Bathroom Remodel on a Budget

Bathroom Remodel on a Budget

Homeowners who are looking to renovate their bathroom on a budget or who only want to tackle a couple of upgrades in the space should set their sights on the types of renovations that pull in the highest returns. This allows you to allocate your funds to the areas that will pack the biggest punch, and helps you prioritize your project tasks.

A mid-range bathroom remodel (think updated tile, fixtures, toilet, counters, and lighting) will get you a return of 70.1 percent nationally. And like the kitchen, doing more doesn’t equal getting more. An upscale bathroom remodel is only going to get you a 56.2 percent return, and a new bathroom addition just 54.6 percent.

New plumbing fixtures:

Just as old fixtures can instantly date a room, new fixtures can make an entire space look more modern and inviting. This is good news for home renovators, since swapping out things like faucets and shower heads don’t have to be super expensive at the outset.

If upgrading the plumbing fixtures is the only change that you’re intending to make to the space, be sure that you pick fixtures that complement (rather than clash with) the rest of the bathroom. Even if you go a more modern route you’ll still want to match the rest of the colors in the room and the general style.

Vanity upgrades:

If you’ve got a bit more to spend, consider upgrading the entire vanity, which includes not just faucets but also cabinetry and sinks. You can buy vanity kits that have all of the elements you need for one price, or you can put together the perfect vanity yourself. Make sure to choose materials that will have more appeal with buyers. For example, marble and granite are usually top picks for counter tops, while tile and laminate can look a bit too retro.


If you’re looking for a dramatic change, then upgrading the flooring in your bathroom is a good way to go. The average cost per square foot of bathroom flooring is about $2.50 on the low end and $4.00 on the high end plus labor costs (assuming you don’t install the flooring yourself). If you really want to take the floors to the next level, you could install radiant heat mats under the tile, which warm the floors for a cozy feel post shower or bath. On average, that costs an extra $5.00 to $8.00 per square foot. New bathroom floors—even when taken further with radiant heat—are one of the less expensive renovations you can do, but can also completely change the look, feel, and utility of the space.

Energy efficient updates:

Adding more energy efficiency into your home isn’t just good for the environment—it’s good for your home’s resale value, too. Your shower, sink, and toilet can all be optimized for low flow, which means less water usage and more savings on your water bill. It’s a strong pull for buyers too, so when you’re making changes to fixtures in your bathroom go for the picks that promise to use energy.

Is a Bathroom Renovation Worth It?

It’s up to each homeowner to decide if a bathroom renovation is worth the expense. Overall though, you can expect to get a good return on the money that you spend, plus a high joy score out of the project. If having a bathroom that you enjoy being in matters to you, then go for it. It’s just icing on the cake that you’ll get to recoup a lot of the associated costs as well.

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Clogged Drains

Clogged Drains

It’s important to take caution when discarding food scraps down sink drains. Although it’s best to be careful all year, food accumulates in pipes more easily during colder winter months.

If you do not have a garbage disposal system, it is best to throw as many food particles into the trash as possible. Grease, oil, and fats from certain foods should never be inside your plumbing system. Even with a garbage disposal, grease can cause significant damage to your pipes. Need HELP? Give us a call at 630-638-8651 or visit our website at:

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Time To Replace Your Toilet

Time To Replace Your Toilet

There is one appliance in your home that receives its fair share of daily use. Yet chances its not one of the things that makes your list when you talk about remodeling or upgrading. It’s your toilet.

The life expectancy of a toilet can vary greatly, but like everything in our homes, there comes a point in time when replacing it is the better solution.

How do you know if you’ve reached that point?

Cracks can occur either in the tank or in the bowl. In many cases they are hard to spot. If a crack goes unnoticed, it can quickly grow and build, releasing a flood of water in a short period of time. A simple way to determine if you have a crack is to drop a few drops of food coloring in to the tank. Wait a few minutes. If the food coloring seeps into the bowl, you have a leak and it may be caused by a crack.

