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Bathroom remodeling tips

Bathroom Remodeling Tips

Determine your bathroom remodel needs
Bathrooms have gained an important status within the household, and instead of just being a functional room they are now as interesting and decorative as the other rooms within a household. To determine where to begin, answering some of the following questions may help.


1. Is it a powder room or a full bath?
2. Or is it a main bathroom that's used by guests and family, or a private master bath?
3. Do you feel that is dated and showing its age?
4. Is your bathroom too small?
5. Do you find the arrangement of your current bathroom inconvenient?
5. Is the lighting inadequate?
6. Does your bathroom lack adequate storage?


The answers to these questions will greatly influence how minimal or extensive your bathroom remodeling will be, and give you some pointers for beginning your bathroom design.


Begin developing your bathroom design
Evaluate your space, do some research online and in magazines, to help you develop your new bathroom design. Think about which fixtures you will want, and what style pleases you. Do you want a vintage vanity or something more contemporary? This will lend more clues to your final design.
Begin your bathroom remodeling plan by making a list of what currently does not please you about your bathroom as it is. Then make a list of features you would like to add and any changes you would like to make in its arrangement when you begin remodeling.
Don’t forget other arrangements


If you are going to be remodeling your only bathroom make plans to shower at other locations such as neighbors or your gym. Make space in your kitchen for your other daily routines such as brushing your teeth, shaving etc.. Also make sure to have a safe place for the contractor to store all materials and tools that are going to be used at your project.


Establish a budget
Remodeling a bathroom will increase the dollar value of your home, and this is one home improvement that will be a good investment. Aside from the pleasure your new bath will give you, if in the future you sell your home, having remodeled your bathroom will both increase your home's value and its selling appeal.
Always leave a little wiggle room in the budget for the unexpected. There are all sorts of budget-busting surprises lurking behind the walls and floors of homes (especially if it's an older residence). Last minute changes, known as change orders, cost time and bust budgets, too. You might elect to upgrade your choice of countertop halfway through the project. Though you can't predict the unknown, you can prepare for it financially. Typically you would want to add 10% to 15% cushion to your budget.


If you are planning to add a large jetted tub to your bathroom, you may also want to consider adding a water heater dedicated to that tub. Large tubs can hold up to an average of 75 gallons or more of water. This can overextend your existing water heater and cause problems in the future.
How Much Can You Afford? Direct from Nari.org


This question alone is enough to strike fear into anyone's heart. The truth is not many people enjoy establishing a remodeling budget-and many just don't. Many homeowners prefer to call a remodeling contractor and expect him or her to create the budget for them, which is not the best way to begin. How do you start off right? You can begin by taking these four easy steps in the right direction:


Step One: Decide how long you plan on staying in your home. The length of time you intend to stay in a home will affect how much money you should invest in it. If you are going to stay in the home for more than ten years, you should spend as much as you are able to create the home of your dreams. However, if you are planning on moving in the near future, you should take care not to over-build for your neighborhood. Look into the real estate comparisons for your area and keep your investment in line with the average home sales price. You don't want to invest thousands of dollars you won't be able to recoup at closing.


Step Two: Make a list of all your debts. You should include any debts you pay on a monthly basis, such as mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and any other items with a fixed monthly payment. This list should not include payments for groceries, utilities, telephone services, or other general expenses. Call this list your monthly expenses.


Step Three: Determine your total gross monthly income. Include all sources of income that you would list on a loan application.


Step Four: Complete the following worksheet to determine how much you can afford to pay for your remodeling project on a monthly basis. These formulas are used when the remodeling project is going to be financed. Warning: Cash is not always the best option!


Calculations 101
Step 1 - DTI
Lenders use a simple Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio to determine if a homeowner can afford the additional debt of a remodeling project.
DTI
Enter Your Total Monthly Expenses $
Add the Estimated Monthly Payment for the Remodeling
Project + $
Total = $
Divide the Total by Your Gross Monthly Income... $
DTI % =


Each lender will approve loans at a specific DTI percentage (most lenders will tell you what their set DTI ratio is, if you ask). For example, if the lender accepts DTI ratios of 45 percent and your DTI ratio is 30 percent, your loan would be approved. However, if your DTI ratio is 55 percent, you would need to find other financing options. Perhaps your lender offers debt consolidation loans that could reduce your DTI ratio, which brings us to the next step:


Step 2 - The Maximum Payment
The next step is to determine the maximum monthly payment you can afford for remodeling. Multiply your monthly gross income amount by the lender's maximum DTI allowance, and subtract your current total monthly expenses, excluding the estimated remodeling payment.
Gross Monthly Income $
Lender's DTI ratio x
Subtotal = $
Total Monthly Expenses - $
Maximum Affordable Payment = $
If the last line is negative, you will not be able to borrow from that lender. See step 3 for further options.


STEP 3 - Consolidation
If your DTI ratio was above the lender's accepted percentage, or if your maximum affordable payment was too low, you may want to consider a debt consolidation loan. This would incorporate your current debts into the home improvement loan. Not only does this allow you to roll your debts into what may be a tax deductible loan, it also provides one easy payment for your debts and lowers your DTI percentage. In addition, the interest rate on a debt consolidation loan may be lower, which will save you additional m