Help Remodeling Bathrooms On Budget
Worn Out And In Need Of Up-dating
The Bathroom Is In Terrible Shape
The bathroom was in terrible shape. Twenty years of heavy usage and a collapsed roof has left this bathroom desperately in need of repair There is mildew, the tile is falling off the wall, a bathroom remodel is inevitable.
Planning to remodel anything is an adventure. You delve into the likes and dislikes of those regularly use the bathroom. Part of the adventure is the challenge of sticking to the plan and bringing your remodel in on time and on budget. Get ideas everywhere you go. Keep a notebook of what you like and where you saw something you like. Peruse magazines, visit model homes and open houses in your neighborhood for remodeling ideas. Visits to Home Depot, Lowe's and other home stores can give you ideas too.
Our local library sells magazines for fifty cents. At that price you can afford magazines to cut up for ideas to put in your notebook.
Once you have a plan look on-line for the best prices. Researching every aspect of the remodel before you start the project helps ensure success.
Once you know what you like, the next step is to determine how it works with your budget. Here are some questions to help you with planning.
- How deep do you need to remodel? (Tear out all the drywall or just repaint)
- Is there dry rot?(Plan on some if your bathroom is older)
- Is re-piping necessary?
- Will you need to do a whole house re-pipe or just the bathroom?
- Do you need to replace electrical outlets and wiring?
- Can you detect sub flooring damage? This isn't necessary if your foundation is slab.
- Is there anything you will keep? Our friends have remodeled their cottage bathroom several times. They always leave the vintage brass nobs on the sink. During this remodel we kept the toilet that was only 4 years old and move it to our other bathroom.
Once the planning is complete look for a contractor. Ask his opinion on your plan and seriously listen to him. A professional often sees areas in your planning that could be done in different ways. Sometimes his or her ideas might be less expensive, sometimes they are just more efficient.
The best contractor is the one who listens to you, has ideas you like and has a great reputation
I have been the co-contractor on a couple of projects and just didn't have time or energy for this projects. Three different contractors gave estimates. One was a home remodeling company that called my home to offer to do a FREE estimate. I made an appointment. No body ever showed; when they called back a few days later I said," No thank you", to the offer of another appointment and a discount. They might be very reputable, but we wasted several hours waiting for the contractor and were infuriated.
The other two contractors were amazingly punctual and polite. The estimates were very close. The one we chose was the partner of a friend. Our friend was in the middle of remodeling and moving himself. Taking on another job would have been ill timed..
Both of the contractors had reputations for honesty and efficiency.
It was easy and efficient to use email to communicate with our contractor.
Know What You Want
The Contrator and Homeowner Relationship
Ways to choose a contractor you can trust. First you need to find one you can communicate with
- Suggestions from friends or Angie's list should be your starting point when looking for a contractor.
- Look at examples of their work.
- Ask questions about other work the contractor has done?.
- .Does the contractor listen to what you want done?
- Does your contractor make suggestions. Seriously consider his suggestions. He is the professional?
- Dose the contractors schedule work with yours?
- Does the contractor get along with your dogs? If someone is going to be in your house for any length of time your dogs need to approve of him.
How To Cut Hardi-Backer Board
- Exhaust fan
- Lighting with any mounting brackets needed.
- Electrical outlet, fan and light switch with face plates.
- Shower fixture (if used)
- Shower encasement (tile , granite, marble. etc...)
- Soap/shampoo holder in shower
- Backer board
- Bath tub fixtures (if needed)
- Tub if used with trap, drain, and overflow
- Counter top
- Mirror/ medicine cabinet
- Sink with drain, trap and overflow if necessary
- Drawer pulls
- Sink will need trap and drain as well as any new piping.
- Toilet with wax ring
- New door with, hinges, door stop knob and wall fitting Some contractors save time with pre- hung doors.
- Towel racks
- Toilet paper holder (Attached to the wall or free standing)
Plan For Delays and Cost Overrides
Cost overrides come from change in plans. Some of these changes are just the facts of life. The most major example we had was in moving a toilet. We were going to change the toilet from the bathroom we were remodeling to one we weren't. It was an energy efficient model that was not old. It was the first thing we did. Out with the old to make room for the newer made sense. Though the whole house had been re-piped five years ago the older toilet had never been replaced and the bolts attaching it were rotted. There was plumbing that needed to be done before new bolts could be installed. One of the contractors had never seen the system in our bathroom, but the other had and was the bearer of the bad news. $$
The next cost over ride was my fault. Since they were going to have to do take out the toilet again I decided a new floor was a good idea. $$ In negotiating a deal with the linoleum salesman the wrong size lino was cut for the extra bath. We didn't discover that error until the day of installation. I ended up buying another piece of linoleum. $$ Not all cost over rides are disasters. I love the second piece of linoleum. While the original piece looked wonderful with all the new cabinets it looked awful with my old ones. It actually made the old vanity counter pop. With a coat of wax on the vanity and new flooring the second bath got a face lift that made it look nice. Cost override for the second bath was about $200.
These glitches plus rain added an extra week to the project. Our contractor was great and made it so we were never without a two toilets for more than a couple of hours and never during the weekend.
Remodeling is stressful at best. When things are not in the proper places it is irritating. Do your research well. Know what materials cost so you don't go into shock at your contractors estimates. Know what you want. Have a good relationship with your contractor. Because you trust your contractor it is good to listen to his advice. He knows the tricks of the trade and you might just like his suggestions.
When the dust settles enjoy your new bathroom.
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