Bathroom Remodel

The Official Bathroom Remodeling Checklist

Whether it’s not enough space or outdated plumbing, having a bathroom that doesn’t work for your daily life can be incredibly frustrating. But before you jump headfirst into a bathroom remodel, our Bluestem experts have put together a checklist to help you prepare for what’s ahead before you even set up your initial consultation. 

Your Bathroom Remodel Checklist (According to the Experts)


1. Set Your Priorities

Examine your current bathroom. What’s not working for you, and what changes could enhance your daily life? Whether it’s size, style, layout, or functionality, these priorities will help guide you through the rest of the remodeling process. 

Here are a few questions to help you brainstorm: 

    • Who will primarily be using this bathroom? If it’s going to be used by kids or dogs, you might want to simplify some features (such as faucet style, sink shape or finishes) to make it more cleanable and durable.
    • Are you looking for a high-function or a high-luxury bathroom? (Or something in-between the two?)
    • Think about style. Is your bathroom stylistically outdated? What style do you envision for your new space? Finding pictures that feel good is a great way to share the style you’re interested in. 
    • Are you looking for aging-in-place accommodations or walker accessibility? How do you expect that will impact your new bathroom’s design (walk-in shower, larger doors, etc.)?


Write down these priorities, ordering them by their level of importance. This list will be your guiding star during the remodeling process, so keep it handy to refer to along the way.  

Bathroom remodel with natural light.

2. Take Stock of Your Storage Needs

What is the current square footage of your bathroom, and how much storage do you need? A bathroom footprint can fill up quickly, so planning for storage is something you want to think about as early as possible. Go through your daily routine and note things that don’t have a designated place (i.e., is your hairdryer is always sitting out, and needs a place to go?) 

3. Inspect Your Mechanicals

Note the age and shape of your mechanicals, including:

    • the water pressure of your shower and sink
    • age of your water heater
    • the ambient temp of the room
    • the ventilation in the room 

This is also an excellent time to note any plumbing elements you’re thinking could end up moving. 

Write all of this information down, and communicate it to your remodeling company so they can consider these details when putting together plans and scope. Bathroom remodeling materials and mechanicals need to be considered at all points along the way. You don’t want a beautiful shower that doesn’t offer comfortable water pressure.  

4. Gather Inspiration and Create a Wishlist 

Use Pinterest, magazines, and a Houzz account to gather images that reflect the kind of bathroom you want. 

Even better, think about bathrooms you’ve particularly enjoyed. Jot down elements you loved, even if they seem minor. You can also visit a plumbing showroom to see (and feel!) what options are out there. Keep your priorities in mind during this process!

Then, use all of these bathroom remodel ideas to create your wishlist. This list will come in handy when you work alongside a design-build remodeling company – they can try and incorporate some of your dream elements into your new bathroom. 

spa like soaking tub in bathroom after bathroom remodel

5. Determine Your Budget

Use your wishlist to create a realistic budget that matches what you’re comfortable spending. While many people think they can pay out of pocket, a better bet is to look at financing options. Bathroom remodels pricing can add up quickly, especially with tile, mechanicals, and infrastructural needs. Many websites will tell you to look at a price per square foot, but Bluestem Remodeling offers case studies that show you what kind of renovation you can expect for a ballpark number. Pricing per square foot doesn’t always give you an accurate reflection of what true costs will be, not taking into consideration things such as age of the home.

Keep in mind: a luxury space will cost more. Plumbing fixtures, materials, and even something as simple as a customized shower pan size can drive the cost. 

Related Reading: Designer Tips for a Luxurious Bathroom Renovation

6. Set a Target Completion Date 

Do you have an important holiday or family function coming up? You’re not going to want it disrupted by a bathroom remodel. Take a look at your calendar and come up with your target completion date before you connect with a design-build team. That way, we can let you know if that’s realistic in our schedule. Honest communication makes this process smooth and easy. 

Remember, It’s a High Traffic Area 

Bathrooms see a lot of use throughout the day, so it’s worth investing in fixtures you enjoy. Even something as simple as faucet handles can make your bathroom feel more luxurious and personalized. 

Experience the Joy a Bathroom Transformation Can Bring  

By working through this bathroom remodel checklist, you’ll feel more organized and ready to begin to a remodeling project. And, once you experience life in a transformed bathroom, all the hard work and pre-planning will be worth it!

Check out our gallery of bathroom remodels to start gathering your inspirations. Then, contact our Bluestem Remodeling team to discuss your project set up an initial consultation to learn more about your options.