3 Tips for Renovating an Old Bathroom

A lot of older homes come with old, outdated bathrooms that simply don’t make sense in today’s world. This was the case with a bathroom in an historic home on Lee Avenue in Victoria where Rob-Ron Construction Ltd. renovated a choppy old bathroom into a spa-like retreat to better suit the homeowners’ style.

“Both owners are tall and were tired of cramming themselves into a claustrophobic walled shower stall directly inside the entry – where the shower door couldn’t be opened if the bathroom door was open – and weaving their way around the bathtub and division walls,” said Colleen Gibson, Project Manager for Renovations at award-winning Rob-Ron Construction. “This was the start of a ‘this old house’ style renovation.”

A hall closet directly outside of the bathroom meant they were able to add more space in order to reconfigure the new bathroom. Meanwhile, removing the closet meant remedial drywall and plaster repair to infill the closet doorway, and creative carpentry to reconstruct the hallway baseboard trim.

“Having the owners relinquish use of that closet enabled a dramatic improvement in the flow and functionality of the room,” Gibson added.

While demolishing the bathroom, they discovered that the division walls were non-structural and redundant, which opened up even more possibilities for the room, including shifting the shower back into the corner and bringing the vanity close to the door.

“Now, instead of a clumsy, crowded entry, they had an unrestricted view of the entire room, allowing light from the two windows to flood into the space,” Gibson said.

The contractors also discovered why the original shower had been raised a foot above floor level, after finding an appalling mess of shoddy plumbing below it. Therefore, all the plumbing rough-ins were replaced and set properly in the floor and wall cavities. To offer a spa-like experience, they added a sleek, skirted acrylic tub with a deep bathing well and a convenient tiled shelf area. The frameless glass shower enclosure and simple white tiles all contribute to a feeling of spaciousness. Finally, the warm, natural cork floor, clear maple vanity, and delicious on-tone wall colour combined with the clean white fixtures and accents contribute to a stunning bathroom.

Based on the success of this project and others, Gibson offers the following three tips for renovating an old bathroom:

  1. Allow a contingency fund for unexpected surprises, such as shoddy old plumbing or outdated electrical wiring. Those problems usually come to light during demolition and must be addressed before you proceed.
  2. Provide ample time to deal with any issues that may arise by giving yourself an extra day or two post-demolition, so that you are not scrambling to reschedule sub-trades at the last minute.
  3. Keep lines of communication open between the contractor, designer, homeowner and trades, and be confident that together you can develop a positive solution and keep the project moving forward to the satisfaction of all.

“This bathroom renovation was a pleasure to work on from start to finish, as we were able to utilize some extra space and adapt the existing footprint to maximum advantage,” concluded Gibson. “The result is a delightful balance between old world charm and new world convenience.”

The homeowners were very happy with their experience working with Rob-Ron Construction and with the final result.

“This was our first experience working with a contractor,” said the homeowners. “We had heard that sometimes people don’t have a very good experience with contractors due to delays, problems with workmanship, or just miscommunication. However, this was not the case with Rob-Ron Construction.  I was stunned by how smoothly everything went.  Thanks to Colleen, I always knew what was going on.
“Colleen is a natural in this business. From day one she understood what we wanted in our new bathroom and helped us realize this vision.  Even choosing the tiles, flooring, tub, shower stall, hardware, colours, etc. was a pleasant experience because she took the time to shop with us. She really cares about the project and her clients. It’s very easy to communicate with her. She answers all your questions promptly and works closely with the workmen to ensure the project is on schedule. The workmen were fantastic. They were skilled, professional, efficient and friendly. The project was always moving along. We never felt that we had been forgotten,” they added.

“We now have a wonderful bathroom with a great layout and comfortable flooring and high quality modern fixtures and serene colours. Exactly what we wanted!”

Rob-Ron Construction Ltd. has been building dreams for four decades, offering excellence in quality and service. The company prides itself on having happy customers at the end of each project. Contact Rob-Ron for more information about bathroom renovations in Victoria.

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