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3 Top Tips for Building a Bathroom on a Budget

3 Top Tips for Building a Bathroom on a Budget

Revamping your bathroom can flush your wallet of all of its glory. Aside from the kitchen, the bathroom is the most expensive room in the house to decorate. This is mainly due to the fact you need plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other expensive labourers. Plus there’s the cost of materials, which if you’re doing a whole revamp, is going to cost you a fair wedge. This article will provide a couple of handy tips to getting that bathroom you’ve always wanted whilst keeping your costs down.

Shop around

This is partially common sense, but so many of us settle on a bathroom in one of the first places that we look. Yes, shopping around will take up some of your time, but you can make considerable savings. Chances are that there will be bathrooms you like in all the places that you look, so if you see one on your first trip, don’t settle for it. Browse around the local dealers and look online for deals. Many businesses have sales on at different times, so with a bit of luck you may find an absolute bargain.

Buy cheaper without looking cheaper

Expensive furnishings and accessories can look great. But they are expensive. The good news is that there are many cheaper alternatives to the expensive items that still look fantastic. Only spend the extra money on the really important items that improve the functionality of your bathroom. If it’s just an item that is purely there for the aesthetics, then look for a cheaper alternative that will do just as good a job and look just as good too.

Do it yourself

OK, this isn’t saying that you need to go out and qualify as an electrician and plumber just so you can complete the handy work yourself. However, the truth is that there are a few things you can do without enlisting the help of a professional. Instead of investing money in labour, invest your time. Remember, these guys often charge by the hour. So, if you spend a couple of hours pulling up floorboards so the plumbers have direct access to the pipes, you’ll be saving yourself a couple of hours of filling their pockets with your cash. Be clever and you can put some extra cash in your back burner. The same goes for once they’ve done the bulk of their work. Things like clearing up, screwing on switch covers, and putting the floorboards back can all be done by you without having to pay for somebody else to do it.…

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How to Choose a General Contractor

How to Choose a General Contractor

1. Only Hire Licensed Contractors

Interview and hire licensed contractors.

2. Verify the Contractor’s References

Visit NARI at www(dot)nari(dot)org for a list of its members in your area. NARI stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. NARI is a respected organization that chooses professional contractors to become members and learn quality standards about their trade. It is also a good idea to get 3 references of recent jobs from your contractor and ask to review past remodeling work.

3. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

You can view your states local better business bureau to make sure the contractor does not have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors. This can be viewed on BBB’s website.

4. Licensed Subcontractors

Ask what subcontractors the General Contractor will use on the your remodeling project to make sure they are all properly licensed. A General Contractor is only as good as the subcontractors they choose. Subcontractors will most likely be at the jobsite (your house) more than the General Contractor, so it is important you know who they are and their history.

5. Make Sure All Agreements are in Writing

It is imperative that all agreements are made in writing including all changes made to the initial home remodeling agreement. This protects both parties and holds accountability.

6. Don’t Let Price Be Your Only Factor

Usually the lowest bid is cutting corners or desperate for home remodeling work. This can cost you more in the long run if the General Contractor finishes a remodel haphazardly. The most important factor should be how comfortable you feel with the contractor and his technical competence to give you want you want. Communication is key, it is important to make sure both parties are on the same page at all times to prevent confusion and frustration during the remodel.

7. Meet Face to Face

Based on phone interviews select three contractors to meet in person for estimates and further discussion of the your home remodeling project. Be sure to have important questions you may have about the General Contractor’s home remodeling process. It is a long and thorough process so it is important your contractor has strong answers. It is important that they are upfront with you about their process so that you know you are choosing the right type of General Contractor that suites your needs.

8. Keep All Records and Documents

Keep detailed records of everything related to the project, including a payment receipt file. You may know your General Contractor personally, but it is still good practice to make sure everything is in writing to prevent further confusion.

9. Workers’ Compensation

Confirm that all contractors working on your project have workers compensation insurance for employees.

10. Payment Schedule & Final Inspection

Make sure your contract has a breakdown of payments based on worked completed. Do not make payments ahead of schedule or before work is completed and be cautious if a large down payment is requested. The sad truth is General Contractors will sometimes finish before the job is done or take your money and run if you pay too much up front. DO NOT make the final payment until you are %100 satisfied with the work performed.…

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Bathroom Remodeling – How Much Room is Considered Enough?

Bathroom Remodeling – How Much Room is Considered Enough?

When you are considering remodeling your bathroom, proper planning is mandatory because it is very tedious and expensive to rectify any error whatsoever. Especially, in case you don’t have enough space, bathroom remodeling becomes a challenge. And we all know that most of the furnishings in your bathroom are usually large, so you need to utilize the space efficiently.

The first step is to ascertain how much room is available. You can create a map of your bathroom which can give you a rough idea of what you can do with your bathroom. Next, you can make some necessary changes accordingly.

The bath being the biggest unit in the bathroom eats up a lot of area. But you can have short baths too which give you sufficient space. Although one cannot stretch out in a short bath like a full one, it is still possible to wash in comfort and fulfill the purpose which is to take a bath. Furthermore, a lot of water is saved which is a blessing in disguise.

