10.) BE AWARE OF SPATIAL RESTRICTIONS
-When buying a toilet, for instance, they come in different rough-in measurements. Measure from the mounting bolts on the base of your existing toilet bowl to the wall behind the toilet. This will give you a slightly larger measurement than your existing rough-in. For example, if that measurement is 12.5”, it means you have a 12” rough-in. Where your water supply is located can also determine which toilets you can and cannot use. For example, if your water supply shutoff is on the floor, close to your current toilet, replacing the toilet with a skirted model may not work. For faucets, you want to ensure you have the proper clearance. Often, people will replace a lower design kitchen faucet with a higher gooseneck one, and that can interfere with cabinets & windows. Measure your available space when it comes to any plumbing fixture, and that will ensure you are buying a product that’s going to fit.
9.) DETERMINE WHAT QUALITY OF PRODUCT YOU NEED
-The faucet in a commercial kitchen is significantly different than the faucet in a residential kitchen. How often a product will be used, and the manner in which it will be operated, will go a long way in determining what product you need to buy. Take a bathtub for example. If you are renovating to sell, you may want to cut costs and purchase a fiberglass tub instead of an acrylic one. Acrylic is stronger, maintains the original colour, and comes with a higher price-point. Alternatively, if you have renters, children, or just want a product to last the test of time, it is a smart move to invest in higher quality products. Renters and children are notoriously rough on fixtures.
8.) COMPILE A BUDGET
-When the sky is the limit, you can truly get exactly what you want when you are renovating. However, for many of us, the budget is a concern. Regardless of your budget, the key is to get name-brand products you are going to be able to source replacement parts for, in the event that something goes wrong down the road. If your budget simply doesn’t allow for all name brand products, it is far better to scale down the extent of your renovation, than scale down the quality of your products. It is also a good idea to determine what fixtures are the most important to you, and where you can save money elsewhere to compensate. For example, you can go with less expensive fixtures in your 2nd or 3rd bathroom, to afford exactly what you want in your primary or master bathroom. At the end of the day you have to be happy with your selections, and the worst thing you can do is cut corners to save money, and regret it later. You’ll be far happier delaying renovating certain rooms until there is money in the budget than buying knockoff products and kicking yourself down the road when you can’t find a part for them.
7.) FIND A FINISH YOU LIKE, AND STICK WITH IT
-I have a friend named Jessie. Jessie has a brass doorknob when you enter his primary bathroom. Then there’s a chrome faucet, a stainless steel towel bar, a gold toilet paper holder, a bone sink, and a white toilet. Jessie is not what we would call fashion oriented, and I’m no interior designer myself, but I cringe every time I walk in that bathroom. You don’t need to have gone to University as a fashion & design major to coordinate your bathroom better than my friend Jessie. You just need to figure out what finish appeals to you most, and stick with it, at least in each individual room or space. Jessie is a great guy, but don’t follow in his design footsteps. Sometimes you can splash a different finish in the same room, and still make it look great, but sticking to one finish is the best way to achieve continuity in your design.
6.) FIND A STYLE YOU LIKE, AND STICK WITH IT
-There’s a wide variety of styles throughout the plumbing industry, and there is sure to be a design which matches your specific taste. Ask yourself if what you like now, will be what you will like in a decade. If you are selling or renting your house, going with products which have a moderate design, not too traditional, or too modern, is a safe bet. When it comes to resale and renting it’s important not to limit your pool of prospective buyers or renters. People who really like modern or traditional fixtures will often settle in between, but won’t be happy with the opposite end of that spectrum. Again, continuity is important when planning your renovation. Ideally, you will pick one style and stick with it throughout your home, but at the very least, make sure you stick with one style in each room or space.
5.) PLAN AHEAD
-We have clients come in far too frequently with a sentence we hate to hear, “I already have contractors lined up, now I need all my plumbing products immediately!” Although we stock a great assortment of tubs, faucets, sinks, toilets etc. we may not have exactly what you are looking for in stock at all times. Some specialty products take time to produce, other products are on a slow-moving boat from overseas. Planning well in advance will save you a lot of mental anguish in the long run. We can usually accommodate short notice, emergency situations, but often not with the exact products someone was interested in. To get what you want, and get it on time, make sure you are leaving yourself at least a month between the time of purchase to the day your contractor shows up to install everything. Most items can be rush shipped at an additional cost, but if you leave yourself enough time, you can avoid unnecessary charges like that.
4.) HIRE THE RIGHT PERSON TO INSTALL YOUR PRODUCTS
-A lot of people love to save money, and complete their home renovations on their own. That’s great if you are qualified, but it can be a disaster if you aren’t familiar with the work you are about to perform. Another reason to hire a qualified, reputable contractor is the liability. When you install something incorrectly, and cause damages, it’ll be your money & your insurance that is on the line. If you aren’t completely knowledgeable & comfortable undertaking your own renovation, hire somebody that is. All you need to do is ask the team at Plumbateria, and they will have great contractors they can get you in touch with to take on projects, big or small.
3.) DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
-People will sometimes settle on products they aren’t going to be happy with in the long run. It is your renovation, your money, and you need to get what you are going to be continually happy with. Often when I am showing clients products in the showroom, they will have multiple people in their ear telling them what they should and shouldn’t purchase. Everyone has an opinion, but when it comes to renovating your home, only your opinion matters in the end. It’s important to get the style, quality, and features you want, otherwise what is the point of upgrading in the first place?
2.) ACCEPT THE INEVITABLE
-It’s great to set a budget & a timeline, but it’s unrealistic to plan on everything going perfectly to plan. The unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of renovations will go over budget, take longer than expected, or both. Allow yourself wiggle room pertaining to both duration & money. Unforeseen circumstances can & do arise. Contractors overbook themselves, manufacturer prices increase over time, and a plethora of other factors can throw a wrench into your plans. We work hard to ensure our clients’ renovations go as smoothly as possible, but for your own peace of mind, you need to accept that these projects are seldom without hiccups. Often a contractor focuses on the client giving them the most grief. They will put more understanding clients on hold, so they can finish the projects for the homeowners causing them.
1.) PURCHASE YOUR PRODUCTS FROM THE RIGHT PLACE
-Many sales environments are semi-commission or commission based. This leads to high-pressure sales, and a ‘dog eat dog’ environment. Commission based sales people are usually more interested in their own bottom line than providing you the right products for your specific needs. It’s also important to go to the experts, and although some employees in a big box store will have a great deal of knowledge, given the scope of those businesses, they certainly do not specialize in plumbing. The best place to go for plumbing fixtures is a store which specializes in only plumbing fixtures. Now, if there was a plumbing store which was in business for over 70 years, and had a sales team which was not commission based at all, that’s where I would go. ;>)