If your house has just the one bathroom, then it’s natural you’ll be concerned about just how you’re going to cope if you’re planning a bathroom renovation.
How long will you be without a working toilet? When will you next be able to have a shower? There will be lots of questions going through your mind, but the good news is that with a bit of pre-planning you can keep the inconvenience down to a minimum before enjoying the benefits of a fully renovated bathroom.
Of course, the length of the disruption will depend on the size of your bathroom and the scale of the renovation you have opted for, but if you make sure you know exactly what is going to happen – and when – beforehand then you’ll be able to ride out the building work and look forward to a glorious new bathroom when it’s complete.
Remodelling the bathroom increases the value of a home, and adding beautiful fixtures and luxurious materials like granite slabs can be exciting. However, since this room is one of the most heavily used in most homes, the process also poses some inconvenience. Here are ways to reduce stress during a bathroom renovation.
At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.
Tips For Surviving a Bathroom Renovation
Check all fixtures, and fittings before the plumber arrives. Damage can happen in transit, and it did happen to us with one of our taps, I was able to arrange a replacement, and no setbacks occurred. There may also be a time frame in which products can be replaced, so do it as soon as possible after delivery.
Have a bath/wash your hair the night before. There is no getting around the fact that you might have to forgo these for a few days – possibly longer, so have a good old wash before work starts. If you have a friend/relative nearby (or even a very good neighbour), you can always ask to borrow their facilities. We had a shower after a few days at my in-laws (oh how I missed a full hot shower!) If you have a swimming pool nearby, you could also head over there for a pre-swim shower, then a swim, then a post-swim shower.
Box up the bathroom. Your bathroom will need to be clear of all products and towels, so place it all into boxes and store it in your bedroom temporarily. It’s also an opportunity to sort through your toiletries and get rid of things you don’t use.
Set up a washing station. We set up a tray on the kitchen counter near the sink with shaving products (for hubs and son) and dental care products, as we haven’t had a sink in our bathroom since the start of the work. It makes things easier if everything is set up and ready to use. If you are able to wash your hair in the sink (I can’t; too much effort, and rather use dry shampoo for a few days), then don’t forget to add your shampoo and condition to the station.
Dry shampoo and dry shower gel are your friends. If you can’t shower/bathe elsewhere, then get some bottles of these products are – they don’t replace a good all over wash, but help you to stay clean and fresh for a few days. You could also set up a bed bath situation with a bucket of hot soapy water, and towels. I’m pretty sure young kids won’t mind not having a bath for a few days.
Baby wipes and anti-bac gel/hand sanitiser are very handy. You may be without water for parts of the day, so having these on standby are helpful to clean hands and faces.
A few clean buckets. One to fill up with water to flush the toilet, one to use for washing, and a spare one for if you, need to go to the loo, and can’t use one at a neighbour’s house. Our plumber fit our toilet back every day, but there were points during the working hours that there wasn’t a toilet. You can either hold it, use a neighbours’ loo, or use a bucket. Not the most pleasant of things for me to talk about, but that’s the reality here. If there are lots of you in the house, you could also consider buying or hiring a commode, which is a lot safer to use.
Keep pets out of the way. We have a cat, and she doesn’t go out at the front of the house due to a busy main road. Our plumber had days where the front door was continually opened and closed, so we shut Pumpkin away into a room with food, water, and litter box. She wasn’t impressed at her incarceration, but in the end, she just used that time for more sleeping. You also don’t want little pets (hamsters, gerbils, etc.,) getting loose and sneaking beneath floorboards, so make sure they’re caged up. And with dogs, you don’t want them fussing or barking at the worker, so again, keep them out of harm’s way.
Keep children out of the way. No little kids in this household any more, but make sure they don’t go into the bathroom or mess around in that general area, there will be sharp tools, and power tools, which do not want to be messed with.
Use dust sheets. Be prepared for dust – when tiles are chipped off walls, and an old bathroom suite is being removed there is a lot of dust generated – everything at home felt like it was covered in a thin film of it – even things I didn’t think would. You can prepare by putting dust sheets over your furniture. I wish I had known just how much dust there would be. Save dusting until after the work is completed, the attempt to clean will be futile.
