To bathroom and beyond

in hive-138317 •  17 days ago 

The renovation building phase starts tomorrow, and we are still not ready for what is to come, but we are getting there. I have a vision of what it is going to look like, but unless we win the lottery (which we don't enter), we are going to have to compromise the hell out of it. We have also had to adjust some of the equipment we had originally planned on, but overall, it should come together quite nicely if the tradespeople do their job.

We don't have an architect, so I am planning it all in sketchup. There are no dimensions in there yet as we are yet to know the final precise inside measurements after the walls go in, but this is "around about" right.

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We have already bought the shower, channel drain, wall-mounted toilet and the heated towel rack was ordered last night. The tiles and the benchtop have also been ordered and thanks to my wife's workplace being a large conglomerate of businesses, we got a pretty decent discount on them. The shower door can only be ordered once we know precise measurements, so that will take some time.

The cupboards are going to come from IKEA, as not only are they cheap in comparison to other brands, they are annoyingly, very good quality for bathrooms and kitchens. We installed them in our last place and after 5+ years of living, they still looked and worked as new.

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The largest costs by far aren't the fittings themselves, it is the labor costs for the tradespeople. I was saying the other day how ridiculously expensive a plumber was going to be based on the first quote, but thankfully, the next two quotes were both a full half the price, which brings the first person heavily into question. The plumber that is now set to do the work, even offered bits of advice and has made improvements to the plan so that the lines are cleaner.

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One of the challenges we are facing in regards to the design is how to hide electrical work and things like sockets. The electrician has helped us in this so far for things like our choosing the towel rack so that it is the right kind of wire positioning (we sent him our choices to make sure they complied), but we are still wondering what to do with the mirror.

The mirrors with lights in them are quite dodgy and far from good enough to do makeup, so spotlights in the ceiling are compulsory. However, we want to hide the outlets behind the mirror, so have to build a box to do so, as there seems to be no ready options in the size range we would need. Bathrooms are generally very small in Finland and the fittings often seem an afterthought - meaning they don't fit.

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At our previous apartment, there was a full building pipe renovation done, meaning all bathrooms were ripped out and rebuilt from scratch. The company doing the work offered a range of options and we didn't take any of them and preferred to choose our own. Out of 80 apartments, we are the only ones to have done this - which annoyed the company, as they had one set of everything left over - as they assumed everyone would choose things like shower unit, sinks, cupboards and toilet from their selection.

The result was, they also had to return money to us as we were far below their allocation and they ended up sending people through our bathroom saying "we could have done this in all of them". While many here don't seem to think about anything other than "it is new" - the design of the wet spaces is very important for the look and feel of the home. The other apartments essentially had new, 1970s bathrooms installed.

Since we aren't looking to sell this house anytime soon (if ever), we are being a bit more bold with our design choices, rather than what we know will add market value for sale, which is generally "white". We have light-grey concrete tiles and after a fair amount of back and forth, we decided with the black highlights to give the softer wood an edge. We have also made sure that we have plenty of storage space as from a functional standpoint, a cluttered cupboard or bench doesn't make for a nice experience.

At the end of the day, as long as everything works, I will be happy enough, but I do really enjoy the planning and design consideration parts and working out what fits where and what will work for us as a family. This will be the bathroom upstairs and the main shower (there is one next to the sauna in the cold basement too) and guests won't often even see this as there is a toilet on the living area floor (still to be designed), so this is for us only. Since we are planning to stay here for a long time, I want us to be comfortable with it, as this is one of the most expensive parts of the home, twice that of what our kitchen will end up costing - when we finally have the money to do it.

The other thing that is cool is that I get to use Sketchup again, which I haven't for many years. I am even considering getting a year licence for it to cover the renovation period, so that I can plan the entire house. I am on a trial version at the moment. There are free ones available too, that I think I will test first though (it would be appreciated if those with experience with them left a comment and link to one they like).

Well, let's see what happens tomorrow morning once the contractors have seen the rough plans and then add in their comments. Hopefully, they understand what is going on well enough at this point that they can start filling in the gaps I need to complete the dimensions so that things line up. The tradies here are known for their care, nor their eye for design, so they have to have every tiny detail mapped out for them and be told over and over that if they are unsure - ask.

Now - what am I missing...

Taraz
[ Gen1: Hive ]

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  ·  17 days ago (edited)

Ah love raw construction! Such a fun time for me at least, not for all lol

A heated towel rack is definitely nice, never had one of those but a nice toasty towel when you hop out of the shower is great.

In our condo they cut the mirror glass to install an outlet and put a mirror plate on it. It’s very weird but the mirror is the entire wall, even above the toilet. Why they did such a massive mirror I have no idea!

