Bathroom Design, Remodeling and Renovation
You’ve lived in the same house for twenty years, you’ve remodeled your kitchen and built your own barbecue in the yard, but the bathroom still has the old pink toilet with the antiquated hand basin and carpeted floor. You are not sure whether you should go for a bathroom remodeling, a bathroom renovation, or a complete new bathroom design. This question, of course, has much to do with how much you are willing to spend.
No matter which way you decide to go, however, you will have to get a plumber or a contractor as you will need the job to be done as soon as possible as you may not have use of the toilet while the plumber is laying a new pipe, or the floor has been ripped up. Here are a few pointers on how to go about a bathroom renovation:
- Read all you can about bathroom design. Go on the internet and look through their photographs for ideas. Visit virtual showrooms or look in the yellow pages under bathroom renovations or bathroom supplies for places to visit.
- Don’t faint when you see the cost of those state-of-the-art hand basins and vanity cupboards, or those handsome small baths that your whole body can be immersed in, and yet can be tucked in a corner if you do not have space.
- Your husband wants to save money on the job and can install a toilet. Great, he can install the toilet when the pipes have been laid, but should leave the switching around of showers and bathtubs and building a new tiled shower to the pros. Do not get involved with the contractor’s work; it may cost you in the end as he might not guarantee the work.
- Decide how far you want to take this. Do you want a surface level renovation, where you just move a few things around and paint the walls, or do you want to do a clean sweep and get rid of everything and start fresh? This might include opening up the bathroom to enlarge it by breaking down a wall and get to be a big job – in which case make sure there is another bathroom in the house while the renovation is going on.
- Create a budget and stick to it. Decide and agree upfront how much you are willing to or can afford to spend on your bathroom design. Bathroom renovations can quickly spiral out of control as additional features are added and changes are made during the remodeling phase. Try to plan ahead, be clear on what you want and spend some time upfront gathering prices, throwing ti all down on paper and doing the math. Stick to your budget and renovation plan as closely as you can.
Finding the Right Contractor Can Save You Money and Hassle
Once you are ready to go ahead, get a reputable plumber – not just one who knows how to unclog a drain or remove a toilet, but one who is a knowledgeable contractor and can advise you about the pipes in the walls, and how to lay a pan for a new shower, and also give you advice. Normally, how this works is that the plumber gives you a quote for all the plumbing work, and a separate contractor comes in and patches up the brickwork in the wall where the new pipe is to be laid. The contractor who has a bricklayer and a plasterer with him come in last to do the finishing touches.
Get three quotes from three different contractors. Compare them. Often when you look at more than one quote you get some new ideas. Ask for references. This really helps as a contractor might do a good installation, but his labourer does a shoddy job with patching up the walls. Contractors usually want a good portion of the money up front so they can buy the supplies. Make sure the last payment is after you have inspected their work.
The contractor will probably want to come in last again to patch up the walls and finish the brickwork, after which the person who lays the tiles, arrives to finish up and do the last grouting of the tiles. Do not walk on the tiles for a day, to allow it to dry.
Renovation, Remodeling or Complete Bathroom Design
If you decide that the whole project is too much for you in one go, you may decide on an inexpensive bathroom renovation by removing the old carpeting, and replacing it with tile. If your bathroom is small, you might even decide to remove the old bath and either have just a shower stall with glass panelling which gives the appearance of having more space, or you might splurge for that Japanese small bath that you’ve always dreamed of having.
You can also replace the toilet with one that matches your new small bath and fancy cabinet. A fresh paint on the wall, a nice mirror over the hand basin, and an odour remover installed can give you a nice fresh bathroom for half the cost of a bathroom remodeling. Remember, you had the same toilet for twenty years; it is not something you do every year. Choose quality and good sanitary ware.
Whether you decide on a new bathroom design or remodeling, it will entail the following: plumbing, brickwork, lighting, tiling, mirrors, heaters, extraction fans, toilet odour extraction, showers, sanitary ware, taps, and the new tiles you select for the floor. Other supplies will include cement, Crete stone, paint brushes, pipes, and whatever else the plumber needs to complete the removal of the old toilet and bath, and installing the new stuff.
If the bathroom in the house is built close to the house next door and is always dark, you may consider a solar panel in the roof to give light in the bathroom, or even consider solar heating for the house, which will give you warm water and save on your utility bills.
Take into consideration the length of time the job will take. A complete renovation without breaking down walls, will take two to three days if you consider that the floor and shower pan needs a day to dry. As well, if the bathroom being remodeled is upstairs, the job will take longer as there will be a lot of rubble to be carried out.