Whether you’re investing in your current home or renovating a new place, a kitchen or bathroom is a huge purchase. Both rooms are vital to the smooth running of home life too, so getting them right and making sure everything works as it should is critical.
Renovating a kitchen or bathroom is an exciting time, but it’s important not to get carried away with fancy styles or designs and keep in mind that the rooms also need to be functional. Once you’ve decided what kind of feel you’re going for, we strongly recommend a pre-survey with Alliance where we’ll be able to show you what is or isn’t possible. There’s nothing worse than handing over cash and getting your new bathroom suite delivered, only to find out that it won’t work in your home and you’ve somehow got to return it. (Getting a pre-survey is absolutely vital if you’re thinking of buying from online auction sites or selling groups where returns are often difficult or, sometimes, just not possible.)
What do our pre-surveys involve? Pre-surveys involve no obligation and are entirely advisory. One of our highly trained engineers will visit the property and advise on the positioning of the fittings that you want. We’ll check where the pipes are, check whether there’s adequate drainage and whether or not you’re able to change the orientation of the kitchen or bathroom. We find that most homes need some changes because the suites on the market today are very modern and plumbing within the home often isn’t. It’s also a good idea to check out the water hardness at the property and whether or not you have scale defences fitted. Once you have the knowledge of what’s possible, it’s time to choose your fittings!
Taps: The biggest indicator of a good quality tap is weight. Feel the tap for yourself. A solid, heavy tap will last longer and will be less likely to clog up with limescale. (It’s also worth remembering that limescale needs to be tackled with strong chemicals which can ruin your taps, so it’s a good idea to take all steps to avoid it.) It’s also vital to make sure all fittings are WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approved.
Baths: A strong bath will last you a lot longer and, consequently, is a better investment. We advise avoiding hollow baths where possible. Our top tip for finding a good quality bath is to take a torch with you to the showroom and shine it against the sides of the bath. If you no light comes through the sides of the bath, it’s strong, thick and good quality enamel.
Showers: Again, you want to avoid flimsy materials. Choose a strong tray and avoid plastic which often ends up creaking when you’re getting in and out of the shower. Stonecast shower trays are the best, however, recycled composite plastic trays are thick, heavy and a great alternative. In terms of doors and screens, we recommend avoiding hinges and ridges where you can as these areas are perfect spots for limescale to grow, meaning they won’t last as long and need extra cleaning. The best option is a fixed glass shower screen.
Basins: Basins are slightly more simple than the above. Again, you want a solid and quality fitting. If you’re after a floating basin, then you’ll need hidden pipes so check with us whether this is possible within your property.
Toilets: Many modern and elaborate toilet shapes don’t have enough cistern space for a good, strong flush. So bear this in mind when you’re choosing a toilet. It’s also good to choose a toilet with brass connections on inlet valves and syphons, rather than plastic, as these will last far longer.
Alliance fit dishwashers, sinks, washing facilities, hot water taps, waste disposals, fridges or coffee machines that need to be plumbed in, plus cookers and hobs.
The advice for choosing a kitchen sink and taps is much the same as in bathrooms. Check they’re solid and heavy as this is a sure sign of quality. Again, you’ll need to choose WRAS approved taps.
You can be confident choosing a cooker or hob as any gas appliance sold in the UK will have passed certain safety tests. You do, however, need to think about the placement of gas pipes though. Our engineers can advise on what’s possible and what’s not.
Once we’ve visited your property for a pre-survey and you’ve chosen all the components for your new bathroom or kitchen, an Alliance team of highly trained engineers can fit everything for you. Call us on 01933 717024 to arrange a pre-survey and installation.