Smart Ways To Increase Your Resale Value

When selling your home, it is often a good idea to look for ways to increase your resale value before putting it on the market. Often, there are small jobs that can be done, which won’t cost a lot of money but which can make a substantial difference to the home’s value; bathroom renovations fall into this category.

Prospective buyers will be looking particularly closely at the bathroom and the kitchen in the home. This is mainly because there is a perception that these two rooms are costly to renovate, so buyers often want to see that they are in good condition before putting in an offer. These two rooms are often the reason given by prospective buyers when trying to negotiate a lower purchase price for the home.

The bathroom, in particular, needs to look clean and fresh. After all, who can really see themselves showering in a dingy, old-fashioned bathroom? In fact, bathroom renovations are definitely one of the smarter ways to increase your resale value of your home.

Get some advice from professional bathroom renovators. Most tradesmen, including Craftsman Bathrooms, will give you a free appraisal and quote for any work that is needed. Explain that you simply want to freshen the room in order to add resale value and see what ideas they come up with.

bathroom renovation does not have to be expensive when you are improving its appeal to would-be home buyers. Sometimes all that is needed is a fresh coat of paint in a pastel colour to improve the light and brightness. Just adding some new towels in bright colours and a pot plant or two will also help to brighten up the room.

New lighting can update the bathroom in an older home as can the addition of a large mirror. If the window is very small, consider having a larger one put in to increase the natural light, which always makes a bathroom look better, especially if the room is small. Simple accessories make the room more appealing and give a fresh, modern look.

So, if you are looking for ways to increase your resale value of your home, consider bathroom renovations; one of the really smart ways to increase your sale price.


Is Asbestos In Your Home?

Experts believe that asbestos is present in one third of older homes. It was a common building material used from the 1940s through to the late 1980s and was considered an ideal product due to its fire resistance, insulating properties and durability. It wasn’t until the 1990s that it was identified as a health hazard.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is made up of very small fibres of naturally-occurring silicon material. These fibres were compressed under heat and pressure and firmly bound to form the solid sheeting that was so commonly used both inside and outside buildings. Pliable loosely bound asbestos material was used in insulation and automotive applications.

Where would I be likely to find asbestos in my house?

Firmly bound asbestos can be found as the exterior cladding in the form of fibro, fibrous cement or artificial brick and as eaves and flue pipes. It was also used as a roofing material in the form of corrugated fibro, in older vinyl flooring and textured paint finishes.

Fibro sheeting was also commonly used as a wall lining, especially in wet areas like bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.

Loosely bound asbestos products could be present as insulation of hot water services, hot water pipes, heaters and stoves, as well as insulation in the ceiling.

As a general guide, houses built between 1940 and mid 1980 are more likely to contain asbestos than those built in the mid to late 80s. Homes built after 1990 are not likely to contain any asbestos. It has not been used in Australia or imported since 2004. So if you are having your bathroom renovated your builder or craftsman may come across it so be aware of the potential issue.

Asbestos was also used in automotive parts, mainly as insulation.

What is the danger?

As a general rule, asbestos doesn’t pose any danger or health risk until it is broken, starts to deteriorate or is broken, cut or sanded. When disturbed, it can produce dust containing the asbestos fibres. It is when these are breathed in that health problems can occur, including asbestosis, pleural plaques and mesothelioma.

How do I know if there is asbestos in my house?

If your house was built during the years that asbestos products were commonly used, it is best to err on the side of caution and assume that you have it. Building materials need to be tested by an accredited testing authority, so it is wise to call in a professional to know for certain.

Important safety precautions

While you are legally permitted to remove asbestos from your property, you need to be aware that loosely bound asbestos products represent the greatest risk to health and should only be removed by a trained and accredited asbestos removal specialist. If you are going to handle other asbestos material yourself, it is vital that you take every precaution to minimise the risks.

Basic precautions include wearing disposable protective gear, including head covering and gloves; working in a ventilated space; wearing an accredited ventilator not just a dust mask; covering the ground with a disposable drop sheet; mopping the area instead of sweeping and taking care not to break the sheets. This list is by no means complete and you will need to find out exactly what is needed before you start the job. It is important to remember that handling asbestos is not a task to be taken lightly.

Disposing of asbestos

Most council areas in Australia have explicit conditions concerning the handling and disposal of asbestos. Contact your local environmental health official to find out what you are required to do. Penalties may apply if you don’t follow the guidelines.

