Month: April 2018

3 ways to save money on bathroom renovations

Whether we want a fresh upgrade or want to add to the selling value of our property, there comes a time when it’s necessary to renovate the bathroom. Because, like the kitchen, the bathroom is a complex room with lots of water features it can be very costly to renovate.

Many people get bogged down in the costs of renovating their bathroom and it quickly gets out of control as more and more unexpected bills pile up. To abound flushing away all your money, let’s take a look at the 3 best ways to save money on a bathroom renovation.

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it

A total bathroom refit is where a lot of the money disappears, and it isn’t necessary a lot of the time. Unlike the living room, moving something in the bathroom is much more expensive simply because of how hard wired everything is.

If you leave everything where it is, you stand to save a big load of cash on the labour costs of moving and reconfiguring water connections.  A smart move is to use the money you save to instead upgrade the features rather than moving them.

Be careful about how much tiling you use

Tiles may be small individually, but the cost of them in a whole room can add up. This is especially true if you’ve misjudged the cost and have chosen a fairly elaborate kind of tile.

If you need to save money with regards to tiles, consider only covering half the wall or only in the sections that are in contact with water. This is why it’s smart to plan to cost of every detail ahead of time and not make decisions on a whim.

Stick to a minimalist approach

The best thing about the contemporary minimalist style is that it saves money as well as caters to the lowest common denominator of taste. This is important when reselling your home because you don’t want to alienate potential buyers with an overly elaborate bathroom.

Make sure to stick with one major focal point in the room, like the sink, and invest in that. For example, a minimalist bathroom with a special material vessel sink is sure to impress visitors.

The best way to save money is not to over-capitalise believing that you will get a scalable return on your investment. Only invest in bathroom renovations that are going to add value for the largest amount of buyers possible.

How to select the best bathroom sink

You might not have ever spent any serious time thinking about bathroom sinks, but when it comes to renovating a bathroom it’s a decision you’re going to have to make. It’s an important decision because the sink is the focal point of the bathroom as several different activates from brushing teeth to shaving occur in front of it.

As well as being somewhat of a showpiece for the room, the sink needs to be functional as well. When it comes to sinks there’s no end of varying styles and designs which also come in many different sizes.

The majority of sinks will have two different styles, one with faucets and one without. If you are going with the latter option, choose the faucets before you choose a sink.

Depending on the style of countertop or vanity the bathroom is using, there are several different mounting options for your sink, such as:

Drop-in

This kind of sink needs the countertop to have a large enough hole so that the sink can be dropped in. Once dropped in the rim of the sink should sit over the countertop’s surface and fit snugly.

Under-mount

As opposed to drop-in sinks, this style is installed underneath the surface of the countertop. This makes it so that the bowl of the sink sits beneath the surface of the countertop.

One-piece

Sinks like this will have a pedestal setup in which the usually porcelain sink is supported by a pedestal base also made of porcelain.

Vessel

This kind of sink is designed to look like a bowl sitting above the countertop. They will often be pre-packaged with the own vanity or integrated faucet system.

Wall-mounted

Wall-mounted sinks are a great choice when working with tight confines in a smaller room. Despite the space saving convenience, they will often need you to install the water supply behind the wall which may prove extremely expensive.

How to make the right choice

The style of sink that you choose to go with will also determine the types of material you can expect to find it in. For example, vessel sinks often have a far wider variety of materials they can be made of including bronze, marble and even wood.

Take consideration of the layout of the bathroom’s plumbing and consult a plumber if you are unsure of how your pipage will work with a new sink setup.

DIY skills that tradies know by heart

Good DIY isn’t all about having the skills but about knowing the tips and tricks that tradies use routinely to make their jobs faster and easier. Follow these tips and you too will enjoy better results in half the time.

Make marks for sawing

Make sure you always cut on the correct side of the timber with this trick. Simply draw on a measurement mark and draw a second one angled away from the wood you wish to keep.

Loosening a stuck screw

If you encounter a screw that refuses to budge, grab a screwdriver and a hammer. Stick the screwdriver in the screw as if you were removing it and then tap the screwdriver with the hammer.

This will remove and paint or rust that’s sticking to the screw and will make it easier to remove.

Don’t use a drill for small screws

When you’re installing small screws for hinges and small latches, trade the power drill for the humble screwdriver. The screwdriver will allow you to be more precise, save power, make less noise and it won’t strip the screw’s head.

Handsawing gunslinger

If you want more control while using your handsaw, hold the handle like a gun using your index finger extended out. This finger allows to you aim your sawing so you can be more accurate.

