Educate yourself about bathroom renovation process
Please familiarize yourself with the following information about bathroom renovation process and what is involved in successfully and safely completing your project with best results and best client experience. It will also allow you to better understand what you are paying for and what is included in our cost estimate. Take this information and compare it with other companies and then decide for yourself what is best for you.
By client experience we mean everything that is NOT related to the actual construction and renovation. Some of the examples are how the contractor and the crew handles the project, how they are treating you and your family, and how are they treating and your property, how are they organizing their tools and work site, how are they adhering to the expected timelines for completion, how they present themselves, how are they dealing with unexpected surprises, how are they handling extras (are they being fair or trying to squeeze the last dollar out of you), how are they keeping their workplace clean and neat, how are they handling difficult situations, are they cool or uptight, how are they organizing the process, the labour and materials delivery.
After all some of the more complex bathroom renovation projects take four to five weeks to complete and that’s where client experience plays an important part. You can survive one or two days of HVAC, windows or new roof installation with bad client experience but you won’t be able to survive four weeks of master bathroom renovation with bad client experience. Once you are fed up with people and how they are handling the project you’ll want them out of your house immediately. This will leave you with an unfinished project and a lot of frustration.
Understanding this important part has allowed us to successfully finish many complex and lengthy bathroom renovation projects leaving the clients happy with beautiful new bathroom spaces. The final look and the positive experience - those are our topmost priorities.
Understanding how the price is being derived for your bathroom renovation
The renovation business is very unregulated and not well understood even by the most contractors. There are no standards and no commonly accepted rules and pricing principles. Every contractor has different views and opinions about pricing and how to run his business.
If you take a quote from three different HVAC companies to replace your furnace the price difference between the companies will likely be within 10%. If you take three quotes to renovate your bathroom you might have 50% in price difference. So how do you know which price is right and fair both to you and the contractor? How do you know that somebody is not lowballing or overcharging you? The right answer is that you’ll only find out at the end of the project.
If you are happy and satisfied with your new bathroom and how everything proceeded from the start to the finish then you paid the right price. This also means your contractor made a profit so he can continue staying in business which means he can honour his warranty for your project.
How to choose the right contractor for your bathroom renovation?
If you can’t know for sure which price is right then how do you choose a contractor?
The answer is don’t focus on the price too much. If you’re only thinking about getting the best price most likely you will not be happy with the final result.
You should be paying a lot of attention to the quote you are getting . It has to be itemized and thorough with clear price and timeframe for completion. You should be paying attention to similar projects the contractor has completed with before and after photos and the reviews associated with the project. You might get some references from the contractors' recent clients to get their feedback. You should be paying attention to how the project will be handled , steps and processes involved, and specific construction techniques being used for your particular situation
Bathroom renovation does not only consists of doing actual construction. A lot of times are spent on setting up protection to the existing space, cleanups, organising the space, discussing best alternatives of how to proceed with the client, mixing different compounds, vacuuming, purchasing, delivery, loading and unloading, bringing in the materials (bringing up 10 sheets of 8*4 drywall on the second floor through the narrow corridor and stairs), setting up storage for materials, regular garbage removal and utilization.
Protecting existing space and new fixtures
When people think of starting bathroom renovation the last thing they think of is how to protect my existing space from potential damage. Bathroom renovation is physically demanding task that involves removing large amounts of debris from the space, bringing in a lot of construction materials, tools and large heavy items (tubs, drywall, vanity, tiles) among other things. Thus protection to existing space plays important role towards the overall experience.
Note: If you’re thinking of installing new hardwood floors and renovating your bathroom, we would recommend doing the bathroom first and then installing hardwood floors.
Installation of floors and accessories protection which includes :
- supplying and installation of floors protection between the house entrance all the way to the bathroom (the last thing you want is to see your hardwood floors all scratched and or damaged after the job is completed)
- Supplying and installation of dust barriers where applicable
- supplying and installation of fixtures protection (example after the tub is being installed it must be protected from all sides by thick cardboard by custom cutting and taping the cardboard all around the sides, rim, bottom and outside sides). If this step is skipped there’s almost 100% chance the tub will get damaged during tiling, plumbing rough in or other installations. Other areas that must be protected are bathroom floor/shower tiles, vanity top and toilet
Example: If you’re renovating a 2nd floor master bathroom that is usually located on the second floor in the furthest corner of the house, the entire way from the house entrance right to the bathroom entrance (including the stairs) must be securely taped with special drop sheets/ floor protective paper to eliminate the damage to your floors. There’re a few reasons it must be securely taped. The first one is to eliminate the chance of you falling down while walking and the second is to be able to do regular cleanups including vacuuming the entire way. After the job is done, it has to be removed and part of it disposed. The entire process could take between 3-5 hrs including the removal of sticky tape off the floor.
A LOT OF DISPUTES COULD RESULT DUE TO LACK OF PROTECTION AND POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO EXISTING SPACE
From our experience, conversations to other contractors and previous client experiences a lot of disputes between the contractor and the client resulted from the actual damage to the unrelated to the actual bathroom renovation such as damage to hardwood floors, hardwood stairs, and scratches to entrance doors and walls resulted from removal of garbage and debris and could result in costly refinishing. Also, again damage but to the related to the actual bathroom renovation such as scratched fixtures/accessories (scratches to acrylic tubs, vanities, tiles), damage to windows, cracks to sinks, toilets or tiles). Our process involves always keeping in mind the possibility of potential damage and always installing protection wherever possible.
Demolition, garbage removal and utilization
The average bathroom renovation project produces between 500kg to 1500 kg of waste. Some master bathrooms could go up to 2000kg of waste removal. The waste has to be broken to small pieces and safely and cleanly be removed from your house. The average 5*8 bathroom would take somewhere between 30 and 40 bags of debris weighing between 45-50 pounds each.
