Category Archives: Projects

Blue Bathroom

Bathroom Remodeling to Boost Your Bottom Line

Last month, the great guys from G&C Plumbing and Heating shared with you some tips about what types of bathroom remodels are recommended when you want to put your house on the market and make top dollar at closing.

“I thought of some more ideas,” said Brandon Sheck, Bathroom Remodeler Extraordinaire.

Ok, Brandon, tell us more…

Brandon actually suggests working with your real estate agent to figure out exactly how a bathroom should best serve what you’d consider a “choice buyer” (someone who falls madly in love with your house and has the means to buy) in order to decide how best to spend your budget on materials and various rooms.

Some bathrooms play different rolls (pun intended) in a person’s life and home. During your walk-through, Brandon suggests figuring out how each bathroom space should function to attract that choice buyer.

Master bath. This is often considered the second most important space in the house during a showing, next to the kitchen. This is a big selling point and can make or break a sale. If the space is outdated or difficult to navigate, Brandon suggests investing most of your remodeling budget here.

The full bath, or family bathroom. This is generally a space for everyone in the house where function trumps fashion. “This is not the place where you have to splurge with a vessel sink and granite countertop to increase your asking price,” Brandon says.

A three-quarter bath (includes a toilet, sink, and shower). These spaces are generally not a place people hang out in to enjoy some personal time. They are about utility (and maybe accommodating your mothers-in-law’s short visit). Brandon suggests focusing on clean lines in this space. A new corner cabinet, flooring, lighting, and fresh paint will do the trick.

The powder room or half bath. This is a tiny spot that can pack a serious design punch. This is your opportunity to make a big impression on a potential buyer. “Here is where you install the fancy lighting and interesting accessories,” said Brandon. “Because there is little hardware to replace, we can keep the costs down while seriously increasing your home value.”

When to Splurge

In any of the bathrooms above, there is room for impact statements you can make to reinforce the amount you are asking for your home. Consider some of the following as upgrades for your resale value. They are not necessarily super expensive, just upgrades to your bottom line:

  • Radiant flooring.
  • Stain-resistant grout.
  • Skylights
  • Heated shower mirror.
  • Framed mirrors.

So, now you have homework in deciding what functions your bathrooms should actually serve the potential buyer you are trying to attract. Go ahead, do your walk-through with your realtor, and then give the guys at G&C a call!

Next time, we’ll tell you all about the Angie’s List Super Service Award that the guys have won THREE YEARS IN A ROW and are STILL too shy to talk about.

 

increase-your-house-value

Bathroom Remodels Increase the Resale Value of Your Home

If you own a home that is over ten years old and you are thinking of selling it, you might want to invest a designated amount of time, energy, and money to update your bathroom(s) to significantly increase the asking price of your home.

Bathroom updates are one of the most popular ways to give a new look to your home and increase your earning potential in the real estate market. The guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating have worked with several area real estate agents over the years to help prepare homes for sale and found you can typically get between a 55 to 70 percent return on your investment with a bathroom remodel in addition to raising your asking price.

“There are several levels of remodeling you can consider to help make your desired asking price a reality,” said Brandon Sheck, bathroom remodeler extraordinaire from G&C. “From full-scale rebuilds costing tens of thousands to updating fixtures and paint for a few grand, your end goals should always be to update the look of your bathroom and increase your resale value.”

If you know your bathroom needs updating and you want to sell for top dollar, Brandon suggests you do some research. Check out what similar homes in your area offer in the bathroom department. “Basically, figure out what your competition is,” said Brandon. Your real estate agent can help with this and then the guys can help you establish a renovation budget to beat out your competition!

As with many things – pizza, vacations, jobs – there are basically three levels of bathroom remodeling: good, better and best. Spoiler alert: Not all levels of remodeling are appropriate for increasing your resale value!

Fixtures, paint, and fresh tile

“This is the most common remodel our real estate agent friends suggest to clients who are preparing their house for the market,” said Sheck. The cost is typically between $3,000 to $10,000 and often includes updates like a 24-inch vanity, low-end granite countertop, and a new fiberglass bathtub-shower unit.

Other upgrades you might consider are new ceramic or subway tiles in a bathtub or shower area and a fresh paint job. “Your lighting, fixtures and finishes should be new, but you don’t need to break the bank. We can help you come up with some reasonable options that will create a big impression,” said Sheck.

