Your 10 Point Bathroom Remodel Checklist

Remodeling your bathroom is one of the most exciting home renovations if all. It’s arguably one of the most satisfying rooms you can personalize. But, as with any home renovation, things can get a bit overwhelming at times.

That’s why planning ahead and considering some of the not-so-exciting project arrangements will be the key to creating the bathroom of your dreams.

Bathroom remodels can be costly and they can take time. In order to help your project run smoothly, we put together the following 10 point bathroom remodel checklist:

1. Figure Out Your Budget

Work out a budget for how much you are going to spend on your bathroom remodel. This will help guide you when making decisions when it comes to design and material choices. You will need a clear picture of what you can afford when choosing things like tiles, bathroom fixtures, lighting, and other extras.

Also, keep in mind that you will need to set aside an amount for labor and installation. Once you have a budget, you can begin collecting quotes from suppliers and local contractors.

2. Timing of Remodel

Never assume that a remodel of a smaller bathroom will be quicker than a larger one. A lot depends on how much you will be changing inside the bathroom.

Contractors need to follow all the same steps as they would in a larger bathroom. Planning for time will also involve ordering and availability of tiles and fixtures. Custom cabinets and vanities need to be designed and created before your contractor gets them.

When deliveries are not on schedule it can set the entire project back. This can become a problem for homeowners with only one bathroom. Toilet and shower arrangements will need to be made in the meantime no matter how long the remodel could take.

3. Order of The Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom remodels which follow a specific order or sequence can be the difference between many mistakes, loss of time, and even more cleaning up. Whether it’s just a basic repaint or you are demolishing walls, start at the top of the room. Ceilings always come first, then walls, and lastly the flooring. This will prevent damage to any new items and prevent extra expenses arising.

Whether it’s just a basic repaint or you are demolishing walls, start at the top of the room. Ceilings always come first, then walls, and lastly the flooring. This will prevent damage to any new items and prevent extra expenses arising.

4. Unforeseen Problems

A major bathroom remodel will require gutting almost everything in sight. If this is the route you plan to take, it is crucial that you hire a professional and reputable contractor. This will ensure your bathroom remodel has no problems later on and functions perfectly for years while holding its value and increasing your home’s return on investment.

This will ensure your bathroom remodel has no problems later on and functions perfectly for years while also holding its value and increasing your home’s return on investment.

The main issues of a complete strip down includes the age of the home and its build quality. The main problems to look out for include water damage, structural defects, old and corroded plumbing, and leaking tiles around the tub and/or shower. It’s always a possibility that these problems may arise.

Speak to a contractor when discussing the remodel and what you may need to budget for these types of problems.

5. Functionality vs Style

There are many factors to consider when you begin planning the desired look and feel of your bathroom remodel. Choosing things like paint color, tiling, faucets, bathtubs, and showers can all quickly become overwhelming.

This should not be a rushed process, and research should always be considered. Begin by piecing together the main elements you want in your bathroom, or the main design item you will be featuring, then work the rest of the bathroom designs around it.

The design and function of your remodel should work together in unison. Consider who will be using the bathroom and take the rest of the home’s design into account for the eventual resale.

6. Measurements and Bathroom Size

When it comes to bathroom remodels, there are 3 main restrictions which would matter the most. They include the overall bathroom size, plumbing and electrical wiring locations in the bathroom, and fixture sizes and dimensions. Have all these measurements on hand when seeing suppliers. Purchasing items which don’t fit can be most frustrating.

7. Hiring Contractors

You may be thinking a bathroom remodel is a DIY job, but it is a complex job which requires highly skilled contractors with years of experience. Professionals can handle unforeseen problems such as plumbing, tiling, and electrical systems.

Contractors can usually get better deals on bathroom supplies and building materials due to their industry knowledge and regular supply of business. Hiring a bathroom remodeling pro can save time, money, and much-unneeded distress.

8. Planning Bathroom Features

A bathroom remodel would not be complete without new features like bathtubs, showers, sinks, faucets, and toilet. Create a list of what you want to update and change. Mirrors and shower doors can make a huge difference in the way your bathroom turns out. Swap outdoor and drawer handles at a minimal cost to change the look of the current cabinets and vanities.

Planning storage like cabinets and shelves in small un-uniform bathrooms can be tricky. These need to be functional while creating space, be within reach, and accommodate all bathroom items. Most importantly, they need to have a stylish design while still remaining timeless.

Any material can be used for a bathroom’s walls and floors. It all comes down to your budget and design style. Tiles made from granite, marble or plain ceramic always look attractive on bath and floor surfaces. When choosing surfaces, always have durability and more importantly slip-resistant surfaces in mind.

Always try to keep as much natural light flowing through the bathroom too. Artificial lighting should cover around 4 watts of incandescent light per square foot.

