Bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation or any renovation for that matter can be challenging. You know the saying “Home is where the heart is”, I didn’t think so much about my heart during my recent bathroom renovation. Well maybe I did, but I know this process was nothing short of headaches, sweat and tears. I must say, a new bathroom project can be very exciting, but also very overwhelming. It requires careful consideration of all decisions.

If you’ve spoken with anyone who may have remodeled a bathroom, You may have heard something similar to, “Everything turned out great! However, I wish I had known _____ beforehand.” Every remodel comes with a specific set of potential headaches, but if you know what to expect ahead of time and which common mistakes homeowners make, you’ll be able to plan wisely and minimize stress. There is so much to consider Boy, did I learn some valuable lessons. Here are a few lessons I learned and hope they will help you during your next project.

Research, research, Research

I purchased my home in 2012, so it was well overdue for renovating the hideous bathroom. I mean, the tiles were cracking, drawers were broken off, the vanity, tub, shower and all were just outdated. I knew it was time to get the bathroom renovation done. The bathroom is relatively small, I think was one of the main reasons I could see how horrible it looked.

The first lesson learned, was not doing proper research in getting enough quotes before making a final choice. Although the contractor I hired did a good job, honestly he was too busy to complete my job in a timely manner. He was very unreliable, tried cutting corners and was too all over the place. He left my space unfinished for long periods of time. I also made the mistake of going with the least expensive contractor— so I think I got what I paid for in terms of reliability. I can’t stress this enough. Research is key is any bathroom renovation! I mean, finding a reputable contractor. If you are hiring out, check Houzz, Home Advisor, Thumbtack or ask friends for reputable contractors. And please read the reviews or even call the customer personally if you receive a referral.

Budget Ahead of Time

Budgeting for a remodeling project can be a real test of self control. My eyes were certainly bigger than my pockets. Sure I could have created a spa retreat but my little guys would eat Ramen noodles for dinner for awhile. Plus, it would cancel all my other home remodeling plans. So I had to be realistic about what I could afford.

You should definitely budget for the unexpected. I added a 30-percent cushion to my budget, which was a tremendous help. I had no idea about things like copper pipes for plumbing, definitely those cost more than the plastic ones which are not good for bathrooms. So many things like this to consider when it comes to the budget.

Plan. Plan. And Plan some More

Starting a bathroom remodel is scary, exciting and nerve racking all at the same time. And a well thought out (but, flexible) plan will keep things moving and ensure that you are always one step ahead of the game. Being so tired of bathroom was an understatement, but my failure to plan made me learn things the hard way. I knew what and how I wanted the bathroom to look like. I did so much planning on my inspiration, decor ideas and Pinterest was BAE for a long time. However, I didn’t plan entirely through every facet of the process. Things like the time frame, making a list of ALL things to be done, taking into consideration special order items; coupled with the stress of being the designer, architect, DIYer and putting ALL things together.


  • Where do you want outlets?
  • Where do you need lights?
  • How high do you want the lights?
  • Will you have one three-light wall sconce or two two-light sconces? One or two mirrors?
  • Where do the light switches go?
  • Where will towel bars hang?
  • Cabinet hardware?
  • Do you want a built in shower and/or bathtub shelf?
before of bathroom
Wider view of bathroom showing artwork
Tub/ Freestanding Faucet/ Cabinet

Trust The Process

I designed a larger walk-in shower and knew I needed a new glass shower door, but didn’t want to replace it with the same ugly design. I initially thought I could find a ready made shower door online or in store. Soon came to the realization the door had to be customized for my space. This took a few weeks’ to create and yet another setback. The bathroom was complete for the longest time but I couldn’t use the shower. I went with a glass company found online which is another story. I wanted a frameless door and wanted to match the other chrome fixtures. The glass door arrived chipped and the door handle was not size ordered. So it took even more time. I definitely had to pack a boatload of patience. The lighting over the bathtub was another issue. I didn’t want it the hang too low due to safety. I found the perfect one at Costco.

Chandelier over the bathtub
Large Shower head
Array of Faces in bathroom holding cup.

Stay Flexible and Less Stressed

I came to realize it was just a bathroom and I couldn’t stress myself out too much. Easier said than DONE RIGHT! Seriously, there is no such thing as a perfect renovation. There will be mixups and timing issues along the way. A strict timeline and unrealistic expectations only cause anxiety.

Everything is going to be A-OK, I promise. In the end, if you plan your renovation well and keep a good attitude, the change is well worth it. And you’re going to have a brand spankin’ new bathroom to enjoy for years to come.

What have you learned from your past renovation projects or major home improvements? What ideas or rules can you share?


May 6, 2020

5 Valuable Lessons Learned From Bathroom Renovation

Share this Post:


Thank you for reading!

comments +

  1. Beverly Anderson says:

    Oh how great, the love of the beautiful home
    Sharron it is awesome. Bathroom before an after is wonderful job you have finished

  2. Keyva Dyson says:

    It turned out so nice. Our home was purchased in 2012 as well and we are looking to do some updates if not this year then next year for sure!

    • Sharron says:

      Thanks so much Keyva. Girl its so much to being a home owner but I love. I have to do other updates as well.
      I want to finish the rest of the basement and upgrade my other bathroom.