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Remodeling  /  November 8, 2022

Edmonton Handyman: Common Bathroom Remodel Mistakes

Common plumbing mistakes

Bathrooms are popular areas for home renovations in Edmonton. However, bathrooms can present common challenges — such as restricted access, incohesive design, and dated equipment — if homeowners and plumbers ignore critical planning stages.

Professionals always want to give homeowners what they ask for, but sometimes expectations do not coincide with reality. A contractor must work within the framework provided, including budget and existing structure. To ensure property owners and contractors are happy, everyone needs to understand common issues and how to prevent them.

1. Fixtures That Restrict Access or Mobility

Size and space mean everything in terms of having a functional and accessible home. Homeowners will often want bathroom upgrades that include removing or replacing a tub. While removing a tub is possible, all parties need to understand the process.

Replacing a tub can present challenges for a plumber, like accessing drainage and water supply lines. Homeowners need to understand removing a tub may require some demolition, including cutting into existing walls to locate necessary plumbing connections.

Also, the client needs to decide on a specific tub. Cast iron tubs are heavy and difficult to maneuver. Steel and fibreglass are better and more affordable options. Depending on the tub size, an installer might need to remove the trim and door frame to get the piece into the room.

When budgeting for a project, homeowners should include a portion for contingencies — unpredictable but possible future events, an incidental expense. For example, a plumber provides an estimate assuming existing connections and plumbing is adequate. Upon opening the wall or removing a fixture, they find evidence of corrosion of incorrect pipe sizes. The budget must incur the added expense of repairing or replacing the equipment.

2. No Design Plan

A bathroom renovation requires detailed planning and strict adherence to that plan. Homeowners should run if a contractor does not provide a thorough and approved plan.

Licensed plumbers understand their job is only part of the whole renovation, albeit an integral part. For a bathroom project, the plumbing requires seamless installation so all other work can integrate without issue.

Failing to execute an initial plan means a project will likely fail or cost well beyond initial estimates. A well-thought-out plan will include specific details about materials, measurements, layout, stages, etc. The plan helps everyone, homeowners and plumbers, stay on the same page.

3. Old Pipes

No handyman in Edmonton is a psychic, so predicting the condition of existing plumbing behind walls is impossible. Unfortunately, the existing state of the pipes will play a drastic role in the project’s cost.

Before starting any major plumbing project, homeowners may want to have their systems inspected and cleaned. A professional plumber can inform the property owners of any deterioration in the system using special tools.

Some older installations will look solid from the outside but corroded inside. Cast-iron pipes usually appear okay on the surface, but a video review of the interior often exposes corrosion, meaning failure is imminent. Replacing old pipes is often recommended before bathroom upgrades.

Standard pipes in many of today’s homes include copper, galvanized, and plastic. Many homes have copper pipes as primary clean water supply lines. Hard water mineral deposits can cause corrosion in copper piping.

Galvanized pipes are common and easily replaceable. Homeowners must replace the entire run of older lines to reduce the risks of clean water contamination. Galvanized pipes can corrode and cause lead deposits in the water, which can cause kidney and reproductive damage.

PVC pipe is also versatile and inexpensive, making it easy to replace. If a homeowner wants to keep PVC plumbing, they need to understand the pipes do not perform well with heat.

A licensed and experienced plumber can help homeowners create an effective renovation plan. Contact Handyman Connection to schedule a property assessment with a professional plumber and avoid common mistakes.

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