The dangers associated with the removal or renovation of asbestos products cannot be stressed too strongly. By far the safest strategy is to call in a professional tradesman who has had the right training and is accredited in the


Designing Your Dream Bathroom

Do you lay in bed designing your dream bathroom? for your needs? Well, you are not alone. Research shows that re-doing the bathroom is one of the most popular renovation projects these days due to the many reasons to have a reno. Designing the bathroom of your dreams can be fraught with challenges so here are some tips to help you create the exactly what you want and need.

Part of the challenge in bathroom design is to create a room that looks great but is also practical and meets the needs of all members of the household. Bathroom components are long-lasting so it is important to get it right; replacing those new floor tiles is usually not an option if you decide you don’t like them! This is why the design process is so important; you really need to get all aspects right before any work starts. Consulting a bathroom renovation specialist will go a long way in making this process easier.

The key points in creating an excellent bathroom design include floor and wall tiles, colour pallet, electricity and water supply and components, ventilation, fittings and fixtures. Decide whether there needs to be any structural changes such as repositioning the shower recess, replacing an out-dated window or knocking out a wall to create more space.

Research modern bathrooms in showrooms, magazines and online to familiarise yourself with what is available. It’s possibly a long time since you built a new bathroom and styles and designs have changed a lot over the past few years. Beware of following new trends too slavishly though, as they can often become quickly out-dated.

One of the first decisions to make is the style of the décor in your new bathroom. Generally speaking, it should co-ordinate with the style of the rest of the house to create a smooth transition from room to room. Next, look at some ideas on the colour pallet, remembering that it’s best to keep major items like tiles, bath and basins fairly neutral because they are expensive to alter if you want to change the colour scheme later on. Plan to use accessories and linen to bring in splashes of colour.

Tiles form the backdrop to a renovated bathroom design and are probably going to be the biggest single component of the renovation. There is a huge range of different types, styles, colours and textures on the market today so take the time to look around before making a decision. Again, get expert advice about what is suited to your application.

Check out the current water supply and decide what changes you need to make. Is the water pressure adequate? Are the connection points in the right locations? Are there any leaks that need attention? Is your current hot water service adequate for the requirements of the new bathroom? Now is the time to consider what water-saving options you can use to your advantage and to help preserve this precious resource.

Lighting and ventilation are essential elements in a workable bathroom, so take the time to assess what the needs of the family are; it is important to get these right. Bright halogen lights over the vanity are important for tasks such as makeup and shaving. Dimmers allow for mood lighting for a relaxing soak in the tub. Effective ventilation is vital so that mould and damp problems don’t develop, so check out the latest systems for steam and moisture extraction.

Possibly the area that impacts most on the design of a bathroom is that of fixtures and fittings and there are loads of beautiful bathroom fittings available. Choose fittings to match your décor but keep in mind the practicality of each piece, keeping in mind the people who will be using the room. Designer taps may look fabulous but are they practical for little hands, if you have kids, or for aging hands in later years?

You can design the bathroom of your dreams and be delighted with the finished result. Take these key points of bathroom design into account when you start the planning process and you will continue to love your new bathroom for many years to come.


Top 10 Bathroom Renovation Mistakes

Have you ever made Bathroom Renovation Mistakes?… Renovating an important room like the bathroom can be fraught with problems but if you know the most common mistakes other people have made and seek the advice of a qualified professional bathroom renovator, you will be able to breeze through the renovation process.

The main area that causes problems is determining a workable budget. Some experts will tell you to expect to come in over budget; they advise people to allow around fifteen or twenty percent extra for unforeseen circumstances. There are several unknown factors that can affect the total cost with bathroom renovation, including the effect of mould, old or faulty plumbing, inadequate water pressure and electrical work.

It is important not to cut corners when renovating the bathroom. Statistics show that nearly seventy percent of all household accidents occur in this part of the home and when you consider that this room combines water, electricity, glass and slippery surfaces, it’s easy to understand why. So it is vital that you get a professional to install things like power points, lights, plumbing and fixtures to be sure that they are safe and comply with council regulations.

Don’t scrimp on space when you are planning a new bathroom. It’s easy to think that you can save some money by reducing the size of the bathroom itself or the shower recess or vanity. This short-sighted approach is going to leave you with an unworkable room that is uncomfortable to use, and let’s face it, you do need to feel comfortable when using the bathroom. You may not be able to change the actual size of the room with a renovation but clever placement of elements can maximize the space for you.

