Plumbers, Horsham, West Sussex

Things to Consider When Getting a New Bathroom

Let’s face it, the only place we spend more time in than our bedrooms is our bathroom. They’re also the one intimate, personal space most of our guests see too. Taking time to think about what you need as well as what you want in your bathroom is important. Let’s start with the basics:

1. Lifestyle.

Lifestyle is your personality – how you live your life, how you work, play, entertain and enjoy your home. Are you active? Are you elderly or physically challenged? Do you have a large family or a small one? Do you have infants and toddlers, or teenagers? All these things matter when designing a bathroom. Larger families or people who shower or bathe more frequently will need a larger hot water system. You might prefer a shower over a bath, but other family members may prefer a bathtub. Then again, if you’re planning on selling your home within the next five years, having both a shower and tub makes more sense in increasing your resale value. Sit down with your family and think about:

  • What is your daily routine.
  • Do you share the bathroom with a spouse or kids? How can a redesign ensure everyone has access, hot water and plenty of room at the sink?
  • Shower or Bath
  • Handicap access or safety features
  • Number of sinks. They can be “his and hers” or a sink for the kids and one for adults. You can’t go wrong with two sinks in a master bath
  • Size and space. Do you want a larger bathroom, or are you willing to settle for redoing what you have?
  • Storage. Will you need more or less storage?
  • Lighting. If you ever wanted a skylight or large windows in your bathroom, now’s the time to think about what kind and where.
  • Budget. Be realistic. What can you afford?
  • Toilet or toilet and urinal. Believe it or not, in mostly male households urinals are becoming commonplace fixtures.

2. Remodel or Renovate?

Homeowners and even home stores use the words “Remodel” and “Renovate” interchangeably, but there is a big difference. Just ask your contractor.

“Remodelling” means significantly altering the structure of the room. You may move the toilet to the opposite side of the room, replace the old sink and vanity with a new one, and maybe put in a skylight and floor-to-ceiling glass shower where the old linen closet used to be. Remodelling is significantly more costly. It also takes longer, often weeks or a month or more.

“Renovate” means to “make new again.” If you’re talking to a plumber or builder this means you may want to repaint a room or rooms; reface cabinets, install new light fixtures, or add new finishes and fixtures. Your bathroom, for instance, isn’t radically altered, but the colour, fixtures, and other items are upgraded. The sink, toilet, tub, and shower stay in the same place, but they may get new fixtures, or you may add tile around the room, paint and maybe refinish the tub, or replace the toilet with a newer model. Many homeowners can renovate a bathroom over a weekend or two.

If your budget can’t quite handle a remodel consider a renovation:

  • Painting or new kinds of wall decoration, like Venetian Plaster, Wallpaper or special applications like tin, copper, tile or wood can give a radical new look
  • A new style of toilet (wall hung or tankless) or even a new colour of toile can make the room seem different.
  • Install different sink fixtures and maybe even a different sink.
  • Refinishing an existing tub and adding glass doors instead of using shower curtains, or vice versa.
  • Add mirrors and lighting to increase the visual size of the room.

Horsham Bathroom

3. Budget And Design

Most homeowners look at the cost of new fixtures, toilets, and bathroom accessories and opt for the cheaper items, like a £50 sink versus a £200 one. But it’s not the fixtures that kill your budget. It’s the labor. It doesn’t cost a plumber anymore money to install a cheap toilet versus an expensive one. His labor rate stays the same no matter what he’s doing. Spend wisely and consider not increasing your labor costs versus buying cheaper fixtures.

For instance, if your plumber simply has to replace a toilet his labor rate is going to be much lower than if he has to move the plumbing and toilet to the other side of the room. That’s a one-to-two hour job versus a 30-to-40 hour job.
If you have a tight budget, talk to us about how the design impacts your budget. You may be surprised how much more you can do if you pick smart design choices. We can always make your budget work for you instead of against you. We can help you reduce labor costs by:

  • Choosing a different kind of sink and vanity to make the room look larger without having to move the sink to a different wall.
  • Choosing a wall hung toilet instead of moving the toilet to the other side of the room.
  • Considering a bath and shower combination instead of creating a separate shower and bath.

4. Storage

We all want more storage, but it’s not exactly the sexiest thing to think about when considering a bathroom remodel or renovation. The good news is, you can increase your storage space if you think about it as you renovate or remodel. Take time to look at small storage solutions on and other make-over sites. It’s possible to build-in storage under or around your existing tub, sink or upper walls using shelving or other methods. Get creative. You don’t have to eliminate storage to gain space or room. Some ways to increase storage:

  • Shelving over a doorway can give you three to twelve square feet of added storage.
  • Increase storage by using a tip-out sink kit to create a drawer in front of your existing vanity.
  • Use bathroom cabinets and medicine chests that sit flush with walls by being mounted inside stud walls.
  • Consider furniture, like cabinets, baskets, and wall chests that can be moved if needed.

5. Laws & Regulations

We will take care of any permits to do the things needed to ensure your remodel or renovation is legal and to code. But before you commit to a contract, make sure you understand:

  • What, if any permits will be needed and what they will cost.
  • What inspections will be needed? Will you need electrical, plumbing and gas inspections? At what point will they be needed and will other work be delayed until they’re approved?
  • What new codes will you be required to meet?

