Home renovations – adding a new bathroom
For those of you who are a frequent reader of my blog, you will know that I have often lamented my 70’s style pale pink bathroom. It is in the original condition from when the house was built, but has seen better days. Over the year we have lived in our old house we have slowly done it up, room-by-room. That is, room-by-room, excluding the bathroom.
I know, I know, as a plumber it should have been one of the first rooms we fixed. But somehow it has always remained a low priority, until now. This winter we decided to face the situation and get those final few upgrades around our house completed. That includes a new bathroom and adding an ensuite.
The month’s blog is inspired by home renovations. Even after doing hundreds of these for other people, as the home owner I have still learnt a lot. Below are a few “insider tips” coupled with the reality of “living through a renovation”.
- Expect it to be loud, dirty and disruptive.
My wife works from home and even though our renovation is small, it has still meant getting in different trades to help (i.e. builders, sparkies and brickies). Our helpers have all been fantastic but you have to be realistic. Expect noise and dirt, it is inevitable. I would suggest covering furniture, moving most items out of the affected and surrounding rooms and laying towels to cover your flooring.
- You just can’t plan for everything.
As a tradie myself, when you go out to quote, you do your best to be accurate and account for every possible scenario. But sometimes things pop-up that you just can’t foresee and you have to be flexible. For us (or more-so for my wife), it has meant that occasionally she has had to compromise on her ideal and work out a happy medium. This flexibility has meant our renvo has kept to our initial time-frames and disruptions have been easily overcome.
- Go for quality
I always buy my plumbing fittings and fixtures from a dedicated plumbing supplier. I have found over the years, they cost abit more but the quality is so much better. Interestingly our tiler said the same thing. He noted that he was happy we had brought good tiles because for him they were so much easier to work with. Second, he said they were more durable and he had less breakage during the cutting process.
- Hire quality help
As a trades person myself, who has picked up a few tips over the years from different professionals, it is tempting to want to do abit more yourself. Don’t do it. Seriously. I mean it – Don’t do it! I am a keen to support the DIYer, but know your limits and know when to call in expert help. At the end of the day when you are looking for quality and something to last the duration, it is better to get an expert in and do it properly.
Admittedly, even to a seasoned tradie, renovations can throw up challenges. But if you are realistic and work with your team the outcomes can be an enjoyable and satisfying experience!