Storage is one of the most important criteria to consider when renovating the bathroom. You can’t have too much storage, so aim to maximize this element right from the design stage. There has been a return in popularity of the pedestal basins of times gone by and these are very attractive, especially if you have similar décor in your home. However, this is just one example of how storage can be lost during a renovation, when you compare them to a vanity unit. Corners are an excellent place to add extra storage for small items that need to be easily reached.

A bathroom renovation should be designed for the long-term so choose fixtures and fittings that are durable and will continue to service the needs of the occupants for many years to come. Think about resale value and appeal as well; you might not be planning on selling up but this could change in the future.

As with fashion, trends in bathrooms come and go. You might fall in love with the latest trend in basins or colour schemes but will they stand the test of time? Trends are just that; transitory ideas that can lose their appeal very quickly. So stop and consider whether you will still love the latest trend in bathroom deign in several years’ time. Remember, you have to use this important room every day and, while you can change painted surfaces and towel colours, you do need to choose permanent elements that will stand the test of time.

Some people choose materials that are unsuited to the environment of a bathroom in everyday use. Remember that this room experiences heat, cold, damp and moisture on a daily basis and so the materials you use must be able to stand up to these conditions. Be advised by your renovation specialist as to what materials are best to use and which one you should avoid.

Think about the environment when planning a bathroom renovation. These days there are many water and power saving devices that are easy to install during the renovation process. Do some research to discover how you can help the environment and yourself at the same time. Not only will you be saving valuable natural resources, like water, you will also notice a huge saving off your power and water bills.

Not installing adequate lighting is another common mistake people make when renovating the bathroom. This is one room where you need maximum illumination at times and it’s best to have it installed as part of the renovation process. Identify spots where you need the brightest light, such as near the basin for shaving and applying makeup. If you love to take long baths by candlelight, allow for lights that dim to create the right atmosphere.

One of the most important factors to consider when renovating a bathroom is to allow for adequate ventilation to help prevent mould and mildew problems and to keep the air fresh and clean. The type and size of ventilation appliances will be determined by the size of the room, the height of the ceilings and the windows in the room.

To avoid bathroom renovation disasters, keep these ten common mistakes in mind when you are planning and designing your makeover. Then you will be happy with the results now as well as in the years of use that the new bathroom will receive.


How To Avoid Bathroom Damp

Taking steps to prevent bathroom damp is the best way to avoid the problems it can cause. Wet areas like bathrooms, laundries and kitchens are prone to damage caused by damp but luckily there are strategies that will help control the situation. Here are some of the best ways to avoid bathroom damp.

Damp is caused when condensation and moisture is unable to evaporate, preventing the surfaces in the bathroom from drying out. Many surfaces in a bathroom are porous and so are able to absorb moisture. However, if these surfaces are not able to dry out effectively, damp develops. Constantly wet areas like bathrooms, toilets, laundries and kitchens are prone to the effects of dampness, causing peeling paint and wallpaper, development of mould and fungi, stained patches and unpleasant odours and even causing allergies to the human occupants.

The main cause of damp is lack of effective ventilation in the room. Wet areas need good air circulation in order to be able to breathe and dry out before being exposed to more water. Fresh air coming into the room, and being able to circulate around the room, acts to dry out the walls and ceiling and helps to remove damp odours and prevent damage from occurring.

Some simple ways to help keep the bathroom dry and free from damp include fixing any taps that drip; airing and washing towels and bathmats regularly and drying them in the sun; washing the shower curtain in a vinegar solution to keep mould at bay; keeping tiles and glass clean and free from mould. If you have any wooden items in your bathroom, take these out into sunshine on a regular basis as well.

Fresh air is the best way to keep damp at bay. The bathroom window needs to be open after baths and showers, to allow steam to escape and prevent condensation forming. During the day in mild weather, keeping the window and door open will go a long way to preventing damp issues. The weather has an effect on this process as well. In warmer weather, moisture tends to evaporate more quickly but in winter, artificial heating in the bathroom can help the drying process and avoid the problems associated with constantly damp surfaces. Structural changes might be necessary in extreme cases, to avoid damp problems and these are best carried out during a bathroom renovation.

When planning to renovate the bathroom, consider the size of the current window. If it is small, or poorly located, replacing it with a larger, airier window will help with the circulation of fresh air to dry and cleanse the whole room. Fitting an extractor fan is a really effective way of avoiding damp and its problems. The fan extracts steam and moisture as it is formed by running hot water in the bath or shower; this keeps the room steam-free and prevents condensation and moisture damage.