If your house has plastered walls you’ll be somewhere in the middle of the range. If you have a “built circa” bathroom with cast iron tub and tiles half way going around the space you’ll be on the upper side of the range.
Obviously the more weight you have the more expensive it will be to remove it. The higher the floor your bathroom is on the more physically demanding and more time consuming the demo will be. As a result ground floor bathrooms will be less expensive then 2nd or 3rd floor bathrooms.
Actual labour to do the project and regular daily cleanup and daily vacuuming to bring your living place back to normal
Actual labour will take around 75% of the total time to do your bathroom renovation. The approximate order of installing things for an average 8*5 bathroom renovation with a tub looks like that:
Day 1. Installing protection. Setting up workspace. Demolition and Removal.
Day 2. Tub installation (must have tub). Floor preparation for floor tiles installation. Installation of floor tiles backer boards
Day 3. Tub protection installation. Shower rough in valve, shower head and tub spout rough in installation. Floor tiles installation
Day 4. Floor grout installation. New tiled floor protection installation. Levelling tub area framing for wall tiles installation. Tub area drywall installation. Taping, mudding for first coat.
Day 5. Tub area wall tiles installation. Window, door, baseboard trim installation
Day 6. Tub area walls tile installation (continues). Trim caulking installation.
Day 7. Tub area tile grout installation. First coat walls painting. First coat trim and door painting. Vanity installation. Sink and vanity faucet installation. Vanity plumbing hook up installation.
Day 8. Tub area caulking installation. Wall grout cleaning. Final coat walls and trim painting. Accessories and toilet installation. Shower faucet trim kit installation. Vanity lighting installation. Cleaning up. Floor cover protection removal. Tools removal. Final bathroom detailing. Extra day might be needed if there’s some extra work requested like extra tiling (backsplash, half wall), new pot lights installation, bulkheads removal.
Regular cleanups around worksite and along the pathway are important part of our bathroom renovation projects. This is that will help you to stay If everything is dirty and there’s mess around then.
Purchasing and delivery of all necessary construction materials (about 120 different items)
It’s hard to believe but even the smallest bathroom renovation takes more than 120 items of construction materials. Those materials have to be purchased at a few different stores, loaded, unloaded and delivered to your bathroom. The reason that there’re so many is because there’re a lot of trades involved into doing this small space. Carpentry (finished and rough), electrical, plumbing, drywall and taping, painting, ventilation, tiling (link na tiling), caulking (link na caulking). We’re talking about professionally done renovation so we use only best materials available on the market.
Here is just an example of different screws and nails and fasteners being used for a bathroom renovation, 8 items in total. Floor screws, drywall screws (short and long), wood screws (short and long), steels screws, pneumatic gun nails (short and long), framing nails, heavy duty staples. This alone would run over 100$ and we only talked about fasteners.
Organizing the workspace, planning the work schedule, problems solving and finding best solutions, discussing alternatives with a client
In renovations once something is installed it cannot be easily undone. That’s why it is very important to discuss everything before something is done. Patterns of placing tiles, how high to install borders or ornaments, placement of new light fixtures or pot lights, solutions for working around obstacles and previously hidden elements, placement of accessories and many other small details all of these has to be discussed beforehand in a timely manner.
Our renovation method is based on layering. In order to move from one stage to the next the first stage has to be completely completed.
The more custom the bathroom renovation job is the more time is spend on discussions, problem solving and careful planning. Our process involves daily discussions with client’s whether in the morning or in the evening depending on the client availability. We also use all types of media to communicate with clients if needed. If the client is not available for a timely discussion in person we can use phone, MMS messaging, emails or even skype for visual communication. READ MORE ABOUT OUR RENOVATION METHODS AND TECHNIQUES (Link to techniques)
LIVING IN THE HOUSE DURING RENOVATION
Most bathrooms are being renovated while the owners of the house (a lot of times a family of 4) are living in the house. Thus the process and the way it has to be done is much different than if the client vacates the house. The organization of the project must be done in a way that provides the client with liveable conditions for the duration of the renovation project, creates safe environment around the project (especially if kids are in the house) and allows residents to feel like they’re still living in their house and not on the construction site. We’ve gone through multiple lengthy projects with the duration of the renovation more than 4 weeks with clients living in the house where we were able to continuously maintain positive atmosphere and safe environment to leave in during the bathroom renovation project.
Creating conditions for contractor that will allow him to do the best job.
The truth about the contractor or really anybody who’s working with his hands is that the big part of good work comes from the right state of mind. A lot of parts of the job involve creativity …..if the contractors feels he’s not treated with respect he deserves, you will end up with less of a better job and a more expensive job.
Here are a few things you can do to help the contractor and yourself achieve the best quality and experience for your bathroom renovation project:
A professional contractor will always behave in a professional manner and treat your home and its members with respect. He would expect the same from his clients. If you treat your contractor well, he’s less likely to charge you for the smaller things and he will do extra stuff for you or stuff that will take longer time but look better without extra charge. He will go an extra mile to for your project.
Providing space for tools/ materials storage. Client must empty out the closest room (as much as possible) to the bathroom for tools and materials storage. The success of the project depends much on the organization of the space around the project. A contractor must have enough space to organize his tools in a way so he can easily access them whenever needed. Organized contractor will work much more productively and efficiently. Providing a parking. Client must provide at least one parking spot in the close proximity to the property. A contractor who is worrying about his car being ticketed/towed or spending a lot of time finding parking is likely to do a worse job… his mind is occupied with stuff that doesn’t help him to do his job.