You can’t live with your bathroom one minute longer. Maybe it’s too small, too old, or just plain ugly. Whatever the reason, it’s time for a change. The first major question to answer before you even think of picking up a sledge hammer or paint swath is whether you will be performing the bathroom remodel on your own or whether you should call in the professionals. Here are five big red flags that your dream bathroom remodel isn’t exactly a DIY project.
Let’s do a quick gut check. Did you receive a D in woodshop for your lopsided birdfeeder? Then maybe tearing up the flooring in your bathroom and installing a new shower isn’t a good idea. Even if your bathroom remodel is relatively minor, you need to ask yourself whether you really want to handle it on your own. Most of us can give the walls a nice new coat of paint, and those with the “Handy” gene may be able to re-tile the floor, replace a vanity, or even add a nice tile fresco to the shower on their own with great results. However, if that just isn’t you, then don’t try to “learn on the job.” (Note: watching a few how-to videos on YouTube will not make you a remodeling expert.)
Follow the saying that “Discretion is the better part of valor,” and avoid expensive mistakes or a result that you are unhappy with by hiring an expert for any project you aren’t comfortable completing on your own.
If you are only making minor cosmetic changes to your bathroom, chances are that you won’t need to pull permits or get permission to make the changes from your municipality (though you should always check). (Don’t forget to also check with your HOA!)
However, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), “You are likely to need a permit for any project that goes beyond a simple repair or aesthetic upgrade.” When it comes to bathroom remodels, if you plan on knocking down walls to expand the bathroom’s footprint or messing with the plumbing or electrical, you will probably need to pull permits. If you’re adding a full or half bath as an additional to your home, then permitting is almost certainly required.
Permitting is a complex and time-consuming process and requires you to submit detailed plans that are in compliance with all local building ordinances. Unless you have an excellent understanding of local building laws and the patience of a saint, it is probably best to work with an experienced and professional remodeling company whenever permitting is required.
(Note: We all know someone who has skipped the permitting process and performed an “off the books remodel” on their home. You can save lots of time and money this way, but you can also jeopardize the safety of your home and tank its re-sale value! Don’t do it.)
To piggyback off the previous section, any time you need to work with the plumbing or electrical as part of your bathroom remodel, it really is best to call in a remodeling company. A professional company will use certified electricians and plumbing experts to ensure that your project complies with building laws and is safe.
Electrical and plumbing can be tricky, especially if you want to add lighting, move a shower, install a tub, etc. If you try to do this on your own and mess up, the cost to clean up and then repair the damage will be astronomical.
If you want a bigger bathroom or a new bathroom, it’s usually time to call in the professionals unless you really know what you’re doing. Any time you knock down a wall, you will likely have to re-work electrical and plumbing lines, and often expanding a room requires you to shift major aspects of it, like the tub, shower, toilet and sink.
Adding a half bath or full bath to your San Diego home is a great way to improve the quality of life for your family and increase the home’s value. This type of project is no place for a neophyte, however. You might need to add onto the foundation of your home, build walls, run plumbing pipes, and run electrical. You absolutely will have to pull permits. All of this should be handled by a professional remodeling company.
Here’s the obvious truth. You can certainly cut your own hair and even give it a dye, but it will almost certainly look better if you go to a salon. That’s because your hairdresser has been trained to cut hair. This is what he or she does all day long. She knows styles, colors, and tricks that you couldn’t dream of!
The same goes for a professional remodeler. With very few exceptions, a remodeling company can simply give you a much better result for your bathroom remodel than if you did the same work yourself. If your goal is to get the bathroom of your dreams, and to ensure that it looks fabulous (no paint streaks, crooked tiling, or leaky sinks), then call in a professional.
Using a remodeling company can also dramatically speed up the remodel. If you work full time and, you know, have hobbies and a life, you probably can’t spend every waking hour remodeling your bathroom. It could take you months to get even a simple job done, whereas a professional company can often complete a project in days or weeks. That means your bathroom is out of commission for far less time (a nightmare you can’t appreciate until you experience it).
Should you call a remodeling company or tackle a bathroom remodel on your own? At the end of the day, you need to respect your budget but you also want to make sure you comply with building codes, protect the safety of your home, and get the best result possible.
Honestly, it can’t hurt to talk to a remodeling company to see what they can do. If you live in the San Diego area, please consider contacting us. We are happy to provide you with a complimentary consultation. You’ve got nothing to lose!