Fix It Renovations

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The 20 Point Checklist Before Starting a Bathroom Renovation

1.    Get motivated

It’s not difficult to get motivated when water from your bathroom is leaking into another room or down the wall of the floor below. But if your bathroom’s just looking a bit tired or your family is just starting to grumble about the state of it – well , that may be enough when you consider that renovating your bathroom or bathrooms is one of the best investments you can make in two ways – adding value to your home and improving your family’s quality of living. It’s a no-brainer, right?

2.    Get inspired

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezineGetting motivated is one thing, getting inspired quite another. We recommend that you get hold of our How to Get the Bathroom of your Dreams ebook and as many home improvement magazines as you can, or get online (Pinterest, Houzz, BHG and HGTV are just some of the great sites). Use Post-It notes, a scrapbook or Pinterest to mark and collate the bathroom styles and ideas you like.

3.    Consult with the other members of the household

In our enthusiasm, this is something many of us neglect to do. Yet everybody has to live with the new bathroom, not just you. The only problem is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. 

4.    Make a wish-list

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezine  
To help you decide from everybody’s needs and ideas, it pays to make a wish-list, then prioritise the must-haves and nice-to-haves.

5.    Start doodling

We were going to say sketching, but it really depends on how well you can draw as to what you call it. The point is, start getting your ideas down on paper (or your iPad, if you’re clever enough to be able to use Sketch-It or something similar). Think about what works in your bathroom – and what doesn’t.

6.    Think about your bathroom layout

The big questions in a bathroom are: How can you make better use of space? and What is feasible in terms of plumbing? Moving the sink can normally be done without too much extra cost, but moving the toilet, bath tub and shower is another matter.

7.    Think outside the box

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezine Has there ever been anybody who thought they had too much space in their bathroom? We’ve had many clients who wanted to separate their toilet from their bathroom, but most are looking for more space, not less. This means either making better use of the space you have in your existing bathroom, or thinking outside the box and “borrowing” space – pushing out or removing walls, combining rooms or crating alcoves or storage space inside wall cavities. 

8.    Think about your bathroom’s design style

Many bathrooms we come across – and we come across many of them – look as though they’ve been designed by three or four different people, or someone couldn’t make up their mind about what style they wanted so they chose a mixture. In our view, the best bathroom is a simple bathroom combining aesthetics with functionality. It’s most important to choose a style and stick with it, creating a harmonious look. If in doubt, go to our website and download a free copy of our Bathrooms ebook for ideas.

9.     To see or not to see

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezine It used to be that bathrooms were intensely private places, closed off from the world. They still have to be to some degree, but more and more people who are lucky enough to have an outlook – an elevated view or screened garden, for example – are opening up their bathrooms to the outside with picture windows and even French doors. Even if you don’t have an outlook, remember that natural light must be considered as well as privacy.

10.    To see or not to see, part 2

Back in the day, storage wasn’t a major feature of bathrooms. Yes, you usually had a vanity and, if you were lucky, a small shelf. Sometimes there was even a cabinet behind the mirror, so narrow that there was no room for anything except lipsticks and a shaving brush. Most of your stuff had to be jammed onto the vanity top or shelf, in full view of everyone. In contrast, modern bathrooms feature dedicated storage cabinets – often wall-hung – and vanities with deep, smooth-sliding drawers that allow you to keep things out of sight and then actually find them again.

11.    Consider your linings

We will never forget the time we house-sat for friends and accidentally overflowed the bath, flooding the locked office and storeroom below. These days, more care needs to be taken with waterproofing. Shower cubicles, walls and floors need to be waterproofed, then lined with virtually any material as long as it’s waterproof. Ceramic, marble or granite tiles look great and last forever, but if your budget doesn’t extend to that, there are plenty of other choices – including panels or vinyl, both of which look much better than they used to.

12.    Remember how chilly your tootsies get in winter

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezine While we’re talking about flooring, this is the time to think about underfloor heating. When you’re making one of those unexpected visits to the loo in the middle of a winter’s night, there’s almost nothing worse than the shock of that first step from the warm carpet of your bedroom or hallway on to the icy-cold tiles or vinyl of your bathroom. Underfloor heating can make that shock a thing of the past, keeping your tootsies toasty warm all winter long.

13.    Go green

You may be the Jeremy Clarkson of the ecology movement, but it’s still worth considering that an environmentally-friendly bathroom may save you money and add more value to your home. Water-saving toilets and showerheads and natural lighting and ventilation can cut your bills. And other people may be so impressed by the sustainably-harvested timber in your cabinetry and recycled materials in your vanity top that they’re prepared to pay more for your home when you come to sell it.

14.    Select a colour scheme

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezine Whether you’re going green or not, you’ll want to choose a colour scheme. Warm and harmonious? Or cool and modern? Or perhaps you’d like a striking feature such as a purple vanity top or chartreuse feature wall?

15.    Mirror, mirror

 A mirror or two in your bathroom is not only essential for your teenager’s pimple-popping regime or avoiding cutting your throat when shaving, but can make the room look bigger and create a beautifully-framed feature.

16.    Light up your life

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezine While we’re talking about mirrors, don’t forget they need plenty of what they call task-lighting if you don’t want to miss that blemish when applying your makeup or that tuft of bristles while shaving. Bathroom lighting has come a long way since the single globe or the “heat ‘n light” (see photo – in our opinion, these should have been banned from use).  If you really want to create ambience, try coloured under-mirror or under-cabinet lighting, or at least put a dimmer on the main lightswitch so you can turn down the lights, light some candles and truly chill out in the bathtub.

17.    Sit in a bathtub before deciding on one

Some bathtubs are about as comfortable as being in a torture chamber. Look for an angled back and lip for comfort and neck support. Some tubs even have built-in cushioning. If you only have enough space for a small tub, buy an extra-deep one. If you like sharing your tub, you’ll need a tub with the plughole and taps in the middle and slants at either end. And now’s the time to decide if you would benefit from the massaging comfort of a spa bath. We recommend them for aches and pains, or just to help you unwind.

18.    You need to vent

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezine Damp, mould, rot – all of these can form in a bathroom that’s poorly ventilated. What’s more, the mirror will keep fogging up. Ventilation is crucial in a wet room like the bathroom. Ideally, install a fan or other system that vents outside the house, not just up into the ceiling cavity (where all that moisture can cause other problems).

19.    Decide on a budget

Be aware bathrooms are the places where you’re most likely to encounter the unexpected when the GIB starts coming off and you find out what’s really lurking behind your walls. So seek professional advice and discuss the probability that this may be required.  You should obtain an estimate for any likely repair.

20.    Contact Fix It Renovations

One call is all it takes to get help with all of the previous points on this checklist. Our mission in life is to make renovations easy, and that includes bathrooms, one of the more complex renovation projects. That’s why we recommend you bring us in early in the process, so we can save you time as well as money, and put our experience to work in helping you get your dream bathroom.

Fix it Renovations October 2013 ezine Click this button or ring 0800 CAN FIX any time of the day or night to make an appointment or request a free quote - we are happy to help!