One of your main goals for renovating might be to get rid of the damp. These best ways to avoid bathroom damp will cut down on your cleaning time, save you money and provide a healthier bathroom atmosphere for the whole family.


Freestanding Baths – Pros and Cons

Have you every tried one of the many styles of Freestanding Baths? They’re pretty great… The bath has a long history, starting out as little more than a tin tub and developing into the built-in style that was common for decades in the western world. The first full-size baths were free-standing, held off the floor by four feet which were often elaborately carved. The style that immediately comes to mind is the Victoriana style with its claw feet. Freestanding baths are enjoying renewed popularity, with many homeowners electing to have one installed during a bathroom renovation. As with most things, they have points for and against them, so we will look at some of these pros and cons.

The style of freestanding baths have changed in recent years. There is still the traditional ones with the feet but now there are also ones that are solid to the floor, creating clean lines and a sleek, modern look. So, the first advantage to a free-standing bath is the ability to coordinate it to the décor of the room and the rest of the house. If you have a vintage theme throughout your home, you can now have modern fittings in your bathroom that match this style. Similarly, if you have a modern style of home, you can still have a freestanding bath that fits in with the rest of the home.

Another great thing about this type of bath is the wide range of styles that are now available. Whether you want a classic or modern style there is lots of choice in size, depth and shape. Consider who is going to be using the bath when deciding on size and depth; if you love a good, long soak in the tub, go for more depth and size to enhance this experience but if the bath is for children, it would be safer to choose something shallower.

There is also a choice in the materials used to manufacture the bath. Old baths were enamelled metal, usually cast iron, and these are still available but tend to be more expensive than those made of acrylic. The advantage with acrylic is that it doesn’t chip like enamel, although these days, enamelled baths can easily be repaired by a professional.

One main disadvantage of the freestanding bath is the space it takes up in the room. A built-in bath stands against a wall or in a corner and is quite space-efficient. To look their best and achieve the greatest impact, freestanding baths need to be placed away from the wall. If your bathroom is small, this could pose a problem for accessibility. Installation may also cost a little more with a freestanding tub.

One of the biggest disadvantages with freestanding baths is their weight, especially the cast iron models. You need to be sure that the floor can support the weight or opt for a lighter acrylic model; these look just the same as the cast iron models but weigh considerably less.

It is important to consider these pros and cons of freestanding baths when you are planning your bathroom renovation, to help you make the best choices for your situation. A professional bathroom renovating company will be able to give you excellent advice and help you make the right choices.


Top Reasons for Bathroom Renovations

Sometimes you just need to hear the Top Reasons for Bathroom Renovations… Bathroom renovations are a major undertaking and it is important to understand why you are considering making such a move. The reasons help to determine some of the changes you will make and what the budget will be. Here are the top 5 reasons that people renovate their bathroom.

The bathroom is one of the most-visited rooms in a house so it is important that it is a comfortable and pleasant space to be in. Possibly the top reason for renovating a bathroom is to improve how it looks; bathrooms do lose their gloss over time. In older homes, this room wasn’t given much attention but was made to be merely serviceable. The bathrooms tended to be small and dull, often with tiny windows and dark wall and floor tiles. Enamelled surfaces become chipped and stained over time and affect the over-all appearance of the room. An old-fashioned bathroom could be improved by bringing it into the 21st century with modern fixtures and fittings; these tend to have clean lines which freshen a dull room.

A bathroom needs to be functional and so it could be that the needs of the family have changed and a renovation is needed to make it more serviceable for the people who use it. Old plumbing could be faulty or the water pressure too low. If the family has grown, an additional bathroom might be considered a good investment. A remodelling needs to take into account who will be using the room and how it is to be used. If the inhabitants are becoming elderly, safety features might need to be included such as grab rails and anti-slip surfaces.

Because the bathroom is such an important room, potential home buyers consider it a key feature in determining if a house is suitable and worth the asking price. If you are thinking of selling your house, you might want to renovate the bathroom to increase the resale value or make the home more saleable. If you own an investment property, renovating the bathroom will help to attract quality tenants, a higher rental price and allow you to capitalise on your investment.

The cost of energy and water is rising at an alarming rate and so another reason for remodelling a bathroom is to make it more energy efficient. There is a wide range of products on the market that can achieve this and some can be fitted without a lot of structural work. Because you will be saving on power and water bills in the future, the cost of the renovation will pay for itself over time.

