So you have decided to upgrade your bathroom. You have looked through magazines, browsed the internet, visited building suppliers and spent time at home shows. You have a fairly good idea of what you want and what new fixtures will cost.
The next step is to contact an HIA member. Renovating a bathroom can involve a lot more than just plumbing. An experienced builder can explain what’s required for your renovation, and how to do it properly.
Assessment of work. Builders can identify problems and solutions before the work begins: an uneven floor that results in incomplete draining of your bathtub, for instance, or rotted flooring from years of water penetration. An experienced builder will make sure that plumbing, venting, electrical wiring and outlets, and ventilation conform to national and state building codes.
Project coordination. From stripping the existing bathroom and performing structural, electrical and plumbing work to installing fixtures, cabinets and finishing touches, a bathroom can involve many different trades whose work must be coordinated and kept within your budget. Proper scheduling minimises the time your bathroom is out of commission. An HIA member will act as the general contractor for the entire project, draw on their network of experienced trades, as needed, and manage the work every step of the way.
Design. When it comes to look and style, design assistance may be less expensive than you think. You want to get the most out of your investment, both for your own convenience and enjoyment now, and on resale later. If the renovation goes beyond a simple replacement of fixtures, talk to someone with design expertise – your builder or a bathroom designer. Good designers begin by asking questions about your household, your daily routines and what you like and dislike. They will take a close look at what’s possible in the space available. By using cabinets and counters of varying depth, you can create visual interest and a sense of spaciousness. Corner cabinets, showers and tubs help make the best use of limited space. Extensive use of mirrors can also open up the room. Style and look are a personal decision, of course. Builders may recommend that you stay with neutral colours in fixtures, such as white and bone, because they are timeless and will not date your bathroom. Modernise it with paint, wallpaper and flooring – items that are easy and relatively inexpensive to change later.
Storage. A bathroom renovation is your chance to get the storage space you always wanted. Consider pantry style pullout cupboards, tip-down laundry hampers and wall-to-wall, over-the-counter shallow cabinets with mirrored doors.
Fixtures and products. Bathroom fixtures and products are available in every imaginable style and price range. Determine how much you are willing to spend and find out what’s available within your budget. Established builders know the suppliers in the area and can recommend companies for you to visit.
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