush, Towel Warmer, Radio, TV, Refrigerator )
- Where do you want to &/or do you store your Towels, Toilet Paper, etc…?
Use & Special Considerations:
Please create a list of every member of the family using this room which includes their name, age group, height, and special requirements / special uses / needs / wants. An example is shown below.
Susan — Adult — 5’3 —- needs several drawers for personal care items and makeup area
Mike — Adult — 6’4 — higher shower spray height and electric shaver
Joe — Senior — 6’4 — electric shaver, pretty spry but…
Amy — Child — 2’4 — built in step stool for a couple of years that can convert to drawers later?
Mike Jr. — Teen — 5’10 — electric shaver and toothbrush
A special note: the bathroom is one of the top rooms for accidents related to slips & falls. While Joe above may not feel the need or like the “institutional look” consider asking about grab bars or at least making sure the blocking is put in place for later adoption. With that, grab bars today can easily blend into the décor (while some now look just like a towel bar) & are useful for all ages as almost all of us have probably had at least one close call.
Material & Item Choices:
One of the best things that happened with the advent of the internet was learning just how many choices were available. The bad thing is the amount of choices… Below is a list separated by major category item & we always encouraged people to circle or number what they were interested in – along those lines we also encouraged them to place an X through anything that they would never consider. By doing this you are saving everyone’s time which we all know equates to money.
- Flooring: Ceramic Tile, Stone, Sheet Vinyl, Vinyl Tiles*, Wood* (*Not recommended due to moisture issues)
- Lighting & Ventilation: Exhaust Fan only, Exhaust Fan combo (light, vent, & / or heat), Super Quit Vent, Ceiling or Wall Fluorescent, Leave As Is, Recessed, Track, Medicine Cabinet Lights
- Wall Covering: Paint, Ceramic Tile, Wainscoting, Wallpaper
- Accessories: Glass Shelf, Robe Hook, Shower / Tub Curtain, Shower / Tub Door, Soap Dish, Tissue Box, Toiletries Basket, Toilet Paper Holder, Toothbrush Holder, Towel Bar, Towel Ring
- Luxury Options: Bidet, Sauna, Shower Jets, Steam Shower, Sound System, Telephone, Television, Towel Warmer, Whirlpool or Air Jet Tub
- Sink: Double Bowl Vanity, Single Bowl Vanity, Pedestal Sink, Bowl Style sitting on Countertop* (*word to the wise, these are hard to clean around in many cases & have been referred to as the bane of ones existence)
- Sink, Tub & Toilet Color: White, Bone, Black
- Storage: Medicine Cabinet, Linen Closet, Above Shower, Dressing Room / Closet, Make Up Area Sit Down Vanity, Shelving
- Tub / Shower: Claw Foot Tub, Tub Only, Shower Only (Fiberglass, Ceramic or Stone),
Walk In Shower, Hand Shower, Combined Tub and Shower with Acrylic or Fiberglass Surround
Combined Tub and Shower with Ceramic Tile or Stone Surround
- Vanity Finish: Dark Stain, Faux Finish, Laminate, Light Stain, Painted
|Just as a little bit of fun, the correct usage for bain versus bane is listed above. A “bain” is actually French for bath while “bane” is used to describe a person or thing that is a constant irritant or source of misery. As many sayings typically do, its use has been watered down now to something that may annoy us but is certainly bearable. In Old English the root word “bana” meant “slayer” while other variations it was used to refer to a murderer, cause of death, and in certain specialized senses; a poison like wolfbane.|
Last but not least:
If you have pictures of features, layouts, designs, etc… that you would like in your new bathroom, these should be brought to the Design meeting. Just remember that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and is only meant to help get you focused on what you are looking for, allowing you to wisely spend your time with the designer not only choosing finishes but also figuring out how you can get that dream bath you always wanted.