Monday, January 26, 2015

I want to remodel my bathroom what should I lookout for?


I want to remodel my bathroom what should I lookout for?


Bathroom remodeling is the bread and butter of the renovation industry. The bathroom is one of the most used places in a home. It is also one of the places where people spend the least amount of time (unless of course you are a teenager). Because of this problems in bathrooms usually go unnoticed for years before anyone tries to fix them or correct the problem before it causes damage.

One of the biggest things that you need to lookout for when doing a bathroom remodel are the places where water has been leaking. In a large bathroom there are a lot of places that water can leak and collect without you the homeowner ever knowing that it has happened. Water can leak and collect in and around the following locations:

Behind, around or underneath the toilet.

Behind, around or underneath the tub.

Behind, around or underneath the shower.

Underneath or in the bottom of the cabinet of the sink.

On the walls because of humidity.

The first house that I ever owned was built in the fifties and had been re-faced a couple of time but never completely remodeled. I started by gutting the entire bathroom (the only one in the house), my plan was to do demolition all day having the toilet re-installed and working by that night. This would give me a working toilet (a place too read my book among other things). Boy was I wrong.

After gutting half the bathroom I got to where I was going to remove the toilet and set it outside until I could re-install it later that day so that it would function as the remodel continued. What I found when removing the toilet was that the toilet had been leaking for probably at least 10 years, because of this the floor was completely rotten around where the toilet was sitting (I had only owned the home for 18 months at the time). The only reason anyone never fell through the floor into the crawlspace below was because the plumbing was well fastened to the floor joist. Basically the drain for the toilet was holding up the toilet (and anybody who sat on it), the vinyl flooring and the rotten plywood.

The removal of the rotten floor and reframing the area took several days, I also had to bring a plumber in to re-pipe the toilet because I was forced to cut the plumbing out of the way to repair and replace the damaged plywood sheeting. I ended up having to stay with my parents for a couple of days while all of this happened. Luckily for me there was not a lot of mold created from the leakage of the toilet and that the toilet was the only fixture that had been leaking. It also helped that there wasn't a finished basement underneath to damage just a dirt floored crawlspace.

I have found worse things in other bathrooms, I have opening up walls behind showers and found mold. Mold  to the point where we had to spray a water-downed bleach solution all over the inside of the wall cavity just to kill it before we could continue working safely. I have found living snakes, mice and other creatures that like damp places and have found whole rotten rim-joist on the outside of the walls in houses where the shower drain was leaking. Rotten rim joist that were in such bad condition that when you looked at the outside of the home you could see that the wall and the roof were sinking in the area.

So when you are asking me what you should be looking for when you remodel your bathroom  you should plan on having a contingency fund. You are almost guaranteed to need it. Remember also that you should plan to spend the money fixing things properly while you have the opportunity, waiting to do it later will only cause you more of a headache and will also cost you more money.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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