Is it OK to throw stuff out?

When does it make sense to do a major overhaul of a room?

Picture showing new corner shower, toilet, vanity

Peaceful atmosphere

Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to keep the existing fixtures in a room, often a bathroom or kitchen, due to a number of reasons.

1) You are trying to remedy a Bad Reno done previously. Quite often there may be a dangerous situation involving electricity or fire hazards that absolutely must be addressed.

2) The room looks so dated that the homeowner doesn’t even want to spend any time using it and just feels uncomfortable there.

3) The tile in a bathroom (actually the mastic behind the tile) is failing and the tiles are starting to fall off the wall or are loose on the floor creating potential flooding problems.

4) The fixtures (toilet especially) are either not water efficient or just uncomfortable. How many tiny showers have been installed that just don’t work because you have to open the door in order to wash your back or legs??

Picture showing tiny corner shower

Tiny corner shower before

Picture showing "bad-reno" cabinet

“Bad Reno” cabinetry

Picture of new corner shower

Larger, replacement shower.
Room to move!

The layout doesn’t work – this is especially true in kitchens. For instance, due to poor initial design, many builder kitchens have doors that open into one another or the appliance doors, when open, block the cabinets. How are you expected to work efficiently like that?


So, sometimes, despite the amount of garbage that is going to end up in the landfill, you just have to bite the bullet and do a tear-out and re-install.

If the budget allows for it, it’s really nice, though, to be able to recycle some of the fixtures which are still in good working order. Many cities have a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store which will accept used fixtures, and many municipalities also have a waste diversion sales outlet such as the Re-Use centre in Burlington. Quite often the contractor will charge more for this service since great care must be taken not to damage the items, plus the time and trouble to actually get it to the recycler.

In this particular case, the bathroom had been very poorly renovated about 20 years ago, and needed a complete overhaul. A ceiling mounted ventilation fan was a must to be installed and the potlights that had been installed 20 years ago were a huge fire hazard, as they were the un-insulated types but they were installed in a second floor ceiling right into the insulation – a big No No! There were also loose live wires beneath the existing whirlpool tub accessible through an unfinished hole in the drywall. Potential disaster!

The client wanted a calm, peaceful atmosphere to get ready for a hectic day. I think the end result turned out very nice.

Picture of new tub in the corner

After – New tub and toilet


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