Fancy fixtures and flooring

If your home is competing with high-end homes, priced $900,000 and up, fresh paint and low-end granite is not going to cut it. To get a decent return on your investment, you might be looking at a cost between 10,000 to $25,000 a bathroom. “It’s a big jump because you’re opting for high-end features and flooring, vanity, sinks, lighting, window treatments, hardware, comfort-height toilet, a 36-inch countertop, a framed mirror that matches the vanity, and a recessed medicine chest,” said Sheck.

At this level of remodeling, you’re also able to make adjustments to the layout – like a smaller bathtub to make way for a larger, walk-in shower. “I suggest contemplating this level of remodeling one or two years before meeting with an agent to put your house on the market, so you can enjoy your efforts,” said Sheck.

The bathroom you’ve always wanted.

This is a full-scale remodel that can cost over $30,000 when completed by a professional. However, the guys, and most real estate agents, DO NOT recommend doing this level of remodeling if you plan to sell your home within the next year or so  – you will not regain the expense in your sale (Sorry!)

This is a full-gut job and includes moving plumbing and possibly walls. For cabinetry, you are looking for solid wood construction with custom finishes and decorative accent pieces. Your tile can be natural marble, limestone or granite. The walls can be real wood beadboard with deep molding and windowsills are marble. The fixtures can be polished chrome with porcelain handles. The possibilities are really endless, but this bathroom would be so very hard to let go of if you are serious about moving!

“It’s fun to think about a bathroom of this caliber, and may be a consideration in your new home, but the agents we work with rarely suggest their clients should install a dream bathroom before listing a home,” said Sheck. “This type of renovation is personal and should be done for your enjoyment.”

The best advice

Even if you’ve already met with a real estate agent, call the guys for their expert advice on any bathroom remodel. Consider it a second opinion and a potential boost to your bottom line at your home closing!

 

master-bath

Recent Project: Master Bathroom Remodel

At G & C Plumbing and Heating we enjoy working on bathroom and kitchen remodels. Take a look at a few before and after photos from our most recent bathroom remodel project.

Looking to update your bathroom? Give us a call; we would love to help!

 

bathroom-budgeting

DIY Bathroom Remodeling Budget Tips

The good guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating often find that most people considering a DIY bathroom remodel go about creating a budget backwards.

Typically…

The Do-It-Yourselfer stands in their bathroom, scowling, and says to themselves, or out loud: “I’m going to scrape together X amount of dollars to fix this #(@!^$% bathroom once and for all.” Then, they grab a sledge hammer and go to town. If, when it’s all said and done, they don’t end up too many thousands of dollars over their pledged dollar amount, they feel pretty good (spoiler alert – half of these folks end up calling G&C to finish the job).

Let’s be honestly, most people attempting a DIY bathroom remodel have no idea what kind of stuff they need or really want to put in into a new bathroom, let alone how to do it. “You really need to consider the materials you plan to use before you can set an accurate budget,” said Greg Sheck, Master Plumber and bathroom remodeler extraordinaire.

So, if you’re going to attempt a DIY, instead of starting with the sledge hammer, Greg suggests you start with a little…

Reconnaissance

“One of the major costs in a remodel is moving fixtures, like the toilet, sink, or tub. If you keep the same floor plan, you’ll spend less on plumbing,” said Sheck (so, let’s pretend that’s what you’re doing).  Now, Greg recommends heading out to your favorite do-it-yourself big-box store or fancy bathroom joint and conducting a little investigation into tile, fixtures (such as a new John, tub, or sink), and accessories like lighting and mirrors. Add it all up!

Once you realize that things like using tile flooring instead of a marble flooring or die-cast zinc-alloy instead of solid gold fixtures can save you, literally, gazillions of dollars, you will be in a better state of mind to pull a number out of your head/bank account to start your project. You might even make an amazing discovery like, “you know what, I think I actually like the floor currently in my bathroom and I am not going to rip that up during the remodel.”

Bottom Line

Consider how much you can invest, what materials you can salvage from your existing bathroom, and how the bottom line fits into the current value and resale value of your home.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to come up with a budget that you can feel confident about! But, if you find yourself now saying, “You know what, this seems like a ton more work than I am up for.” No worries! Greg and Brandon can probably save you money if you contact them to start your bathroom remodel instead of calling, mid-way, to fix your DIY disaster.

Aside from having extreme budgeting expertise and the connections to get material at better prices than the “sales” at a big-box store, the guys can help avoid many of those unforeseen expenses that often pop up mid-DIY project. The “oh, goodness, I think we have to replace the entire plumbing system to install that” kind of catastrophe.  As plumbers with mad contracting skills, Greg and Brandon would be able to tell you costs upfront to avoid over-budget surprises. So, give the guys a call to get the straight and narrow remodeling answers you deserve!

blue-bathroom

Updating Your Bathroom – A New Year’s Resolution.

