Tag Archives: value of a bathroom remodel

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!

Bathroom remodeling offers a wide range of opportunities to conserve energy, water and money.

Bathroom Remodel 101: Let the Saving Begin

Bathroom remodeling offers a wide range of opportunities to conserve energy, water and money. Greg and Brandon Sheck at G&C Plumbing and Heating also believe a stellar remodel can improve personal comfort which can have a big impact on your happiness which can motivate you to get to the gym which might lead you to finally dropping that extra ten pounds which will allow you to live years longer. Basically, your bathroom is the fountain of youth.

Ok, we’re just speculating on the fountain of youth part, but after completing a bathroom remodel with G&C, the guys guarantee you will save some green on energy and water (and Brandon is willing to bet a President Grant that you’ll be happier too)

Let’s look at the ways you will save with your newly remodeled bathroom. It’s a long list so we’ll break the savings up in two blogs because we know it’s summer now and the last thing you want to do is read some big long article while you’re out in the boat trying to catch dinner.

Water

Up to half the water consumed in a home is used in the bathroom. “Conserving water saves money in two ways: by reducing the amount of water used in your community and by reducing the energy used to heat it in the home,” master plumber Greg. More energy is used for heating water than for any other household purpose, except maybe heating and cooling.

By replacing worn out faucets and shower heads, the average family can save roughly 17,000 gallons of water per year which is about $60-$100 on energy and water bills.

Older toilets can use 3.5, 5, or even up to 7 gallons of water with every flush. “Federal plumbing standards now specify that new toilets can only use up to 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF), and there are high efficiency toilets that use up to 1.28 GPF,” said Greg.

How quickly a low-flow toilet pays for itself depends on how many times you flush each day and your geographic location. Here’s a fun game to play with the kids this summer while you’re rowing them around in the boat looking for the best spot to fish:

To calculate the yearly savings, multiply the estimated number of flushes per year by the difference in flow (in gpf) by the water rate per gallon.

Sheck tip on water heating:

If your remodel makes water pipes accessible or involves installing new pipes, insulating hot-water pipes is an easy and inexpensive way to reduce heat loss.

If you’re digging out old plumbing, a new water heater may be appropriate if the existing one is old and inefficient, or if more capacity is needed. Quick-recovery, gas water heaters can save 30% over less efficient equipment. Instantaneous water heaters–tankless units that heat only the water needed at the fixture are another great money saving option.

Lighting

If you were nicking your face during every shave in your old bathroom, lighting could have been a problem. You were probably spending a fortune on Band-Aids. The right lighting in your new John can help.

Sheck tip on daylighting:

A skylight placed between rafters should have a light well that is insulated to the level of the walls and flared at the bottom to spread light around the bath. Clerestory windows (skylights with vertical glazing) are more energy-efficient than horizontal skylights, since the roof above them can be insulated, though they still allow some heat to escape through the glazing. Light pipes, which consist of a bubble on the roof, a light pipe to the ceiling, and a domed fixture inside, are the most efficient option for directing natural light into a room.

Bulbs

The lightbulb has come a long way. Just changing out those old incandescent bulbs to energy efficient options can save you bundles. Here is a handy chart from Energy.Gov to fill you in on the savings.

savings

Next time, we’ll cover the savings reaped in the insulation, sealing, space heating, and infinite bliss in your newly remodeled bathroom by G&C. If you have any questions, comments, or are interested in more Sheck tips, give Greg or Brandon a call – they’d love to hear from you.

For now, go catch a big one for the grill tonight.

modern house, interior, bathroom view

Bathroom 101 – Plain Jane or Fancy John

Welcome back to G&C Plumbing and Heating’s crazy amazing blog series about remodeling your bathroom. Greg and Brandon Sheck can build you a new John that will rock your world – and save you money. Believe it!

Last time you had to think long and hard about what function your bathroom should serve and what upgrades you’d like to include. You considered what kind of bathroom you were fixing up.

You never knew there was more than one kind of John did you?  Masters, family, half, three-quarter, and more – it can make your head spin. But, yours is on tight thanks to the guys at G&C.

Now, it’s time to focus on the type of bathroom you are remodeling, and with your budget in mind (If you need to revisit that blog post before we move on, go ahead) break the range of bathroom remodels down from small scale to big time to give you a better picture of where yours will fit in.

Always keep in mind

No matter how big your budget or which type of bathroom you are planning to remodel your end goal should be to:

  • Update the look
  • Increase resale value
  • Add to your contentment
  • Add functionality, amenities and storage

As with many things – pizza, vacations, jobs – there are basically three levels of bathroom remodeling: good, better and best.

