Frequently Asked Questions - Bathrooms

Q. Can I buy my own P.C. item?

A. Yes, you can purchase and organise delivery of your P.C. items.   (I will have all the information regarding the tile amounts and vanity sizes and toilet types included for you in a detailed shopping list to take along to the plumbing shops etc

Q. Why are the tile quantities I have worked out different to your tile amounts?

A. When working out tile quantities we round up each figure to allow for cutting and allow approximately 10-15% wastage.  It is preferable that you have extra tiles left over at the end of the job for emergencies.  Tile qualities can vary also on the size of the tile and the layout of tiles.

Q. How long will the job take?

A. Most jobs take approximately under 10 days.  A number of factors can impact the length of the job.

  • When ordering tiles we ask the supplier if they are in stock.  If not, it may be some weeks before they are available – if we know in advance we can either put off the job start date or the client may select other tiles.
  • Vanities – the availability of the vanity, standard or custom made, whether the top is standard, granite, Caesar stone, corion or marble, acrylic or fibreglass
  • Water proofing – during cold or humid weather the waterproofing can take longer to dry.
  • Shower screens – fully framed laminated screens can take between 3 – 5 days to be made and installed.  Semi frameless screen are generally 10 working days before they can be fitted.  This is due to the strengthening process that the glass under goes.
  • Availability of fittings – occasionally fittings such as soap dishes, shower shelves are on back order from the supplier.  They would contact you when ready for collection and then we come and install those remaining items.

Q. What does practical completion mean?

A. Practical completion means the bathroom is practically completed and is ready to be used.  There may be some small items to be finished like a towel rail on back order, however the bathroom is ready for you to use – the shower, toilet and vanity from day 10.

Q. What is a PC item?

A. Items that may vary in price are listed by the builder under “PC’s”.  PC stands for Price Cost.

This represents a realistic amount that the builder puts in his costings for a specific item like a vanity for instance.  This gives the client the freedom to select his own finish.  This “PC” amount becomes the clients budget for that item.  Any extra spent over and above the “PC” amount will be for the clients account.  Similarly, any savings on this amount will be passed on to the client.  Don’t fall into the trap of a builder quoting a low cost for building your bathroom and then allowing you unrealistically low “PC” amounts!  These “PC” items can be selected by the client from whomever he chooses but generally the builder will recommend a good supplier with known back-up service.

Q. What does the term sizy tiles mean?

A. When tiles are made and fired at the factory in the kiln and cool down they are ready to be packaged for shipment.  Cause tiles cool at different rates the tiles don’t always finish up all the same size.

They might be 1-3mm variation in the size of the tiles, hence the phrase we call “sizy tiles”.

Because these tiles may not be of uniform thickness and some tiles will be bowed or warped – other tiles will be different sizes.

No matter how good the tiler, poor quality tiles will show because you are now looking at the whole wall of tiles that may not sit all flat against the walls or form nice straight grout lines throughout the room.  Always ask about the quality and consistency of the tiles when you go out to the tile shops.  If a tile shop you go into has cheap prices on tiles you have to ask the question about quality.  It’s the old saying – you get what you pay for...

Q. When can the renovation begin?

A. 3-5 weeks is generally the turn around time to approve the drawings, sign contracts and order your products.  Once this is completed we can start building your new bathroom.  This also gives you a good amount of time to select your new fixtures and fittings for your new bathroom.

Q. Do you have a showroom where I can look at Tiles and bathroom, kitchen and laundry fixtures and fittings?

A. Yes we do.  Visit our showroom 2/67 Kremzow Rd, Brendale.  Ph 3889 7188.  We are a family owned business offering a full service from myself John Budd – licensed builder doing the design and construction.  My wife Lynda runs the showroom.  Give Lynda a call on 3889 7188 so she can set some quality time aside for you to cover all of your needs.  We are open 7 days a week.  Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm, Saturday 9am to 3pm and Sunday 10am to 2pm.  Also check out our gallery page with ideas and monthly specials in store.

Q. Will a hot water tempering valve be installed?

A. Yes – in accordance with council regulations, it is compulsory by law that any plumber that does work on your home makes sure there is a tempering valve installed.

