It’s clearly time you updated a bathroom in your house and want to do so before the holidays. Home shows have you convinced that a complete remodel is a pretty simple task that can be completed in 30 minutes or less. The truth is things aren’t quite that simple.

Understanding what you’re getting into and properly setting expectations is important so you won’t lose your sanity during the renovation. It’s also important to get the help of someone who knows exactly what they are doing. Home renovations aren’t the best time to save money on a cut-rate contractor, only to be left with a job that is partially done or not adequately completed. Plumbing is involved with almost every bathroom remodel so it’s extremely important to hire someone with this type of expertise.

A successful bathroom remodel always starts with a plan. It’s important to take into account that plumbing is in certain places and likely to remain in the same spot unless you are doing a complete bathroom remodel. This will limit you on where you can put the shower, sink, and toilet. Consider the space limitations of the places each individual piece can go before deciding the specific sink, toilet, and shower to purchase. Moving these bathroom staples to other areas would likely require moving pipes and cost considerably more money.

Once you have a layout, the next thing to consider is time. It seems like an easy renovation and shouldn’t take that long but for safety, plan on the project to take twice as long as your estimate. If the bathroom being remodeled is the only one in the house then it’s important to have a makeshift bath that can be used during the remodel.

Your home will become dustier as debris from the remodel escapes the bathroom. Despite your best efforts, the dust will circulate through your home’s heat and air conditioning system. Consider investing in an air cleaning system to remove the dust in the air. A professional may be able to block the airways to the bathroom which would dramatically decrease the dust that escapes the bathroom being remodeled. Either way, a remodel is likely to impact the indoor air quality of your home.

Once you have a plan in place it’s important to stick with the plan. Choose the fixtures that work best for your space. Try to maintain a balance between style and functionality. In the end, you will be happier with the results if your new bathroom not only looks good but works great as well.