Most homes owners will at some point have work undertaken on their bathroom. For some this will be a minor bit of updating or repair, for others it will be conversion to a shower room or other work to suit changing needs and for some it will be a complete refit to update and personalise a room to their own requirements. In the next two articles I hope to be able to give you a guide to how to go about getting this work undertaken in a way that suits your budget and gets you the result you want.
Planning your new bathroon
Before you start looking around and talking to trades it is worth thinking about what you need and what you would like in the bathroom. Some points to consider are:
- How much space do you have to work with?
- What storage do you need or would you like in the room?
- How would you like to heat the room?
- What lighting would you like in the room?
- Do you need a shower cubicle or will a shower above a bath work?
- What is your budget for the work?
Some information that will help you when you visit showrooms:
- Size and shape of the room – A simple drawing will help.
- Where water supplies and waste pipes are routed at the present time.
- What type of water system have you got? Low or high pressure, combi boiler, or unvented cylinder?
- Area that you want tiling or covering in different materials.
- Items that you would like to fit in the room.
Once you have got an idea about what sort of project you want to undertake you then have a choice of whether to go to find the items to go in the bathroom or whether to find the fitters. Some shops will have fitters that you can use and some fitters will be able to supply goods direct or through a merchant.
There are a number of different ways to source materials for your bathroom. These can offer different advantages and disadvantages.
Large Shops/DIY Stores – These will usually have a large display area and offer a good selection of items. The prices will usually be lower than smaller merchants, however they may not have the expertise of smaller merchants and lower prices may be achieved through sourcing items from abroad that do not have the back up of spares and service support lines.
Small Merchants – You may have to search a bit to find them and they may not have the large displays of big stores, but they usually have much greater expertise and will make sure that the items they sell you will work with the systems you have. They will tend to stock named brands and will be able to help if spares are needed. The prices are not always as competitive but the advice is worth paying a bit extra for.
On Line – You will usually get the best prices on line but this comes with various disadvantages. A lot of websites offer limited or no advice and you are dealing with a call centre if there are any issues with the order. All items will be shipped direct to you so you will need to store them on site and you will be responsible for any problems with the goods.
Next month I will look at where and how to source your trades people. Don’t forget that with the weather turning cold it is important to make sure your plumbing and heating system are ready for winter.