9. Bathroom Ventilation

Ventilation can often be overlooked in the bathroom, however, it is one of the most crucially important areas. A room that is constantly wet and steamy requires satisfactory ventilation planning, especially with electrical wiring present. Damp and moldy bathrooms can be extremely harmful to the family’s health. Ventilation and airflow prevent decay and rot of ceilings, wood trim, and fixtures.

10. Bathroom Remodel Cleanup

Once your bathroom remodel has been completed, there should be a final clean up which takes place. Cabinets, ducts, walls, windows, floors and fixtures should all have a thorough wipe down.

Scheduling a clean up is often overlooked when planning a budget for the bathroom remodel. Clean up crews and rubble removal is an added cost.

Some contractors may include this service in their initial quote so be sure to ask about it. If you plan on doing it yourself it may take a while longer though you can save on costs.

Posted on Categories pros

Do Gutter Covers Actually Work?

Everyone knows that you should clean your gutters at least twice a year. You diligently scamper up that stout ladder at the beginning of spring and fall to rid your gutters of leaves and debris. You hate it, but you just have to do it, or even hire somebody to do it because you don’t have any option. You are contemplating installing gutter covers but aren’t sure if they are worth the pain.

Well, you’re not alone. Many homeowners hate the constant maintenance and are actively looking for ways to keep leaves and debris out of their gutters., and many have turned to

What Are Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards or gutter covers keep most of the leaves, debris, and dirt off out of your gutters. They’re normally a gauze or wire mesh cover that allows the water in while filtering off chunks and particles.

Since there are openings, the gutter covers will just slow down the rate at which dirt accumulates. Eventually, you will still have to clean your gutters, but the benefit is that you can move from cleaning twice a year to once a year, or even less depending on your location.

Therefore, you should never purchase gutter guards with the intention of never cleaning your gutters and downspouts again. You will only end up frustrated.

What to Expect From Your Gutter Guards

A test on even the most efficient gutter guards proves that they work perfectly on leaves,  sticks, and other huge chunks of debris. This kind of debris is common in the fall when trees are shedding leaves in preparation for winter.

Tiny bits of flower petals, buds and chopped up debris that is common during spring will almost always beat your gutter covers. This means that your gutters and downspouts will need some attention at the end of spring.

Are Gutter Covers Worth It?

Yes. Gutter covers do work. They will reduce the cleaning frequency and can help you survive that fall cleanup.

The two most famous gutter covers are the gauze covers that work as a water filter, and the slit cover that provides a tiny slit at the edge of the gutter for the water to go in.

Gauze covers tend to work better in areas expecting rain since they won’t hinder water flow into the gutters. Slit gutters, on the other hand, might fall short during heavy rains. Their ability to let water in might be further hampered by tiny bits of debris in the slit, hence making rain water spill over the gutters.

Keep the Gutter Covers Slanted

Slanted gutter covers encourage rainwater, and sometimes the wind, to remove any debris. They will stay open for longer as opposed to level gutter covers that give trash a level ground to sit on. Encouraging the debris on your gutters to wash off naturally will prevent it from decomposing and seeping into your gutters.

Moreover, the accumulating leaves will keep your roof damp for longer and might accelerate the rate at which it ages especially if the debris stays long enough to grow moss and molds.

Gutter Covers Make Cleaning Harder

Most handymen and roof repair agencies will charge you more to clean a covered gutter. They first have to remove the gutter cover (without damaging it) clean your gutters and downspouts before re-installing the guards.

This is some extra work if you will be doing the cleaning on your own. It is a small price to pay, bearing in mind that you won’t be cleaning your gutters as often as you used to before.

Gutter guards are a great idea and the perfect way to reduce the frequency your work around the house. The efficiency will vary depending on your environment and the trees near your property. Either way, they have proven to reduce the number of times you have to clean your gutters in a year.

Posted on Categories pros

10 Things To Ask Your Contractor Before You Sign

Hiring the right contractor for your project can be an overwhelming task. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By asking a few important questions, you can find the right contractor who can get the job done right. Here are ten great questions you should ask before you hire a contractor.

1. How long have you been in this industry?

Experience shouldn’t be the only factor in choosing your contractor. But, a contractor with a reasonable amount of experience might offer a better experience.

A seasoned contractor is more likely able to handle unexpected issues better. Nothing beats a proven track record and hands-on experience.

2. Are you licensed?

Hiring a licensed contractor is just a good idea all the way around. This can protect you from becoming a statistic when it comes to renovation nightmares. Licensing requirements can vary by community. Make sure to verify your contractor’s information with local authorities.

3. Are you insured?

You’re going to want to ask about a couple of different types of coverage here. Of course, no contract will begin a project with the intentions of breaking something. But, unexpected things can always happen. If something is broken or damaged, your contractor’s liability insurance will cover all costs of repairs.

Workman’s comp insurance is also important. If one of your contractor’s employees get injured, you could end up paying their medical bills. Workman’s comp insurance will protect you from any responsibility.

