Remodeling the bathroom can have one of the biggest returns on investment when it comes to other home projects. In fact, many sellers will upgrade their bathroom for this purpose. Studies have shown that homes with an updated bathroom sell quicker and for more money.
A bathroom remodel can cost quite a bit of money when you start to add in everything and once you have all the professionals hired and ready to go. Some of the highest costs during a bathroom remodel include replacing the plumbing and new fixtures.
One of the things you may be tossing around right now is whether you should hire a professional for your bathroom remodel or should you do it yourself. Below, we will discuss some of the different things to consider and more.
Is It Hard to Remodel My Own Bathroom?
Two big questions you want to ask yourself before you decide to remodel your own bathroom is:
- Can you manage to remodel it yourself?
- Can you make the end product look professional?
If you cannot do both of these things, then you may want to rethink the DIY project. You have likely been into a bathroom before where the toilet is off center, or the tiles are laid crooked. Not only does it look bad, but it also draws your eyes in, so you notice it immediately. If you have ever made a mistake on something, you already know that your eyes are naturally glued right to the mistake. Even if the mistake is not noticeable to anyone else, it is a glaring mistake to you and that is all you can focus on.
Remember, your time is valuable too. Will you have enough time to do the remodel? You will need to commit your free hours to get the job done. For example, if you work a 40-hour work week, you will need to commit your days off to getting the remodel done. And when we say commit hours on your days off, we don’t mean one or two. You need to commit a substantial amount of time to get the project done.
A professional bathroom remodel can take anywhere from four to five weeks to complete, which is about a month to a month and a half. If you do the project yourself, it could take double that time or longer. You will need to evaluate whether you can live without a bathroom for this long and live with your home is disarray during the remodel. Of course, you can rent out a storage unit during this time to assist you too.
Professional Bathroom Remodel
A full bathroom remodel is generally recommended to be completed by professionals. If money is a concern when it comes to the bathroom remodel, you can conduct some smaller renovations such as replacing the vanity, mirror, sink, painting, and so on. You want to definitely leave the plumbing and flooring work to the professionals unless you are experienced in these areas.
The key to any bathroom remodel is that you want to make sure that it looks professionally done. A bad job will look like a bad job and can hurt you more than it can help. Buyers are looking for updated bathrooms and these are high value rooms that you want to make sure are done correctly.
Who Will Remodel My Bathroom?
If you hire professionals for the job, it will likely be general contractors that you work with in addition to designers, plumbers, and electricians. Typically, you will have a single point of contact such as the contractor and he will plan out the job and then arrange for subcontractors to come out and complete their portions of the overall job.
Is It Beneficial to Have a Professional Bathroom Remodel?
Working with a professional will help you in that you will have access to everything you need. For example, contractors work with others in the industry to provide the services you need. Therefore, if you work with a contractor and you need an electrician, the contractor will have one they work with to assist you. Contractors also have experience in sourcing the products you need and often work with retailers to provide you with a lower cost price than if you purchased it at traditional retail.
How to Remodel Your Bathroom on a Budget
It is possible to save money on your bathroom remodel whether you do it yourself or you hire a professional to do it for you. Below, we will talk about some of the areas you can cut costs. The amount you save will depend on several factors such as timing, product used, and more.
Buy Your Fixtures
Fixtures can get costly quickly when it comes to a bathroom remodel. If you are remodeling the bathroom on your own, you can purchase your own fixtures or even purchased used options from the local salvage store and so on. This will help you save money over purchasing them through the contractor, as this can cost more as the contractor may put a markup on the product for offering the service. Experts typically markup the product by 10 percent over retail.
If you prefer to purchase your own fixtures, you can discuss this with your contractor and ask them if you can provide the fixtures. Some contractors will allow you to do this, and others may not. It is important to discuss this with them beforehand as not having the fixtures available when they need them can slow down the project.
Maintain the Same Layout
You can save quite a bit of money by keeping your bathroom layout the same. If you are hard pressed to change it, then you can but do know there will be a cost associated with it since new water lines will need to be run and new electrical supplies installed. If you choose to keep your existing layout, consider working with an interior designer to help you better decorate it.
Do the Flooring Yourself
There are two different ways you can save money here. First, if you are replacing the flooring in your bathroom, ask the contractor if you can remove the flooring yourself, which will help save time on the remodel and it will help save you some money too. However, before you simply rip up the flooring, talk to your contractor first to see if it is a good idea. They may prefer to do it themselves.
