Thanks for the kind comments about our new bathroom. As I mentioned previously, we learned a lot on this project so if anyone is planning something similar I thought it might be helpful to bear a few things in mind.
Choose Your Sanitaryware…. And Wait
I found it really daunting selecting all the bits and pieces for the bathroom. There are so many different options and I felt spoilt for choice. I kept a spreadsheet of all the basins, baths, radiators etc that took my fancy and in the end found I was quite restricted anyway given the dimensions I was working with so it became relatively simple to get it down to a final shortlist.
I started this process in June. Work didn’t start until November so I spent the next few months on the look out for a deal; waiting for delivery offers, bank holiday reductions and promotions. By setting up the links as favourites I had a quick visit to the sites every few days to see what was up for grabs. I’m so pleased I hung out as finally in September the bath was discounted to 50% off. Winner.
Think Through The Changes
Obviously if you’re ripping out an entire bathroom, it’s the perfect time to move fixtures and reposition your loo. Really do think though whether this makes sense as it takes time and money to do so. We opted to keep all the fixtures in place and even saved money by keeping the old shower tray, door, and unit.
Measure, Measure and Measure Again
Thankfully we didn’t come up against any issues such as the bath being too big to fit the space, but we had to buy the waste pipe three times (too short each time) and numerous other valves and fandangory. The tip here is not to expect fittings to be as standard and to double check measurements for everything. It’s much cheaper to plan ahead than to nip to B&Q every few hours buying up every bath waste pipe like we did.
Also despite the fact I allowed for 10% tile wastage, somehow we ended up needing another ten or so wall tiles. While a box of tiles was only about a tenner, delivery was £25! Thankfully the HQ was in the next town so we nipped down to pick them up, but otherwise it would have been an expensive misdemeanour.
Take Photos As You Go
Snap pics as you go along, not just to remind yourself of the progress but as a reminder of what’s going on under your floor or tiles! The positioning of the plumbing, valves and the like is really important.
James had his head in his hands a few weekends ago when he went to refit our electric shower and suspected he’d missed turning a valve back on before tiling the entire shower. Sadly we didn’t have any before shots of the shower cubicle to consult and in the end had to buy an endoscope! Luckily it was all sorted really quickly but at one point we thought the ENTIRE bathroom was going to have to come out.
Weigh Up Whether It’s Worth Doing Yourself
As I mentioned before, our bathroom budget was only £2K, and despite originally saying we were going to get the professionals in, the money just wasn’t there in the end. While we saved on labour, we definitely didn’t save on time. We’ve got another bathroom so it wasn’t much hardship but it was annoying to have a house-full of guests staying over several times with eight of us using the one shower room. In the end the project took four months, whereas it probably would have taken a couple of professionals four days.
What are your tips for DIYIng a bathroom remodel? Any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share? And is anyone embarking on any DIY over the long weekend?