Have patience, and it will all be over soon! Whilst having a big renovation is an upheaval, think of the result – a gorgeous new bathroom!
What to Do When Your Bathroom is Being Remodeled
Create Your Backup Plan
Whether you are renovating your only bathroom in the home or one of two or more, it will create some inconvenience. Consider setting up a portable camping toilet and camping shower in a private space elsewhere in the home. This way, you can avoid emergency bathroom runs to the neighbours or a public toilet.
A renovation project moves faster when everything that might be needed has already been purchased and placed close to the bathroom. This includes all building materials, tools, protective gear and cleaning supplies. Place items that will be used most or used first closest to the worksite. Remember to keep a path clear for easy movement to and from the bathroom.
Dust is inevitable during all renovation projects, but if you prepare for it, you can keep it confined to the bathroom. Hang plastic sheeting over the doorway and use a canvas drop cloth on the floor. While you could use plastic sheeting on the floor instead of cloth, it is too slick and hazardous. Canvas also traps dust better so that it is not tracked all over the house.
When your renovation includes beautiful new granite countertops, cover them as well. A little dust won’t hurt these durable countertops, but covering them will during renovation cuts down your cleaning and sealing time post-renovation.
If the bathroom has a window, keep it open and put a fan in it blowing outward to exhaust dust outside. In addition, keep dust out of your home’s ductwork and HVAC system by covering the room’s registers or vents.
Allow Extra Time
Projects often take more time than imagined. Instead of trying to squeeze the renovation into a short weekend, assume it will take several days longer. You can avoid stress by not making plans to have house guests or other at-home events near the renovation period.
In an ideal world, you’d align your bathroom improvement with something like a family holiday, entrusting a spare set of keys to the tradespeople carrying out the works. Then it’s just a week under the hot sun before returning, tanned and refreshed, to find a stunning new bathroom.
But if you can’t manage to be out of the house for the entire renovation period, try to pick a time when the work will impact the least on your home life—as an obvious example, avoiding getting the work done when you have friends or extended family coming to stay for a weekend!
Good communication with your tradespeople is key to a successful bathroom renovation. Since no tradesman wants to make your life difficult, let them know well in advance about any times in the week that you desperately need running water and electricity. For example, if you work from home Wednesdays or your kids come home from rugby practice all muddy every Friday, chances are they’ll be able to schedule around those commitments.
Now we’re getting to the really important bit. Perhaps the chief concern of all homeowners is how long the humble, yet essential, the toilet will be out of action. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s a legal requirement for every home always to be left with a working toilet, so don’t worry about getting caught short! If you’re replacing the old fixtures and fittings, it’s unlikely that the toilet will be unusable for any longer than a few hours.
The shower and bath
After the toilet, the next biggest worry of the single bathroom homeowner is the shower and bath, and again, the answer is the same – it depends on the actual project.
While whipping out an old shower unit or bathtub in itself can be done very quickly, it’s the tiling, grouting, drying out and sealing of the surrounding areas that can render your bathroom unusable for quite a while. If your tradesmen tell you to not use the bath or shower for more than a day, then you’ll probably have to consider alternative cleaning options. Many people use showers at their work, gym, local swimming pool or university while the bathroom sealant dries.
If you’ve decided to buy your faucets and other bathware independently and are enlisting trades to fit them on your behalf, it’s down to you to ensure that you have all of the parts ready on the day, that they all work and that they are the right ones.
Bathroom suppliers tend to have long lead times, which means your project could be delayed if you find yourself waiting for delivery of another tap after the first one turned out to be faulty.
Why should I consider a bathroom renovation?
There are many reasons why people decide to renovate their bathrooms:
Fix existing problems
From water leaks to rotting wood or mould on the tiles, there are a variety of problems which are common in bathrooms. They can either be fixed as individual tasks, or you may decide to go for a complete renovation instead.
Increase property value
Renovating your bathroom will increase the property value of your home. Homes with modern bathrooms enjoy a greater chance of a quicker sale than those with dated looks. A new bathroom is a great investment.
