Hire or DIY? What to Consider When Planning a Bathroom Remodel

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You want to upgrade your bathroom. Surely you can manage this solo with a little elbow grease, right? Not always. While there are some tasks a homeowner can take on, hiring a remodeling professional makes more sense for full remodels or jobs, like plumbing or electrical work, best left to the pros.

Do-it-yourself remodeling is tempting when you know that labor costs can account for 60 percent or more of the bill for a bathroom remodel. Homeowners need to ask themselves if savings in labor are worth the time they will need to devote to remodeling a bathroom and the potential disruption that a DIY remodel could create. Think about these scenarios:

  • Your house has just one bathroom. You need that bathroom back in use as quickly as possible. Can you change out a bathtub in a day? Install new vanity and sinks and get everything hooked up to work by the evening “rush hour,” when everyone needs the bathroom? Or will DIY mean a bathroom in disarray for weeks or longer?
  • Your time is limited. Even practiced DIY homeowners can’t create more hours in the day. A remodeling professional is likely to finish much faster than you will if you can only do the job piecemeal on weekends.
  • You want a full remodel. A professional remodeler costs more than DIY. But if you do the work yourself, ask if you’re ready to learn skills like punching through drywall to get to plumbing, learning how to lay tile, or attempting electrical work.

When Does DIY Make Sense? 

Using a bathroom remodel professional to get a remodeling job all done at once makes sense. If you’re looking to make smaller changes, consider doing them yourself.

What changes are appropriate for DIY? Surface-level cosmetic changes are great DIY projects.  Painting walls is classic DIY. Replacing light fixtures, showerheads, and items like small shelves—all doable. Depending on your time, skill level, and experience, replacing other items like light fixtures, faucets or toilets may be DIY, but there are risks to installing incorrectly.

Why Do I Need a Bathroom Remodeling Professional?

So what’s left for a bathroom remodeler to do? Plenty. Despite their small size, bathrooms can present big challenges if you need to do more than make surface changes. Take a look at why certain tasks are more appropriate for a pro.

Electrical work

Does the job require more than installing a new light fixture or perhaps changing an outlet? Then unless you have experience with electrical work, leave it to a bathroom remodeling professional. Safety is the top priority–both your safety as you do the work and the ongoing safety of your family and home for years to come. With bathrooms, there’s added risk involved with electrical systems running close to plumbing and water.

While many states and counties allow owner-occupants to perform electrical work on their own homes, in some places, DIY electrical work violates local codes. You’ll need to check your area’s regulations before you begin. Using a bathroom remodeler for electrical systems is an easier way to ensure your bathroom’s electrical systems are safe, up to code, and done with correct permits.

Plumbing

Use a professional if you’re moving, replacing, or installing plumbing. Plumbing (like electrical work) has to meet local codes and requires permits, which are a daily part of a bathroom remodeler’s job but which only add to an overstretched DIYer’s “to do” list.

Even large bathrooms tend to have pipes tucked into tight spaces behind walls and beneath fixtures. Pro is used to navigating those spaces with minimal damage to walls and floors. And if you’re planning a change to your bathroom, a remodeler can replumb more quickly than most DIY homeowners. Want an elegant, freestanding bathtub? It likely requires new plumbing emerging from the floor. Replacing that old bathtub-shower combo with a new, tiled shower stall? You’ll need someone with experience not only in plumbing but also in tiling and flooring.

Waterproofing

Mistakes in waterproofing sow the seeds of costly problems later. Shower and tub installation requires waterproofing–for the shower stall “pan,” behind tile shower walls, and around the tub. Inadequate waterproofing creates leaks that could rot floors and beams unseen until the hidden problem requires a major structural fix. A remodeling professional can ensure your bathroom isn’t going to cause water issues later.

Making Specialized Changes

Want to install recessed shelves between wall studs? A heated floor? A soaking tub made of extra heavy material? An exhaust fan where there isn’t one already in place? These types of changes can be DIY tasks. But a bath remodels professional will know how to account for the weight of that tub, lay a heated floor expertly, and cut through the roof to vent that new exhaust fan.

With Bath Tune-Up, you can leave all the dirty work to us. Our team will make your bath remodel easy and eliminate any need to try and go it alone in the renovation process. Don’t shy away from DIY tasks you have time to conquer. But don’t avoid hiring a remodeler because you think the cost will outweigh the benefits of using a pro. Those benefits include less stress, more time for yourself, and the satisfaction of seeing your newly remodeled bathroom ready to use.

To learn more about bathroom remodelers near you, contact Bath Tune-Up today.

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