Remodeling your basement to create extra living space? Consider adding a bathroom using a mascerating toilet system that doesn't rout the flush water through a drain in the floor like a traditional gravity force toilet. Instead, the "above ground" system is designed to move it to a macerator pump that grinds the waste in the flush water, and the contents are released under pressure through piping that goes to the sewer or septic tank. The pump is usually located on the floor between the toilet and wall. If properly sized, it can handle all the fixtures in a bathroom. Since you don't have to tear out walls and floors, the installation is fast, and the system is operational in a short time.

Saniflo, a manufacturer of mascerating toilet systems, sells its products through a network of dealers and plumbing wholesalers, and at hardware stores. You can find a dealer at the company's website, http://www.saniflo.com. The site offers installation manuals in PDF format so you can download and read them before making the installation, a good way to get an idea of what's involved when installing a system. You'll also find an extensive bulletin board with postings and questions from do-it-yourselfers with responses from the technical department. And don't forget to check with your local building code to see about any requirements.

An installer will charge $1,500 for a simple system. You can buy all the components and do it yourself for $850 and save 43 percent.

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Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$1,500 -- $850 -- 10.0 -- 18.0 -- $650 -- 43 Percent