Q. What is a tempering valve?

A. A tempering value mixes your hot and cold water to deliver hot tap water at a constant temperature.

Tempering valves have a temperature sensitive element which adjusts the mix depending on the temperature of the incoming water flowing through the valve.  The valve is designed to maintain a constant outlet temperature reducing the risk of accidental scalding.

Q. Are there different types of tempering valves?

A. Yes

  1. Blue – this is the most common and its used with electric water heaters that typically supply hot water between 65 degrees celsius and 75 degrees celsius.
  2. Green – this valve is designed for most types of gas hot water systems.  Including gas storage and tankless continuous flow models.
  3. Orange – this high performing valve is for use with Solar hot water and heat pump hot water systems, where the income hot water temperature can approach boiling point.
  4. Black – these are suitable for large capacity and low pressure gravity fed systems.

Q. Is it possible for anyone to scald themselves?

A. Scalding is one of the most serious, painful and long term injuries for your children.  Scalding can happen very quickly depending on the temperature of the water.

For example, at 60 degrees celsius a serious burn can happen in a second.  However at 50 degrees celsius a serious bur wouldn’t typically happen until after 5 minutes.  So you can see the benefit of controlling the temperature of the hot water.

Q. How do I pay for my Bathroom Renovation?

A. We normally don’t have progress payments.  The bathroom renovations generally take about 8-12 days from start to finish.  Your deposit on acceptance is 10% then we earn the other 90% through the construction.  The remainder is to be paid after our last day of works.

We accept cash, cheques, most credit cards and direct deposits for payments.

As you know I’m a licensed builder and carpenter by trade.  When we are doing larger and longer construction works we do the same 10% deposit and may have 2 or 3 progress payments along the course of construction.

Q. We only have 1 bathroom and toilet.  What do we do for the 10 days whilst the new bathroom is being built?  Do we have to move out for that period of time?

A. You have a few options.

         a. Could shower at work/family/friends/neighbours

         b. Hire a portaloo (toilet only) or

         c. Hire a mobile ensuite from Brisbane Bathroom Hire – 1300 367848.  This option has a vanity, toilet and shower all self contained with its own hot water system.

Q. What is domestic building work?

A. Domestic building work encompasses most work on or in connection with the construction of a home.  This includes any associated landscaping, paving and the erection or construction of any building or fixture with the home (such as retaining structures, driveways, fencing, garages, carports, workshops, swimming pools or spas) and the supply of lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water supply, sewerage or drainage to the home.

Q. What are Prime Cost Items and Provisional Sums?

A. Prime costs and provisional sums are slightly different concepts.  However, they both require the builder to use reasonable care and skill in his or her calculations.

Prime cost items (PCs) means an item (for example a fixture or fitting such as a basin or light fitting) that has not been selected, or whose price is not know at the time the contract is entered into and covers the cost of supply and delivery by the builder.

Provisional sums (S) means an estimate of the cost carrying out particular work (including the cost of supplying any materials needed for the work such as landscaping) under the contract for which the builder, after making reasonable enquiries, cannot give a definite amount at the time the contract is entered into.

For both provisional sums and prime cots items the builder should complete the information that is required in the PS and PC Schedules of the Appendix in the contract.  The builder needs to complete the information that includes a description of the item, estimate of the quantities required, estimate of the allowance per item and the builder’s percentage margin on excess.

It is important to note that the builder must supply all invoices, receipts and other documents to the owner as soon as practicable after receiving the invoice, receipt or documents.  Failure to comply may lead to substantial penalties to the builder.

Q. Are you insured for losses and damage?

A. Yes, the builder should have insurance and we definitely have to cover the project during building against theft and other damage.

Q. What can delay the building process and how do we avoid delays?

A. Delays are caused by the following:

Inclement weather
Nothing we can do about that!

Changes (variation orders) requested b the client or recommenced by the builder
In severe instances, this may cause the builder to have to reschedule the contract, so keep that to the minimum.  Having said that, we have not yet built a single house where there weren’t any changes!  We accept that and realise that it is all for the benefit of our client.

Selection of PC items
If we supply the client with a schedule as to when we require certain “PC” items.  Should this not be available at the time it will delay the building.  Suppliers of PC items may also delay the project.  Kitchen cupboard suppliers re notorious in this respect!