We are going to explore each of these options, but obviously, even if you go with the “good” option, G&C will always give you the best service. You just won’t be paying for all the fancy stuff you would be if you’re going with the “best option.

So, here are the basic cost ranges for good, better and best bathroom remodels with the best service:

  1. The Good John Update. This can run between $5,000 to $14,000 and typically includes a 24-48 inch vanity, low-end granite countertop, and maybe a fiberglass bathtub-shower unit.

    With this option, you probably won’t be moving plumbing around. You’re looking to replace fixtures and other materials with the stuff you priced out at Lowes or the store Greg recommended  you  go to. “You can still get a big impact from a cool backsplash to make things look high-end,” said Greg.

    Other upgrades include new ceramic or subway tile in a bathtub or shower area. Of course this would include a fresh paint job on all the wall space not tiled. Maybe even some trendy wallpaper. “If your cabinets are in good condition, we can do some awesome stuff with them,” said Brandon. Otherwise, some new pre-made cabinetry can do the trick.

    Your lighting, fixtures and finishes should be new but you don’t need to break the bank. Have Greg and Brandon help you find quality stuff so you’re not having to replace them every five years. “A basic bathroom remodel is great if you’re looking to sell your home,” said Brandon.

  1. The Better Bathroom Remodel. This will run between 10,000 to $30,000. It’s a big jump because the options get greater and you get better fixtures. “New features like flooring, a vanity, a sink, lighting, window treatments, hardware, a comfort-height toilet, a 36-inch countertop, a framed mirror that matches the vanity, beadboard on the walls, and a recessed medicine chest,” said Brandon with a bit of excitement.

    You’re also able to make adjustments to the layout in the better range – like a slightly smaller bathtub to make way for a slightly larger shower. When it comes to plumbing, there are moderate adjustments you can make in the better remodel category like moving the faucets or shower, but the toilet will need to stay in basically the same spot.

    “For countertops, you’re looking at a high-grade remnant or custom piece of granite, marble or quartz, and cabinets can be semicustom with high-end finishes – maybe glazed instead of just stained or something made locally,” said Brandon. As for fixtures, upgrade when you can to higher-quality ( all brass parts)  because they will last longer. And tile – go porcelain! “A better bathroom remodel is perfect when you’re planning to stay in your home and you’re limited in the space or footprint,” said Greg.

  1. The Fanciest John Evah. If you have over $30,000 to spend on your throne, let’s do this! At this level, you’re really getting the bathroom you want and are putting some money into your home and making it more enjoyable just for you.

    It’s a full gut job, so be prepared to wait for the greatness because everything will go away, and you’ll put things where you want them, including plumbing. Maybe you need to punch into an adjacent room or the exterior for more room. “Maybe you want a full-on sauna!” Brandon has some awesome ideas. For plumbing, let Greg blow your mind with high-end finishes and parts for showers and radiant floor heating.

    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 windowsill are marble. The fixtures can be anywhere from polished chrome with porcelain handles, Brushed Nickel or even Oil Rubbed Bronze.” Brandon is now doing a sketch of the plans…

    Wow.

And that’s it – the good, better, and best of G&C bathroom remodels. By now, you should have a pretty good handle on what materials you plan to use and what your expected outcome is. Next time let’s consider the final step in the process – timing, and when you should do this.

It’s a thing. You’ll see.

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Bathroom 101 – Where to Save and When to Splurge

Welcome back to G&C Plumbing and Heating’s amazing blog series about remodeling your bathroom. Greg and Brandon Sheck know all the tricks to the trade of giving you the bathroom of your dreams at a price you will be proud of.

So, let’s continue.

You had some homework last month to consider how much you wanted to invest in a bathroom remodel and what materials you wanted to use. You also were asked to consider how the budget and material fit into the current value and resale value of your home…

How did it go?

“It’s really handy for customers to have a general understanding of what materials cost so when we discuss their hopes and dreams for their bathroom remodel project there are no surprises,” said Greg.

Greg actually suggests figuring out exactly how you use the bathroom to decide how best to spend your budget on materials. “Mentally walk through your day and decide how you want to use the space versus how the space works for you today,” said Greg.

Where to Save

Some bathrooms play different rolls (pun intended) in your life and home.

“Consider how many times each day you enter the bathroom, what you do there, and why. Now figure out how you want the new space to be different,” said Greg, not meaning to get too personal. Some examples:

A master bath is often considered the second most important space in the house, next to the kitchen. This is your biggest hope of attaining the dream of enjoying a soak in a tub and reading a magazine in peace. Go Big.

