Even if it’s the tiniest room in your home, the importance of a bathroom renovation isn’t proportional to its size. Your water closet needs to be able to endure frequent use, in addition to humidity and water splashing around from sinks, showers, and tubs. So no matter how intrepid you are, leave these five projects to the pros and ensure that your new bathroom doesn’t become a horrible DIY project gone wrong.
Installing a Bath Fan
A bath fan is your best defense against humidity from the bath and shower. However, in many cases, installing a fan is way too ambitious for the average weekend warrior. Although the exhaust from bath fans is sometimes routed to the attic, pros suggest venting the fan vent outside to get that humidity out of your house. This requires cutting a hole in your roof and installing an exhaust hood, not advisable for the average homeowner.
Plumbing and Electrical Work
Just like in the kitchen, plumbing and electrical work should always be left to the pros. If an electrical switch was not installed correctly and poses a fire risk, it’s unlikely a homeowner would be able to tell. With electricity in close proximity to plumbing, there are lots of moving parts that could be disastrous. Professional plumbers and electricians are absolutely worth paying the extra expense.
A pro will also ensure that your bathroom meets code requirements in your municipality (which is especially important for resale, when home inspectors will be looking closely to make sure your bathroom passes muster).
Putting in a Glass Shower
Dreaming of a gorgeous new glass shower for your renovation project? Even though you can order a precut-glass shower door at one of the big-box home improvement stores, installing it on your own isn’t such a good idea. The glass can weigh hundreds of pounds, requiring extreme care and precision to handle and install. A botched installation doesn’t just mean water on the floor- you could also find yourself walking on broken glass.
Any Kind of Structural Changes
If your bathroom remodel is more ambitious than a simple swap and replace of common features, that’s a sign you should call in the pros. Moving a shower? Taking down a wall? Changing up the layout of the bathroom? A pro contractor can walk you through important considerations, like whether your bathroom is equipped to handle a double vanity or how tall your new shower should be. Ultimately, paying a little more at the start of your project will likely save you money and hassle in the long run. Structural changes are the risky stuff, which, if not done correctly, could be very dangerous or very costly down the road.
When it comes to tile, the raw materials might not cost a lot, but the labor for installation can be pricey. Homeowners attempt to moonlight as tile layers, which is almost always a very big mistake. So be sure to budget for a professional contractor to install your beautiful new tile. If you do a sloppy DIY job, your morning showers will go from relaxing to remorseful as you face your crooked Carrara and shoddy craftsmanship each day.
If you’re dying to scratch that DIY itch, don’t despair there are still tons of projects homeowners can tackle themselves during a remodel, like painting, changing drawer pulls and swapping out shower heads and faucets. So leave the hard stuff for the pros.