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Peeling Off The Layers Of The 'Onion' That Is A Structural Pest Inspection.

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Termites jimmy chan

Wood pests, wood destroying organisms, structural pests, termites and dryrot, or, fungus, whatever or however you refer to them, they are the uninvited, unwanted guests that can degrade the wood structure of your home, or, the home you are interested in purchasing. What is interesting is how these conditions are addressed in the various states. Some states allow Home Inspectors to identify and report on these issues if the inspector is properly certified/licensed. Meanwhile, other states (California is one) do not allow Home Inspectors to identify wood destroying organisms unless that inspector is also licensed as a Structural Pest Inspector, of which there are very few. But, if the inspector is properly licensed, then the reporting will be done on a report form mandated by the Structural Pest Control Board located in Sacramento, and the reporting process falls under a whole slew of regulations administered by the Structural Pest Control Board. In California, a Home Inspector can only mention a “wood pest” or “white growth” condition and note it in his or her report, and then, can only refer/defer to a licensed Structural Pest Inspector/Company for further details, proper identification of the wood pests involved, and, recommendations necessary to correct/repair the issues present.

This practice is unfortunate as that process breeds (in California anyway) a huge conflict of interest situation that revolves around the home sale/purchase activity. In California, the Structural Pest Companies perform the “termite” inspections (the term commonly used to describe a Structural Pest Inspection) for little or no money with the intent of getting their “foot in the door” to do the chemical treatments and repair jobs, which can be very expensive. So, lets peel off the first layer of the onion. The scenario goes: The inspector/company you call to make the inspection is the same person/company who provides you with a report that outlines the repairs and chemical treatments that he/she says are needed, which is the same person/company shoving a pen and a work contract into your hands to sign, which is the same person/company that sends out their repair crew to perform the work, which is the same person/company that “inspects” the completed work and then issues a Notice of Completion and certifies the property “free and clear.” I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, that is a big conflict of interest.

But wait, lets take it one more step further. Lets peel off the next layer of the onion. How about the fact that many of the “termite” companies pay their inspectors straight commission on WORK PERFORMED/COMPLETED! Might that smack of a little conflict of interest? How comfortable would you feel having your home inspected under those conditions? How objective and impartial do you feel the outcome of the “termite” report will be, knowing that the “termite” company/inspector lost money the moment the tailgate of the inspectors’ truck went through the shop gate on the way to the inspection and now they need to recoup?

Time to peel the next layer off of the onion (are your eyes watering yet?). Now lets throw the real estate agent into the mix. The agent calls the “termite” company for his client (purchaser) and orders the inspection. All fine and good unless this agent happens to be one of those who has a predetermined idea as to what the outcome of the inspection should be in order to close the deal quickly and with no hassles even though the inspection report may have no basis of reality as to the conditions present. This is why, on occasions too numerous to count, two inspections of the same home are worlds apart. The rule is: both/all reports of the same home should contain the same findings, but the recommendations to repair may differ as inspectors may have different methods to correct the conditions found. It is very disturbing when comparing two reports of the same home, that, the diagram, as well as the findings, are as if the two inspectors looked at two different homes. But, this occurs all too often because of the pressure applied by the agents by “black balling” inspectors that are perceived to be “deal busters” because they actually do their job and accurately report conditions present.

Please don’t feel that this discussion is saying that all real estate agents or termite inspectors/companies are “shady.” More are good than bad, but the questionable still exist and you need to be aware and "do your home work” so you don’t end up in a situation for which you didn’t bargain.

So, lets peel another layer off of that onion, but in a positive way this time. ALWAYS, I REPEAT, ALWAYS interview the real estate agent before engaging them. Just because the agent meets you at the door of the office doesn’t mean you are “stuck” with him/her. If the agent is the listing agent of the property, be especially wary. They will not legally be working for you or have your best interest at heart. That is where the questionable termite inspector/company may suddenly appear. You want to ask the hard questions and get the proper answers! You want to know names and phone numbers---- not of sellers, but of purchasers of property handled by the agent so you can find out how their (the purchaser) experience was. Of course, this is a good time to find out how satisfied they were with the pest work that was performed. You would be surprised by how many buyers are very unhappy with the quality/completeness of the pest repair work but don’t have the stamina to “fight the system.”

