Even experts in DIY-ing take a deep breath when tackling bathroom remodeling jobs. Other than perhaps a kitchen, no project is more involved in terms of the systems and skills involved. A bathroom is one of the essential spaces of your home and remodeling is all about plumbing, electrical, and tile work—all highly skilled trades. It’s dense, tight work, too, where every square foot counts. When you need bathroom remodeling Mobile AL, you would definitely get those people that have skills.
The obvious solution is to call in the professionals, whether this means hiring a general contractor to manage the project from start to finish, or hiring and managing your subcontractors for each stage of the process. The pros will do the job well and almost certainly faster than you can.
But there’s one real (and very important) reason why you wouldn’t hire professionals to handle your bathroom remodeling job: money.
Do It Yourself
DIYers often like to talk about the personal satisfaction that goes with doing the work yourself, but the reality is that saving money is the single biggest reason why people tackle home improvements themselves. Even a small bathroom can easily cost you $20,000 if it is completely overhauled by a general contractor. With $250 per square foot as a common average used to compute contractor costs, a large 150-square-foot bathroom can approach $40,000 when completed by a good contractor. The same bathroom fully remodeled yourself might cost $75 per square foot, or $11,000 total if you choose your fixtures carefully with an eye on the budget.
Balanced against the cost savings of doing the work yourself is the brutal reality that DIYers usually take a lot longer to do the work. You can save an incredible amount of time—weeks or months even—by hiring professionals. A busy homeowner squeezing remodeling work into a hectic schedule might take six months to painstakingly remodel a spare bathroom, while the same bathroom can be whipped into shape in a couple of weeks by a contractor and his team.
The basic carpentry work involved in building walls, boxing in shower or bathtub alcoves, and installing insulation and vapor barriers is not all that hard. Most DIYers are perfectly able to do this work, though it does require carefully following the specifications of your fixtures and cabinetry. Precision is important when it comes to the framing work.
Plumbing and Wiring
The mechanical systems in a bathroom are subject to all kinds of rules and regulations, and professional plumbers, electricians, and contractors deal with these issues every day and will know the particulars of local code requirements. Unless you are an experienced home plumber and electrician, it is a good idea to leave the plumbing and wiring to professionals.
Installing bathroom flooring is relatively simple for the DIYer, and quite easy for certain types of flooring. You gain nothing by having pros take on those easy-install coverings like luxury vinyl planks, for example, which can be done in an evening by a DIYer who has carefully studied the techniques. Hiring a pro to install luxury vinyl is almost unthinkable—the material is that easy to install.
Ceramic and porcelain tile is very often left to professionals, but considering the limited floor space in a bathroom, there is no reason you can’t do this yourself, too. It does not take long to learn the basics of tile installation, and you can easily lay a moderate-sized bathroom floor on a weekend.
If they’re worth their weight, professional drywallers will nearly always produce flawless bathroom walls. Even the best homeowner ends up with anomalies that must be conveniently ignored or covered up.
Installing moisture-resistant green boards in bathrooms isn’t all that different from hanging conventional drywall in other areas of the home. Mudding and sanding to a smooth finish are what separates the homeowner from the drywall contractor who does this every day. If you can accept flaws, you can save a small amount of money hanging and finishing your own.
Cabinets and Countertops
The main advantage of having professionals install cabinets and countertops is the simple convenience. A professional crew of two or three workers can navigate the cabinets into place and mount them quicker and easier than you can do it. But bathrooms don’t have a lot of cabinetry, and the countertops are typically short. For the smaller spaces of bathrooms, you’ll most likely be buying a bathroom vanity unit in a prescribed width that you can easily handle by yourself. Many come paired with vanity unit tops, making countertop installation a snap.
Sink and Faucet Installation
As long as supply pipes already run to your sink location and a drain pipe runs out, bathroom sink installation is easy. There is no need to have a plumber install your sink. However, if the installation requires moving plumbing lines, then bring in a plumber. If your project has included major rough-in work done by a plumber, a return visit to do the final hookups may be part of his bid service.
To sum it up, unless your bathroom is unusually large, you can DIY most of the smaller tasks within this overall project. For core-level bath remodels, many DIYers still hire out electricians and plumbers but do the rest of the work themselves. For surface-level remodels that require no major wiring and plumbing changes, the entire project is within the reach of a DIYer. But do remember that professional contractors may do the job better and faster than you can. Weigh cost savings against these advantages when making your decision.