Shortage of building materials i.e. bricks, cement, roof timber, etc. 
This is not under our control, although we do forward planning and ordering.

Builders’ holidays
The annual builders’ holidays are always in December.  Plan for that.  Try and move in before the start of the holidays

Delays in progress payments
Buildings need capital to finance the contract.  Late payments may result in the building coming to a temporary halt.

Q. What happens if the owner denies the builder access to the site?

A. The builder has a contractual license to do all works necessary under the contract and the owner needs to provide the builder with free and uninterrupted access to the site.  If the owner denies the builder access, then there would be contractual implications and the builder would obtain urgent legal advice.

Q. I am happy with everything now how do we get started?

A. Simply call us to get started then we can/will run through the quote in detail for any clarifications and then look at setting a start date.  I will organize all the paperwork, contracts etc

Q. When do I need to purchase the items on the shopping list?

A. In the proposal we send out to you, we will have a detailed shopping list with all the measurements needed to purchase your tiles, vanities, bathtubs, toilets etc.

 You will need to have the items at your home before the scheduled start date.  So then we will have everything there ready to start works and this way you don’t have to worry about suppliers not delivering the items we may need from your shopping list on the first day etc... Having done this allows us to adhere to our time schedule for you.

Q. What is the difference between prime cost items and provisional sums?

A. Most building contracts include provision for prime cost items and provisional sums.  A prime cost item is an allowance in the contract for the supply of necessary items not yet finally selected, for example taps or door furniture.  A provisional sum is an allowance in the contract of the cost of foreseeable necessary work, including the supply ofmaterials not fully described or details at the time that the contract commenced, for example joinery items or a service connection.

Q. Most Common Causes of Defects

A.

  • Substrate preparation
  • Membrane Selection
  • Compatibility of materials
  • Membrane thickness
  • Extent of waterproofing
  • Detailing

Q. Waterproof or Water Resistant?

A. For the purposes of the standard the following materials are deemed to be waterproof:

  • Stainless steel
  • Copper, material not less that 99.9% copper, complying with the requirements for material designation 110 or 122 given in AS1566
  • Flexible waterproof sheet flooring material with waterproof joints of the sheeting Note:  There is no need for a water stop at the general room doorway when using this material. 
  • Membranes meeting the requirements of AS/NZS 4858

Q. Water Resistant

A. For the purposes of the standard the following materials are deemed to be water resistant:

  • Concrete in accordance with AS3600, treated to resist moisture movement
  • Cement render treated to resist moisture movement
  • Fibre cement sheeting manufactured in accordance with AS2908.2
  • Water resistant plasterboard manufactured in accordance with AS/NZS2588
  • Masonry in accordance with AS3700
  • Floors
  • Concrete in accordance with AS3600 and AS2870
  • Compressed fibre cement sheeting manufactured in accordance with AS2908.2.
  • Fibre cement sheeting manufactured in accordance with AS2908.2, and supported on structural floor
  • Flooring grade particleboard sheeting manufactured in accordance with AS/NZS1860.1, and installed in accordance with AS1860.2.
  • Structural plywood manufactured in accordance with AS/NZS2269, and installed in accordance with AS1684.2, AS1684.3 and AS1684.4.

Q. Tiling Over Timber Substrates

A. AS3958.1 states

When tiling is to be carried out over timber, plywood or structural particleboard floors, a primer and underlay or separating layer would normally by used.  Specialised products are, however, also available and should e used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Timber substrates tiled with organic adhesive

(e)  Installation

(i) Adhesive to be selected and applied in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations

(ii) Sheeting to be warranted by the floor sheeting manufacturer for direct bonding of tiles

Q. How Long Will The Job Take?

A. We guarantee you it will take no more than 2 weeks to complete from start to finish. When it comes time for us to provide you with a written quote we’ll give you a detailed schedule of works so you know exactly what we’re doing and what stage we’re up to.

Q. Do you provide a written contract?

A. Your piece of mind is assured because when you select Prominade to renovate your bathroom, we’ll provide you in writing with the specifics of exactly what we’ll do as part of the job, a fixed price and schedule of work.  We want to be certain that we understand exactly what you expect when we’re renovating your bathroom, so we only use the recommended B.S.A. contract.