In closing, referrals from qualified sources are your best way to find the inspector and real estate agent that will best serve you. Remember, the ones charging the least are most likely the ones to give you the least. A home purchase is probably the single largest investment any of us will make in our lifetime, so don’t shortchange yourself by falling into the age-old trap of the “cheapest.”


Photo by Jimmy Chan from Pexels

Ron Ringen owns and operates Ringen’s Unbiased Inspections, which is located in Sonora, California. Ringen’s Unbiased Inspections serves the beautiful gold country of California that includes the foothills and Sierra Mountains in the counties of Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amadore. Ron has been involved with the Structural Pest Control business for 56 years and has been a licensed Structural Pest Inspector in California since 1968. Ron is a licensed General Contractor (B) in California and has been since 1977. Ron is certified with the American Institute of Inspectors as a Home Inspector, Manufactured/Modular Home Inspector and a Pool and Spa Inspector.

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Earn Cash Spring Cleaning Your Home!

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Springclean

The days are longer, the temperatures are becoming pleasant and our energy levels are up as we begin to stretch out of our winter hibernation - spring is here! Time to harness some of the new energy and get the spring cleaning out of the way. Although some demigods may have immaculate households and not heed this tradition, most of us do have a bit (or more) of collected clutter and dust around the home. Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to remove dust, mold, toxins and clutter from our households. And as we clean, we notice a pile emerge of unused and unwanted "stuff."  This gathered hoard of old décor, books, electronics, clothes, exercise gadgets, etc. should not be squirreled away for another year! Instead, incorporate into your spring cleaning the determination to get this "stuff" out the door by donating it, having a garage sale, or selling it online.

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning for most households is a family tradition. According to the contributors to Wikipedia, evidence of spring cleaning can be seen in ancient civilizations - from the Jewish tradition of cleaning the house before Passover to the Iranian "khooneh tekouni" or "shaking the house." Many Americans grew up in households where there was a yearly purge of dust and "bad air" from the winter months. This too comes from earlier times when fires of coal and wood were the primary source of heat, and rural households sometimes bundled down with the livestock indoors. For this reason, some argue that spring cleaning is not a necessity with our modern furnaces, solid windows, and cleaner spaces. Consider this a time, then, to do the very best cleaning of all your living spaces, appliances, and work areas. We all skimp on cleaning out the fridge or stove, so now is the time to hit these areas thoroughly. And don't forget to go through your attic, closets, storage areas, and basement and purge unused, unneeded, and unwanted belongings.

Common Spring Cleaning Tasks:

  • Dust ceilings, walls, corners, light fixtures, base boards, vents, and furniture.
  • Wipe down walls, light-switches, outlets, doorknobs, and handles.
  • Clean blinds, curtains, drapes, window sills, and windows.
  • Clean doormats, bathmats, and area rugs.
  • Shampoo the carpets.
  • Clean the hardwoods and vinyl.
  • Dust and wipe down furniture, cabinets, shelves, and countertops.
  • Clear the clutter and get items back where they belong.
  • Consider items for a garage sale, to sell online, to donate, or even to re-gift!

Other important items (while you're at it):

  • Update important documents in the safe or safety deposit box.
  • Update emergency plans and contact numbers.
  • Review emergency plans with family members.
  • Review all medications in your household for expirations.
  • Review first aid kits - these don't last forever, and you may need to replace some items or the whole kit Also review any other emergency kits.
  • Test and change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Spring Cleaning Bounty

Now that you have cleaned your house, you have gathered "stuff" that you no longer use, need or want, which may include:

  • Clothes
  • Toys / Board Games
  • Furniture / Lamps
  • Wall Art / Mirrors / Clocks
  • CDs / DVDs / Games
  • Books / Magazines / Comics
  • Collectibles
  • Dishes / Glasses / Cups
  • Kitchen Gadgets / Small Appliances
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Craft Goods
  • Small Electronics

Now what?