Sure, Greg and Brandon of G&C Plumbing and Heating can come by and fix your leaky robin’s egg blue sink. And, they can come back and reseal your pink toilet. Later, they’ll be back over to stop the water from leaking through the bright yellow tile in your tub.

But, why not get cracking on your New Year’s resolution list and have Greg and Brandon rip all that “nostalgia” out to update your bathroom to a century where they actually still manufacture the parts that make up your sink, tub, and toilet. They can turn your bathroom into your favorite thing in 2018.

G&C Plumbing and Heating are bathroom remodeling experts

Although Greg can talk for hours about the engineering genius behind Victorian era toilet bowls, the master plumber understands the frustrations of living in antiquity which is why he has a general contractor’s license!

“I wanted to be able to provide customers the plumbing expertise required in bathroom remodeling projects, from start to finish,” said Greg about why he felt the license was important to his business. “As a plumber, I am able to see the bigger picture in a bathroom remodel and save customers some money by taking out the middle man. Brandon and I do all the work ourselves and call in experts for detailing and carpentry work.”

Benefits of having it done right the first time

The guys understand what works in a bathroom. From selecting and installing proper tile that you won’t slip on, to determining the best placement for vanities, tubs and toilets; the guys understand the mechanics behind each aspect involved in your bathroom.

The guys think about function when designing a bathroom. From custom shower doors that prevent water from escaping, to installing a handrail in a shower to prevent injury, and installing outlets that shut off if an electrical item falls into water; they think about all of that for you.

The guys focus on efficiency. From installing efficient toilets and shower-heads, to selecting tubs that fill with less water, this know-how can save you some green on water bills. Heat exchangers and more efficient water heaters can save on gas bills. Timers on bathroom fans, better lighting, or a glazed window can save on electricity bills. G&C Plumbing and Heating totally gets this and can get it done right!

Happy New Year!

If you’re ready to ditch the pink tile and those crazy glass flowers holding up your 50-year-old vanity mirror, give Greg and Brandon a call. They’ll be honored to make honest and helpful suggestions to create the bathroom of your dreams in 2018!

closet

That’s a Crazy Place to Put a Bathroom

“Why don’t we turn the closet into a bathroom?” Jane* nudged her snoring husband in the second-floor master bedroom of their hundred plus year-old farm house as the Eureka moment struck her. “YES!” She nudged him harder and he rolled out of bed, assuming it was his turn to feed the baby. “What?” John* asked, scratching his head and realizing the baby was sound asleep. “Turn the closet into a bathroom,” Jane pointed to the closet nestled close to the dormer framing and abutting their daughter’s room.  Her face lit up as she imagined not walking downstairs, multiple times, during the night to relieve herself. John looked over at the closet. There wasn’t even a gable there. “That’s a crazy place to put a bathroom.”

Fast-forward a few months…

“Well, that should do it,” said Greg Sheck, Master Plumber and Miracle Worker from G&C Plumbing and Heating, as he brushed the last of the construction dust off Jane’s dream bathroom tile– built where her small closet once stood. Jane smiled as she admired the full shower, sink, toilet and snazzy design. John stood slack jawed. The baby squealed.

*This is a true story, with real customers whose names have been changed to protect their innocence and marriage.

“Older New England homes are so awesome, but they often lack amenities that homeowners look for today, namely more bathrooms,” said Sheck who works with his son Brandon to help customers find creative and unique ways to bring their gorgeous old homes into the 21st century without destroying their timeless charm.

“Jane and John have an amazing antique home, but it only had one bathroom. A hundred years ago, even having one bathroom was considered upscale,” said Sheck. “Brandon and I are plumbers and contractors, not everyone knows that, and we enjoy helping people like Jane and John upgrade their antique homes to meet their needs. Sometimes that requires creativity and some “that’s a crazy place to put a bathroom” like thinking,” laughed Sheck.

The guys at G&C Plumbing have installed small and large bathrooms in many older homes, and new. Jane and John’s bathroom was a favorite project of theirs because it showcased their appreciation of the old world and their flair for trendy design.

“Because we didn’t disrupt the floor plan, the second floor maintains that antique feel. The bedrooms are close to one another and there is a common hallway area that is so representative of an old farm house,” said Sheck. “Around the corner in the master is this bathroom that packs a big punch in a pretty small space, but from out in the hallway you’d never know it was there.”