One of the major reasons why homeowners renovate is simply to improve how their house looks by incorporating the latest trends. Bathroom fixtures and fittings have changed considerably in recent years and the range is staggering. Many homeowners simply want a modern, trendy bathroom, with all the latest in bathroom technology.

Which of these 5 top reasons for bathroom renovation is your motivation for considering this step? Whichever it is, a qualified bathroom renovation company will give you advice on what is available to achieve the result you want.


Tips for Choosing the Right Bathroom Toilet

If you have been looking around at bathroom toilets and fixtures and fittings recently, you will have noticed that the humble toilet has undergone a change. There are still models that look much like toilets have always looked but now there is also a wide range of different styles to choose from. Let’s look at some of the points to consider when choosing the right toilet for your situation.

The first thing to decide is what you want the toilet to be made of. As well as the traditional porcelain, there are ones made from plastics, stone and even glass. In making your decision, price will be a consideration as will the style and décor of bathroom you want to achieve with the renovation. The right toilet will fit your budget and add to the look you are aiming to achieve.

Toilets also come in different sizes and not just child and adult. Consider who will be using the toilet when deciding on the best height; take the family with you when researching toilets to make sure that everyone can be comfortable when seated. It is recommended that the feet touch the floor when sitting on the toilet seat. Children may need a step stool while they are small, which can be removed as they grow taller.

The traditional style of a floor-mounted toilet bowl connected to a wall-mounted tank is not the only type manufactured these days. As well as these two piece styles, there are also one piece toilets available which are easier to clean and eliminate the possibility of leaks between the two pieces. There are suspended models that are great space-savers in small bathrooms and floor-mounted models that have a concealed cistern. There are also models that stand on the floor so that the s-bend isn’t visible, creating a clean, sleek look. Look at all the different styles of modern toilet and choose the one that complements the style of room and home.

Modern toilet bowls come in different shapes as well; there are the traditional round bowl toilets and the newer oval-shaped ones, which are considered more comfortable as they are larger. Inside, the bowl can be shaped in a funnel, visor or dish configuration, some of which have been designed to minimise splashing and be easier to clean.

Most toilets on the market have the same water tank capacity and should follow the recommended government regulations which are aimed at conserving water. In Australia, the WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) scheme aims to reduce water usage by 22%. The standard states a maximum of 5.5 litres is allowed per flush but with a dual flush system, an average of 1 full flush and 4 half flushes applies. Older toilets could use around 12 litres per flush. A water-efficient dual flush toilet can save over 50 litres per person a day, which is a reduction of thirty to forty thousand litres of water a year in the average household!

As well as keeping these important tips in mind when choosing a new toilet, make sure that you know what is included with the toilet you select; some pieces are sold separately at additional cost. Get good quality advice from a professional about the best toilet for your bathroom and have it installed by a qualified bathroom renovator.


Spacious Frameless Shower Doors

If you are contemplating a bathroom renovation, it is a good idea to consult a professional renovator to help you pick your frameless shower doors. Not only will you get a quality job, you will also have access to the latest products and ideas for a modern, functional bathroom. One type of product that you might not have heard about are frameless shower doors. In this article, we will look at why these have become so popular.

There’s no denying that shower doors are easier to maintain and look more stylish than shower curtains. Being glass, they are simple to clean, provide a neat finish and help to achieve a look of spaciousness and brightness in even a small bathroom. Having a door on the shower helps to keep the water inside the shower recess so eliminates the need for cleaning up water that invariably splashes out when a curtain is used.

Shower doors have a come a long way since those early sliding types in a metal frame that were often hard to slide open and closed. Cleaning mould and soap scum off the runners could be quite difficult as well. There are now ones that open out into the room, which eliminates these problems.

The latest innovation in shower screens and doors is the frameless style. These are made from reinforced glass that is strong enough to not need a surrounding frame. They are easier to clean because there is no frame to attract grime and mould along the edges and in the corners. While they have metal hinges for strength, there are no metal frames to detract from the clean lines achieved by the glass.

Frameless glass doors in the shower give a clean, elegant, modern look that instantly brings your bathroom into the 21st century. They make the room look brighter and more spacious, something that can be very important in a small or dark room. They are easy to clean and maintain as well.

It is worth considering this style of shower door when you are planning a bathroom renovation, especially if you want to achieve a modern, elegant look with clean lines and ease of maintenance. Because the installation of a glass frameless shower door is definitely a professional job, be sure to consult an experienced bathroom renovation specialist.


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