You'll want to have an organized plan of action to determine what to sell or donate. Here are some basic guidelines as you take inventory of your miscellaneous items:

  1. Be firm on your choices: If you haven't used an item in a year, there's a very good chance you won't use it again. Let go of any emotional attachments to items - even if your mother gave you that clock, which you never use, you can let it go. Instead, keep the more personalized items, such as photos or handmade objects. Every gift is not a treasure! Remember - it was the thought that counted - not the unworn tie!
  2. Consider items for donation: If you have some highly valued items, such as gently used winter coats or clothing, consider giving these to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or a local charity. You may prefer to try to sell your items and then donate what doesn't sell. However, don't use your charity of choice as a dump - be realistic and donate only usable items and not broken toys, games with missing pieces, appliances that don't work, etc.
  3. Consider items for a garage sale: List the items as you place them in boxes to temporarily store until the weather is nice for a garage sale. Organizing items ahead of time when you do your spring cleaning will save time on the day of the garage sale.
    • a) Set a date and time: Choose a day when you can rest well the night before and commit your full energy to the day of the sale. Keep the time reasonable - if you aren't a morning person - don't open a garage sale at 8am. With the right advertising, you should be able to set your hours and stick to them.
    • b) Know the going rate: Review other garage sales in your area to see how similar items are being priced. Check online for prices on trade sites such as eBay.
    • c) Showcase your items: Hang clothes, put small items in baggies, etc. Keeping your selection clean and neat and visible will help buyers decide quickly and will lessen the need for items to be handled too much. Also, clearly mark each item with a price label. One or two boxes of "25 cents each" may be okay, but try to keep most items individually priced with a label.
    • d) Advertise and make signs: These days, advertising a garage sale shouldn't only be done in the print version of your local newspaper. It can be posted online, as well. Even most Penny Savers have an online option.  You should also post announcements to online localized sites, such as Craigslist, and post the sale on social media.  Finally, when you make signs for the sale, keep the print clear, big, and simple. Make certain to take them down as soon as your sale is over.
    • e) Change from the bank: Before the day of the garage sale, make sure to get some change for the cashbox. Decide beforehand if you will accept checks or cash app payments, and under what conditions or for which particular items.
    • f) Prep your sales table: Besides your cashbox, prep your sales table with bags, boxes, newspaper to wrap fragile items, paper and pens, calculator (if you don't want to use your cell phone), maybe a few good munchies, definitely a beverage to keep hydrated, and something to keep you entertained during the slow periods (if you don't want to drain your cell phone battery).
  4. Consider items to sell online: Perhaps you have items left over from your garage sale, or maybe a garage sale doesn't appeal to you and you'd rather sell things from the comfort and convenience of your home office, kitchen table, or sofa?  Either way, you still have stuff that needs to be sold.  Just keep in mind that selling items online will require more time as you write detailed descriptions and take clear photos of each item to be posted. In addition, you'll spend time checking online to see if anything has been purchased, packaging items that have sold, and shipping them off to their new homes.  If you have the patience or enjoy the idea of a virtual garage sale, these sites will help you get your unwanted items moving out the door!
  •      Amazon Marketplace: If you're a bit of a bibliophile and need to thin out your collection, Amazon Marketplace is a great option to sell used books, CDs, DVDs, and more. To list is free, but there are fees when an item sells. https://sell.amazon.com/?ref_=asus_soa_rd&id=hm1&ld=AZSOAHelp
  •      Craigslist: A mishmash of services, used goods, and announcements. You can find used items for cheap prices. It can be the ordinary, like used furniture, to the not so common. For example, I found someone who had new pavers left over from a patio project. They were willing to sell at a discount just to get them off their lawn. You may also find bargain services, such as yard work done cheaply. However, be careful; there are no regulations and you should take precautions when working with anyone on this list. This site definitely has a mixed history of great successes and terrible wrongs. http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites
  •      eBAY: One of the most popular and well known online auction sites, eBay has been around since 1995.  It's the biggest garage sale online. http://www.ebay.com
  •      Etsy: Buy unique, creative pieces or sell your imaginative, handmade items.  A great source for crafters and home artisans of all medias. http://www.etsy.com
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Is It Time For A Bathroom Remodel?

