Avoid The Pitfalls Of A DIY Bathroom Remodel


What would prompt you to take on a DIY bathroom remodel? Lifestyles change, families change and the demands on the plumbing in your Waukesha WI home change. Without benefit of experience, deciding a do-it-yourself remodeling project is a good idea is based on one thought: save money. Done right, a DIY project saves money. Done wrong it drives up costs, drastically destroys your timeline and creates long-lasting problems. Professional remodeling contractors understand the pitfalls, project realistic timelines and have the tools to do the job. If you have time and better than average do-it-yourself skills a remodel may be worth it.

The old saying “measure twice, cut once” is common sense among contractors. The concept is vital to a DIY remodeling plan. Getting it right the first time is critical – professionals have dozens of stories outlining the horrors of saving DIY projects gone wrong.

As you begin, evaluate the elements in a new bathroom that will provide the most return on your investment. Consider return in terms of value to a potential buyer, but also as it applies to the daily routine in your household.

The three areas of emphasis forming the foundation for your bathroom remodel include:

  • Tubs and showers – jetted tubs are being replaced by free-standing soaking tubs. Many designs have no tub, replacing it with large walk-in showers. Real estate professionals advise against taking bathtubs out completely. Families with small children appreciate them.
  • Vanities and storage – new countertops, faucets and sinks finish the style of your new room. Creating a vanity with the look of conventional or antique furniture is a popular trend. You never have enough storage or counter space so plan accordingly.
  • Easy-care flooring – you have many options in tile and high-end vinyl. Look for durable, low-maintenance materials that stand up to moisture and wear.

A DIY Bathroom Remodel Improves Lifestyle

DIY Bathroom Remodel | Waukesha WI | Schoenwalder Plumbing
Remodeling a bathroom is seldom as easy as it’s made to look on DIY videos or TV.

Your bathroom is wear you start and end the day. Where you prep for work and relax after a tough day. A bathroom makeover ranges from minor changes to knocking out walls and expanding footprints. A plan for the bathroom means working in a relatively confined space. You have to concentrate on the smallest details of layout and design. In a small space, a little goes a long way. Something as simple as changing paint color and window treatments or adding a new vanity and custom mirrors has big impact.

The majority of homeowners measure the value of a remodel in terms of how it changes their daily life, not in dollars. You like your house and you like the neighborhood, right? So why not do what it takes to make it better?

Where do you start the planning process? Committing to a project without a detailed plan is a sure way to spend way more money than necessary. Bathrooms are relatively small but they include a tight cluster of critical elements – electric, plumbing, etc.

Here are several mistakes that homeowners make:

  • Underestimate the scope – on TV it looks and sounds easy, but is it? Do you have the skill and tools to do it? The size of the project and your skill set is the difference between success and failure.
  • Unreal budget expectations – doing your own bathroom remodel can save money, but there’s no guarantee. If you get started not knowing what’s coming the extra costs mount quickly.
  • Not sticking to the plan – inexperienced homeowners fail to expect the unexpected and that derails many plans. In addition, they allow themselves to give in to “as long as we’re doing this…” increases in size and scale.
  • Poor material choices – trying to cut costs only to realize low quality doesn’t pay.

Additional DIY Bathroom Remodel Oversights

DIY Bathroom Remodel | Waukesha WI | Schoenwalder Plumbing
Do you have to tools, time and experience to take on a serious DIY remodeling project even in a small bathroom?

There are technical details easily overlook by amateurs with no previous experience. They can derail even what appears to be a simple project in a hurry. Technical aspects of a remodel that need strict attention include:

  • Bathroom ventilation – the existing bathroom vent fan may need moving or your new room may need expanded ventilation. Poor ventilation doesn’t remove moisture-laden air leaving behind a welcome home for mold and mildew. New fans are quiet, strong and efficient.
  • Repositioning plumbing – do you want to add a free-standing tub under a new window? A new bathroom footprint often means rerouting plumbing for tubs, showers, sinks and toilets. Major changes like this take time and money.
  • Failing to correct problems – if you have an existing plumbing issue, trying to remodel around it doesn’t solve the problem. It may hide it, making a final solution even more difficult and expensive.
  • Underestimating safety concerns – water and electricity don’t mix. That’s true for a completed bathroom as well as during any remodeling project. Homeowners may not realize the seriousness of threats as they make changes on their own.

Perhaps the most critical mistake do-it-yourselfers make is working on electrical and plumbing projects without the proper permits. Working without a permit violates local and state laws. If a problem comes up and you’re found not to comply with building codes an inspector can force you to redo everything. Do you know what kind of permits and inspections you should have for a bathroom remodel? Do you know where to get the permits and schedule inspections?

Put A Team Behind You DIY Bathroom Remodel

If you decide to take on a DIY project, working with a professional plumbing contractor for product and technical support make sense, right? Quality products fit your vision. A professional has the right tools, skill and expertise to deliver the most “bang for your buck.” In addition, professionals stand behind their work beyond basic product warranty. When it’s a do-it-yourself endeavor, there’s no guarantee of workmanship.

You can rely upon experienced, trained, licensed professionals at Schoenwalder Plumbing for the latest products and installations. Call 262-542-7908, email  or visit our showroom and learn how we can support your DIY bathroom remodel in Waukesha WI and Lake Country.

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