The Bathroom Survey – Using a Checklist to Find Problem Areas

Part#1

Identifying the Issues Before You Remodel

Whether you are simply remodelling or wanting to do some major renovations by adding a bathroom as part of a home addition project. By addressing these following question you will not only identify the issues in your bathroom you want to tackle, but it will also give you insight into the various design elements you should include in your overall design.

Just remember there is not one right answer, there is only the one that works best for your situation. Also, the whole reason we are doing this, is to help you focus on fixing particular problem areas in your existing bathroom and jump start your mind to the possible creative solutions you can come up with to solve those concerns.

First of all, we must consider who will be using the bathroom. Ask yourself these questions.

  • How many people will be using the facility?
  • What are their ages and do they have any special needs such as a child or older person with a disability? An example of this would be, are there grab bars installed or is the toilet or counter at a comfortable height?
  • Can the children reach the faucets? How about the person bathing them, will this cause back strain?
  • Are there any privacy concerns?
  • Are you expecting the need for an expanded bathroom due to a new baby or an in-law moving in or is a sibling moving out?
  • Is your present bathroom being used for more than just grooming such as a laundry room or exercise equipment storage? Can these activities be done somewhere else in your home?

Looking Towards Future Usage Trends

What about the future? Is a bathroom upgrade in your home improvement plans?

Next, let’s take a closer look at your present bathroom.

  • Do you like what you see?
  • What is the first impression you get when you go inside your bathroom?
  • What do you like or don’t like about it?
  • What would you like to keep and what would you like to burn?
  • Do you like the current style?
  • If your bathroom has multiple entrances, do you think the style of the surrounding rooms fit well with the overall design and how important is that to you?

Addressing Problem Features

Storage space is another important factor you should consider.

  • Is there enough storage space in your bathroom to meet all your needs such as linen storage, medicine and cleaning products and small appliance grooming storage and is it being used as efficiently as possible?
  • What other items would you like to have close by but presently don’t have room for?
  • And do you like your items hidden or do you prefer open storage areas?
  • What about the space and layout of your bathroom?
  • Can everybody do what they need to do based upon the current layout?
  • Is there enough mirror and counter space?
  • Is there unused space that can be taken advantage of?
  • What about the placement of fixtures? Can you get around without squeezing or bumping into things?

Spacing and Traffic Flow

  • Are the fixtures well placed to enhance their use?
  • Which fixtures are used most frequently and is the ratio to usage acceptable?
  • What about the door swing? Does this enhance or bottleneck the flow of traffic in and out of your bathroom?
  • Fixtures and fittings need to be addressed as well. Here we will examine the style of your present toilet, tub, shower, sink and any other fixtures you have in your bathroom.
  • Are they easy to clean and use?
  • Do they look old and outdated?
  • Are the controls on your faucets easy to operate?
  • What do you like about them? How about the colors?
  • Are there any exposed pipes or similar hardware and are they up to code?
  • Do you want to keep your fixtures or replace them?
  • Any style or particular manufacturer you have in mind?

This ends part one of your bathroom survey checklist. Answer the questions as accurately and as honestly as possible so that you can get the most out of this exercise. In part two (written below), we will look at surfaces, lighting, heating, accessories and any special needs you may require for your bathroom.

Part#2

Lingering Problem Areas in Your Bath

To round off our bathroom survey checklist, we will now examine the remaining elements we need to address before we can fix any lingering problem regions in our bathroom. These areas include surfaces, accessories, heating and any other special needs or spots of interest we need to focus upon.

As stated before there is no one right answer, there is only the one that works best for your present needs. Just remember the reason we are engaging in this survey is to help you identify the problem areas in your existing bathroom and jump start your creativity so that you can come up with viable solutions to get to the bottom of those concerns.

The small details and accessories in your decor will either enhance or take away from the overall design of your bathroom. From toothbrush holders to soap dispensers, every element plays an important role in the overall feel you are trying to create.

  • Do the cabinet handles go with the towel bars?
  • Does the hamper coordinate with the wastebasket?
  • What about the rugs or mats, do they match the shower curtains?
  • What about door handles and towel bars?

Even an uncommon item such as a book or magazine rack should be taken into consideration.

Surfaces and Coverings

Your bathroom surfaces warrant your attention, these range from floor, wall and ceiling coverings.

  • Are they easy to maintain?
  • What about the surfaces, are they old and worn, covered in mildew or mold?
  • Are they chipped, cracked or discolored?
  • Is the shower enclosure still water proof?
  • How about the tile grout, the silicone sealant or the wall moldings?
  • Is the paint peeling due to excessive moisture?
  • Is the ceiling discolored?
  • What about all colors are they faded or vibrant? Do they still match?

Lighting and Electrical

When it comes to grooming, lighting is of the utter most importance. Also, the proper placement and quantity of electrical outlets will make it easier to use small appliances when blow drying your hair or shaving etc.

  • Is there adequate natural light?
  • Can windows be moved, made bigger or add a skylight if possible?
  • And if so, would privacy become an issue?
  • Is there enough artificial light?
  • Is the lighting too harsh and does it cast weird shadows under your face, in other words, does it shine where you need it to shine?
  • Is it the right type of light for your purposes, incandescent or fluorescent?
  • What about the lighting fixtures? Do you like them or would they be better suited back in the 1960’s?
  • Are there adequate mirrors and are they placed where you need them?
  • Are all electrical outlets, fixtures, heaters and fans up to modern building code standards and are you satisfied with their placement?
  • Are there any electrical appliances such as towel heaters or electronic fixtures you would like permanently installed in your bathroom and would you require an electrician to add them?

Ventilation and Heating

  • On the topic of ventilation, is there enough and is it quiet and clean.
  • Is it warm enough in the bathroom on those cold winter nights and what is your heating source? Do you need an upgrade?
  • Pretty much all bathrooms have the regular amenities that you need in a bathroom such as a sink, toilet and shower but what about the toys?
  • Will your existing plumbing and electrical wiring be able to handle the addition of a steam shower, whirlpool tub or sauna?
  • What about multimedia? An addition of a TV or stereo system?
  • A fish tank or the addition of plants is also a great idea to round off your toys in your bathroom.
  • What about installing special handheld faucets so that you can bathe your pets?

So the choice is up to you. You can rip it all out and start over from scratch, or you can simply upgrade the look of your present bathroom. Whichever you do this survey checklist will help you identify the shortcomings and the things that make your bathroom great.

Look at the problems, mull over the possibilities, and you will find that this will be a lot more fun than you first expected it to be. Get part one of the bathroom beginning of this article.

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