You can even think of combining the shower and the bath as having both of them separate is not compulsory. So having your shower over your bath not only offers more options but also saves a lot of space. But you must install a shower blind or drapery so that the adjoining floor does not get wet. And you can pull away the shower blind once you are done taking your shower. This can make your shower feel big and spacious without having to compromise on anything.

Sinks are usually placed in corners of the bathroom where they fit well and look elegant too. You can even think of vanity sinks which have storage space below which can be used for keeping towels, toilet paper, and other toiletries.

If you really want to make smart use of the limited room in your bathroom you should consider making use of storage that is not visible directly. Have the towel racks installed on the back of the bathroom door so you don’t need separate ones taking up more space. Use toilet tanks which have discreet repositories for toilet products like tissues and other female lavatory commodities.

Having a large mirror in your bathroom with an in-built closet is a very effective way of deceiving your mind to think that there is a lot of space in your bathroom. The reason for this is very simple as a large mirror reflects light and makes you feel that the room is spacious and bright. Moreover, the closet area behind can be used to keep toothpaste, mouthwash, common medicine, etc. away from common view.

Having sliding doors in your bathroom not only saves space but also adds a touch of class and panache to your bathing area. Especially for small bathrooms, if you have a door that opens inwards or outwards it takes up the adjacent space as well. So having doors that can slide or fold is an excellent solution to this problem. So no matter what your budget is and how much room you have, you can still remodel your bathroom with an interesting and efficient design.…

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Popular Elements and Themes For Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

Popular Elements and Themes For Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

A bathroom is one of the most relaxing areas in a home where homeowners perform hygienic and beauty regiments on a day to day basis. The first instinctive action that a person does upon waking up in the morning is to head towards the bathroom, so it would be quite fitting to make the bathroom comfortable and relaxing more than any other room in the house. This is why most home renovation work usually starts in the bathroom while other sections of the house are remodeled afterward, or postponed for a later time. A bathroom remodeling project can be a very fruitful investment to make as part of your program to pamper yourself or your family members. 

According to custom-building experts, the designs and themes used in bathroom remodeling jobs have evolved from the ordinary looking white-tiled conceptions of the old days to sleek and modern designs that make it one of the most exciting home improvement projects to have. If you are planning of upgrading your home and starting off with a bathroom remodeling project, then the following elements and themes should be put into consideration if you want a new look for your bathroom that is both appealing and highly preferable for the modern homeowner. These suggestions combine both design and construction elements that could give you the best results from your renovation project. 

* A Look of Casual Elegance 

Most modern homes and homeowners prefer a simple yet elegant ambience to their homes and bathrooms. Such methods of designing and building a home or bathroom require contractors who are adept in building with special materials to create works with sleek surfaces and lines exuding casual elegance. Such designs could involve the use of marble countertops with matching elegant fixtures that complement the beauty and elegance of the stone. Another excellent choice to have for bathroom vanities is the use of a solid slab of granite rock built with the very popular “floating” design. The materials could be more expensive than using ordinary ceramic tiles, but the results that you can get for your bathroom remodeling project would be well worth the investment. 

Other important considerations to take when having this project is to choose a contractor who is capable of making precision installation with a very minimal amount of grout in between tiles. The surfaces should be very smooth and matched with elegant mirrors and glass to complement the quality of the rock. As for the sinks, choose varieties with sleek designs that will match your vanity table although you should take into consideration if you will need extra cabinet space, which traditional counter sinks can provide but is not possible with pedestal-type of sinks. The walls and floors should match your countertops however, you should decide if you would leave out upper areas to be painted over or you prefer ceiling to floor 

* A Nautical Look for a Water-infused Space 

Some homeowners would prefer a modern, nautical look for their bathroom remodeling project, which is also one of the most sought after design a space inside the home that almost always involve the use of water. To have a nautical look and feel for your bathroom, use shiny and industrial-grade stainless steel mixed with various shades of cyan or blue. The stainless steel gives that elegant yet modern look for a nautically-inspired bathroom theme. This should be complemented with the use of fixtures made with a brushed chrome finish with a squared-edge design. 

* Non-traditional Looks 

If the homeowner is more adventurous and would be willing to try out new concepts and designs, he can have the bathroom rebuilt to a chic or modern style or it can be built to provide a nostalgic ambience to the bathroom. The fixtures would be more ornate, usually with a brass or a gold-shaded finish. Unlike the previous designs where lines are more defined, the lines here are curvy in nature with no-so-ordinary materials for the floors, walls and ceiling. 

A bathroom remodeling project can be a very engaging yet enjoyable activity for a homeowner, particularly if he or she gets involved in the design and planning aspects right …

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Adding a Bathroom in Your Basement

Adding a Bathroom in Your Basement

Finishing your basement is one of the most important home renovation projects you can do for your home. A renovated basement can be used in various different ways and it may also boost your home value. However, finishing this part of your home is not without challenges especially if you are looking to create an additional bathroom in your basement. Bathroom renovation below the grade requires additional planning. In this article we will touch on some of the issues in regard to adding a bathroom in your basement.

