What goes into a Bathroom Renovation

If you’re tearing down and renovating a bathroom, you may not know what exactly it involves. All you may have seen are bathroom designs you’ve found online and shared with your contractor. Here’s a brief checklist to educate yourself.

 

Bathroom Demolition
The first step is tearing down the existing bathroom. It could be entirely internal if the walls don’t need to be moved. Specifically you may need to remove the wall tiles, floor tiles, fittings, and woodwork. Demolition always goes hand in hand with debris removal, so make sure you have someone to manage it for you (contractor or 3rd party).

Lighting & Electricals
A well-lit bathroom makes your daily experience a lot more pleasant. Given that false ceilings are becoming common practice in the bathrooms nowadays, ceiling lighting can be considered. As for the rest of the electricals make sure to provision for a water heater, at least 1-2 open points for things like an electric razor or hair dryer, a pressure pump if needed, and an AC if you feel like splurging.

Bathroom Plumbing
Plumbing is fairly typical in a bathroom. Check your water pressure before the walls are plastered up and the fixtures are installed, so that if pipe routing needs to be adjusted, or provisions for a pump need to be made it’s a LOT easier.

Waterproofing your Bathroom
It is extremely critical to get waterproofing right. We recommend that you waterproof the floor and about half the height of the walls in the bathroom for extra protection. This is done before any tiles or flooring is installed.

Bathroom Tiles
There are plenty of options out there for bathroom wall tiles. It all comes down to your choice and budget. From multiple Indian and imported wall tile brands, to unbranded ‘Gujarat’ tiles, you’ll find a lot out there. If you have storage space, buy an extra box for later (years to come). Sometimes you need to break a small section of the walls to resolve plumbing problems and matching tiles come in handy.

Flooring
You can use tiles, marble, or granite for your bathroom flooring.

False Ceiling 

It’s not uncommon nowadays to have a false ceiling in your bathroom. Keep it simple would be our suggestion. One downside of false ceiling is that if there is some kind of water seepage from the floor above, the false ceiling will need to be replaced. Regular ceilings on the other hand are cheaper to fix.

Woodwork
You may choose to get some storage constructed under your sink (vanity), or elsewhere in the bathroom if you have space. This comes in handy to store things like bathroom cleaners, towels, soaps, shampoos etc. Using waterproof board is a good idea to give your cabinets extra protection against moisture.

Counter Top
You may want to put in a granite/marble counter top around your washbasin based on the type of look you’re going for.

Doors & Windows
More and more people today are choosing UPVC doors and windows. While UPVC doors may not quite work out in the bathroom, windows are a good idea given UPVC is more resistant to moisture than wood and last longer.

Shower Enclosure

A modern bathroom today isn’t complete without a shower enclosure. It adds character and utility to your bathroom. Toughened glass is pricy, so an enclosure adds a significant expense to your bathroom renovation.

Bathroom Fittings
Last but not the least is the bathroom fixtures, which includes your washbasin, WC, and plumbing fixtures like your shower fittings, sink faucet, and WC faucet. The pricing of these vary vastly depending on the brand you choose. Some of the brands in the market include Hindware, Jaquar, Kohler, Grohe.

 

 

Reducing air pollution during home renovations

One of the biggest contributors to indoor air pollution in apartment buildings are home renovations. If not done carefully the dust and chemicals spread through the ducts and shafts and are able to cause damage to quite a few residents. While there is no way to completely remove this unfortunate side effect of home remodeling, there are things that can be done to keep it in check.

Painting walls of an empty room. Renovation house.
TIMING
Whenever possible, work at a time when residents are likely to be out; 9 AM to around 6 PM is a fair window. While it is tempting to maximize working hours, it starts to become disruptive to the other residents.
BARRIERS AND CONTAINMENT
Cover all ducts and openings in the apartment during the process, this will contain the particles and one can control the damage.
Keep containers of paint and other chemicals closed whenever possible. And keep it all confined to as small an area as possible, for example if painting a room, keep the door closed and windows open so that the chemicals aren’t spreading to the other rooms unnecessarily.

Painting supplies

CLEANING
Get the site cleaned every day at the end of the day. Remove debris in proper containers. Also ensure that workers on site, clean their feet and clothes before leaving a site so as to not spread particulate around the area.

2448df6641b82a47d9f78c04f238d0b6
VENTILATION
Keep the appropriate windows open and consider putting a standing fan on site to be able to direct the air out.
STAY OUT
And finally the most basic thing to do, stay away from a work site as much as possible, if inspecting the site make sure work is stopped and the site has been ventilated. Wear a mask whenever you do visit. Definitely keep children and pets far away from site.

Keep these tips in mind when renovating or share them with anyone who is planning a renovation, a little consideration will go a long way to improve the indoor air quality in your building.

Tips to Improve Air Quality in your Apartment

Source: WSJ Blog, Air Pollution in Delhi
Source: WSJ Blog, Air Pollution in Delhi

Most major cities in India suffer from poor air quality, and there are times it becomes a serious health hazard for the entire city’s population. Delhi NCR and other parts of northern India have seen some severe episodes of pollution in the past few years. While policy makers try to determine what they can do at a broader level, here are some things we can do in our homes to reduce the level of pollutants.

Plants for air purification

Peace lilies
Source: Mother Nature Network, Peace lilies

We live in a day and age with fancy expensive gadgets. However, whatever you can do naturally is preferable to using gizmos. NASA has published a list of plants that naturally remove the toxins from the air and make it more breathable. As a thumb rule one plant per room in the house will make your air much cleaner.

