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» Bathroom Renovation: Part 1, Assessment

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Overhauling your bathroom is one very good way to add several thousand dollars to the value of your home or condo as well as adding value to it for your own personal use.

Prior to beginning any project of this size and type, its imperative to make certain that there are no problems that exist that will cause you to have an expensive surprise while in the middle of your project.

Spending the added time to make sure that the structure is sound and that there are no hidden trouble spots only makes sense before you put a newly built and expensive renovation on top of it.

Redoing the bath is one of the more often done home improvements simply because it does add so much value to the home.
Renovations of this type can be either a small inexpensive project of a floor to ceiling renovation that takes in every aspect of the bath, from enlargement to replacement of all the hardware.

Most peoples reasons for renovation of the bath will fall into one or more of these categories.
Where does your own reasoning fit into these?

Size or design reasons, due to a bad design or layout or a size that is no longer large enough to accomodate the families needs.

Fixture changes, they are out of date, chipped, cracked or don’t work properly.

Moisture loss, due to bath humidity the room has been defaced or has now jeopardized the houses actual structure.

Plumbing or Electrical updates are necessary.

Ventilating or heating issues, the room is overly cold or has some poor plumbing that needs replaced.

A renovation to your bath can often take in changes to your heating and air conditioning or ventilation systems which may help you to control the moisture content in your home, improve the quality of the house by changing the sealing and/or the insulating of the house and will often, just by changing this one room, help to improve the comfort in the house and how long it will last.

When in consideration of the renovation, you wil need to put some thought into what you are looking for in a bathroom, what your needs are from the room and what kind of budget that you have to work with.

Search the room for any sign of deterioration, whether it is attributable to the moisture or some other causative agent and make a note of it. This will help you to be more informed about what changes need to be made as the room is renovated and also help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not you need to find some professional help to tackle the job, or whether you are capable of undertaking it on your own.

Being unsure of what needs to be done, recognizing that the job is very complicated, or that you don’t have the time or energy to do the work, are good reasons to hire a professional renovator.

A few questions that you need to ask yourself before you make that decision are:

What parts of my bathroom need to be changed, and how in depth are those changes going to be?

Do I need to add storage areas, or do I need to completely change the layout of the bathroom?

Do we have any special needs from our bath, such as a wheelchair bound family member or another reason why it is not adequate.

This will help you also to line up your options which are usually just two or three.

A change in design, that will mean probably replacing bath fixtures such as cabinets, sinks and tubs,
A complete layout change, such as enlarging.

Choosing to replace the fixtures in the room is usually common sense when you are renovating the entire room.
Many older tubs and tanks have developed leaks, or are developing sweat on the toilet tanks, or are unsightly in appearance and for these reasons alone are probably good to replace.

Newer more modern fixtures can prevent a moisture problem on walls and floors, damage the finish in your bathroom or cause mold or mildew to grow or continue to grow.

In addition to these considerations, new toilets can save you up to 50% in water which may mean a lowered water utility bill.

While considering these things, also make sure that you take into consideration the structural aspects of your home.
Do you know which walls are your weight bearing walls and will you need to cut them in any way while the renovation is underway?

What type issues may you have to deal with in the floors. Are there any downhill slopes or bulging that will tell you the floors need shoring up?

How are the walls, and will they need to be reconstructed to permit you to add the new towel bars or grab bars that you are considering.

Make a careful and truthful assessment of the structure of your homes bathroom. You may find that you need to repair some elements of it so that it will be able to handle the things you would like to install.

Other considerations will be, that if you have an older house you will need to replace some lead or galvanized piping and perhaps some inadequate wiring issues as well as update your lighting fixtures.

Additionally the electrical service that you currently have may not be adequat for the increase in the draw on it for what you will be adding.

If your bathroom is very cold in winter, and condensation forms, then some heating issues will also be in play in your renovation. And you will also need to provide an adequate heat source such as a new duct or an in wall heater of some variety in order to help not only you, but the structure of your home so that the moisture which is not wicked out by the bathroom fan can be assisted in drying.

Chances are that you will be able to do a great deal of the work if all that you are doing is replacing fixtures, but if any of the other conditions apply, then you will probably need some assistance from a heating professional, as well as perhaps an electrician to help you with things such as lighting fixtures, new wiring, structural changes or cutting a new window.
Finding a cost for the renovation will depend a great deal on what type of changes you are making, but this preassessment will help you to determine what it may cost in terms of hours and then estimate the hours that each project will take times the cost of hourly labor or a professional.

Use the following categories to determine what the cost might be.

Design changes.

Structural considerations.


Moisture damage and deteriorated finishes.

Plumbing and electrical problems.

Heating and ventilation.

Permit and inspection costs.

Once you have completed a preassessment of labor times and costs, as well as the cost to fix any preexisting conditions, you will need to add the cost of your fixtures to those as well

But do bear in mind that the average renovation of a bathroom, will bring in about a 70% return on the investment just in terms of the additional value of your home.


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