Your Bathroom Remodel: Hire or Hammer?

When it comes to home ownership, few questions can cause as much consternation and “analysis paralysis” as the question, “Should we hire contractors for our bathroom remodel or do it ourselves?” The answer to this question depends on a number of a factors, as well as the answer to a number of other questions. One of the key drivers all homeowners who are considering a remodel is—what’s the end game? Are you looking to stay in the house permanently, or put it on the market? This is a very important question to consider, as your plan of action may be very different if the remodel is to suit your tastes, or someone else’s tastes.

Whatever the size, bathroom remodels are messy, labor intensive, and time consuming. If you decide to tackle the remodel yourself, there are a few very important questions you need to ask yourself, and answer them very honestly:

1. How good am I at fixing or repairing things? If I don’t have much experience, am I willing to take the time to learn what I need to learn? Will I get easily frustrated? How will I keep from making expensive mistakes? If the thought of hammering things, lifting heavy fixtures, and getting very dirty doesn’t appeal to you, a do-it-yourself bathroom job may be biting off more than you can chew.
2. Do I have the time? Re-doing a bathroom can eat up a considerable amount of time. If you work full-time or have kids, nights and weekends will likely be the only time you’ll have to spend on the project. Will you be willing to install tile for 3 hours after putting up with your boneheaded boss all day? In addition, rest assured that whatever time you estimate to get the job done, it will take twice as long.
3. Can I live with my mistakes? If you’re like most homeowners, you want the perfect bathroom. What happens if you have a little mess up on the tile job, or the paint doesn’t look just right? Will you be able to ignore those imperfections as you look at them every day brushing your teeth?

Even if you decide to tackle the bathroom yourself, unless you are a licensed plumber or electrician, you’re probably going to need help with the plumbing and wiring if you are installing a new shower, or toilet, or putting in new lighting. In fact, in some states and municipalities, you may be required get licensed contractors to do the specialty work involved with bathrooms. In any case, it’s best to check with your local building permit office before you begin any work.

So what about hiring a professional? For most people, this will probably be the best option. There is an abundance of contractors who specialize in this industry, and a seasoned hand with a project as intensive and laborious as a bathroom remodel could save you much time and heartache. But, be advised—doing a new bathroom can put a pretty good dent in your wallet. A typical professionally done bathroom remodel in the U.S. costs between $15,000 and $20,000 dollars. Along with the cost, there are a couple of things to consider if you decide to hire a contractor. One, you’re going to have strangers in your house for some period of time, and for many people this may not be a comfortable situation. Two, clear and continual communication will be critical in order for you to get the desired end result. You may know what you want, but the contractor can’t see inside your head, and thus it will your job to clearly communicate with him or her at each stage of the project. In addition, you will need to make them understand that any unforeseen complications or changes in scope should be discussed immediately with you before any additional work is done.

Whatever course you choose—picking up the sledgehammer and paint and diving in yourself, or paying for an experienced professional—a successful bathroom remodel hinges on careful, detailed planning. Be sure that you build in cost and time contingencies into your plan, as there will be issues you did not foresee. Do that, and you’ll be able to get through your project happy with the end result, as well as of sound mind and body!

Questions or comments? Please contact us here on the website, or call us at 877-398-8110. We look forward to hearing from you!

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