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Spanishmermaid

Your bathroom is where you prep to start your day and where you wind down at the end of the day. From a nice hot shower, to an at home spa, the bathroom is an important room in every home and to our daily lives. However, it can be the room most overlooked when it comes to decor and/or remodeling. It shouldn't be. According to Contractors.com, remodeling your bathroom can yield an 80-90% return in the value of your home. Adding a new bathroom can also easily give you a 90% return in the value of your home. Improving this room can, therefore, be a savvy investment in your property. But it can be more than just a wise investment. Updating your bathroom can make this at home retreat more inviting and invigorating. Take the time to make a bright, friendly room to jump start your busy work day, and a calm, peaceful room to help you recharge in your own do-it-yourself spa retreat. Below, we provide some pointers and tips for your bathroom makeover. Whether just updating the decor or completing a major remodel, we hope you will find something beneficial for your bathroom remodeling project.

Part I: Decor Makeover & Small Remodel - This decor makeover includes simple, do-it-yourself solutions for a quick update. Many of these changes could be done in one to two days. Some of these remodel items may take longer.

Make a Plan - The fist step to any decor makeover or remodel is to set out a plan for the project.

  • Set your budget and a timeline. Both will help determine what you can do. You may need to consider doing the project in stages or altering your original ideas. Planning ahead will help make certain you do not end up with an unusable bathroom for weeks or even months!
  • Consider what the bathroom is lacking, such as, do you have enough functional space, storage, lighting, etc.?
  • Does the room have any items that need updating? This can be anything from the toilet to the outdated wallpaper on the walls.
  • What do you envision for the space? Do you want a Zen retreat or a homey B&B feel to the room? Consider what you want the completed room to look like. Do you have anything in there that fits this idea now? Or will it be better to start from scratch?
  • How much experience do you have with remodeling? Are you limited to painting the walls and changing hardware? If some of your ideas seem over your head, you may want to consider hiring a contractor, plumber or electrician. For more information about major remodeling projects, see below.
  • Finally, if you want a change but are drawing a blank with ideas, consider hiring an interior designer. Some people are hesitant about hiring an interior designer because they think they have to use them all the way through. But indeed, you can work with them to make a project plan, and then project manage the remodel yourself. Or you can also hire them to follow the entire project from start to finish.

Cabinets and Storage - You may want to replace or add to your existing bathroom cabinets.

  • Changing a mirror to a medicine cabinet can help add space above your sink.
  • Adding cabinets can help store essentials for the bathroom from towels to extra soaps and supplies. There are many styles of cabinets available.
  • You can get stand alone cabinets or wall cabinets that fit above a sink or toilet, which provide quite a bit of extra space. You can also consider changing your sink cabinet. A new design can offer an updated look and add more storage to your bathroom. **You may wan to consider hiring a contractor for this type of work!

Walls - Is the paint or old wallpaper making the room too dark, dated, or showing damage or spots from mildew?

  • Determine your new color scheme or theme for the room before painting or wallpaper goes up.
  • Roll a fresh coat of paint on the walls! Wash the walls down first and check for mildew. Any light mildew will need sanding and bleaching. Then clean the entire surface to be painted with TSP solution. Although a bit shinier, you may want to consider a satin or semi-gloss paint as these will make your walls easier to clean and more resistant to damage from constant cleaning. Just keep in mind, glossy paint will show imperfections in the wall itself.
  • If you decide to wallpaper a bathroom, keep in mind the moisture content of the room. Also consider how often you may be cleaning certain walls near a sink or bathtub.
  • Consider combining a new coat of paint with just an accent wall of wallpaper!