Wear the right safety equipment

Less of a secret and more common sense, always wear the proper safety equipment no matter what job you are doing. Don’t work alone on a ladder if you don’t think it’s safe and always make sure you take every safety step seriously.

Saw with your thumbs up

In order to help keep the handsaw from wobbling around when you start a cut, use the thumb of your free hand as a guide. Slowly shift your hand away from the saw as the cutting rhythm picks up.

Keep your tools sharp

Sharper tools mean a quicker job with better results. Make sure you give your handsaw a replacement blade every now and then as they can dull very quickly.

The blades of a power saw can be resharpened professionally but it’s good to have a spare on hand.

Drilling into tiles

Simply put a piece of tape on the tiles where the drill is going to be used as it will keep the drill bit from moving across the tiles as it digs into them. Make sure to use a masonry drill bit and that the drill is turned off from its hammer setting.

Home improvements that usually aren’t worth the investment

When people think of reselling their home, they do whatever they can to increase the value of the property in the eyes of realtors and potential buyers. For some people this might mean a few small upgrades here and there, for others it means major renovations to the effect of building an entirely new home.

Increasing the value of your home is a strategic decision that needs to be based in reality. There are several home improvement projects that seem like winders on paper but are actually just huge pits for you to barrel money into.

Let’s take a look at the biggest home improvement projects that just aren’t worth it.

Pools

Let’s get this one out of way, there’s a lot of misinformation about the value adding effect of pools and its one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to add value to their property. Many people will see a return but it won’t be enough to offset the cost of installing the pool in the first place.

Pools are great for some kinds of buyer and a big concern for others. For example, people with young children will see a pool as a safety hazard; others may see a pool as a big piece of maintenance that they would rather not pay extra for.

In some areas it gets very cold for a great deal of the year, making the pool useless. If you live in a region that only has warm sun for a few weeks a year, there’s no point including a pool.

This explains why the majority of people who add pools for the purpose of resale value end up losing money. This is because they automatically thought a pool would add value without considering other factors.

Room conversions

Turning an entire room into a walk-in closet may sound good to you, but think about what buyers are looking for. Every bedroom is precious and adds significantly to a home’s value, so sacrificing one for the sake of an unnecessary indulgence is far more likely to hurt you re-sale value.

Overly personalised renovations

It goes without saying that creating something personalised to you is harder to resell to someone who isn’t you. Even if you think you’ve created the perfect unicorn themed child’s room, all you have done is limit the potential buyers to those who will tolerate it.

Overcapitalising

Spending too much money on upgrades, even if they’re warranted, can backfire. If your home is a mansion-like anomaly in a middle-income neighbourhood, you’ll turn off every kind of buyer.

Tips for avoiding home design arguments

One of the biggest points of disagreement between couples is how to go about the design elements of their homes. Whether it’s the colour of paint, the length of a counter-top or just the style of showerhead, there’s plenty of room for disagreement between otherwise harmonious lovers.

The only way to move pasts these disagreements is to find an acceptable compromise. Let’s take a look at the following tips for avoiding common home design arguments between couples.

Make a room plan

Before you say “but we disagree on that”, listen to this first. You don’t need to make a plan that makes final decisions, only one that outlines what the functions of the room will be.

Determine how the room needs to function for the daily tasks of each person and work that into you decision making. Be realistic first and then make stylistic choices as you finish off.

This helps two people to see the other’s perspective from a pragmatic standpoint, which is much easier to relate to than their subjective evaluation.

Listen, listen, listen

Communication is important in all aspects of a relationship and this is no less true when it comes to home design. Make sure you and your partner are listening to each other’s suggestions and actually understanding them, not just grunting with acknowledgement.

Try and mix your styles together

While this isn’t always possible, it’s the perfect compromise if you can get it to work. Take your favourite elements of both your choices and see if they fit harmoniously into something new but that’s also practical.

Pick your battles

There are times to assert yourself and times you should just let the Wookie win. If a part of the home design is more important to your partner than you, sacrifice that bit for them so they feel like they got their way.

Ideally they would be doing this with regards to areas you find important. Both parties will be much happier if they each get areas they have full control in.

Hire a professional

A sure fire way to end the argument is to call in a professional arbitrator AKA an interior designer. They will cut the crap and give both of you practical advice based on their professional expertise.

While you might have your opinion vindicated by a professional, the same will likely be true of your partner in some elements of the home design. This option is best for those people who really can’t agree and just want to outsource the decisions to a design specialist.