Tag Archives: bathroom remodel


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!



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!



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.


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…


“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!


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!

shower head

Showerheads and Water Conservation

To round out our showerhead blog earlier this month, Brandon Sheck, Plumbing Wonder and Brilliant Bathroom Remodeler from G&C Plumbing and Heating, is following up on his dad’s impressive knowledge of showerhead history with some input on water conservation and water conserving showerheads on the market today.

WaterSense and the Showerheads

According to the EPA, showering accounts for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use for the average family. To help with water conservation, the EPA developed the Watersense label in 2006 as a voluntary program for manufacturers. “The EPA provided specifications for water efficient products and if a manufacturer meets those specifications, the product is eligible for third-party testing, and then rewarded with the right to put the WaterSense label on that product,” said the Brandon.

Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Watersaving showerheads that earn the WaterSense label must use no more than 2.0 gpm. “The WaterSense label is also supposed to ensure that the products provide a “satisfactory shower” that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads,” said Brandon.

A “satisfactory shower” is determined by a showerhead’s water coverage and spray intensity. To compensate for using less water, which naturally results in less intensity, “showerhead designers found it beneficial to aerate their sprays to compensate for the smaller holes in the showerhead,” said Brandon. This resulted in some showers feeling more like a mist then a spray which can feel “less wet.” “Although, some people actually enjoy the misty feeling, so it’s become a bit of a personal choice when selecting a water conserving showerhead,” said Brandon. The following are a few he suggests to clients when they are remodeling their bathroom and want to incorporate a Watersense Certified showerhead:

“The device uses a water dispersion system adapted from the agricultural industry to release a thick mist,” said Brandon who stresses that this showerhead may not be for everyone because even the website describes the Nebia as “akin to stepping into a cloud.” But, if you are looking for maximum water conservation, the Nebia uses just .75gpm on its normal setting and only slightly more on its high-pressure setting.

High Sierra
This is a more traditional water conservation showerhead found in many of the newer bathrooms today. The Sierra has a pivoting head which allows people to focus the water where they’d like. “With only a 1.5gpm, this low flow showerhead feels a lot like a traditional showerhead, but with some serious water conservation,” said Brandon.

Speakman Retraction
Another traditional design, this retraction showerhead pulsates to simulate the feeling of high pressure. “It does a good job recreating the traditional showerhead feeling,” said Brandon. The design has a single function spray setting that concentrates water pressure with a turbine-powered engine. It is also WaterSense Certified at 1.5gpm.

Delta Showerheads with H2O Kinetic Technology
“These showerheads make a wave pattern which simulates the feeling of being splashed to create more pressure,” said Brandon. Inside the showerhead, water is channeled through a series of chambers that generates velocity and sculpts the water into a wave pattern. “The good news is, there are no internal moving parts inside the head that will break or degrade over time,” said Brandon.

Personal Choice

The showerheads above each provide a unique shower experience that some people might enjoy, and others may not. As for Brandon, he’s a fan of that traditional shower feeling that delivers maximum spray intensity and a satisfying wet feeling. If you want to learn more about the various showerhead options out there, give the guys at G&C a call and they’ll gladly give you their two cents on any questions you have. And, if you are thinking about remodeling your bathroom, G&C can take care of the whole thing for you!


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!


S -Traps, P-Traps, J-Traps – Oh MY!

“Little Lady, the problem is you have an outdated S-trap. That’s illegal is some states, ya know, so I’m going to have to rip that out and install a P-Trap. It’s probably going to cost you.”

Don’t be fooled by the fancy alphabetical references, sink traps are everywhere, keeping sewer gasses from coming up through your drain. It’s true that some traps work better than others because of their shape, but most are a simple fix for a licensed plumber.

In our final blog about sink traps (because who knew there was so much to say about them) Brandon and Greg Sheck from G&C Plumbing and Heating want you to be in the know when interviewing a plumber for a job, however small. So, here is the rest of everything you need to know about sink traps…

The S-Trap

Invented by Alexander Cummings in 1775, the S-Trap was crucial in the success of indoor domestic plumbing. This simple S-shaped piece of plumbing solved the problem of sewer gasses traveling back up drains and into homes by providing an internal trap. Problem was, the S-shape tended to get clogged, required an overflow, and could easily siphon dry even when well-vented. So, introducing the…

U-Trap, Turned P-Trap, Turned J-Trap

Originally coined the U-Trap by Thomas Crapper in 1880, (No, we are not making that name up) Mr. Crapper (Yes, we will use that as often as we can) found the U-shape of the drain trap to be more efficient in maintaining a water seal to prevent the escape of sewage gasses into a building. Crapper’s new U-bend also didn’t clog, so, unlike the S-bend, it did not need an overflow. The most common of these traps is referred to as a P-trap or a J-Trap because of the later addition of a 90-degree fitting on the outlet side of the U-bend that created a P or J shape – depending on which way you’re looking at it. These are the shapes of a trap most often installed under a sink. Thanks Mr. Crapper!