Add storage space
If your single bathroom is relatively small in size, then a renovation allows you to look at ways to increase your storage space. Bathroom cabinets are a great way of achieving this.
Many accidents take place in bathrooms and so if you have little ones in the house, you’ll want to be sure your bathroom is as safe as possible, such as by adding slip-resistant flooring.
Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Update the look
Or maybe you want to bring your bathroom to life – there are many accessories and products to help you achieve a new, fresh look for your bathroom.
So, assuming you’ve decided to renovate or update your bathroom, what are the things you need to consider in terms of minimising the impact on you and your family during the renovation work?
Choose your tradesman carefully.
Delays to any project are always a source of great frustration and inconvenience, and even more so when it’s the functioning of your only bathroom which is held up. If you don’t have a spare bathroom to make use of, then you’ll want the job completed in the shortest timeframe as possible and with as few hiccups as possible.
To help guard against unexpected delays, you’ll need to check out your chosen contractor properly. Suppose he/she has been referred to you via a trusted friend or colleague. In that case, that will provide some comfort, likewise online reviews and testimonials can usually give a thorough insight into a tradesman’s reliability and performance standards.
Have a backup plan
With the strongest will in the world, and with the greatest contractor in the world, there is still the possibility of encountering unforeseen issues which delay the project. We don’t live in a perfect world, and not everything goes to plan all of the time, but if you have a ‘Plan B’, then you will be better placed to react to anything that goes wrong.
In a worst-case scenario, you’ll be without a working bathroom for a period of time; in that situation, you’ll need to find alternative means to wash or shower (maybe at your local gym?) or find another toilet to use (a neighbour or relative who lives locally?).
Choose the right time.
If you trust your chosen contractor implicitly, so much so that you would hand him/her the keys to your house, then why not combine your renovation work with a breakaway or a holiday?
If that’s not possible, then once you have established the expected timescale of your project, make sure you plan it for when there will be the least impact on your family life.
It’s inevitably going to be a noisy and messy job to dig out a bathroom and install a new one, so having a house full of people at this time may not be the smartest idea – especially considering the bathroom is likely to be required for use!
Replacing the toilet
The first question you are likely to ask after establishing the cost and the timescale of the project is likely to be ‘how long will I be without a toilet?’
No matter what the size or scale of your bathroom project, the toilet is the most essential of the items you need to see working again as soon as possible.
It will be important to speak to your contractor about how long he expects the toilet to be out of action and then make plans accordingly. The good news is, if it’s just replacing the fixtures and fittings then you shouldn’t be without a toilet for too long. If it’s a bigger job and you are completely redesigning the bathroom and moving things around, then it will almost certainly be a longer period. Still, your tradesman will be able to give you all the answers before he gets going.
The shower and bath
Once you’ve had the ‘toilet’ conversation, you’re likely to next turn your focus towards how long you will be without a bath or shower. The answer is much the same in the sense that it depends on the size of the overall project.
The easy part is to take out a shower or bath and replace with anew one, but you also need to account for the time it takes to tile, grout and seal the relevant areas.
It’s important to follow the advice of your contractor – if they tell you not to use the bath or shower for a specific period of time while the sealant is drying out, then follow the advice. Don’t look for shortcuts in the name of convenience as you could end up causing more damage.
Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.
Remodel and improve
A bathroom should make your bathroom more efficient, more functional, and more stylish. When planning what kind of work you want done to improve your space, consider some of these small yet important improvements.
There’s no doubting a gleaming, modern bathroom at the end of your renovation project will bring you a sense of great joy. But the journey to get there may be stressful!
Not because anything may go wrong but because a key area of your house will resemble a building site for what could be weeks. That in itself can cause worry and stress.
You’ll need to keep small children out of the bathroom, and you’ll need to ensure pets don’t go wandering – especially smaller animals who can escape under floorboards to cause mischief.
You may need to improvise during the project: for example, setting up a wash station over your kitchen sink. You’ll also need to make sure all of your bathroom accessories and products are safely stored elsewhere in the house.
Whether you’re contemplating making a big, or a small change to your bathroom, remember that the benefits of improving your bathroom far outweigh the associated stresses of home improvement. Go on, give it a go!