Have you decided the time is right to begin remodeling your bathroom but are not quite sure where or how to get started? Real estate professionals and investors unanimously agree that the two home improvement investments with the greatest return are bathroom and kitchen projects. Follow these recommendations from the design professionals to jump start your bathroom remodeling project.

The first step is to set a budget and allow at least 10% of that budget to be for unspecified contingency expenses. In older homes, cost over-runs are almost inevitable. Spend time researching the styles and materials available on the market for bathroom remodeling. A full gut of a bathroom may be recommended if the layout is awkward or your intention is to gain additional square footage from an adjoining room. When working on a major bathroom remodel it is strongly recommended to enlist the services of a qualified general contractor. For minor bathroom remodel projects, most of the coordination of vendors and work can the directed by the homeowner.

For a minor bathroom remodel, select the materials that needed to be replaced measure twice and order your items.  Have all materials delivered and inspected prior to beginning any demolition. Changing countertops, plumbing fixtures, flooring and lighting can make a huge impact on a small space. Generally, a contractor will take the dimensions for a new countertop, cut a template and then cut the final material from the template. Schedule this early in the process as generally a custom countertop takes several weeks to cut and install.

The first step in the remodel process should be to update the flooring. Unless you’ve had experience with tile installation, it’s strongly recommended to enlist the services of a professional. If the toilet and cabinetry is to be replaced this should be done following the new floor installation.

The last step is to paint the space. Use drop cloths to cover fixtures and flooring and select a soft, light shade in an eggshell finish. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and invest in new light fixtures, mirrors and bath towels from the huge selection available from Nordstrom. Best of luck on your bathroom remodel!