Lighting - Again, how bright is the space? Is it too dark or too bright and harsh?

  • Replacing the light fixtures can help add more soft light in your bathroom. Try to avoid glaring harsh lights as these can be very unappealing.
  • Consider two light switch options for the room: one for soft light for general use and the other for brighter light for applying makeup, etc.
  • Consider adding a solar tube or skylight for more natural lighting in the room. **You may want to consider hiring a contractor for this type of work!

Windows - If your bathroom has a window, consider if there are any updates needed to the window when coming up with your redesign plan.

  • If the window is older, you might consider replacing it with a newer one. Or you may want to add additional windows or change the style to bring in more natural light. **You may want to consider hiring a contractor for this type of work!
  • Does the window give enough privacy? You may want to consider updating blinds or frosting the window to provide more privacy to your bathroom.

Fan - If you have any problems with mildew or don't already have a fan, you may want to consider adding one to the room.

  • Many fans now include overhead lights and can add a more welcoming feature to the room than the loud eye-sores of past models.

Shower Curtain or Door - You can brighten your bathroom by changing your shower curtain or door.

  • Replacing an older shower curtain is a cheap way to help update the decor of your bathroom.
  • Installing a bath/shower door can lighten the space of the room. This can also make cleaning easier and cut down on mildew or damp spots if this has been a problem. Many times shower curtains will let condensed water sit or runoff the corners of your tub or shower. A well sealed bath/shower door can help.

Hardware - Changing out your old hardware can be one of the easiest updates to the bathroom.

  • Add a new towel rack or completely change the set to start a new color scheme with gold, brass,brushed nickel, or bronze, etc.
  • You can create a spa feel to your bathroom by adding small upgrades like a heated towel rack!

Faucet - Updating your sink faucets can give the bathroom a facelift.

  • Sink faucets can be relatively easy to change out. If uncertain, take a class at a hardware store or hire a professional.
  • Changing the faucets in your bathtub can be a littler trickier. However, again a class or professional can help with this change.
  • If you have a showerhead, this can also be changed out to complete your new look and add a more spa like feel to the room.

Sink & Countertop - You may want to replace or refinish your sink.

  • If you are already replacing your sink cabinet, you maychoose to replace the sink at the same time if you get an all-inclusive unit.
  • Consider adding another sink if you have the space. Many new vanities include a two sink option.
  • You may also consider changing the countertop if the sink itself is fine. There are many styles of laminate, granite, quartz, marble, etc. to choose from or you may change the template completely with a new cabinet.

Mirrors - A mirror is an essential item to every bathroom.

  • Consider updating your mirror if crackled or out of style.
  • How do you use your mirror? You may want to consider mirrors that hinge out to provide angles or depth when needed or one that offers different strengths of magnification.
  • Mirrors can also be decorative items! Mirrored sconces or tiles on the wall can help to give a dark corner light or a narrow space depth.

Refinishing & Liners - Refinishing or lining your tub can be a great way to make it look new again.

  • You can refinish your own tub, but you will need a respirator, spray gun, sander, chemical cleaners and will need to also purchase an acrylic top coat. The actual refinishing product can be purchased as a kit. Keep in mind that there will be a 30-60 minute wait between about three coats of acrylic and a 24 hour set time. Needless to say, this will be a time consuming project that will take clear ventilation and lots of patience. **You may want to consider hiring a contractor for this type of work!
  • Another option is inserting a bathtub or shower liner. This is a task you can do by yourself with some careful planning and a few extra helping hands. There are also many dealers offering liners and installation for reasonable rates. **You may want to consider hiring a contractor for this type of work!

Tiling - Does your tiling need replacing? If you have the time and skill, this can be a great update to any bathroom.

