Bathroom Renovations

September 11, 2009 at 1:28 am Leave a comment

When Jeff and I found our first home there was a lot we liked about it.  But we also knew that the one full bathroom and one half bathroom on the main floor could use some updating.  The previous owners put in a new full bathroom in the basement that’s really nice, but I feel like they ignored the other bathrooms!  In the main turquoise bathroom we plan to get a new toilet, medicine cabinet, lights, shower curtain rod, and possibly a new sink and counter top.  (not to mention the new decorative items I bought like a rug, shower curtain and soap pump!)  Of course it can’t all be done at once so we had to prioritize.  One night the toilet really messed up and we were going to have to put that at the top of our priority list.  It’s an old toilet and the tank was basically continuously filling up with water.  What a waste!  Neither of us know much about home repairs but Jeff just moved, pushed and pulled some things around in the tank and managed to fix it!

toilet tank1

Looks old doesn’t it?  Since the toilet is working fine now (knock on wood) we decided to push that back and focus on a couple other important bathroom needs.  We will definitely get a new toilet though, the older they are, the more water they use.  I hate to be wasting water with this old one!  The other important bathroom needs deal with the tub.  Before we moved in we decided to remove the old caulk and re-caulk it to improve the appearance.  It’s easy and cheap to do.  But when Jeff was removing the caulk, he saw that some of the bottom tiles above the tub area were deteriorating.  Also the tub diverter spout was leaking quite a bit!  We knew we could not use the tub/shower in that condition so since we moved in, all of our showers have been taken in the basement bathroom!  It’s not a bad thing, but I definitely don’t want to have to take a shower in the basement when it starts getting cold out!  Because of that we decided we need to have the tub area fixed by some point in October.

Quote time!

Before we moved in we got a quote from Roto Rooter on replacing the tub diverter spout for $500!  It seemed pretty expensive to me but what do I know?  They told us they could not replace the tile so someone else would have to do that.  Recently we contacted a handyman who actually had done work on our old duplex.  He came out to fix a pipe under our kitchen sink and was very nice.  He seemed very knowledgeable about plumbing and lots of home repairs.  We showed him the bathroom area and explained we needed to replace the diverter and a section of tile.  He recently got back to us with a quote of $575.  Pretty close to the Roto Rooter quote right?  Wrong!  Roto Rooter’s quote was ONLY for replacing the tub diverter.  The quote from our handyman John included replacing a section of 30 tiles, putting in a new drain, diverter, shower head and caulk.  Lesson learned for all home owners: use a trusted handyman rather than a big company!  There are pros and cons to each though.  With a handyman, the same guy can come out to your house each time and his rates are reasonable.  Unfortunately if they just work for themselves, you may have to wait to get the work done.  John told us it would be about 2 weeks before he could start the bathroom plumbing and tile work.  Luckily we do have the basement bathroom to use in the mean time.  If you need something done right away, you may have to use a bigger company like Roto Rooter.  They have a lot of employees, so it’s likely to be a different person coming to your home each time they are out.

I would suggest using a handyman that has been recommended to you.  Or, just have one come out to your home for a quote.  See if he arrives on time, if he is willing to answer all of your questions, and how comfortable you feel with him.  Try to at least compare your quote to one other company to make sure you are paying a fair price.  We are going to get the work scheduled with John.  I can’t wait for it to be completed!  The tub area will look a lot better once it is done.  This is how it currently looks, bad I know!  Look out for a before and after comparison in the future!

tub area


Entry filed under: Decorating, Home Improvement.

what i will/will not miss New tiles and diverter

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