Remodeling your bathroom will require you to make a number of decisions, and it’s easy to get lost in the fine details of fixtures, flooring, cabines, and tiles. Take a step back and look at the big picture. What do you ultimately want to accomplish with your bathroom project? Then, follow these six steps to a successful remodel.

Design for maintenance. Everyone wants a beautiful bathroom, but no one enjoys cleaning it. So as you choose elements for your bathroom remodel, picture yourself cleaning this new bathroom. Choose fixtures and decorative touches that are easy to clean.

Include proper lighting. The bathroom is definitely NOT the place for dim, “romantic” lighting! You want every corner of that room to be fully illuminated, so be careful choosing not only your fixtures, but also their placement.

Consider water saving fixtures. If you’re remodeling the bathroom anyway, go ahead and consider water saving fixtures. They can help to lower your water bill a bit, and they’re a bit more environmentally friendly (especially in areas prone to droughts).

Prepare for the unexpected. Remodeling projects tend to uncover hidden mold or water damage, so be prepared with a bit of room in both your budget and expected timeline. Also keep in mind that sometimes, unexpected things simply happen. Your contractor should keep you updated at each stage of the process, and immediately tell you if your plan must be altered in anyway. Just remember that this is normal!

Think of the future. How might your bathroom be used in the future? Are you planning to have children or grandchildren in the future? Are you concerned with resale appeal of your home?  Or do you plan to retire here? Do you have any elderly relatives who might visit on occasion? Including some elements for safety and accessibility might be a smart choice.

Plan, plan, plan. Ask your contractor plenty of questions at every stage, so that you know exactly what to expect from this process. They are the expert, so allow them to guide you!