4. Can you provide references?

Any reputable contractor will be happy to provide a list of references for you to contact. Talking with previous clients is a great way to vet any potential contractor. This can let you know how well your contractor communicates and stays on schedule.

6. Do you offer a transparent contract?

In order to fully protect yourself from potential issues in the future, it’s important to request a transparent contract. As a homeowner, you want to make sure you understand your contractor’s intentions and understand everything clearly. This should include:

  • exactly what work the contractor will perform
  • anticipated time frame for the project to complete
  • itemized list of materials needed and the cost
  • “time and materials” contract
  • who handles permits

It’s important to have a clear outline of who is responsible for what. Your contract should also spell out what happens if these responsibilities aren’t met.

7. Will you include a termination clause in your contract?

This type of addition to the contract offers protection for both parties involved. This agreement allows either one of you to end the contract based on pre-arranged terms.

For example, if you stop paying the contractor, or the contractor stops showing up for work, the other party can end the contract without penalty.

8. Do you offer any guarantees?

You wouldn’t buy a refrigerator without a warranty, so why hire a contractor who won’t guarantee their work? You want to choose a contractor who is willing to offer a guarantee for two types of situations. Defective materials and workmanship issues. Of course, get everything in writing. This should include:

  • what your contractor will cover
  • how long coverage will last
  • what will be done fix issues

9. What is the payment schedule?

This can differ from contractor to contractor. Most are willing to offer a variety of options to suit your situation. However, you should never pay the entire amount up front. A reasonable down payment should be expected. You should only make final payment once the job is finished and you are completely satisfied.

10. What is the work schedule?

A reputable contractor should be able to provide specific hours you should expect work to be conducted. Make sure to be specific, for instance, 9-5 with a 1-hour lunch break, Monday through Friday. If a contractor can’t give you a detailed schedule, this could be a red flag.

11. Who will supervise the project?

If your contractor won’t be supervising your project, you want to know who is in charge. If something isn’t going according to plan, you need to know who to talk to. Be sure to follow up with a secondary question and ask how often your contractor will be providing you with updates.

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Posted on Categories pros

How to Have a Successful Remodeling Project

Home remodeling projects could be both stressful and costly. Proper planning and budgeting is the sure key to success. There are many pitfalls that can keep you from attaining the desired results.

Smart choices can only happen if you know what to do and what to avoid. Here are some invaluable tips to help anyone have a successful remodeling project.

Know Your Design

One of the greatest mistakes most homeowners make is adapting the remodel as they go along. The fact that they don’t know what they are doing next is a hazard. Planning gives us freedom to save on wholesale purchases. It’s good practice to have the design concept in mind before starting the project.

Assemble a Team

Build a remodeling team upfront and share your ideas. If it is your first-time remodeling, hire a professional to manage the entire project.

A clever way to assemble a team is by hiring experienced and trusted leaders. Go for a reputable head carpenter and have him or her hire his help. In this way, you will be dealing with a manager who can understand your needs and use his or her experience to create results.

Hiring a Professional Contractor

Building your own team is only plausible if you can afford to track the project. Busy people on tight schedules will be better off hiring a remodeling contractor. This takes the pressure off you, giving you the freedom to discuss the project once and watch as the project takes shape.

Reputation and portfolio are the best way to gauge a contractor’s capabilities and skill levels. Go through suggestions to come up with a list of at least three local remodeling contractors. Schedule a face to face interview to discuss your project.

Here are some clarifications to seek during the interview:

  • How well does the contractor understand your concept?
  • Can the contractor create a render of what you have in mind for approval?
  • Will the cost quote be in synchrony with the quality of work promised?
  • Will there be room for free or subsidized remakes if a contractor makes mistakes out of negligence?
  • How long does the contractor need to complete the project?

Get Some Storage Space Ready

If you are planning on large renovations, you will need some storage space. Buying your supplies in bulk is not only convenient but also cheaper. Clear out the basement or talk to a neighbor for extra storage if you don’t have enough on your premises.

Ensure that the storage location is in accordance with your insurance agent’s guidelines. Storing any of the remodeling material wrongly could lead to damages not covered by the warranty. This will force you to incur extra replacement charges.

Be Ready for Surprises

It doesn’t matter how well you plan the operation…something is bound to go wrong. Prices could change as the project goes on, or unexpected developments might force you to compromise or spend more. Be prepared and set aside some money for such complications to avoid being caught off guard.

House remodeling ought to be fun. You should be happy with the daily progress. Everything you do should be of the best quality and within your acceptable price range. A good way to handle huge renovations is to split it into sections and let the team know they will be working in phases.

Planning your remodeling project well gives you power. It lets you know the projects future from the word go. In this way, you can plan your purchases more efficiently. The result is the freedom to buy better fixtures, pay better talent, and get the best results possible.

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