Greg and Brandon helped Jane pick out light and reflective tile and fixtures to make the space seem and feel bigger than it is. – It’s the size of a closet, remember!  Also, there are no windows because everyone agreed they didn’t want to add a dormer and disrupt the exterior design, so lighting was key in creating the feeling of natural light. “My biggest fear was that I was going to feel like I was, well, standing in a closet,” said Jane. “I don’t.”

If you are looking to add a bathroom or remodel an existing bathroom in your home, but find yourself thinking it’s a crazy idea, call Greg and Brandon and watch the crazy magic happen!

gandcplumbing-toilet

Replacing John

Last month, the guys gave you some tips on how to tell if it was time to get a new toilet. Our bet is that many of you may have kicked the old throne when you read through the results. Sorry about your toe. The good news is, replacing a toilet is not all that hard, and the guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating even offer options on how you can accomplish installation.

Here are their secrets:

“It’s best to have a buddy handy when you are ready to replace a toilet,” said Grand Master Plumber, Greg Sheck who works with his son Brandon during such a task. “Lifting a toilet is cumbersome and it’s easier to obtain a level set on the floor when there are two of you.” Greg also recommends having the following on hand, in addition to the new toilet:

Wax Ring, Adjustable Wrench, Channel Locking Pliers, Screwdriver, Towels, Sponge, Bucket, Penetrating Oil, Putty Knife, and Hold-Down Bolts.

So, once you’ve grabbed a buddy and picked out your new John…

Here is option one on how to replace an old toilet:

  1. Turn off the water to the toilet.
  2. Remove the tank lid.
  3. Remove the refill tube from the overflow pipe and drain water from the tank.
  4. Use a rag to pick up any remaining water.
  5. Disconnect the water supply line.
  6. Disconnect the flapper chain.
  7. Unscrew bolts attached to the tank.
  8. Remove tank from the bowl and place on a towel.
  9. Remove the caps sitting on the bolts.
  10. Unscrew nuts with an adjustable wrench.
  11. Rock the bowl a bit to loosen the grip on the floor and place on a towel.
  12. Remove wax ring from the toilet and the floor.
  13. Clean the floor around the drain hole.
  14. If the bolts look rusty, replace them.
  15. Place a new wax ring on the new toilet and carefully position on top of the drain hole. You only get one shot to place it.
  16. Replace wax ring when you miss.
  17. Replace it again.
  18. Take a break and thank your buddy for being a true friend.
  19. Place the new toilet over the hole and gently rock the bowl until it sits level on the floor.
  20. Screw nuts back on with adjustable wrench.
  21. Place caps on bolts.
  22. Place tank on the bowl.
  23. Screw bolts to attach the tank.
  24. Connect the flapper chain.
  25. Connect the water supply line.
  26. Attach the refill tube to the overflow pipe.
  27. Turn the water back on.
  28. Test the new toilet for any leaks.
  29. Find a way to dispose of your old toilet.
  30. Figure out how to pay your buddy back.

Not bad, right? Just 30 simple steps…

Here is option two:

  1. Call Greg and Brandon
Accord Smooth

Imagine a Bathroom WITHOUT Caulk

We apologize if you just dozed off at work in a dreamy haze while picturing a pristine shower – forever bright and new with absolutely no possibility of peeling, dingy, discolored, squiggly caulk lines ever. So sorry. Not sorry!

Wake up! This scenario is possible. However, although the guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating are all about empowering their customers to tackle weekend projects, this is not one of them. You’re going to need to call Greg or Brandon to make your caulkless shower dream a reality.

“It’s a big seller for our bathroom remodeling clients,” said Grand Master Plumber, Greg Sheck. “These shower systems are truly a no brainer, they look amazing, and are completely maintenance free.” The guys use the Accord and Ensemble systems from Sterling which is a Kohler Company. Check them out here.

sterlingThe innovative design of these caulkless shower systems installs directly into wall studs using interlocking wall clips. A full-size shower measuring up to 60″ x 36″ x 77″ and can be installed without the usual 24 hours needed for caulk to dry before use – saving both time and money. “The materials used in these systems are top-notch with no chipping, scratching or peeling,” said Sheck. Other features include:

  • An optional 12″ x 16″ seat for optimum comfort.
  • Optional grab bars.
  • Water management system.
  • Larger, deeper shelves able to hold twice as much as other standing shower units.
  • An easy-to-clean, high-gloss surface capable of repelling water and dirt.

“We recommend these systems for every bathroom remodel, these shower systems will knock your socks off,” said Sheck. Call the guys at G&C Plumbing and heating today to make your caulkless shower dream a reality!