6. Contingency budget

If you’ve ever watched any home renovation reality television show you know that builders and homeowners find things they never expected — mould, rotted floor joists, bad construction, wet plaster, leaks, bad wiring or non-code compliant work from past owners. Bathrooms are the centre of water in our homes. And, the plumbing for all that water is hidden – in walls, under the floor and sometimes overhead. Water could have been destroying any of those surfaces for years, and you won’t find out until you start your renovation or remodel. Any of those things can destroy a budget and stop a remodel or renovation in its tracks. You had dreams of a new bathroom, but when you go to replace the toilet you discover the floorboards under it are rotted, and you need a new floor. It happens. So when you sit down with us ask:

  • What should our contingency budget be?
  • What things might or could go wrong?
  • What could you find?

If it’s a bathroom in need of a remodel, we could find a lot. Be prepared. If you don’t need the contingency budget then once your bathroom renovation or remodel is done you can use it to pay the loan, or put it aside for your next project.  Either way, don’t get caught short-handed and strapped for cash halfway through your new construction.

That’s about it. The most important thing you should take away from this article is how important it is to plan and be prepared mentally and financially for your new space. As much as you might want to start immediately, take the time to plan. If you’re not sure how to plan, or don’t know what you don’t know, contact us at Horsham Services. We give you free estimates and bring our experience and design skills to your unique space.

Horsham Loft Conversion

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Loft Conversion or Extension

Moving is not always a good option for the average homeowner. It’s expensive, time consuming and once you’ve moved, you have nothing to show for it other than a new mortgage. If you want a new, or like new home, consider installing a loft conversion or an extension instead of shopping for a new home.

The average homeowner can increase their home’s value by up to 20% with a loft or extension. That’s more value than adding a bedroom (11% added value) or a bathroom (5% added value). Depending on the home, and the cost of the conversion or extension, you can also totally change the layout and personality of your existing home.

Why You Should Consider a Loft Conversion or Extension:

  1. Increases your home value more than any other feature (20% added value).
  2. You don’t have to go through the expense and hassles of selling your existing home and finding a new one — with all its maintenance and improvement issues.
  3. You get all the advantages of gaining a bigger property and more living space without all the stress and costs of having to move to a new home.
  4. Increases your storage as well as living space.
  5. Can improve the layout and functionality of your existing home.
  6. Can create a new look, better living vibration, and personality in older, closed homes.
  7. Can open up a closed-in layout, or close up an open layout.
  8. Personalises your lifestyle by adapting your living space to your living preferences.
  9. Up to 30% of a home’s potential living space is in the attic, and is typically unused, except for storage. A loft conversion can open up this space, allowing you to create a guest room, home office, or gym.
  10. Extensions and loft conversions are excellent returns on your investment. You may spend £15,000 to £75,000 to create the loft conversion or extension of your dreams, but you’ll recoup your investment and earn a profit, both when you move into the finished space, and later when you sell your home.

What is a loft conversion?

Conversions are the process of transforming an empty loft or attic space into functional living space. That space can be a home office, a gym, a living area, guest bedroom or even a “man cave” or playroom.

A loft conversion can also mean transforming commercial space, like a manufacturing facility, church, water tower or warehouse, into living quarters.

Horsham Loft Conversion with Bath

What is an extension?

An extension is the extending of your home, either up or out, by adding a room, or increasing the size of an existing room. There are a lot of advantages to an extension:

  • You don’t have to go house hunting and incur yet another mortgage.
  • You don’t have to pack up and move your entire house.
  • You get to stay in a neighborhood and area you love.
  • Your kids won’t have to change schools, and you won’t have to change your lifestyle.
  • Unlike buying what a seller is offering, you get to decide where to extend your house based on your lifestyle and needs. You can extend up, down, out the front, out the back or the side of your home.
  • Two words — “outdoor kitchen.” Yes, your extension can be an outdoor kitchen or recreation area to complement your backyard or lifestyle. You can add on an extension, or extend an existing room — such as a kitchen, dining or family room.
  • The end product meets your space and lifestyle needs exactly.

The good news about conversions and extensions:

In the UK, loft conversions are generally considered permitted developmental, so you won’t need planning permission, as long as you comply with the regulations. At Horsham Services, one of our Horsham carpenters can assist you with these specifications

Kinds and costs of loft conversions

The good news is, you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to convert a loft into liveable space. Because loft conversions and extensions are the most straightforward and easiest way to increase living space in your home, you can plan and pay for them in stages. Start small, with a “room-within-a-room” conversion. These often involve:

  • One or more skylights.
  • Added insulation.
  • Added electric outlets, lighting and heating ducts.
  • Wider or new staircase.
  • Floor reinforcement or installation such as extending your floor space (where there is a high ceiling you can convert unused space into a small home office for instance.).

If you have the budget and the vision, you can expand your conversion or extension anyway you like! The sky (and the budget), are the only limits.

Dormer Windows

Dormers are a special kind of window that are usually built in during home construction, but that can be added after construction, or in an older home. They’re a simple type of loft conversion that many homeowners find both affordable and effective. Dormers are popular conversions because they can:

  • Open up a space with natural light.
  • Open up floor space.
  • Increase the headspace in an area where you normally wouldn’t be able to even stand up.
  • Give you options for changing, moving or installing staircases.
  • Be installed at the ends or sides of your house.

Of course there are more than just ten advantages to a loft conversion or extension. If you sit down and think about all the ways you can use an added 100 to 1,000 (or more) square feet in your current home, you’ll start to see them. They almost always involve an increased quality of life for you and your family.

If you want to know more about the process, or get a free quote, contact us.