About two years ago, Peter Bukenya bought a three bedroom house in Seguku at Shs120m. However, he realised that the bathroom in the master bedroom did not meet his required standards and he wanted to change it.
“It appeared small in size and I wanted it to look more beautiful and a bit more spacious. I started estimating what it would cost to buy tiles, cement and other materials. I visited a hardware shop and made the choice of tiles I needed and bought the cement and sand and the remodelling started the following week,” Bukenya says.

Underestimating materials
To his shock, when the remodelling works started, the builder told him that the tiles he had bought were not enough. He was also told the sand he had bought of poor quality. Since he had already planned and put aside the money for the works, he did not have money left over.
Fred Musoke, a builder, says to be on the safe side, consult your builder or engineer to help you do the estimates. These will advise on what you need and what you do not need.
“There is a possibility of buying more than what you need or buying less of what you need. A builder or engineer can help guide you on quantity and quality of material to buy by just looking at the size of the bathroom to be remodelled,” Musoke explains.

Do not rush the process
Joseph Oryang, an engineer with Century Investors Limited, says the work is in most cases done under a specific time frame for delivery. In the process, the quality of results is sometimes compromised. “After plastering the bathroom wall, do not cast the tiles immediately. It is supposed to be given atleast seven days to dry for it to be able to hold the tiles strongly. If you rush and cast the tiles before the plaster dries, they will at some point fall off the wall,” Oryang explains.
For the wall to be stronger and hold the tiles for a much longer time, Oryang advises sprinkling water on the plaster every day for seven days until it is thoroughly dry and strong.

Carry out drainage checks
If you buy a house and at some point need to remodel the bathroom, Oryang advises doing background checks on things such as water pipes so that old and rusty ones are replaced.
“Do not just rely on the old pipes because when they rust, the water will affect the house. If the previous builders had used galvanised steel pipes, remove them and replace them with plastic ones,” Oryang says. Drainage checks, he says, also include house water distribution through pipes and positioning of appliances such as water heaters and sinks.

Bathrooms are water places
Like the kitchen sink, bathrooms are one of the places inside the house where water usage is constant. Most, if not all bathrooms are constructed in such a way that the water from the shower flows towards the drainage outlet. There is also water that sprinkles on the wall when bathing.

“During laying of tiles, ensure there is strong water proofing under the tile work on the floor and wall. It is important not to allow any water penetrate under the tiles,” Oryang cautions. He says most hardware shops sell chemicals that are used in water proofing beyond just using cement and sand.

Avoid buying materials online
A common characteristic with most online items, including building materials is that they offer great deals, which excites many potential buyers. The quickest thing they look at is the price.
Musoke reasons that while online items offer cheaper and better deals, do not rush to pay your money without having a physical look at the items.

“You need to inspect them to differentiate between genuine and duplicate ones. You may also need to compare the materials you see online with those at hardware shops. When you ascertain that they will do the work you need and are of good quality, then you can make a decision to buy them,” Musoke says.

rnasasira@ug.nationmedia.com