DIY Bathroom Remodel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
DIY bathroom renovations are not for the faint of heart. “Almost everything in the bathroom has a mechanical rough-in to it, and there are plumbing, space and ventilation issues to consider. Whether you use a professional or are making relatively straightforward DIY tweaks, like replacing a toilet or changing out a vanity for one that’s the same size, it’s good to know what lies ahead.
“Most people don’t budget enough money for their project. “The bathroom is second only to the kitchen in costs for renovation.” And it’s not just the drool-worthy products and finishes that add dollars. Be prepared for unforeseen work. “Water can infiltrate behind walls in a shower and tub area for years, causing damage not seen from the finished sides of the walls.
Make a plan
The bathroom has to be functional, so upfront planning is crucial. Here are some things to consider.
Accessibility and safety
Consider vanity and toilet heights and the space around a toilet. While higher fixtures are important for users in wheelchairs, they can make the bathroom more comfortable for many adults. Choose slip-resistant flooring—something textured for traction. A zero-threshold shower will help to avoid tripping. If there are to be handholds or grab bars, you may need blocking in the walls. (Although there are new products that have special anchoring systems so no blocking is necessary.)
The double sink you covet might not fit. “In a traditional vanity configuration, you don’t want to go under 5 feet. There are some integrated double sinks, but they “tend to be contemporary in design” and may not fit your décor.
White grout will show traffic patterns. Stapperfenne suggests a pewter or medium grey grout. While a marble counter is de rigueur, it also is soft and requires sealing to prevent it from staining.
Bathroom Remodel Mistakes (and How You Can Do Better)
Think you’re ready to dive headfirst into that beautiful bathroom remodel? Not so fast… We’ve seen the pictures and horror stories: half-finished bathrooms with no running water, year-old materials already falling apart and worse. Take heed of these pitfalls to make sure your new-look bathroom is finished on time, in style and without the migraines.
Putting carpet anywhere: ANYWHERE. Say no to bathroom carpet. Moisture is going to take its toll on practically any surface, but properly installed natural stone will hold up as well as anything. Even mid-range linoleum will struggle with prolonged puddled water, which is just a reality in a family bathroom. Carpet, though, is a disaster waiting to happen. If you absolutely must have a plush surface to stand on in your bathroom, we recommend a memory foam mat – extra luxurious, easy to replace.
Covering up previous renovations: It’s tempting to merely cover up a previous homeowner’s shoddy DIY job – but not only could this lead to other issues to fix down the line, it could also be dangerous. Trusting another worker’s questionable electrical work, especially around moisture, is asking for trouble. Starting from scratch with your bathroom remodel gives you more peace of mind you’re doing the job right, and can also give you more opportunities to change up the layout for the better. The same goes for plumbing: it may seem straightforward, but one component not completely sealed-off can wreak havoc in your newly spruced-up bathroom. Take care that your plumbing and electrical, in plain sight and behind the scenes, has been properly installed for your new layout and fixtures.
Leaving the layout as–is: If you’re taking the time and money to give your bathroom a new look, you might as well get the layout right! Bathroom designs from homes of all eras have gotten the layout completely wrong, so you may want to have a professional at least suggest some alternatives. Or, try plotting out your current bathroom using a free floor-plan app to toy with new layouts yourself.
How Far Do You Want to Go?
The first question to consider is more or less the big picture; that is, what size of project do you have in mind? Bathroom remodels can be grouped into three basic levels. Once you’ve settled on a general strategy, consider the timetable for the bathroom remodeling project and decide if this is something you think you want to go through.
- Surface alterations. At the easy end of the scale, you may like the general layout and size of the bathroom, and the surfaces (walls, ceiling, floor) are sound. The mantra of the surface-level bathroom remodeler is “cover, not replace.” There is no shame at all in wanting to do a surface-level bathroom remodel.
- Gut and replace. With this level of remodeling, you keep the same layout and fixture locations of your old bathroom, but you pretty much gut the space down to the bare walls and floor and install all new plumbing fixtures, vanity, flooring, and lighting. You might also update the wiring somewhat, but nothing major.
- Change the layout. This level can be quite a bit more involved than a makeover or even a fixture replacement because it includes moving fixtures, like the tub/shower, the toilet, or the sink. Layout changes also usually include wiring alterations and full fixture replacement.
- Change the room. Altering the bathroom footprint goes beyond gutting the space or even moving fixtures around. The largest-scale remodels include structural changes, such as moving or removing walls, bumping out an exterior wall, or altering the ceiling or roof. Usually, the goal is to make the bathroom bigger or to convert a common bathroom into a master bath.
Avoid Diy Disasters During Bathroom Renovation
Thinking about renovating the bathroom yourself? It doesn’t take much for a seemingly quick plumbing fix or bathroom reno project to become a full-fledged, property-damaging, sometimes disgusting, whole-house disaster! Yes, sometimes doing it yourself can save money on plumbing repairs and bathroom renovations.
Here are some tips for your bathroom renovation:
Turn off the water!
If you’re installing or repairing any fixture in the bathroom you should turn off your main water line or at least the shut-off valves to that part of the house. If something goes wrong this will prevent a flood and you’d be surprised at how many homeowners don’t even know where their shut off valves are located in the house. While they’re frantically searching for them, the water level rises in the bathroom and a river runs down the hall. Learn how to turn off your water supply.
Learn where your pipes are.
Before tackling any bathroom renovation project, you should at least have a basic knowledge of your home’s plumbing system. It is a complex system of pipes, drains and appliances. Figure out which walls have pipes in them and where they are coming from and leading to. Learning the basic concepts of a household plumbing system will come in handy if something goes wrong. Hiring Hilcraft Contracting will ensure that all of the plumbing and building work is done correctly and efficiently.
Be prepared with the right materials and tools.
This is a good reason to call a plumber or general contractor. They are equipped with the expert knowledge and all the tools required for a bathroom remodel and plumbing jobs. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a job and having to stop to run to the hardware store to buy a new tool or replace a fixture that wouldn’t fit. If you’re going to do-it-yourself, your success increases immensely if you’re prepared with a complete toolkit and knowledge of materials. This is another benefit of hiring a reputable general contractor. They will come equipped with the right tools and equipment and know how to use it.
Hire a professional bathroom renovation company
There are some simple bathroom renovation projects that you could easily tackle yourself, though DIY plumbing mistakes are common can result in damage and costly repairs. Save yourself the mess, stress and unforeseen expense by bringing in the pros.
How to keep your bathroom renovation under $10,000
How to keep your bathroom renovation under $10,000
With the average bathroom renovation ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the space and choices in fixtures and finishes, costs can blow out of control. We spoke to an expert to learn how to keep a bathroom renovation under $10,000 without compromising on a quality result.
Keeping to a renovation budget is all about planning. Itemising tasks to be carried out and listing every component and purchase necessary for the build may seem like overkill, but it’s the key to keeping a lid on spending. Fixtures, tiling, plumbing and electricals all should all be allowed for in your planning.
Before the bathroom renovation takes place, make a plan and set a budget. With a renovation budget to stick to, variations that arise along the way can always be compared against a projected cost. Then, weigh your options to balance an efficient use of available time and money.
“For a full bathroom renovation, a rough guide would be to spend 40% your budget on fixtures, 35% on tiling, 20% on plumbing and the last 5% on electricals