  • Again, consider your timeline, budget, and skill level before taking on a task of this magnitude. Consider a deep clean. Giving your tiles a good clean can help breathe new life into them. Some also find it beneficial to selectively replace specific tiles and re-grout lines rather than replacing the whole wall; consider this option if you are on a tight budget.
  • Make arrangements to be without your bathtub for a while if you plan to retile this area. Although the tiles and grout may set at specific times, you may need longer to work it out if taking it on as a do-it-yourself project.
  • If tiling/retiling a floor, consider how you are going to move the toilet and sink/sink cabinet or if you are going to tile around them.
  • Be patient with any tiling project, take it slow as this is something that should last a long time.

Vinyl Flooring - If tile flooring is not for you, you may want to consider replacing your existing vinyl flooring with an updated vinyl.

  • As with tile flooring, consider your timeline, budget and skill set before taking on this task.
  • Consider how you are going to move the toilet, and sink/sink cabinet or if you are going to cut the vinyl to fit around them.
  • Again, consider taking a class at a local hardware store or hiring a professional if uncomfortable with this kind of work.

Part II: Major Remodel - This makeover includes major structural changes and updates. You will most likely need professional help. Also, this type of remodel may include obtaining specific building permit from your city or county.

Make a Plan - The fist step to any major remodel is to create a plan for the project.

  • Determine your budget and timeline. Planning ahead will prevent unforeseen expenses and help you obtain better estimates from professionals you may need to hire for the project.
  • You may need to get a building permit for some of your changes, especially if you are making major structural changes to the room.
  • Consider what the bathroom is lacking, such as, do you have enough functional space, storage, lighting, etc.?
  • Does the room have any items that need updating? This can be anything from the plumbing to the sink fixtures. What do you envision for the space? Do you want a Zen retreat or a homey B&B feel to the room? Consider what you want the completed room to look like. Do you have anything in there that fits this idea now? Or will it be better to start from scratch?
  • How much experience do you have with remodeling? Are there some aspects of this remodel that you are confident you can complete on your own? Perhaps you don't want to install the sink but have no problem putting in the tile backsplash. Mixing contracted work with do-it-yourself work can be a great way to save money, if you have the time.
  • You may want to consult with an interior designer for a major remodeling project. They could bring up considerations for the space you may not have thought about.
  • What kind of professional help will you need? Will you need a general contractor, electrician or plumber? Often times even a general contractor may hire out certain tasks (i.e. electrical work) under their supervision. If you know what tasks will need to be done, then you will have a better idea of who will need to be hired.

Hire a Contractor - With a major remodel you will very likely need professional help.

  • Interview several contractors and get estimates from each. Ask questions and be bold enough to ask why estimate are different - i.e. if they are using different materials, this is good to know in advance!
  • Many contractors will help obtain the necessary permits for your project. Check and see if any you are interviewing will help with this process. Avoid any contractors who say this or that permit, "isn't really needed."
  • Check to see if the contractor will be sub-contracting certain aspects of your project such as plumbing, electrical, tiling, etc.
  • Find out what they expect from you in giving sub-contractors access to a work site, etc.

Permits - Many overhaul projects that affect the structure of your home will need permits from the city or county.

  • If you are removing or adding any walls, this may be affected by local or state building codes.
  • You may not be aware of all the aspects in your project that may need a permit. Check with your contractor. If you are doing it alone, check with your local government for guidance.

Cabinets and Storage - You may want to replace or add to your existing bathroom cabinets.

  • Adding cabinets helps with storing essentials for the bathroom from towels to extra soaps and supplies. With a major remodel, you may have the opportunity to include built-in wall cabinets/closets in your new bathroom. Otherwise, there are many styles of cabinets available. You can get stand alone cabinets or wall cabinets that fit above a sink or toilet that provide quite a bit of extra storage.
  • You can also consider changing your sink cabinet. A new design can offer an updated look and add more storage to your bathroom.

Walls - Do you have room to expand your space?

  • Taking down a wall to add space can do wonders for a small bathroom.
  • Think outside the box. Replace a dividing wall with a sheet of glass to allow more light throughout the bathroom. Insert small alcoves within the walls to add little retreats for mirrors, candles, and other decor items to make the space more inviting. Some redesigns use tiles on the walls as a protective "wainscoting" design. Other designs include half walls to offer definition of space without enclosing entirely. The possibilities are endless.

