It’s natural to want to save money when renovating your home, but why hire a bathroom contractor? Can’t you simply organize the trades yourself?
Maybe overseeing your bathroom remodel isn’t so simple after all. Here’s a story of my own recent renovation project and why I wish I met the professionals at London Custom Basements and Bathrooms a year ago!
I had all my ideas saved including some screenshots, Pinterest boards, and links to products selected from Home Depot, Lowes, and Wayfair.
My husband and I took measurements and I made sketches of what I wanted the finished project to look like.
Why hire a bathroom contractor? All I needed was a plumber, a drywaller, and a tiler, right?
BATHROOM RENOVATIONS ARE MORE INVOLVED THAN YOU THINK!
It is more than just hiring a plumber and installing new tile.
Multiple Phases of a Bathroom Remodel
PLANNING & PRICING
Before the project begins, you must determine what you want it to look like when you’re done and how much it will cost.
Planning takes more than just selecting finishes, hardware, and colour schemes. Functionality is critical so your bathroom works properly while avoiding future water damage. A professional thinks of many things a typical homeowner may miss.
Out with the old and in with the new means tearing out pieces of your bathroom you plan to replace. But that means more than just busting it down with a sledgehammer!
When we tore our old bathroom out, we discovered mould from previous leaks that needed remediation. Then we uncovered additional challenges with the direction of drainage pipes. Surprise!
Putting everything back together must be completed in a specific order. This is where the real headaches of coordinating individual contractors began.
Plumbers needed to install water shut-offs before certain pieces could be torn out. Tilers had to wait for plumbers. After the tile was done, the plumber came back only to discover I missed a component for our shower. Oh. And we needed an electrician too. Another surprise!
Why Hire a Bathroom Contractor? Here are the Benefits:
PERMITS, SAFETY, & STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY
A contractor understands the basic components of construction. They know what permits are required and can avoid code violations which put the structural integrity of your home at risk. Knowing what to look for and what can or can’t be done saves a lot of trouble and even potential disaster down the road.
Did you know rules exist about which wall a shower or tap can be installed on? If an outside wall is permitted, it has to be a certain distance away from the exterior with a specific amount of insulation. And how about the limitations for the direction pipes can flow based on the direction of floor joists? Don’t get me started on the list of measures required to prevent water damage.
SAVE TIME, HASSLES, & PROBABLY MONEY
A professional has the skills and experience to complete the job much quicker than you can in your spare time. They know how to properly estimate materials required which avoids unnecessary delays waiting for more pieces or wasting time returning the extra products.
Renovations inevitably create stress. Your house will be torn apart and you will be without a bathroom for the duration of your project. Even if you hire individual contractors, you must coordinate when each needs to be on-site and must communicate everything to each individual person. Hiring a general contractor for your bathroom removes all the worry.
Because contractors order supplies on a regular basis, they typically get discounts and special pricing. They may even have access to higher-quality materials than you can find at home improvement stores.
BETTER FINISHED PRODUCT
A DIY bathroom renovation will rarely look as nice as a professional remodel. Even if you hire a collection of professionals, you risk an uncoordinated look if the individual contractors don’t work well together.
From the beginning stages of planning, a professional contractor will provide invaluable advice and offer suggestions to provide you with a bathroom deserving of a magazine spread. And you don’t need to worry about installing something wrong.
I thought I knew best but I didn’t
When I began collecting ideas for my dream bathroom, I thought I considered everything. I spent almost a year researching and selecting all my materials and playing with different layouts. We knew better than to take on the job ourselves as we lacked the skills and the time necessary. So I knew we needed professionals, but why hire a bathroom contractor?
First, we got quotes from general contractors but the sticker shock was too much. Instead, I set out to find individual professionals including a plumber, an electrician, a tiler, and someone to help with demolition, painting, and drywall. That was difficult enough.
Then I needed to order my supplies. Some of the contractors provided that service but others expected me to gather the necessary products. Yes, I admit, I watched too many YouTube videos to learn what Ditra meant! Of course, I ordered too much of some things and not enough of others. This meant paying travel time to a contractor just to turn around and leave because I didn’t have what they needed.
Finally, when work began, I quickly realized the difficulty of coordinating all the moving pieces. Individual contractors don’t speak to each other! Each day, one tradesperson updated me on the progress using terminology I didn’t understand. I needed to communicate those messages to the other tradespeople hoping nothing important got lost in translation.
As a result, our tub is not in the exact position I hoped for. Too many holes needed to be patched. And I wasted a lot of time, and therefore money, redoing tasks due to miscommunications.
Some final advice…
The skills and experience of professionals mean the job will be completed properly. Hiring a company that takes care of everything is worth every penny! Your job will be done faster and easier. Any savings you think you may create by coordinating the job yourself will be spent on the wine you need to consume to maintain your sanity. Now I know why hire a bathroom contractor!