Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Bathroom Renovation, part 1

One of the things I've been itching to get done since I moved into my new house is the bathroom. It was functional (barely) but had a lot of issues, not least the terrible shower water pressure and the fact the shower base was leaking. To get a hot shower you had to turn the shower mixer right around as far as it would go, and then you would get scorching hot water dribbling out. Any less than that and you would just get a cold shower. Not pleasant. I was also fairly convinced the shower had been leaking and rotting the floor away - there was a suspicious sponginess to the floor by the corner of the shower.

It took a long while to find good builders who actually bothered to give me a quote (clearly builders in Dunedin have too much work, as I got a complete lack of response from many of them). The builders I chose were recommended to me on WOMF, which is a useful site for finding recommendations. I'll talk about the builders more when I inspect the finished work!

I chose a new vanity to replace the pedestal sink, and a bath and bath screen with a slide shower to replace the tiny corner shower. I also have a laundry cupboard in the bathroom which accommodates the washing machine. It is actually too big for the purpose, and needed to be made slightly smaller so that the bath could comfortably fit. Even so I do have a slightly shorter than standard bath, but it is still a decent size. The items I chose weren't particularly expensive, but are practical options. The most expensive items were the taps and mixers - I needed good quality tap ware that would function with my unequal low pressure water system. I chose some nice taps from the Methven catalogue, a company well known in NZ for their specialised low pressure tap ware.

On Monday morning the builders and the plumber arrived and started to demolish the existing bathroom. Out came the sink and washing machine, followed by the demolition of the cupboard and shower

When we were able to see the flooring it was obvious that there was extensive water damage and the whole floor would need replacing.

Not only was their water damage from the shower but also from the washing machine. When I first moved in the hot water tap had been leaking, probably for a long time. It was clear the bathroom had been a bit of a DIY job - the floor was just particle board with the vinyl put straight on top, and at one end was a gap where the floor did not even reach the wall! So the floor was removed as well. The builder described it like pulling up weetabix, the damage was that bad. I think the vinyl was the only thing stopping us from falling through!

Luckily the joints underneath the house are in fairly good condition considering the age of the house. We did, however, spend Monday night without a bathroom floor! I'm glad that the toilet is in a separate room! The cat, who likes to explore under the house, was having great fun jumping up onto the joists. Unfortunately she kept disappearing when I tried to take a photo.

I had a slight dilemma about which spout to use on the bathroom vanity as I could not decide from the pictures in the catalogue. The lovely plumber went and got me some spouts to see to help me choose. I posted the photos on Facebook to see what people thought.

I opted for the high-rise spout in the end, it got the most votes! I hadn't been keen on it in the catalogue but seeing it in real life helped a lot.

The building work continues on Tuesday, with the new floor, plumbing and bath being fitted. Excited!

No comments: