When it comes to investing in your home, there are a few projects that both improve your quality of living and comfort at home and pay off financially. A bathroom remodel continues to climb in ROI: in the Midwest, the project adds an average resale value of $10,874 with a 57.6% ROI.


But that doesn’t mean just any remodel job will add value to your home — as with any type of home improvement project, careful planning and design will reward you. How do you get started? Ahead, our guide to planning out your bathroom remodel.


Assess your needs and budget

Before you consider how you want your bathroom to look, it’s important to consider first how you want to use your bathroom and what your needs are — followed by the budget you have to work with. Design will be important for getting the aesthetic you want, but design will also determine the layout, which in the long run will be the most important factor in how well your bathroom works for you.


So for example, what kind of bathroom are you remodeling? Is it for kids? For the whole family? A luxurious master suite? A powder room to impress? How much storage do you need? What kind of storage do you need? Is a bath important, or would you prefer a shower? Is it a small space that needs to be efficient? Or a big bathroom with dual sinks and a large walk-in shower? And finally, how long will you be in the home? Are you updating to refresh the room and then sell shortly after? Or do you plan to be in it for the long haul?


When you’re planning your budget, keep in mind that for the scenario above, the average amount on a bathroom remodel spent is a little more than $18,000. Also, factor in a small cushion so you don’t get caught off guard by any surprise costs that may come up. And if you’re looking to save a little money, consider making your updates around your existing infrastructure, including plumbing and wiring.

Get inspired

Ah, the fun part — once you know your needs and your budget, Google, Pinterest, and magazine-search away to look at bathrooms similar in size and cost. Look at materials you’re drawn to, lighting, cabinet surfaces, colors, tile, and shower/tub designs. You may want to choose one “hero” piece to center the bathroom design around, and don’t forget to incorporate the bathroom design with the rest of your house.

Keep safety in mind

Don’t forget the importance of proper lighting and ventilation, non-slip flooring, and any medical or health-related additions.

Triple check your measurements

Although any contractor you work with will gather measurements, as will your cabinet and countertop installer, it’s still helpful to have a good understanding of the space you’re working with when you first go to select materials. Measuring your space before entering the initial design and materials selection phase makes those steps go smoothly, and helps keep your project scope in perspective and cost estimates more accurate up front.


Decide if you’ll be hiring a professional

Whether you decide to work with a professional designer or contractor is up to you, your own remodeling abilities, and your budget. But once you have put some thought into your needs, budget, and design wants and likes, at this point you can start researching and finding professionals to take your project to the next level.


Choose materials, finishes, and colors

From wood to tile, granite to marble, and chrome to brass, there are plenty of choices to be made when it comes to materials. But this is one of the most tangible parts of the bathroom remodel process, and you can either trust your designer to do the work or get out there and start looking at and touching materials, making selections, and placing orders.


Plan for installation

Depending on the direction you’ve decided to go in, this next step could look like getting final estimates from contractors and planning for construction timelines and demo days, or it could look like overseeing demo and installation yourself. Whatever it looks like, your final step, aside from managing through the actual construction, will be planning and preparing for the timeline and the interruption to your household. Try to finalize most of your decisions before this phase begins, and you’ll minimize interruptions and delays for things like back-ordered materials.