Planning Your Dream Bath
Does a well-lit, well-organized, well-appointed bathroom seem like a fantasy? With proper planning, it can become reality. Decide What You Need
Bathrooms are small, but when you scrutinize yours for remodeling, you'll find it densely packed with potential projects. To narrow the list to what's most important, begin by asking yourself these questions about your current space and ideas for change:
- Do you want privacy, or should two people be able to use the bathroom at the same time? In your current space, are there frequent traffic jams?
- How do you want the bathroom to relate to adjacent rooms?
- Do you want the basic ensemble of toilet, tub/shower, and sink, or would you like something extra, such as a spa, a double sink, or a luxury shower?
- Do you want space to shave or apply makeup in the bathroom?
- Do you need more light? If you have a window, is it in a place where water collects and causes problems?
- Do you need better ventilation, another electrical outlet, or more counter space around the sink or at other places?
- What do you like or dislike about the wall, ceiling, and floor materials in your current space?
- Do you have enough towel racks and other storage room?
- Is the shower or tub large enough?
- Does anyone who will use the room have special needs, such as a child or a disabled person?
You may be surprised at how much of your present bathroom can be salvaged. If the basic layout works -- the fixtures are placed comfortably apart and there is enough room left for storage and towel racks -- then you can keep your basic plumbing and only replace fixtures. This is the least expensive remodeling option; moving plumbing or walls adds to the bottom line.
Basic Planning Checklist
Here's a list of essential elements that will need your attention when you are planning a bathroom remodel. Depending on the scope of your project, some or many of these items will also need a line on the budget:
- Basic plumbing, including vented drains for all fixtures; hot and cold supplies for tub/shower and for sink; cold supply for toilet
- Bathtub or shower stall
- Tub and shower faucet
- Wall-hung, pedestal, or vanity-installed sink
- Lighting: overhead, medicine cabinet
- Electrical receptacles
- Vent fan and ductwork
- Paint or wallpaper for walls and ceiling
- Tiles or sheeting around tub, on shower walls
- Cabinets and shelves
- Towel racks and hooks
- Space for the bathroom scale
Getting Started Remodeling
A remodeling job requires at least one and possibly two professionals to draw a plan and execute it. For suggestions on choosing the pro or pros you need, see "Finding the Help You Need."
Obtain at least three written bids for your particular job, using identical plans and specifications. Do not automatically accept the lowest bid. Discuss each bid in detail with the person who submitted it, and make sure you understand the reason for any variations in price.
Beware of any bid substantially lower than the others. It probably indicates that the contractor has made a mistake or is not including all the work covered by the competitors' quotes. He or she may be planning to recoup the costs by charging you with change orders (a written order specifying any change from the agreed-upon plan that is not included in your contracted price) after the project has started.
Building Green Homes in NH VT
Everyone who builds a home on a pristine lake or in a secluded area of the woods, or invests in urban-sprawl development, is a part of the same global pattern of encroachment that displaces wildlife and decreases the wild space our own species needs for its survival. - Deanna Morrison
One of the more onerous problems facing Owners making Design/Build decisions is what to do with construction and demolition (C&D) waste. One has only to drive-by any construction site and see the unattractive pile of debris accumulated to be convinced of this concern. Considering that construction of a single family residence generates about 2.5 tons of C&D waste, this debris quickly becomes an economic problem costing from $500 to $1,000 for scrap removal from a job site, not to mention what it takes to clean-up the job on a daily and weekly basis.
The solution is for Owners to apply the FOUR R's of the "building green" philosophy to their debris:
* REDUCE the amount of C&D waste you generate.
* REUSE what is reusable (or find someone who will).
* RECYCLE what's left on site.
* REFUSE belongs in a landfill.
Keep in mind...the problem is not just an economic issue but a moral issue, and like most moral decisions the choice to follow the FOUR R's is difficult compared to the ease of renting a mammoth metal container and chucking all debris over the side for the duration of the project. Our concern is for the conservation of natural resources while decreasing material and disposal costs.
Interested in more information? contact Energy Shield Builders, LLC. to chat about your remodeling or home building project in the Upper Valley or any where in New Hampshire or Vermont.