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8 most common questions for installers when putting in a bathroom suite (and what you can do to avoid them)

You've been inspired by some wonderful design ideas, and perhaps you're already putting together a picture of how you would like your new bathroom to look. Now comes the exciting part: transforming those ideas into reality. For this, it's important to have the right help on board.

Of course, it goes without saying, you want each new item to fit and work perfectly. A savvy installer should be able to help you in other ways too, not least, in pointing you towards the right fittings for your particular space. Like any home improvement project, you want it to run smoothly, and you want the end results to reflect your vision.

Asking the right questions can help ensure you get the right tradesman for the job. So here are 8 questions that can be especially useful - along with the type of answers that should set your mind at rest.

Take a typical bathroom renovation project: a new toilet, wash station, and bath with replacement taps - and perhaps a power shower - along with refreshed walls and flooring. It all adds up to quite a long list of skillsets, including plumbing, electrics, joinery, tiling, and plastering.

Plumbers should be accredited under the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme. To be able to safely disconnect, isolate, commission, and test a circuit (which is often what's involved in fitting an electric shower), registration under the government's NIC EIC safety scheme is a must.

A good installer will take care of all of this. If agreed up front, your installer will act as project manager, calling on a small team of tradesmen, each with the right qualifications to handle specific jobs as required. If not, they will recommend other tradesmen for your renovation.

The work itself should be guaranteed, so in the unlikely event that there's a snag in the installation process, you have the reassurance that it's going to be corrected. Equally, check the guarantee on the items being installed. As an example, all baths, basins, and WCs in the iflo range come with a 25-year guarantee. Installers themselves should be aware of all the necessary product information like guarantees, so they can reassure the consumer that the process will always be 100% completed. If a problem were to ever arise, the it's always advisable to talk to your installer first.  

It can also be reassuring to see a portfolio of completed jobs from the installer you are considering hiring. You can easily back this up by checking out verifiable testimonials (independent review websites, such as www.mybuilder.com can be especially useful for this).

Brochures and catalogues can be great for whetting your appetite and narrowing down your choice of fixtures. But at the same time, your installer should make it easy for you to see the items 'in the flesh' before buying. Therefore, it's advisable to pop down to your nearest showroom and take a closer look at a full range of items before you commit. Additionally, you have the benefit of a showroom manager; who will be able to walk you through all the products you're interested in.

Communication can go a long way to ensuring hassle is kept to a minimum. As an example, if power and/or water has to be turned off for part of the installation process, could this be timed for when you and your family are at work and school? Would it be possible to reinstate a toilet at the end of each working day - and to get a bath in place as soon as possible?

Your installer should work with you to come up with a plan of action that best suits you and your family. Behind the scenes, he'll coordinate his tradesmen and suppliers to ensure everyone (and everything) is on-site when needed. If you choose to supply your own products, you would need to make sure that the installer is comfortable with this, and to advise which items they might need first.

You might think you're working with an awkward space, but the chances are that once a seasoned bathroom fitter has had a look at it, you'll be pleasantly surprised at what's achievable within it.

An installer will assess the layout, including the existing electrical and plumbing set-up, before setting out your options. On specific suite items and units, it certainly helps if his supplier carries a healthy range of items that are specifically designed to work perfectly in smaller spaces. Talk with them as well, and discuss together what you think is achievable.

Iflo also offer a free design service that virtually enables you to bring your desired bathroom to life on the screen in the showroom. You can play around with it, customise the design, and see what works for you.

It need not be. Low pressure is a common feature in many bathrooms, and is especially likely if your cold water storage tank is situated in close proximity to your bathroom. You can work around this by selecting taps, mixers, and showers that are specifically designed to work in low pressure environments. Alternatively, you could install a water pump to increase the pressure. Your bathroom installer should be able to advise you on what will work best for your bathroom.  

Everything's in place and it's exactly as you imagined. But you want to keep it that way; from gleaming taps through to streak-free cubicle panes. Your installer should be able to work with you to put in place fixtures that help to maintain that 'new bathroom sheen'. For example, have a chat about whether or not to include anti-limescale glass, wipe-clean shower heads, and premium chrome-finished tap fixtures. Your installer will be able to give you all the advice you need about proper bathroom maintenance.  

Discussing these topics and setting out what you want to achieve should mean you're well on the way to a hassle-free bathroom renovation experience. So, what next? Visit your local Bathroom Showroom or Travis Perkins branch for a closer look at iflo's range.