There are a few renovation projects around the home that will add value to it. You might think about a loft conversion, extension, new kitchen, or a new bathroom. You can spend much of your hard earned cash on these projects. Sometimes it might cost more than the increase in value of your home, but investment isn’t the only reason to improve your surroundings.
The bathroom serves you in two ways. It is a functional space where you wash and prepare yourself for the day ahead, and it is a place of luxury where were you take a hot bath and relax when you need to. There are some stunning bathrooms in the best homes and hotels that scream opulence, and you can have one too. You might not have many thousands of pounds to spend, but you can achieve much with a modest budget.
If you want to renovate your bathroom, read on. Here is how to go about it from start to finish.
Make a scale drawing of the room and draw the positions of the bath, shower, toilet, and vanity units. Don’t try to squeeze a suite in there that is obviously too big, the design will suffer.
Strip Out The Old Suite
You must turn off the hot and cold water supplies to the bathroom. The cold water stopcock is usually under the kitchen sink, but you might need to hunt around for it. If you haven’t used it for many years, it might be stiff to turn. It is not unheard of for the handle to snap off. All is not lost if that happens because there is another stop tap somewhere outside your house. You will need a long ‘T’ bar to operate it; they are available at your local DIY shop.
When the water is off, disconnect the pipes from under the sink and bath before you remove them. Dispose of the old furniture, but if that is the only toilet in the house, you might want to leave it in place for a while.
Remove the old tiles with a hammer and cold chisel. Always wear eye protection for this part of the job.
You must consult an electrician about the wiring. They will tell you what size cable you must use for a shower and lighting, and how to install it. The cables will run under the floorboards, through the loft, and in the walls. The cable for the lights is usually 1.5mm twin and earth, and the shower will be 10.0mm twin and earth. Follow the electrician’s instructions carefully, and you should not have any problems.
You have a wide choice of lighting solutions from which to choose. Think about recessed LED lights in the ceiling. You can control them with a dimmer switch if you like, but you must install it outside the bathroom. Put cables in for task lighting at the sides of the mirror too. There are even floor tiles with LEDs that you could include in the design. The mind boggles at the vast range of fittings available.
Run water and waste pipes to the location of the new units. They can go under the floorboards, or you can box them in. If your new taps are to mount on the wall instead of on the bath and sink, run the pipes to them. This style of tap is en vogue at the moment, but you will have to construct something to hide the plumbing.
The installation of the electrical wiring and plumbing is called the first fix.
You must hide the plumbing. Build a frame out of timber. Use screws to put it together, not nails. A cordless drill is a handy tool for this job. You don’t need any other fancy tools; a hand saw will do. When the frame is complete, clad it with plasterboard. You will need to get to the back of the taps to connect them, so leave an access panel somewhere.
Plastering is an art that most people can’t do to a high standard. Pay a plasterer top come in and skim the walls. It will only take a day, and the result is worth it.
It only takes a day for the plaster to dry, and you can bring in the new suite. Leave the packaging on it where you can, to protect it as you work. Put the new suite in place and connect it up. When you are happy, move onto the next step.
It is the part of the project where you must work to a high standard. The quality of the tiling affects the quality of the whole room. Take your time and work accurately. Start with a vertical and horizontal line in the middle of the wall. Fix the tiles from the middle outwards, so that those you cut in the corners are of an equal size. You must keep the tiles symmetrical. Use spacers to ensure all the grout lines are the same. Tile the floor using the same principle.
You must now bring the electrician in to connect all of the electrical equipment. They will install and test the lights, extractor, and shower. When the installation is safe, they will give you a certificate of conformity to the latest electrical regulations.
Install the new taps and the bathroom is almost complete. Make sure that the hot water comes out of the correct tap. Sometimes the hot water pipes get an airlock in them. If the water will not flow, get a piece of hose pipe about sixty centimetres long. Hold one end on the cold water tap and the other end on hot tap. Ask an assistant to turn them on, and the water from the cold tap will push the air out of the hot water pipes.
If you reach this stage, well done. Your bathroom must look fantastic. Now you must mount the window blinds and towel rails. That is another DIY job in the bag. You might have saved thousands of pounds by doing it yourself; what will you tackle next?
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