What Tasks to Avoid Doing Yourself in a Bathroom Renovation

Bedrooms: Bathrooms: House Size:
Acerage: Year built:
Bathroom, Bath, Wc, Toilet, Sink, Mirror, Apartment

While bathrooms tend to be some of the smallest rooms in a house, they’re also the most used. From showers to sinks, toilets to baths, a bathroom needs to be functional and convenient. Renovations to your bathroom will only enhance your lifestyle and make your home more enjoyable. But with the abundance of renovation choices out there, how do you know what to do?

Bathroom renovations are known to be one of the most stressful home projects that a homeowner can undertake. The reason is that bathroom renovations are not just design issues, but issues of function and plumbing. As soon as you begin to repair your bathroom, you will be faced with a multitude of decisions that affect your bathroom’s design, layout, and functionality. 

The beautiful bathroom that you envision may never become a reality if you don’t make the right decisions at each step of the process. There are some tasks your bathroom renovation may need that we feel are best left to professionals. An improperly installed faucet may be leaky and run up your water bill, and improperly waterproofed shower pan may cause huge amounts of water or mold damage unnoticed to you until it is quite severe. Improperly wired electrical fixtures, or in floor heating, in a wet and humid environment may pose as a fire hazard.

Start by taking a good look at the bathroom itself. Make a list of all the things you’d like to improve and prioritize them, keeping in mind whether you plan to work around the existing design and layout, or update and expand them. Once you’ve made your list of the things you’d like to change during your renovation, take a look through our list and know what you can tackle yourself, and what’s best left to a professional.

1. The layout is wrong

Bathrooms typically tend to be a smaller room in the home, and while having a small room can be very very efficient and utilitarian, they lack a relaxing oasis feel that many nowadays are looking for in their bathrooms. It’s often the room of the home a person starts and ends their day in, and a cramped room the size of a closet, is not very relaxing or luxurious. Plus smaller rooms simply may not have the size needed to hold the shower or bath fixtures you’d like to include.

If your bathroom renovation plans include the desire to expand or reshape the room, or possibly relocate the bathroom entirely to a new area of the home, we recommend calling in a professional remodeling company.

Unless you are familiar with the location of load bearing walls in your home, we often don’t recommend changing any structure of your home on your own.

 2. The plumbing needs to be updated

If your dream bathroom renovation includes moving sinks, toilets, tubs or showers around the room, or possibly adding new and additional features, like a second sink, a walk in shower to compliment an existing tub, or maybe even a steam shower/sauna, it’s best to call in a plumber.

Rerouting water lines can be tricky should they run between floor joists, and properly plumbing in drains and vents even more so. Hiring a professional to help you move these around to a new location can save you a major headache, and possibly some unforeseen issues should you attempt it yourself. An improperly plumbed or vented tub or basin drain will be slow to drain water and possibly allow sewer gas to make its way back up the pipes.

Also keep in mind, depending on where you find yourself in North America, it may be required by local building code that any work that alters vents, drains and water lines, be performed by a journeyman plumber.
One upside to hiring a professional, is that should anything go wrong, it is their insurance that will cover the damages and repair, whereas any possible water damage caused by DIY renovations, may not be covered by your homeowners insurance.

3. You want to add a new walk in shower

Unless you’re looking to install a preassembled, or a fiberglass walk in shower, we recommend bringing in a tile installer to properly set and waterproof the shower walls and shower pan. Unless you are familiar with installing a waterproofing membrane to go against the walls prior to tile installation, we recommend leaving this vital step to someone with experience, as even a minor imperfection or unsealed seam, can lead to water damage that may not be discovered for months, or even years, leading to mold growth, health problems, and aesthetic and structural damage.

It’s also important to ensure that all tiles on the floor of the shower are angled properly to allow efficient drainage and avoid water pooling. Even if a shower has been thoroughly sealed and waterproofed, pooled water in the corners and on the floor, is notoriously good at finding a way through and causing damage.

While not directly related to shower tiling, professional tile installers are usually also skilled at installing underfloor heating cable. This is a task that can be tricky for first time DIYers because it doesn’t always leave you with a flat and level surface to work with when installing your new tile flooring on top of the infloor heat.

Tasks you can often tackle yourself during a home DIY are things like repainting walls, installing a backsplash above the vanity, installing new faucets or showerheads, and installing towel bars and other accents. And for those with a bit more experience, or those confident in their abilities tasks such as setting a new toilet, installing new cabinets or vanities in the bathroom, installing a new tile floor, or installing new lighting fixtures are usually all easily in the realm of DIY possibility.

We hope that this article has given you a few insights on when during your bathroom renovation it is best to rely on the help of a professional bathroom renovation company, or individual trades, and avoid doing yourself.

Our recommendations are anything that changes the structural layout of the room, requires new plumbing or water lines to be run, or involves waterproofing an area like a walk in shower. During those times, it’s best to call a professional.

If you’re looking for more insight on bathroom renovations, or ideas for your own project, check out www.rebornrenovations.com/bathroom-renovations