The full bath, or family bathroom, is generally a space for everyone where function trumps fashion. “If your toddler is impressed with a vessel sink and granite countertop, that’s impressive, but probably not necessary,” Greg says. Go Cheap.

A three-quarter bath includes a toilet, sink and shower. These spaces are generally not a place people enjoy hanging out. They are about utility. Go Cheap.

The powder room or half bath is a tiny spot that can pack a serious design punch. Here is a fancy opportunity for when you have guests over and want to make a big impression and show off a bit of your style. Go Big!

Then the questions get even more personal from here to further pinpoint how to use your budget…

How many people do you want to be able to soak in the tub at one time? Do you shower alone? How many sinks do you need to accommodate a frantic morning? Do you want a more private space for the toilet? How is the ventilation working in a high traffic bathroom? How old are you, and are you planning to stay in your current home when you are older?

“Looking at the big picture of what kind of bathroom you want to remodel and the needs it should serve in the future really helps solidify not only a budget, but customer satisfaction,” said Greg.

When to Splurge

In any of the bathrooms above, there is room for extravagance. If you are looking for a bit of that, consider some of the following as upgrades for yourself and home value. They are not necessarily super expensive, just upgrades:

  • Radiant flooring. Imagine getting out of that tub.
  • Stain-resistant grout. Think of the kids (and possibly pets) bathing in the tub night after night.
  • Great way to get some light into a small three-quarter bath.
  • Heated shower mirror. Extravagant and practical
  • Framed mirrors. They just look awesome.

So, now you have more homework in deciding what function your bathroom should serve and what upgrades you’d like to include. Next time we will break the range of bathroom remodels down from big time to small scale. This way you will know all the ins and outs for when Greg and Brandon come in and rip your old john out.

 

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Bathroom Remodeling 101

Many of you were so pleased to hear that the stand-up guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating could be the go-to guys for a complete bathroom remodel. And, I tell ya, it is incredibly good news. Some of the people you run into while trying to get a project like that done – yikes!

So, now you’re ready. You’ve found your team. Greg and Brandon are your guys. Now what should you start thinking about? What is next?

For the next few months, the guys are going to take you through the process; From start to finish, budgeting to accessorizing. Think of this series as your Bathroom Remodeling 101 class!

First off…

The Budget Break Down

Most people considering a bathroom remodel go about creating a budget backwards.

Typically…

They stand in their bathroom, scowling, and say to themselves: “I am going to finance or scrape together X amount of dollars to fix this #(@!^$% bathroom once and for all.” Then they usually grab a sled hammer and start going 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.

This is backwards, because, honestly, most people who start a remodel have no idea what kind of stuff they need and want to put in into their new bathroom. “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.

You need to start with a little…

Reconnaissance

Greg recommends you head out to your favorite do it yourself box store or specialty bathroom joint and conduct a little investigation with knowledge provided by the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s – The cost breakdown of a bathroom Remodel:

  • Design fees: 4 percent
  • Installation: 20 percent
  • Fixtures: 15 percent
  • Cabinetry and hardware: 16 percent
  • Countertops: 7 percent
  • Lighting and ventilation: 5 percent
  • Flooring: 9 percent
  • Doors and windows: 4 percent
  • Walls and ceilings: 5 percent
  • Faucets and plumbing: 14 percent
  • Other: 1 percent

Once you realize that things like using tile flooring versus a marble flooring, or die-cast zinc-alloy versus 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.

Now, you can stand in your bathroom picturing actual material you want to use in your remodel. (Spoiler Alert: Chances are, Greg and Brandon will be able to find the same materials for you at a better cost)

You’ll feel better about the process, probably leave the sledge hammer in the shed, and you’ll be more informed about your decision.

FYI – The National Kitchen & Bath Association puts the national average for a bathroom remodel at about $16,000.

Factoring in the Average

Here’s a couple interesting facts to consider when pulling your more informed, sensible, budget number out of your head/bank account…

  • The total project should cost no more than 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value.
  • Mid-range bathroom remodels, costing about 16K, recoup about 62 percent in resale, while upscale bathroom remodels, costing around $50k, recoup about 56 percent in resale.

Bottom Line

Consider how much you can invest, what materials you want to use, and how that all fits into the current value and resale value of your home…

Now you’re ready to come up with a budget that you can feel more confident about. The best part about working with Greg and Brandon to complete your bathroom remodel is they have the knowledge to help avoid many of those unforeseen expenses that can often pop up mid project, like: “Oh, goodness, we are going to call someone in here and replace all of the plumbing in your home to install that.” As plumbers, Greg and Brandon would be able to tell you that upfront!

Next up, where to splurge and where to save when selecting the materials for your bathroom remodel.