Lots of places that are mass produced like that, and like the condo we are living in, so much is an after thought and corners are sliced and cut everywhere. When I installed a storm door on our porch the damn thing was off by an inch in one of the corners so bugs walk right in, drives me nuts. Have to reapply a sealing tape each spring so I can enjoy the door being open on nice days. Because of this shoddy work and craftsmanship, we are hoping to guide our son to be in the trades when he gets older. Not enough people know how to do this type of work and I feel like it’s going to get worse.

Have you planned for the ceiling fan to remove the steam? Invest a little bit more and get an ultra quiet one! They are totally worth it and won’t get on your nerves later on. The cheap ones sound good for about a year but then sound like a jet engine.

A heated towel rack is definitely nice, never had one of those but a nice toasty towel when you hop out of the shower is great.

It is common here. Normally it would work on the hot water system (which we will have in the floor) but because our system turns off in the summer depending on weather, we will have electric. I don't mind the mirror outlets, but they are expensive to get done here I think. I prefer them hidden anyway.

Because of this shoddy work and craftsmanship, we are hoping to guide our son to be in the trades when he gets older. Not enough people know how to do this type of work and I feel like it’s going to get worse.

It is going to be along time before a robot does the plumbing. These kinds of careers will have legs to them and a paycheck attached. They might not be glamorous, but who cares when you can be on holiday 3 months of the year :)

Have you planned for the ceiling fan to remove the steam?

They generally work on a heat system here, so the vent above the shower area will draw air from an inlet point somewhere else in the room. As long as the airflow is designed well, it isn't a problem.

Ugggghhhh. The drifted insulation is a touch I currently have in my kitchen. We've been working on the roof and it's been enough to knock some insulation out of the ceiling where I put a 'repair hole'. Two more days on the roof so I'm just kicking it to the side and will final clean when the roof is done.

I like your design. I haven't used any design software for over 20 years so I have no comment except that it looks good and EVERY thought you put in at this point will pay dividends in the future. I am very fond of IKEA cabinets, too. They just work.

I have had to dig about 10 bags of sawdust out of the floors and walls so far - it is in garbage bags in another room :) Not sure what will go back in there yet, as we will likely change the insulation in the walls at least.

The software is fun to use - let's see how close to reality it will be :)

I am very fond of IKEA cabinets, too. They just work.

They have been tested millions of times for decades and they improve them so they don't have to replace them. A 25 year warranty on the framework is hard to beat and, if you do what to update the look, for a few hundred a decade from now, you can change all the doors and know they will fit.

I believe i have mentioned it allready, but did you have a chance to try Homestyler?

It's free, it's damn intuitive even for a lousy architect and interior designer as myself, and it allows you to go into 3D mode that let's you actually walk inside premise you have designed, ant trust me on this one... it makes huuuuuge difference when compared over the top view.

I've used it for my bathroom, and i am using it now for my first floor. You can even create panoramas like this for free. And The kitchen It's just a rough and quick sketch i did but still allows you to imagine what it's gonna look in the final version.

Alright, I will give it a go tonight :)

Let me know if it helps.

The other thing that is cool is that I get to use Sketchup again, which I haven't for many years. I am even considering getting a year licence for it to cover the renovation period, so that I can plan the entire house. I am on a trial version at the moment. There are free ones available too, that I think I will test first though (it would be appreciated if those with experience with them left a comment and link to one they like).

Nah! don't use Sketchup for that mate. Use the freeware MapMap or maybe TouchDesigner and Voilaa! ...show to your contractors exactly what you want and where until the smallest detail bro. :)

Are they simple enough for me to use though?

A quick snoop will get you there. Although I reckon TouchDesigner may have a pretty high learning curve. :)

Back when I was looking for a house I had one infant son and the other a toddler, one house I looked at was out a bit with a nice large yard but the bathroom had no bathtub. That was a hard selling point for me as small kids generally don't like water pouring over the tops of their heads, plus they love to play in a bathtub with their toys. If it was a master bedroom bathroom instead of the main I could see it as not mattering in resale but would consider it a drawback as a main.

As said, there is another bathroom downstairs next to the sauna, which will eventually be renovated with a tub in it, as well as the basement floor getting heated. Our daughter baths down there now in a plastic bath. Because of the sauna, baths in homes here are likely about as common as saunas in homes are there. :)

This is what it looks like at the moment:

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Työmaa :D

This is the only bit I am good at :D

Maybe a small tip. Try to sneak in a cabinet between en toilet and the place to brush the teeth. Will create some more privacy. A cabinet of 80 to 100 cm should do the trick. We decided to pick one up to the cealing!
Custom made, but looks great. If you want an image of it, I can upload one if you like.

Cheers,
Peter

That's a decent sized shower, would have really appreciated that when our bathroom was getting redone but [long annoying saga there XD].

Really there's nothing in your price range or area at all withy decent lights on the mirrors? o_O