Link: Some plants to consider

Invest in an air purifier

Having an air purifier around the house may be a good supplement to your plants, especially when conditions are extremely bad outside. While we aren’t going to begin to try to evaluate the air purifiers in the market, we will say that go for a purifier with a HEPA filter and no ozone emissions.

Clean your filters

Clean your filters
Source: Crucial Vacuum, Clean your filters

Make sure you keep you filters clean, whether its for your air purifiers, or your ACs and heaters.

Air out your space

If possible, during the time of the day when the air is the cleanest, open up your windows to let some outside air in. There are some toxins, emissions that are produced inside your house that no purifier will help with.

Buy a vacuum cleaner

While vacuum cleaners aren’t common in India, it may be time for us to start investing in one if we have carpets in the house. Carpets accumulate plenty of dust, and what’s thrown up during sweeping can be quite harmful to inhale. A vacuum will help suck in the dirt so it doesn’t spread into the air around us.

Avoid Incense sticks

Incense sticks are common around the house whether for religious purposes or fragrance. However, its yet another source for particulate matter in your house that can be avoided.

Use natural cleaning products (non-toxic)

Some of our house-cleaning products have chemicals in them, which are harmful and make us uncomfortable when inhaled. While this may be hard to do, it can help to try to find natural alternatives to the chemical cleaners so you don’t spread air pollutants in your home every day.

Groom your pets

Groom your pets
Groom your pets

Your pets are fuzzy, furry creatures that you like to cozy up to. However at the same time the fur attracts dust and particulates, which can do you harm. Keep your pets groomed regularly to minimize impact.

 

Some of these may not move the needle largely on their own when it comes to reducing air pollution but they are small things you can do in your home to make things better.

Home Renovation on a fixed budget

Blog Cover Renovation Budget

 

Source: Houzz.com

If you’re thinking of renovating your home, you’re surely starting to wonder how much does a renovation cost. Often design professionals and storeowners you meet will ask you what’s your renovation / product budget. Early on in the process of renovating your home this can be a very tough question. In this post we will lay out some fixed budget renovation plans to help you start to understand pricing.

 

The 5 Lakh, 10 Lakh, 20 Lakh Home Renovation

Based on projects BuildingBlox has completed for 3BHK clients, we have compiled a suggestion list for you. We assume the use of mid-range, good quality products from brands such as Jaquar, Kajaria, and Merino Laminates.

The Rs. 5 Lakh home renovation is for those who are looking to revitalize their home without a complete overhaul. The Rs. 10 Lakh home renovation is for those with a reasonable budget who are looking to get most things upgraded. The Rs. 20 Lakh home renovation is for those who would like a complete redesign of their space.

 

3BHK 5 Lakh 10 Lakh 20 Lakh
Kitchen Y Y
Bathrooms 1 3
Flooring 5 rooms 5 rooms 5 rooms
False Ceiling 5 rooms 5 rooms 5 rooms
Painting Y Y Y
Windows (UPVC) Y
Electricals Y Y Y
Lighting Some Y
Woodwork TV Unit TV Unit Wardrobes, TV Unit
Appliances Kitchen, few others Kitchen, ACs, Gysers
Furniture Not Included Not Included Not Included

 

For those of you looking for a new kitchen, but lacking a very large budget can consider an alternative 5L plan. This would entail a new modular kitchen, basic appliances (hob, chimney), new flooring and false ceiling in your living room, and a full apartment repaint.

 

How to design your home like a pro

Girls-Bedroom-Color-Ideas

Interior design is a specialised job and no one can replace what designers bring to the table in terms of combining functionality with design. Still, there is a large section of home owners who don’t have the kind of budget that allows them to splurge on the personalised services of an interior designer.
For those home owners, who deeply care about design but would just like to do up their space themselves, here are some tips on how.
Find Home Décor Ideas online, and break them down into elements
There are high quality home design ideas all over the web, websites like pinterest and houzz will allow you to browse thousands of designs for each room. Start saving the ones you like and break each image down into elements. For example if you like a kitchen image, identify what you like about it, whether it’s the colour scheme, flooring material, woodwork, accessories, lighting, wall tiles etc. this will help you list your requirements.
Map images to products
Carry the shortlisted images to the market and start selecting materials that will help you achieve the final look you want. Show these images to the shop owners and they will guide you.
Room Color Schemes
Pick a colour scheme that best defines your look, once established try and be consistent through different rooms.

Girls-Bedroom-Color-Ideas
Feature walls
Design feature walls into your rooms. For bedrooms pick the wall behind the bed and give it contrast in colour or consider using wallpaper, for the TV lounge create a wall feature behind the TV and maybe a picture wall in the living room where you can arrange family photos in an aesthetic way. This adds an element of personality to the rooms.

6a00d8358081ff69e2017c38999e7a970b-800wi
Lighting
Design the lighting with care, pick rooms where you want to create a false ceiling with embedded lights, decide where you want to add some hanging lights (dining table, breakfast counter, living room)

40-lighting-ideas-for-living-room-cool-modern-living-room-lamps-16-454
Accessories and décor
This is the most personalised part of the process, be picky about the kind of mirrors, decorative bowls, planters and baskets you want to have displayed in your home. Identify the locations and design the appropriate shelves and tables that need to be installed in order to create the look you want.

A1zOotr7OoL._SL1500_
Keep these thoughts in mind when designing your own home, if so inclined make some sketches to discuss with your contractor, and we are sure you’ll fall in love with your new home once it’s ready.

Have you designed your home recently? Share your experiences with us in the comments section.