Lighting - How bright is the space? Is it too dark or too harsh?

  • Replacing the light fixtures can help you add more soft light in your bathroom. Try to avoid glaring harsh lights as these can be very unappealing.
  • Consider getting an electrician to add light switches. Add one for soft, every day light and another for brighter, utilitarian light for applying makeup, etc.
  • With the help of an electrician you can add recessed lighting or other design lighting updates.

Windows - If your bathroom has a window, consider if there are any updates needed to the window when planning your redesign.

  • If an older window, you might consider replacing the window with a newer one. You can add a special feature like stained or frosted glass. Or consider built in blinds for a combo of extra privacy and easy cleaning. You may also consider making the window larger or adding an additional window to the room.
  • Consider adding a solar tube or skylight for more natural lighting in the room.

Fan - If you have any problems with mildew or don't already have a fan, you may want to consider adding one in the room.

  • Many fans now include overhead lights and can add a more welcoming feature to the room than the loud eye-sores of past models.
  • Consider working with an electrician to get a more powerful fan with more options and better ability to clear moisture from the room.

Shower Door - You can brighten your bathroom by changing to a shower door.

  • Installing a bath/shower door can help lighten the space of the room. This can also help make cleaning easier and cut down on mildew or damp spots if this has been a problem. Many times shower curtains will let condensed water sit or runoff the corners of your tub or shower. A well sealed bath/shower door can help.
  • Another alternative to a shower door is using a sheet of glass or a tiled wall to separate the shower from the larger room. This adds a decorative feature and more light for the room overall.

Faucet - Updating your faucets can help give the bathroom a facelift.

  • Sink faucets can be relatively easy to change out.
  • Changing the faucets in your bathtub and the showerhead can help complete a new look for you bathroom.
  • If remodeling an older home, a major remodel may be a good time to consider reviewing the pipes and improving water pressure and usage. There are many water saving devices available now that can still offer a good amount of water pressure.

Sink & Countertop - You may want to replace or refinish your sink.

  • If you are already replacing your sink cabinet you may decide to replace the sink at the same time if you get an all-inclusive unit.
  • Consider adding another sink if you have the space. Many new vanities include a two sink option.
  • You may also consider changing the countertop if the sink itself is fine. There are many styles of laminate, granite, quartz, marble, etc. to choose from or you may change the template completely with a new cabinet.

Refinishing & Liners - Refinishing or lining your tub can be a great way to make it look new once again.

  • Refinishing your tub is an alternative to replacing or lining it. This process will need at least a 24 hour set time. This should be considered if working with more than one professional, as work will have to be suspended as the acrylic is applied and sets.
  • Another option is inserting a bathtub or shower liner. Many companies offer the liner and installation for a reasonable cost.

Tiling - Finish your spa retreat with professional tiling.

A major remodel is a great time to get the bathtub, shower, floor and even walls all done at once.

If you want to keep the old tiling, consider this a time to get damaged tiles replaced and grout redone.

New Big Items - A major remodel may also include getting a new bathtub, toilet, sink or custom made shower.

  • If you are doing a different style design you may want to consider changing some or all of your big items.
  • If you are updating an older home, this would be a great time to get a more efficient toilet or better fixtures to aid with water pressure.
  • This is your own spa, maybe it is time to replace that old bathtub with a jetted one!
  • A custom built shower can offer a neat new design and multiple shower spray option for a more spa-like experience.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are considering a small or large remodel, the short list above makes it obvious the possibilities are endless. In both cases, make certain to plan ahead and really consider how you want your new bathroom to function and feel. Have fun, get carried away, and then look at what you can turn into a reality. Get help from the professionals whether it be an interior designer or a general contractor. Or get in your hours at your local home improvement store's classes and put your patience and creativity to the test. Either way, the best part of a bathroom remodel is that once it is done, you can reap your rewards by enjoying your mini spa retreat everyday!

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