The bathroom reno
econd only to the kitchen renovation for most popular project in the home and falling in line with the old saying, ‘kitchens and bathrooms sell houses,’ the bathroom reno is an animal all of its own. If you thought you had choices to make and budgets to consider with a kitchen renovation, the bathroom, powder room and ensuite choices can and will make your head spin. The advances in products available for these projects is staggering to say the least. The sink, toilet, combination tub shower surround and especially that old jetted tub of the past are the first things we look at to head to the recycle bin. We now have unlimited options when it comes to replacing these pieces. At the recent builder’s show I attended in Las Vegas, there must have been 75,000 square feet of new products to view for bathrooms alone. For toilets we can go from the standard issue commode to remote control operated heated seats with built in bidet wall hung units. Showers now run from base model fiberglass units to exquisitely tiled steam showers with seats, benches, rain hoods, multiple body sprays, aroma therapy, iPod docks, multiple lighting
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options and unique linear drains to match your fixtures. Tubs now come with air jet options, heated back rests, their own Wi-Fi systems, cleaning cycles, etc, etc, etc. Then when we look at vanity and sink options, they can be modest or as involved as designing your kitchen, as it can be the esthetic centre of the renovation. And let’s not forget that heated floor system to warm your feet on those cold winter mornings! So again the question is, “Where do I start?” As I always recommend, start with a professional interior designer. They are the experts in guiding you through all the products that are available. They can discuss the limitations of the space you have to work with or if square footage can be taken from an adjoining room. Your next big consideration that will have a significant impact on your budget is if your renovation will allow you to keep fixtures in the same locations. Moving plumbing stacks and drains can be very costly and could go as far as needing to have an engineer involved to strengthen the framing should the plumber have to drill new holes in structural members to relocate a drain. With older homes you may run into the issue of connecting in new plumbing materials to the old cast iron pipes which may not be in great shape and once disturbed there’s the possibility they will have to be totally replaced. It’s a great idea, if you have selected your professional contractor, to have him bring in his plumber at this preliminary stage to look at your conditions and potential changes to give you some input into the challenges you might be facing. In the end, after going through all this interruption in your life, there is no other project in your home that will give you as much satisfaction as your new home spa retreat. Wayne Sage is the owner and President of Harwood Design Builders, a multi National and Provincial award winning Winnipeg Design - Build contracting firm and a certified Master Renovator.
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