7 do’s and don’ts of DIY bathroom remodeling
If you’re a do-it-yourself connoisseur, you may have already tackled large-scale projects like a bedroom or living room upgrade. However, when it comes to home remodeling, kitchens and bathrooms are a whole new ballgame. Bathrooms may seem like a fairly simple DIY project to take on – next to your closets, they’re likely the smallest rooms in your house, after all. What could go wrong? Remodeling bathrooms is an extremely intricate process that requires a lot of know-how, though, so don’t mistake size for simplicity. In fact, bathroom renovations often take an entire team of contractors and subcontractors, all of whom play an important role in the room’s overall design and functionality.
All of that said, there are certain projects and tasks within a bathroom remodel that handy homeowners can take on themselves. Plus, doing some projects yourself may help you save a little money (and we all know expensive these overhauls can be). So, if you love to DIY, take a look at these seven do’s and don’ts of do-it-yourself bathroom remodeling:
“Be honest about what you’ll realistically be able to do yourself.”
1. Do be honest about your skills
Fixing a clogged sink and restoring antique furniture are two amazing DIY skills to have, but they don’t necessarily mean you’re qualified for most of the handiwork required to renovate a bathroom. So, while you’re planning exactly what upgrades you’ll be making to your space, be honest about what you’ll realistically be able to do yourself and what you’ll likely need an expert to help with. If you’re not sure how exactly to install a new white vessel sink, maybe leave that part of the project to someone with a bit more experience.
2. Don’t cut labor because of your budget
Sure, taking on some projects can help you get the renovation in under budget. However, that’s not a good enough reason to take on projects beyond your skill level. Consider this: If you install something in the wrong way or mess up your plumbing, not only will you have to pay for someone to professionally do the job, but you’ll also have to shell out for repairs. To that end, you may want an experienced contractor or subcontractor to have a hand in anything that involves your most expensive fixtures, such as a new clawfoot tub or walk-in shower floor. You absolutely don’t want those items broken during the remodel.
3. Do tackle the beginning and end projects
There’s a general rule of thumb: If you’re handy with DIY projects, look to the beginning and end of a bathroom remodel for the tasks you’ll be able to handle by yourself. The beginning of a remodel, for instance, involves a lot of demolition and the uninstalling of your current fixtures and features. At the end of a bathroom renovation, tasks like painting the walls, installing trim and adding other small details (such as your toilet paper holder and towel bars) can easily be done without professional help.
4. Don’t try to DIY plumbing or electric work
Another hard-and-fast rule of bathroom remodeling is that an inexperienced person should never try to handle plumbing or electrical wiring changes by themselves. Trying to make these changes yourself puts both you and your budget at serious risk. Plumbers and electricians know how to do the job safely and effectively, which means paying for that extra labor is absolutely worth it.
5. Do install bathroom faucets and shower heads
There are two plumbing-related jobs that are relatively easy and low-risk, and those are installing the bathroom faucets and shower head. As long as there is a shower arm already installed, replacing the shower head is a pretty simple matter of unscrewing the old one and attaching the new one. You may need to wrap the threads on the shower arm in Teflon tape to avoid any leaks, but otherwise the process is as straightforward as that. Keep in mind that some bathroom sink faucets are easier to install than others. Sink-mounted faucets might be less complicated to install than wall-mounted ones, for instance.
A new shower head is one fixture you can easily install yourself.
6. Don’t forget about inspections and codes
If you do decide to DIY a lot of your bathroom remodel using a few subcontractors but no contractor, keep in mind that you may have to set up inspections to ensure your new space is up to code. This is especially true if you’ve moved any plumbing or electrical wiring around. Contractors usually take care of this, so if you don’t hire one, make sure to handle it on your own.
7. Do get creative with decorations
There’s one aspect of a bathroom remodel anyone can DIY, and that’s the decor. If you’re a particularly creative person, add your own personal touches to your new space by using homemade art and other unique decorations. Then, add some cool brass bathroom accessories or other stylish details to create a space you really love.