The excitement is real! You have just purchased your first home, it could be a small apartment or a large older home. Your creative juices are flowing, you cannot wait for the ink to dry on the purchase contract so that you can get into that old bathroom and unleash your inner designer! You have watched all the TV shows and read all the magazines. You are armed with your favourite colour paint, you designer bathroom ware and enthusiasm by the bucketful!
But have you thought about safety and practicality. Many bathroom makeovers have forgot to think about practicality, where do you plug in that hair dryer so that you can see yourself in the mirror while coiffing your tresses? The dark side of bathroom renovations is, have you thought about safety?
Before commencing a renovation you should have a qualified and licensed electrician advise you on the condition of wiring, plugs, sockets and so on. Are you dealing with old copper wire? The number one rule for a bathroom renovation is to never EVER perform your own electrical work. And the second rule is, always have your power turned off by a professional licenced electrician before commencing any major works. To not do so is surely inviting a potential fatality.
The other thing you will need to look out for is structural integrity. Before you knock a nice window shaped hole into a wall, or take a wall out…have a professional advise you if the wall in question is load bearing. You really don’t want the house to start to collapse. Or for parts of the roof to fall in while you are mid bubble bath.
When having your new tapware fitted, ensure that a plumber has been used and or extensively consulted. Many a new bathroom renovation has come undone when the house started flooding.
If you have decided to go down the lighter makeover route and just apply some paint here and there, there is something you may want to be aware of. Asbestos. Horrible stuff, responsible for cacogenic diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Asbestos was widely used in bathrooms pre 1990. Regardless of the date of your bathroom have it tested. The key to remember here is, do not sand, grind, cut, waterblast or damage and asbestos wall in any way, to do so is to open the asbestos up to release fibres, don’t copy girl on dress in the picture. Once fibres are released into the air they can float and be inhaled. Use an appropriate mask, do not sand, and consult a professional asbestos removal company.
If you have all of your safety points checked off and secure, you can then play with your new project to your hearts content. Stay alive to enjoy your new home.