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How to Plan a DIY Bathroom Renovation

Pro tips for handling a bathroom remodel on your own

By Jan Soults Walker

Every great do-it-yourself bath remodeling begins with a dream, progresses with preparation and a smart plan, and ends as a space promising years of purpose and pleasure. Here's how to bring your DIY bath ideas to fruition.

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Dream a little or a lot. Start your DIY renovation journey right here on Use it to browse and save great bath ideas and products so you can easily refer to them as you shape the unique look and function of your new bath. Supplement your quest for creativity by paging through magazines and books, touring designer showhouses, and visiting plumbing showrooms and home improvement stores. Be sure and chat with the associates on staff about new products and some of their favorite ideas. 

Light Contemporary Bathroom
Mark English

Set the budget. Determine how much you want to spend and plan accordingly to stay within your budget. When you do the work yourself, you might be surprised by the changes you can make for less. "Start with smaller projects within the space," advises Jaclyn Pardini, a spokesperson for Lowe's home improvement stores, "such as cosmetic changes to cabinet hardware, paint, or lighting to make a dramatic impact without spending a lot of money." (Browse these bath accessories for more quick, affordable bathroom pick-me-ups.) 

Consider these bathroom remodel ideas:

Size up your skills and learn. Every experienced do-it-yourselfer began as a novice. Great DIY starting points requiring only minimal skills and tools are demolition of the old bath, painting, and installing a new light fixture, sink, and faucet.

Step up in your abilities by installing tile and a variety of flooring materials as well as a new toilet. To learn these skills, watch online tutorials, study DIY books, and take a few free classes offered by home improvement stores. You can also consult these same sources to learn how to install vanities and prefab countertop materials.

Skills such as installing drywall, plumbing, and wiring are often best left to the professionals.  
Elegant Contemporary Bathroom
Pepe Calderin

Get equipped. Take stock of the tools you'll need to accomplish each task, such a reciprocating saw for demolition work, good brushes and rollers for painting, and power tools for flooring installations.

Measure and order with care. The old adage says to measure twice, cut once. That same advice applies to carefully measure out dimensions in your bath so you correctly order components that fit or don't run out of tile.

Shop and save. Do lots of legwork before you buy so you can find the best deals. Shop online, chat with associates at home improvement stores to see if they offer a discount for purchasing all your supplies and components in one location, and consider purchasing floor models. Opting to buy discontinued or last season's products can also help stretch your budget.

Get inspired by these bathroom photos and additional bath-renovation advice.

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