The second way to save money is to lay the new flooring on your own. Of course, you will need to have some skill to do this as a poorly laid floor can stick out like a sore thumb and may leave you unhappy. Professional tiling services can cost you up to $3,000 for the bathroom flooring alone. Before you take on a huge job such as the bathroom when you are new to tiling, consider practicing on a table or somewhere else first.
Refinish the Tub
An entire tub replacement can be costly once you factor in the cost to remove the tub, purchase a new one, and have it installed. You can add even more costs if the tub needs new water lines run or if pulling out the old tub causes any tiles to break or crack.
One option to save you money is to have your tub refinished or reglazed. The cost of this can be as little as $100 to do it yourself and up to $700 to have it done professionally. Refinishing your tub will only take one day too.
Painting the Bathroom
A good coat of paint can solve anything including making your bathroom look amazing. You can save upwards of $800 by painting your bathroom yourself. If you do choose to paint yourself, you want to make sure that you use quality products and do a good job. You do not want your buyers to think that you did it yourself – make it look professional.
Install a New Mirror
Having a mirror installed professionally can cost you up to $500. If you want to save this money, consider hanging it up yourself or with the help of a friend. You can typically get the hardware for the mirror for around $40 or so. If the mirror is oversized or very heavy, it is recommended that you work with a professional to ensure your safety.
Installing New Fixtures
As we mentioned above, you can have your bathtub reglazed or refinished to cut on costs. Heck, you can have any fixture including the tiles reglazed or refinished. However, sometimes, you need a bit more than that and that is when buying new fixtures may suit you best.
A professional may charge you up to $5,000 to put in a new bathtub, but you may only pay upwards of $2,000 max when you do it yourself. Remember, you only have to pay for the fixture itself and then donate your own time to get it installed. Piping for a new tub may run you about $200 and about $200 in other fees such as caulk, piping valve, and so on.
Installing a new toilet can set you back a good chunk of change too if you are not prepared for it. In fact, it can cost as much as $550 to have it professionally installed. If you plan to do it yourself, you can save quite a bit of money and fortunately, toilet installation is pretty easy.
New faucet installation can cost about $350 when you have a professional do it for you. Often, most professionals will work this cost into the project, but if it is not, you can always do it yourself and save money on it. You should check with the contractor before you decide to take on the installation yourself.
Lastly, a new shower can help boost the resale value of your home, but it can be quite pricey. In fact, it can be as much as $6,000 to have a new one put in professionally. If you do it yourself, you will save a ton of money on labor costs but will still need to pay for the materials. This can be a complex job, so do make sure you thoroughly understand it before you decide to try it yourself.
Finding a Professional Bathroom Remodeling Contractor
If you want to hire a professional, make sure you are hiring someone who is experienced and knows what they are doing. Here are some steps to take to hire the right professional for the job:
- Ask your remodeling contractor questions from how many years of training they have to warranties, and anything else
- Check out their licensing and insurance especially when you have someone work on your electric or plumbing
- Work guarantees are important as well. See what is offered and if they back their work. If they don’t, this could be a red flag
- Get a quote from multiple professionals – three to four is usually a good number to start with
- Read the reviews and ratings from other people to get a good idea of the company and contractors you will be working with. You don’t want any surprises and reviews can help you prepare for what to expect
Is a permit needed?
You likely do need a permit to remodel your bathroom, but it will also depend on the extent of the improvements you plan to make and where you live. Many states do require you to have a permit if you plan to change anything significant such as the layout of the bathroom, electrical wires, HVAC system, or plumbing. Your contractor will know if you need a permit. If you plan to do a DIY remodel, you can always call your city or county building to ask about a permit. They will be able to help you determine if you need one.
Can I do the renovations myself?
You can but it is only recommended that you do if you know what you are doing and have the expertise to do so. Surface level projects are good DIY projects, but extensive projects are better left to the professionals. Too much can go wrong and if it does, it can be catastrophic.
Do I need to tip my bathroom remodelers?
No. You do not need to tip your remodeling contractors. Sometimes, homeowners will provide drinks or food to them as a way to say thank you, but nothing is required or expected. If you do want to provide your contractors with a financial reward, do check with the contracting company first to see if the contractors are allowed to accept the money.
Is there a difference between the terms remodel and renovation?
Actually yes. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but they do have different meanings. A remodel is one that has an effect on the entire bathroom space and includes new appliances and fixtures. A renovation is a smaller scale project and is done to address a specific area such as a new floor or a paint job.
A bathroom remodel or renovation can help boost the value of your home and fetch you a good return on investment when you are ready to sell. As you start your remodeling project, consider renting a storage unit to help keep your belongings safe and out of the way.