A First-Time Homeowner's Guide to Bathrooms
Being a first-time homeowner is exciting! But as you go through the process of closing on and moving into your own home, there are important considerations you need to keep in mind that you may not have thought about before. One area of your home that you may not have given a lot of thought to is your bathroom, from maintenance and cleaning to renovation considerations and beyond. To better help first-time homeowners get acquainted to their homes, Modernize created this guide that covers everything you need to know about your bathrooms.
Bathroom Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency and cost savings are topics that are on many homeowners’ minds. But it is not always simple to determine how to save energy and utility costs in the bathroom. Energy savings is especially important if you are moving into an older home that may have older systems and lighting that keep your utility bills high. Also, your water bill may be affected by toilets, showerheads, and faucets that waste water.
You may not be in the position to do a complete overhaul of your bathroom, and that is okay! There are ways to cut costs without completely updating your bathroom. Simply replacing your showerhead or faucet can help increase your home’s energy efficiency and decrease your bills month to month. You can also look into eco-friendly toilets that reduce your water usage. Eventually, you may be ready to hire a bathroom contractor to address bigger problems your home may have with plumbing and electricity.
Dealing With Drains
Every homeowner should know how to properly clean bathroom drains. Periodically clearing drains of hair, soap, and other particles can go a long way toward preventing plumbing issues down the road. Adding a strainer to your tub or shower can protect the drain and pipes from debris and build-up, as they allow you to clear it easily to stop problems before they start.
When you do have clogs, remember that plungers are not just for toilets. If you have a clog in your sink, tub, or shower, you can generally plunge it out without any difficulty. Another method for unclogging a sink involves putting baking soda in the drain, which dissolves dirt and grease, and then adding vinegar and boiled water to flush out the drain.
For more stubborn clogs, you use a drain snake. If a snake does not work, put a bucket under the piping, open it, and manually remove what is stuck inside.
Handling Mold and Mildew
You can keep mold and mildew at bay by regularly wiping tiles and walls, paying attention to small cracks. Use a DIY solution of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Scrub with a soft bristle brush and rinse with water. Alternatively, there are store bought cleaning solutions that can tackle bathroom mold and mildew.
If you do not already have a fan in your bathroom, it may be a good investment. The bathroom has the most moisture out of any other room in your home, and mold and mildew will become a problem if not handled proactively. Twice a year, it is always good to do a deep clean of your bathroom to ensure any lingering mold and mildew is addressed.
Recognizing Plumbing Problems
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to prevent bathroom plumbing problems yourself. But there are still some tell-tale signs that you may have a larger issue that requires a professional plumber.
Some of the things to look out for are frozen pipes, discolored water, low water pressure, a smelly drain, noisy pipes, and slow drains. Also, if you have a sudden spike in your water bill, it may mean there is an unseen plumbing issue that needs to be addressed.
Remodeling Your Bathroom
Depending on the state of your bathroom, your budget, and your experience with DIY projects, you may choose to remodel your bathroom. Common first-time homeowner bathroom renovations include replacing your tub, shower, or sink. It all depends on the age and condition of your bathrooms when you move in, and whether or not you want to change them.
If you go this route, it can be an intensive job. Some bathroom remodels are large projects that include gutting everything in your bathroom—including the toilet, sink, cabinets, and mirrors—draining the toilet, and removing the insulation from the walls. Then you can go on to install the new tub, sink, or shower, as well as new tiles, cabinets, and mirrors.
There are also smaller bathroom projects you can turn to. For example, look into built-in or DIY storage solutions for smaller bathrooms that lack ample storage space. You can also update your bathroom’s flooring or tiles for a more modern look.
As a first-time homeowner, embarking on a bathroom remodeling project yourself can be an intimidating idea, so you may feel more comfortable hiring a contractor who specializes in bathrooms to do the work for you.
Finding a Bathroom Professional
At some point, some projects that you will want to complete in your bathroom will require a professional. When that time comes, you want to hire an experienced and reliable bathroom contractor to complete the job the way you want and need.
No matter what type of repairs or remodels you need to complete, the pros at Modernize can help. We have resources to connect first-time homeowners with experienced and knowledgeable bathroom contractors that you can trust. Also, be sure to review our interactive checklist, which provides pointers on evaluating contractors to make the most informed decision.