Q. Are we covered by any guarantees or warranties?

A. You’re new maintenance free bathroom comes with a 7 Year written waterproofing certificate and guarantee.  You are also protected by a 7 year B.S.A home warranty insurance,  so you can rest easy knowing that the jobs been done right the first time.

Q. How will we know that the work has been done right

A. We’ve successfully completed over 500 bathrooms throughout Brisbane and have built a reputation of delivering jobs to the highest possible standard, on time and on budget.  You can be certain that the job will be done right for two main reasons;

Spend a minute to read through some of the countless stories of our delighted clients. You’re protected by a 7 year B.S.A Home Warranty Insurance and waterproofing certificate.

Q. Are You Licensed?

A. We spend the time to be up to date with all the latest products and training and hold all the relevant licenses with the B.S.A, including;

  • Licensed Carpenter
  • Licensed Plumber
  • Licensed Tiler
  • Licensed Waterproofer
  • Asbestos Removal License

Q. Will You (John) be here doing the work?

We’ve got a team of professionals, each with the specific skills needed to get the job done right.  However I’m still very much hands on, visiting your home to inspect every phase of the job to make sure it’s been done right and on time.  I’m always in the area and very easily contactable, so should you ever have any questions or concerns simply give me a call and I’ll be there to help.

Q. I don’t want any hidden costs or charges, how do I know this won’t happen?

It’s common knowledge that many builders will give you a cheap quote to win your business only to sting you with “extras” once they’ve started the job.  We always give you a total “all inclusive” price with no hidden charges in writing with a schedule of work before you decide upon us.

Q. How Much Will The Job Cost?

Every bathroom is as different as the home owner, therefore it’s impossible for us to give you an accurate estimate without first measuring the space available and secondly getting to know exactly what you’re looking for regarding the specifications.  When we visit your home, we’ll discuss the best options for you and when it comes to giving you a quote for the total job, we’ll break it down into individual components, so you know exactly where your money’s being spent.  We’ll also give you a “shopping list” and a list of our preferred bathroom suppliers, so you can select the tiles, vanities, fixtures and fittings that suit your budget and taste.

Q. What is Efflorescence?

A. SIGNS

‘Whitish powder or crusty deposit which appears on the surface of the joint or along the edge of the tile.  In porous tiles, efflorescence may appear on the surface of the tile’.

The appearance of this on coloured grouts is either in patches or as an overall lightening of colour.  Since the salt deposits are white, efflorescence is more noticeable in darker coloured grouts.  Efflorescence in grouts can become apparent either immediately after application – primarily efflorescence, or at a later time – secondary efflorescence.

It is important to note that not just grouts are affected. Products made from Portland cement e.g. masonry, brick and plasters are also prone to this phenomenon.

Whilst it is difficult to predict when efflorescence will take place, certain weather conditions i.e. cold/damp weather increase its likelihood.  Therefore, efflorescence is more common in winter months and in coastal areas.

A. WHAT CAUSES IT

‘Efflorescence is caused y a multiple of factors acting in combination and usually catalysed by climatic and environmental conditions.  Views vary as to which facts are the major culprits and it is impossible to determine the exact cause of a specific case with any certainty’.

Basically it is the migration of soluble salts from the grout or backing material to the surface.  When it comes in contact with the air, it reacts with carbon dioxide forming a white salt.

Most of these soluble salts come from the cement itself.  The source of efflorescence is ‘free’ lime (calcium hydroxide) which is ‘an inevitable by-product of the hydration of Portland cement’.

A. HOW TO FIX IT

Depending on the situation, the remedy will vary.  Therefore it is best to test a small area.

If attempted soon after the deposits have formed, efflorescence can be removed using a stiff bristled brush.  The dry brushed material should be swept off or vacuumed.

Note that whilst this removes some of the salts it may cause efflorescence to appear again.  Repeated over time, the salts will stop forming on the surface.

In some cases it may be necessary to clean with 15-20% solution of hydrochloric acid.  Car must be taken during clean up, as acids will also attack the underlying grout.  After cleaning, the acid would need to be neutralised with an alkaline solution e.g. household ammonia.

Being new tiling work as described above this whitish appearance should disappear within about 4 months of normal weekly cleaning practices