The bathroom in your home is perhaps the one place you can find solitude and be alone. Alternatively, it’s also the busiest room in the house. With such an important role, you want to make sure you are getting the most value when doing a bathroom renovation.

From half baths to en suites, a bathroom is where you can hide, read, think and perform. Of course, there are also the more traditional uses. All these activities must be considered when preparing for any bathroom renovations. There are other factors to contemplate as well to ensure you get the most value.

What you need to know about bathroom renovations

Choose timeless but long-lasting flooring and materials. Look for substances that are beautiful as well as water resistant. Stone, porcelain and ceramic are ideal choices.

Don’t forget about lighting. Many people think long and hard about finishes and layout but forget about the lighting to show it all off. Your lighting choices can help you achieve the look you desire. For example, perimeter lighting can create a soft, ambient glow while adding dimmers can help avoid a harsh glare first thing in the morning. You can also choose pendant lighting to provide scattering of light and give the look of a unique centerpiece on the ceiling. However, in addition to selecting lighting for the right look in your bathroom, remember functionality as well. You don’t want to cut yourself shaving because the room is not bright enough.

It’s worth it. Bathroom renovations can seem intimidating and yes it is a major project. Still, at the end, you will find that it was worth every penny. It will significantly increase the appeal of your home. If your bathroom is outdated or your family has outgrown it, it’s time to do something about it. You will be glad you did.

Consider non-traditional touches. You can add a sliding door instead of a hinged one. A wall mounted toilet can be a useful option, especially if a family member or frequent visitor has a handicap or disability. Bold color choices can give your bathroom a unique look as well.

There are ways to save money on your bathroom renovation. Something as simple as keeping plumbing fixtures in the same location can save significant money and time. Moving your tub to the other side of the bathroom means a complete plumbing redo running new pipe and drain lines, which will add to the cost. You can also select less expensive materials. For example, you can choose a porcelain tile that looks like stone instead of real stone. Such an option is just as durable and stain resistant as the more expensive substances. Do your research, get multiple quotes and find the best place to purchase supplies.

Always consult with other members of your household. While planning for bathroom renovations can be very exciting, don’t forget other people have to use the bathroom too so they should be included in the decision-making process. Even if you are creating a master bathroom en suite that your kids won’t use, they may still be inconvenienced while work is being done. The process will go a lot smoother when everyone affected gets to provide feedback.

Decide on a budget (and then add a little extra to it). Sometimes, a bathroom renovation doesn’t go as planned. You may need to fix a previously unknown plumbing issue or find that a fixture you wanted is not available and must choose a more expensive option. For example, if you plan a $5,000 bathroom renovation, you might want to wait until you have $6,000 saved, just to be safe.

Bathroom renovations take time. On television home renovation shows, it looks like those lucky owners to get a brand new house in about an hour. The truth is they don’t show much of the work involved. If you think you will have a beautiful new bathroom in a week or less, you are underestimating the amount and type of work that is needed for such a project (or overestimating the skills of your contractor). It’s important to understand that the entire process, from start to finish, could take 30-90 days.

Stick to the plan. It’s tempting to keep looking at magazines and showrooms for ideas and constantly change your mind about the details of your bathroom renovation. Don’t do it. This will only prolong the project and destroy your budget.

The devil is in the details. Looking to turn your bathroom into a wet room, where the shower has no enclosure and the water just runs down a drain? Don’t forget that the entire bathroom must be waterproofed. Adding a new bathroom with no windows? Installing an exhaust fan will help keep the peace and prevent your home from smelling like the nearest dump (pun intended). A professional will help you consider all scenarios and needs.

DIY would probably be a mistake. Unless you are a retired professional, it’s probably not a good idea to tackle such a project by yourself. Even if you have the knowledge, you may not have the time or the energy to handle it. Know your limits and what you can and cannot do.

A bathroom renovation can do wonders for the value of your home. For instance, a pedestal sink can make a small bathroom appear larger and clear glass shower doors can make the room look brighter. Luxurious touches like adding a full grand surround shower or heated floors may allow you to charge a little extra if selling your home.

Only hire professionals with years of experience in bathroom renovations. Your cousin Olivia’s best friend’s boyfriend might have helped unclog the toilet, but that’s no substitute for skilled expertise. This is your home we’re talking about here. Only those with knowledge and practice can ensure that your renovation is done right the first time.

A professional will give you useful advice on whether your dream can actually become a reality. If you have a low ceiling, can you place a fan inside the shower? Is a motion sensor feasible when you have young children around? Your contractor can answer questions like this so you get maximum value from your bathroom renovation. Just make sure your contractor has the proper licenses, insurance and is properly bonded.