There was a time when the basement was merely used as a storeroom to house your laundry machine and your old broken TV. However, they have grown to be a lot more than just a storeroom. There are different reasons why homeowners choose to renovate their basement. Some of the more popular reasons for renovating these spaces are: create an independent unit for additional rental income, create an entertainment area for entertaining family as well as guests, or simply increase the living space. Whatever your reason may be for renovating your basement, you need to be aware of some challenges that you could face when adding a bathroom to your basement.

Basement renovations are always challenging as you need to waterproof the area to ensure that it doesn’t turn into a mini lake during rainy season. Apart from these challenges, If are renovating to add another bathroom in the space below, you will need to plan for how the waste from your bathroom can be moved to the sewer, or septic tank. This may sound easy at first but in practice the situation could be a bit more complicated.

Bathroom renovations in the basement are not the same as renovating your lavatory above the grade. When you are above the grade, the gravity is assisting with moving the waste down. However, when you are below the grade the gravity is not always on your side. Some homes have the sewer lines run deep underground. In such cases, connecting to the sewer line is easy. But what if the bathroom is below the sewer line? Let’s look at how you can resolve this problem.

There are few options to resolve the above issue and we shall discuss some of the more popular ones here. One option is to install an up-flushing system to pump the waste up to sewer line. Some of these up-flushing systems can also connect to the bathroom shower and other drainage to pump to those to the sewer lines. Although the up-flushing system is expensive, you do save on installation cost as you do not need to break the concrete slab. The pumping mechanism is generally hidden inside or behind the toilet.

Another option is to use a sewage-ejector system which is similar to a small septic tank that sits below your bathroom. Your toilet shower and washing machine can then drain to this tank. These storage systems also house a discharging pump that can discharge the waste to your home’s main sewage line.

It is therefore important to learn about the location and depth of your sewage lines before starting a bathroom renovation project in your basement. You could save time and money by determining a head of time what option is best suited for your home.…

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How to Remodel Your Basement: Special Considerations for Basement Remodeling Projects

How to Remodel Your Basement: Special Considerations for Basement Remodeling Projects

Basement remodels can expand your square footage, but they do have a few different requirements from other remodeling projects. Keep egress and moisture prevention issues in mind from the planning stages, and these concerns will not add excessive complications to remodeling your basement.

Finishing the basement is one of the most common residential remodeling projects in the country. When you think about it, it makes sense: by taking advantage of the unfinished space you already have in your basement, you can increase the square footage of your home without having to build a whole new addition. But whether you’re planning on having a remodeling contractor in to do the work, or you are considering tackling your own basement finishing project, it’s important to remember that remodeling basements requires a few special considerations. Educating yourself on these specific issues is the first step toward a successful basement remodel!


Residential building codes, although varying by municipality, all require two ways out of a bedroom, no matter where it is located in your home. Called “egress,” this is to provide safe exit for occupants in the event of a fire or other emergency in which one of the exits has been blocked. For ground-floor and upstairs bedrooms, this second way out is easily accomplished with a window, but for basement bedrooms, the situation can be more difficult. Installing a window as a basement emergency exit is certainly doable, but it definitely requires more planning. For starters, most basement egress windows will require a window well to hold back surrounding soils and provide passage to the outside. The window will also have to meet specific size requirements:

20 in. minimum width

24 in. minimum height

7 sq. ft. minimum opening size

44 in. maximum height from floor to bottom of window

These numbers reflect the common egress requirements according to IRC code, but be sure to check with your area building inspector for the exact regulations in your area. Also, keep in mind that window styles like casement windows often open in a way that can obstruct part of the opening, so the minimum area for egress will have to be calculated for the actual opening size, not just the size of the window frame.


Because of water in the surrounding soil, basements tend to have moisture issues. That’s typically not a huge deal when the basement area is just used for storage or a hobby shop, but if you’re planning to finish your basement into living space, you’ll need to eliminate the moisture first. Water can ruin building materials and foster mold growth, creating unsightly stains, structural weakness, and even health problems for your family. Depending on the extent of your wet basement issues, there are a variety of different solutions. Most minor problems can be resolved by sealing any cracks with a flexible crack sealer (like an epoxy) and sealing the interior foundation walls with a water-blocking paint. Dehumidifiers can also help keep moisture in the air from condensing in the basement. However, for major water issues, you may need to install an interior French drain system or consider a sump pump. These solutions do require professional installation, but they can handle large volumes of water and provide you with the peace of mind that your basement remodel won’t be ruined by damp.

Basement remodels can be an extremely cost-effective way to expand your home’s square footage. However, due to their subterranean construction, basements require some special considerations when it comes to remodeling. With a little planning, neither moisture prevention nor basement egress windows will be prohibitively expensive or excessively complicated, but it does make it easier to keep these requirements in mind from the very beginning stages of your basement finishing job.…