Remodelling of a bathroom or kitchen gives homeowners one of the highest returns on investment for renovations and is a sure-fire way to increase the value of your home. Get rid of your old, outdated wall tiles, replace the toilet with a modern, environmentally-friendly version and fit a romantic bathtub for two with spa jets and upgrade your water service for maximum water pressure. There are a few specific steps you should follow, however, to avoid making it a hugely expensive process.
Step # 1: Decide what to keep and what to replace.
Identifying what fittings to get rid of and what to keep is an important part of remodelling your bathroom. Many old Toronto homes have large bathrooms, which were once used as bedrooms before the homes were outfitted with plumbing and had proper water service installed. Some still have the original freestanding bathtubs, and although these often need refinishing, if the tub is in good condition it adds character to the bathroom. Consider carefully whether the toilet needs replacing with an upgraded model, and whether your hand basin might benefit from a new vanity slab.
Step # 2: Get quotes and determine your budget.
Remodelling is the ideal opportunity to replace any pipes or drainage systems that are old, broken or simply less efficient than they could be. Get your local plumbers to conduct an inspection of the plumbing in the bathroom and give you a report on your water service and any items that need replacement. If your water pressure is lacking, you may need to have your water service upgraded. Make a list of everything you need done, and ask plumbers and building contractors to give you written estimates of their prices to do the work. Compile a budget for the job that includes purchasing of the fittings and materials, labor costs, and add 10 percent contingency for sundry bits and pieces you might need.
Step # 3: Choose your contractors.
When choosing your contractors for the job, make sure you have every aspect of the work covered by the companies you select. It’s no good having your bathtub replaced by a shower installed by a building contractor, if you haven’t made provision for a plumber to handle the moving of the water service pipes. Some local plumbers offer a full service, and may do all aspects of the work themselves or sub-contract some parts. With others, you may be responsible for finding several contractors to complete the job. Ask questions, check the contracts before signing and make sure that the price you are paying includes everything that needs to be done. Get personal references for the contractors you choose, to ensure you are appointing a reliable company.
Step # 4: Purchase your fittings.
Examine catalogues of bathroom fixtures and fittings, and choose items that fit in with your vision for the new bathroom. Make sure they are practical and will fit into the space you have available, and take account of any specific features. For example, if you plan to fit a spa or whirlpool bath, you will need a pump connected to the water installation to operate the jets. Mechanical pumps typically have a shorter lifespan than the actual bathtub, so this needs to be accessible in case it requires maintenance. The tub model you choose must accommodate this, otherwise it may be necessary to rip out and replace the tub each time the pump needs checking.
Step # 5: Oversee the project.
Professional contractors work with their clients every step of the way. Make sure that you are available on a regular basis to discuss any concerns your local plumber or other contractor may have. These could include making minor changes to your preferred layout to accommodate the location of your pipe system, or alternatively modifying your entire water service through the installation or upgrade of key water supply systems. Ask your contractors to verify that the remodelling complies with city ordinances on water supply and drainages, and if necessary get a city official to inspect the work before signing off and making your final payment.
Upgrade your bathroom today and enjoy the benefits of modern facilities, as well as the reassurance that your investment will pay dividends in the future. Contact your local plumber today for a free consultation to discuss your bathroom remodelling requirements.