Planning the perfect bathroom

Bathrooms endure a lot of wear and tear as it is a vital part of our daily routine. As one of the most important rooms in the home, having a well-designed, good quality bathroom is crucial for your overall enjoyment and satisfaction of your house. However bathrooms also need to be comfortable and functional.

“Planning is important when renovating any room of your house. When thinking of renovating, prioritising the bathroom makes sense given the amount of time we spend in them” advises Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. A bathroom renovation is the perfect time to update your shower, bath and tiles. The extent to which you choose to renovate your bathroom depends on your budget. Choosing how much to spend on your exciting new project is a very important consideration. For a complete overhaul your materials will be the most costly. The tiles, bath and basin are probably the 3 biggest items most people go over budget on. So be careful not to spend your budget on unnecessary items. A good tip is to add 10% to you budget for those unplanned additional cost.

“Collect as many ideas as you can as a new updated bathroom increases your home's value and saleability. From a re-sale perspective less is more, however if your bathroom is spacious enough and your budget allows for it, incorporate an elegant light fixture, a free standing bath instead of the existing built in bath but bearing in mind you will want to sell your house one day so it can't be too extreme, keeping all neutral tones and adding your personal touches in removable items like mirrors, vases and cabinets is key” Hutchison added.

There are some horror stories regarding renovating bathrooms. Choosing the right layout, design, contractors, finishes and fittings as bathroom renovations can be a daunting task. If you're uncertain about how much money you should spend on your bathroom renovation, hire a bathroom designer to inspect the room and find a reputable plumber who has a plumber's card approved by the local authorities. Renovations are messy and can take their toll on your house and belongings, try to protect the rest of your house as far as possible while renovations are underway.

Tips to consider:

Plumbing: Your bathroom pipes may need to be updated depending on any new fixtures you might be adding.
Tiles: choose porcelain or glazed tiles if you want a low maintenance floor.

Colour: white, beige and grey are popular colours, plain as it may be they work well as a basic canvas. Alternatively paint or wallpaper can easily add colour to your bathroom if you prefer.

Water and electricity saving features: with the correct shower fixtures you can save up to 33% water. Also remember to use halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) bulbs for the light fixtures to save on your electricity consumption.

Non- permanent items:
For added décor if space allows for it, add artwork and mirrors, you can also include furniture. Some bathrooms contain a medicine cupboard for storage of personal hygiene products and medicines. Storage plays an important role in a bathroom particularly in large families so adding extra drawers, shelves and cabinets for storage of towels can be very beneficial.

Additional more costly items: under floor heating and heated towel rails can be very expensive but will be much appreciated in the winter months. 

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