While summer is the peak season for home renovations, a lot of homeowners actually undertake renos in the winter as well. Perhaps as a holiday gift to themselves, perhaps as a New Year’s Resolution, or maybe because, after entertaining guests over the holidays, they finally saw their house through someone else’s eyes: homeowners tend to hit the ground running in January with their new home renovations.
Oftentimes when homeowners discuss renovating a house, what they’re really talking about is renovating either the kitchen or bathroom. At least in our experience, those tend to be the two rooms that receive the most focus and the most money. It makes perfect sense: the bathroom tends to get grimy over time, and the kitchen sees a similar sort of wear-and-tear from both water and kitchen splatter.
Both those projects, however, often require a great deal of work to be done behind the scenes, with homeowners electing to tear down walls and rearrange the layout. This is something we’ve discussed before on this blog, but the point bears repeating: if you’re going to be tearing down a wall, you might as well have your plumbing inspected by a plumber with experience serving Toronto homes while you’re at it. Not only is it economical, but it makes practical sense as well.
Even if you aren’t planning on tearing down a wall, but still want to fully renovate your kitchen or bathroom, you should pay some attention to plumbing. As we’ll discuss, your behind-the-scenes plumbing ages in the same way your walls and tiles do and deserve the same kind of makeover. This article will run through a few common examples of plumbing renovations that can work in tandem with your New Year’s renos, making your house run more efficiently.
Some homeowners try to save money by skipping pipe upgrades after demolition, but we would like to stress again that plumbing and drain systems get older, just like walls and tiles. The ageing process makes pipe joints weaker, which creates the potential for leaky sites. It is much easier, and more intuitive, to upgrade your plumbing when everything is accessible, such as after a demolition.
Also, because it’s easier, it costs less, because the plumber spends less time doing the work. It may seem like another added cost, atop an already expensive renovation, but such work will never be cheaper than it is when your pipes are open and accessible. Our advice is to factor in the cost of plumbing renovations initially, when you do your reno budgeting.
Preventing Installation Errors
To prevent mistakes — or even to fix existing mistakes in pipes connections – it is important to hire a licensed plumber during your renovation work. For example, a plumber might take into consideration that the new sink you want to install will be a pedestal type one, in which case he/she can relocate the drain to the center of the fixture. This allows you to hide the P-trap behind a leg upon finishing, which looks and functions a lot better. You can see from the photos of our past projects in this post (the above one is of a pedestal sink) that having a plumber makes a big difference in installation.
Some modern bathroom vanities – the sink basin and surrounding storage – that we’ve seen are wall-hung and come with drawers. This “floating effect” is really popular right, and it looks very cool, but in order to pull it off properly, the plumbing preparations must be very precise. If you are considering a floating bathroom vanity, get expert plumbing services in Toronto from Mister Plumber.
Another important task to get your plumber to do is check the vent pipe. If the slope of the vent pipe is off, it could cause gurgling sounds in the sink or a backup of solids in the pipes. These may sound like minor concerns, but, if you’re already going all out on your renovations, you might as well make sure everything is perfect. The last thing you’d want is to spend a load of money on your bathroom renos, only to find that something was improperly installed and therefore gurgling away.
Toilet installation is tricky business and requires a deft, professional touch. The distance from the toilet’s flange to the back wall has to be verified and adjusted if needed. Most toilets require a space equal to 12” on the finish, from the center of the toilet flange back to the wall. For this, another inch or so has to be added at the time of rough-in for drywall and tiles. These are the sorts of small but significant considerations that it’s difficult for homeowners to make on their own.
Setting a toilet without a plumber is also inadvisable, as setting the flange height, securing the closet bolts and wax ring, and making everything level can be very tricky, and if done wrong can result in ongoing, nasty leaks. Sure, you can bunch of DIY articles online, watch a few YouTube videos, and maybe have a successful installation, but for the inexpensive prices we offer to do it for you, what’s the use?
Here is some advice for all the homeowners out there: when budgeting for a New Year’s renovation, make sure you leave some money aside for plumbing, and hire a professional plumber at the beginning of the project, to avoid costly problems down the line. Before starting your project, make a decision about what kind of plumbing fixtures you are going to use and provide those specifications to the plumber.
If you’re going to be doing any demolition, you might as well get your pipes checked. If you aren’t planning on doing demolitions, but you’re installing new fixtures, it’s still a wise idea to call us today and have us take a look. Whether you’re doing it as a gift for yourself, a New Year’s Resolution, or “just because”, make sure your renovations are done the right way!