201-bathroom-diyYour steady diet of watching HGTV has convinced you that you can remodel your own bathroom. You may be brave, and you may be crazy; there’s no way to tell yet. Consult this list of warnings to determine if you’re ready to jump into the deep end of DIY bathroom remodeling!

Choose wisely; products and subcontractors

Inferior products may result in a lack of protection and water damage that can cost you more in the long run.

Is the contractor licensed? Does he specialize in bathrooms? What is his standing with the Better Business Bureau? Does he offer proof of insurance? Can the contractor supply references? Does he have a written warranty?

Make sure that basic terms are contained in the written bid/proposal. At the very least, the proposal should have the total price, specific description of work to be performed, time it will take for the work to be completed, and warranty.

Plan ahead for space and ventilation

Most bathrooms aren’t spacious, and the layout should be checked carefully before making any changes. Measure everything in the bathroom at least twice before installing anything new.

A bathroom is a tight space to work in and often isn’t well ventilated. This can be a problem during remodeling because fumes from paint and other materials can accumulate and possibly make you sick. Use a fan to ventilate while working, and install a ceiling vent if there isn’t one already in the bathroom.

Try to make all decisions before you leap in. Changing your mind mid-project is a sure ticket to overruns and delays.

Bad surprises

DIY Bathroom projects are likely to have at least one surprise in store! Here are some of the most common problems uncovered after a remodel has started:

  • Structural deficiencies in the floor framing
  • Old, corroded plumbing that may not be suitable for continued use.
  • Tile tub surrounds and tile shower that aren’t waterproof
  • Lack of waterproofing, insufficient ventilation and lots of moisture on a daily basis often lead to mold where eyes cannot normally see.
  • A vent fan without a duct, blowing air into the attic or basement.
  • Wall studs hacked, butchered, and patched by a previous contractor.
  • Due to change of plumbing code or shoddy workmanship the plumbing isn’t venting properly.

Many a homeowner has taken on a DIY bathroom remodel to realize they are in over their heads. You may have what it takes to successfully execute your vision yourself. If not, enlist a professional you can trust to coordinate the project.  Either way, good luck, and happy remodeling!