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Tips For Securing Reliable Quotes For Bathroom A Renovation
If you are considering a bathroom renovation project, no doubt you are aware that this is a significant investment of both time and money. Unless you have a lot of DIY experience, you will probably be employing contractors for some of all of the work. Refitting a bathroom requires a range of skills, including plumbing, tiling or plastering, flooring, and electrical work.
A bathroom that has been well fitted should last for many years and add value and beauty to your home. On the other hand, even if you spend a lot of money on high quality fixtures and fittings, if they are installed poorly then you could be facing constant issues with leaks, breakages, and other problems that are costly and time consuming to put right.
Therefore it’s worth considering carefully who is going to carry out the work. If structural alterations, such as the removal or addition of an internal wall or pony wall is required, it’s strongly recommended to hire a professional builder unless you have relevant prior experience.
This is for peace of mind that the work is done safely and competently, and also to ensure that it complies with building regulations. For major electrical works in the bathroom such as installing an electric shower, extractor fan, or heater, it’s a legal requirement to employ a registered Part P electrician or plumber.
Unless you are replacing fixtures and are confident in your skills, attempting DIY plumbing is not recommended either, because mistakes can lead to damaging leaks or even disastrous floods that may not be covered in your insurance policy.
This is particularly relevant if you are installing a new bathroom from scratch in a room that previously had a different purpose, or if you are installing a wet room. There will be issues such as drainage and waterproofing to address in the design and installation of the new room.
Furthermore, if you are installing heavy fixtures such as hydrotherapy baths or showers, structural calculations may be necessary to ensure that the existing floor can bear the load, or if reinforcements are necessary.
All of this may have made you think twice about taking on a bathroom renovation project by yourself. If you are purchasing all of your fixtures and fittings from the same supplier, it may be the case that they can recommend a specialist bathroom fitter, or even have an in-house installation team that is a part of the package deal.
If not, it’s best to source a fitter who is familiar with all aspects of bathroom installation, rather than attempting to appoint individual plumbers, tilers, and so on. To make sure that you are getting a competitive price as well as the best person for the job, it’s recommended that you get at least three quotes.
Before this stage however, consider what type of bathroom you want, how much you are willing to spend on it, and if you can do some of the more straightforward work yourself, such as removing wall tiles or floor coverings. Natural stone floor and wall tiles are generally a lot more expensive than ceramic or porcelain tiles.
It’s a good policy to buy the best quality products you can afford. Attempting to save money by using the most basic product range can be a false economy, because chances are they will not last as long as more expensive products or need frequent maintenance and repairs.
If you are installing a new bathroom from scratch, it might be worth using a professional designer to help you make the most of the layout and features. If you are renovating an older bathroom, bear in mind that moving existing fixtures could be difficult or even impossible, depending on drainage, plumbing and electrical outlets.
You might also want to consider timescales, particularly if it is a family bathroom and has the only toilet and shower in the house. How will you manage if these facilities are out of action for a few days? Once you have enough information to put together for a detailed brief, select appropriate fitters or builders to quote for the work.
To ensure that you hire the right fitter, ask around for recommendations from family and friends, and check online reviews of local fitters. A fitter should have the relevant qualifications, skills and experience for your particular project, and also be insured and registered with a professional body such as the Federation of Master Builders.
Many tradespeople now have a website or social media page to display a portfolio of their previous work and customer references. When you have found at least three suitable tradespeople, contact them for quotes. Ideally, they should visit your home to make their own assessment of the job.
Ask for the quote to be supplied in writing, and make sure that it is fully comprehensive of the costs of materials, labour, fixtures and fittings, disposal of removed items, and a timescale. This will make sure that you will be protected from hidden extra costs or inconvenient delays to the project.
Ask the fitter if they intend to subcontract any part of the work such as the electrics or tiling, and if so ask for details and make your own checks on the qualifications of the subcontractor. This is for peace of mind that the work will be done correctly, and also to protect you from potential building regulation breaches or invalidated insurance claims.
If one of the quotes is significantly cheaper than the rest, treat it with caution. This could not represent good value for money if the fitter is inexperienced or is not fully qualified or insured for the work. Remember that you want the bathroom to stay in good working order for years to come and it is worth getting it right the first time.