Sheck Tip For Turning an S-Trap into a P-Trap

“In older homes with original plumbing (AKA New England Homes) it’s not unlikely to run into an S-Trap. We can easily convert it into a P-trap by adding a four or five-inch horizontal length of pipe on the outflow side pipe and connecting a vent. Venting is the trickiest part of this conversion, but we’ve got your back.” – Grand Master Plumber Greg Sheck who means “tricky” for the average Joe, which he is not.

As Shakespeare’s Plumber liked to say…

A drain trap by any other name, is still a drain trap.

S-Trap, U-Trap, J-Trap, or P, it’s keeping the sewage gasses out of your home or business, but don’t let someone fool you into thinking one letter is any more difficult to fix or install than the other!



Bathroom Design Trends of 2017

Brandon Sheck of G&C Plumbing and Heating loves to keep up on bathroom design trends. He in no way considers himself to be an interior designer or anything close, but he is a guy who has developed a mean sense of style over the years of remolding bathrooms with his Dad, Greg. So, just in time for summer, we forced Brandon to once again offer his take on current design trends that the guys would love to help you implement in a bathroom renovation project.

All About the Tile

“It’s really all about what makes you comfortable and happy, but I think some of the coolest bathrooms have tile that is kinda crazy looking when you first see it,” said Brandon to underscore the point that he’s not an interior designer. What he means by “crazy looking” is stylish, and here are some of the stylish tiles Brandon has found to be successful in creating a whole new look in a renovated bathroom:

“There are great bathrooms where the tile floors blend into the background,” said Brandon. “But, in some of the trendier designs lately, we’ve seen a throwback to patterned tile. At first my Dad and I were skeptical, but the right pattern does create an artistic look that totally works in the right room.”

“I’ve heard it referred to as honeycomb,” said Brandon. “It’s a big trend and looks wicked cool with a gray and navy blue color scheme.”



Long and Narrow Subwaysubway
This is perfect for someone who wants to be trendy, but doesn’t want to commit to something as bold as a pattern. “The long and narrow subway tiles just take the coolness of the subway look a bit further. It makes a bathroom look super sharp,” said Brandon.


fish-scaleFish Scale
“The first time my Dad and I saw this, we were sure our client would change her mind as soon as we put it up, but it really looks awesome. We were surprised,” said Brandon. “It doesn’t actually look like fish skin, it has a classic Hollywood look to it.”

Nailing the Accent

After figuring out tile, paint colors and a layout, Brandon says it’s the accents (or where your eye is immediately drawn to) in a bathroom that is all the rage in design for 2017. Here are some of the cool things he and Greg are seeing and including in their remodeling projects:

Free-Standing Tubs
“These are where it’s at,” said Brandon. “Doesn’t matter if it’s a vintage claw-foot or a modern soaking tub, people love the freestanding tub look and they look really great in a larger space.”

Cabinets A la Minimalist
“With bold tile patterns and big tubs in the middle of a bathroom, it’s best to keep things in balance with minimalist cabinet shapes and colors when you want to be trendy,” said Brandon. Clean cabinets with simple knobs and handles keeps the space from feeling crowded.

Free-Standing Vanities
A less expensive option to that ‘free-standing’ tub look is the free-standing vanity. It’s a fun way to incorporate a personal design trend into your bathroom. “People are finding really cool vintage vanities at antique shops and we can build entire bathrooms around them,” said Brandon.

Unusual Light Fixtures
We don’t often think of putting a unique light in the bathroom, but it works in 2017. “When you walk into a space with a bunch of neutral colors and then there’s this unusual light fixture, your eye just goes there and it’s cool. It’s also easy to switch out when you get bored or want to change things up,” said Brandon.

Need More Ideas?

Brandon and Greg are more than happy to come out for a visit and go over ideas you have about your bathroom remodel. They are humble guys and will try to suggest they don’t know much when it comes to style and interior design, but don’t let them fool you. These guys know plenty and have seen and worked on enough projects over the years to know what works and what doesn’t. They will give you honest and sound advice about your creative ideas – That’s how they roll.


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