If your home was built in the 80s or before, and the toilet has never been upgraded, you are still operating with a full flush toilet. Toilets from this era used 3.5 gallons of water or more with every flush. In 1992, the Energy Policy Act was signed into law, making 1.6 gallons per flush a maximum for all new toilets produced. With today’s technology, you can find low flow toilets at this water level and below – ever considered a dual flush toilet in your home? You may be surprised by all the options available to you.

When a toilet reaches a certain point, you may be spending more on replacement parts then you would by replacing the entire toilet. If you’ve replaced a part more than once per year, its time to look at replacing the entire unit rather than working your way through part by part.

A toilet constantly clogs, it may be time for an upgrade. Especially with an older low flow toilet, if you find yourself consistently plunging, or flushing more than once on a regular basis, it’s a wise decision to upgrade.

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Learn About Tankless Water Heaters

Learn About Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters use on-demand technology for maximum energy efficiency and performance. Millions of consumers have opted for tankless technology to ensure safety, save storage space, and cut back on energy costs. Standards and certifications like Energy Star run multiple tests on home appliances to ensure fire hazard safety and low maintenance costs. So, what makes a tankless water heater an on-demand technology? (1)

A non-storage unit uses continuous flow to heat water through the device into the taps. It does not store or re-heat anything for future use. Most traditional and modern units consist of copper heating elements. These offer easy thermal conduction and fabrication. Plus, they prevent limescale, mineral, calcium build-up. There are all kinds of on-demand models such as hybrid, point-of-use, and combination broilers. But what’s more important than this categorization is knowing which is gas-powered and electric-powered.

Certain technologies use the following processes to heat water quickly:

Continuous circulation: In this method, the unit constantly pumps water through the water inlet to each corner of the unit. However, this spends more energy than required and was the first kind of technology for heating systems. People are now opting for more modern and energy-efficient on-demand heating technologies.

Timer-controlled: When a device is time-controlled, it consists of a re-circulating pump which shuts off heating water when the timer goes off. Once the timer is on track, the heating element is activated and cold water is treated. This is one of the most efficient methods and also helps reduce consumption of water.

Pump: For pump-driven models, a pump is installed under the sink which can be turned on with a push of a button. Once it is turned on, the pump uses most of the hot water supply from the unit. This kind of technology is good for when you want single use only.

Temperature-controlled: Temperature-controlled models are most common in the industry. A sensor is placed inside the unit which helps maintain the desired water temperature by activating the burner responsible for running the main heating element. A sensor circuit will cut the power supply of the pump once the temperature reaches its ideal point. And it will in-turn turn the pump back on as soon as the water drops below the pre-determined temperature.

How do they work?

The best tankless water heater comes with a heating element which continuously heats water and supplies it to your home’s main pipeline. This heating element is also powered by the unit’s power source, which is either electric or gas-powered. When you turn on the tankless water heater, the unit uses minimal energy (unless it’s not energy efficient) to supply a continuous stream of hot water for as long as the tap is turned on.

In comparison we found that electric-powered heaters are much slower in delivery than gas-powered units. This is because an electric-powered heater consists of the following features:

  • A sensor
  • A burner
  • A thermostat

These features work something like this: When the switch of the unit is turned on, the sensor that’s placed in the heating element of the electric-powered heater kick-starts the burner. The burner heats the water flowing in the unit in a constant cycle, while the thermostat maintains the desired temperature of the water flow.

When using natural gas or propane heaters, make sure the unit has enough ventilation support for smooth performance. It can be placed through a ceiling or outside the house, close to all the main pipelines. Hot water is the only priority when using the best tankless water heater. And so, you shouldn’t have to wait a long time for hot water after turning the tap on. That said, opting for a larger tankless water heating system that can run two taps, such your dishwasher line and a kitchen faucet, simultaneously is important.

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