Full Bathroom Remodel - Do It Yourself or Call a Professional?

Full Bathroom Remodel - Do It Yourself or Call a Professional?

Bathroom Remodeling
Additions and Remodels
By Contractors.com Team June 21, 2021

Bathroom remodels are some of the most involved projects you can do in the home. Even if you’re just dealing with a small powder room, a complete bathroom remodel involves working with plumbing, electrics, and tiling. You might even need to get a permit for your bathroom project, especially if you’re planning to change your piping or wiring. It also involves moving around and installing big heavy fixtures and being sure that everything fits correctly. This is also a project where you need to keep an eye on your budget to ensure it doesn’t go beyond your limit. 

Because of how essential a bathroom is for everyday life, a bathroom renovation is one of the more time-sensitive projects as well. It's definitely not a project you want to take your time with, and it's better to know what you’re doing the first time around. Hiring a contractor ensures that your project will be completed on schedule and with less chance for mistakes. However, there are still plenty of reasons why you might want to and can take on a DIY bathroom remodel.

Money and Time

The single biggest reason for renovating your bathroom yourself is that it will be much cheaper than a professional bathroom remodel. 

For a master bathroom remodel, you could end up paying $25,000 or more if you hire a professional. That comes out to around $250 per square foot. By contrast, a DIY bathroom renovation could end up costing less than half of that even if you use the same professional-grade materials. For DIYers, the average cost for a full bathroom remodel tends to be between $6,000 and $12,000. In other words, if you do it yourself, you basically pay the same material costs for a bathroom remodel minus the labor fees.

The flipside of that coin however is time. In most cases, a contractor is going to be able to complete the work much faster than you can. And when you think about it, that really isn’t a surprise. Contractors have an entire team of professionals they can call upon to get stuff done. Unlike you, they don’t have to fit a home improvement project into a hectic schedule with many other tasks. Instead, a contractor can devote their full attention to your project. A full bathroom remodel that might take six months for you to complete will be done by your contractor in just two weeks. When it comes to remodeling a bathroom, time is money. 

Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional for Your Bathroom Remodel

Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional for Your Bathroom Remodel

 

This is important to bear in mind if you have a second bathroom in your house that you can use if your main toilet becomes unavailable. After all, none of us can go for days without access to a shower and toilet. So fixing up your restroom is definitely one of those projects where you want to avoid big delays. As a general rule, you should consider hiring a pro if you want to do a full bathroom remodel and only have one bathroom. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of easy bathroom upgrade projects that can be DIY.   

Flooring and Framing Your Bathroom

You’ll be happy to know that flooring installation is one of the easiest parts of a bathroom remodel. There’s no need to get the professionals involved in this one because anyone with basic DIY experience can install flooring with relative ease. Because bathrooms have relatively small floor spaces, this is a project that can be done over the course of a weekend. Vinyl planks are by far the easiest to install, requiring no special skills, but even ceramic and porcelain tiles aren’t that difficult to figure out. As you’ll soon discover, tile laying is a quick and easy craft to master.   

Tiling Your Bathroom Floors - You Can Probably Do It Yourself!

Tiling Your Bathroom Floors - You Can Probably Do It Yourself!

Framing is another totally manageable job in a bathroom renovation. This refers to the building of dividing walls, putting in moisture barriers, and the installation of frames for showers and bathtubs. The only skill you really need for framing is how to use a hammer. If you do choose to do your bathroom’s framing without professional help, just be sure to follow the instructions and specifications for your fixtures so that you get all the measurements right.  

Bathroom Walls 

Bathroom walls tend to be a bit more complex than walls in other parts of the house due to the waterproofing that is required, especially if you want to build a wetroom. Putting in new bathroom walls involves mudding, which means applying multiple layers of drywall. It can also involve putting in green board to increase waterproofing. This won’t be a problem for any experienced contractor, but it can be a bit challenging for a DIYer.

What to Expect When Doing Your Bathroom Remodel Walls Yourself

What to Expect When Doing Your Bathroom Remodel Walls Yourself

If you do choose to put in your own drywall, you can expect to have some small imperfections in your wall since it can be difficult to get the surface perfectly smooth. Assuming that these imperfections are small enough to be covered up or ignored, this is a good DIY project if you want to keep your remodeling budget low. But if small details are the type of thing that can bug you, you might want to leave this job to the professionals.

Fixture Installation

In most cases, sinks and faucets are quite easy to install yourself, assuming that you don’t plan to change the layout of your water pipes during your remodel. Usually, it’s just a matter of placing a prefabricated unit in a pre-measured slot, and that’s not something that requires a plumber. However, if your bathroom remodel calls for changing the layout of your piping, you’ll be better off hiring a licensed contractor. 

Fixture Installation Can Be Done Yourself IF It Doesn't Involve Rewiring or Re-piping

Fixture Installation Can Be Done Yourself IF It Doesn't Involve Rewiring or Re-piping

The same goes for installing a new toilet. You may want someone to give you a helping hand to move your hefty new commode into place, but otherwise, this is an easy DIY job. Showers and tubs are a bit more difficult. While it is entirely possible for you to install either one of these fixtures yourself, it is easier and more practical to hire a contractor. 

Putting in a shower or tub requires a great deal of precision so that everything fits as snugly as it should, and is sufficiently sealed and waterproofed. It can take a while for mistakes to show up so if you get something wrong you might not know until much later. A problem, such as water pooling where it shouldn’t, could end up costing more down the road than a contractor would have cost in the first place. For this reason, it's a good idea to let a contractor put in your shower or new tub.     

Painting Your Bathroom

Aside from convenience, there’s little reason to hire a pro to paint your bathroom. Painting is an affordable and quick way to refresh the look of your bathroom, so you’ll be happy to know that it’s also something you can easily do yourself. Even a custom bathroom with non-standard dimensions will be relatively simple to paint without the help of a contractor. It’s not as simple as painting in other parts of the house, but with a few extra steps it can be done by any enterprising handyman. 

What's Involved In a Full Bathroom Remodel and Whether You Need to Hire a Professional Or Not

What's Involved In a Full Bathroom Remodel and Whether You Need to Hire a Professional Or Not

Just be sure to get high-quality bathroom paint that has anti-mold and moisture-resistant agents, and brush up on some painting dos and don’ts. You will also have to make sure that you thoroughly clean your bathroom walls before painting since bathroom grime can really reduce the durability of your paint.  

Trim

The same rule for painting also applies to trim. Trim pieces are relatively easy to put in, as are mirrors, door handles, and towel bars. As such, this can easily be done without the help of a contractor. If you do it yourself, putting in trim will save you money and you’ll develop your DIY skills along the way.  

You Can Save on Bathroom Remodel Costs By Doing These Smaller Projects Yourself

You Can Save on Bathroom Remodel Costs By Doing These Smaller Projects Yourself

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team