DIY Bathroom Remodel

P man

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All this talk about contractors got my mind thinking about my looming bathroom remodel. It is very outdated and cramped. My question is should I attempt it?

Let me tell you about myself before you answer.

I can tear anything apart and I mean anything. I can't drill a straight hole and I can't make a straight cut on a piece of wood. Now in my defense my wood working tools are extremely limited.

It's a shower and shitter and a vanity with one sink

It will need a new shower pan for sure. What do you think? We have a spare bathroom we could use.
 

Hopper

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I am not a plumber, builder or carpenter but have been able to remodel several bathrooms for myself in my days. I hate finish plumbing but can getter done when needed. Personally I say go for it. Get a good plan together and if you get stuck there is definitely some here that know their shit and could get you on the right track. Looking at starting my basement soon that includes adding a bathroom.
Good Luck
 
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AndyG

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My core business is bathrooms-

Gut it to the studs-

Straighten all the framing and seal at every penetration and around any windows with spray foam. Flatten and strengthen the floor as needed.

Add blocking where all accessories will mount , grab bars, shower rods, mirror all benefit from it.

Remove the toilet flange and cap the pipe.

Rough in a fan and vent it out the roof.

Wire it, consider a plug for a bidet seat by the toilet.

Plumb the shower

install the shower before drywall if it is an acrylic ensemble, after if tile. If it is a tile shower, you need to know for sure how to do it.

Insulate and Drywall it.

Prime and do 1-2 coats of paint

Set the vanity and top

Install the floor and protect it

Install the trim and accessories, top out the plumbing and electrical- the new toilet flange needs to sit on the finished floor, not down in it- wax seals are only so thick.

Do final paint and install the mirror.

Install shower glass if planned.

Starting a thread like @toximus did is a good idea too.
 

Mike_H

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Being able to do the work is only half the equation. Can you get it done without burning out and on your timeline is the other. I did a bathroom remodel, just like @AndyG described. Took me 5 months, working full time at a "day job" and two to three hours a night, plus weekends. It was a bear. That was demo to finished. We did a tile shower, had to re-do electrical, move the rough in for the toilet, etc. Oh, and its a daylight level, so I had to deal with concrete.

When it came time to do the Kitchen, I could have done it myself...but I'd still be working on it. Sometimes, its just best to pay someone. Not saying that is true in your case...but for me, based on the scope of work and my timeline, I just wanted it done!

I'll also say, if you don't have a contractor picked out...spend some time doing so. Ask them if you can see some finished projects and something in process. Finished is nice...but because I know what to look for, I get more out of the in process job. You can see how they work, see what kind of shortcuts they do or don't take when it won't be seen, how clean they keep the jobsite, etc.

Subs and contractors come to work in your house...which means they get to go home to a house that ISN"T being remodeled. You have to live in the house being remodeled. Academically, I could come to terms with it...after three months, it started to wear on me. And that was with a good group of guys who cleaned up after themselves. I can't imagine a project where the guys didn't care or weren't instructed to make sure they try to keep it clean.
 

AndyG

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Being able to do the work is only half the equation. Can you get it done without burning out and on your timeline is the other. I did a bathroom remodel, just like @AndyG described. Took me 5 months, working full time at a "day job" and two to three hours a night, plus weekends. It was a bear. That was demo to finished. We did a tile shower, had to re-do electrical, move the rough in for the toilet, etc. Oh, and its a daylight level, so I had to deal with concrete.

When it came time to do the Kitchen, I could have done it myself...but I'd still be working on it. Sometimes, its just best to pay someone. Not saying that is true in your case...but for me, based on the scope of work and my timeline, I just wanted it done!

I'll also say, if you don't have a contractor picked out...spend some time doing so. Ask them if you can see some finished projects and something in process. Finished is nice...but because I know what to look for, I get more out of the in process job. You can see how they work, see what kind of shortcuts they do or don't take when it won't be seen, how clean they keep the jobsite, etc.

Subs and contractors come to work in your house...which means they get to go home to a house that ISN"T being remodeled. You have to live in the house being remodeled. Academically, I could come to terms with it...after three months, it started to wear on me. And that was with a good group of guys who cleaned up after themselves. I can't imagine a project where the guys didn't care or weren't instructed to make sure they try to keep it clean.

This is so good that it would be worth passing out to potential remodeling clients at a home show-

Really all I’m doing above is listing the steps and I’ve done it so many times I make it sound terribly easy-



Really my post doesn’t do any justice to what it takes to make it all come together properly like firring out the walls so that your sheet rock does it though when you get to the flange of the acrylic shower, For considering putting your air vent in the wall rather than the floor if you’re set up that way so that the toilet can’t run down it

And all this is something that you can just go on and on with-

Takes every trade to do a bathroom that it goes to build a house except at a mason and a roofer and technically it takes a mason if you have a window in brick and a roofer to take care of the shingles around the air admittance intake vent-

That means bathrooms are actually very trade intense and there are a lot of layers

I’m not trying to scare you off but I think his post really outlines the reality better than mine- and to add to that he is a very accomplished guy, he did some of his tile better than 98 percent of the professionals out here would.
 
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P man

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The shower is what scares me the most...what is there now Is the original yellowish standard stall. In order to bring in a 2 piece I would probably have to remove sheetrock. Now I've created a whole nother mess.

Now I have to make sure it doesn't leak because a 2 piece has seams everywhere and I'm an anti mold fanatic. So that leaves me with tiling the shower and I'll be honest it ain't gonna happen...I might do a kitchen back splash but it's just not in me to do a full shower and be confident in my work.

These replies give me lots to think about I appreciate them all
 

AndyG

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The shower is what scares me the most...what is there now Is the original yellowish standard stall. In order to bring in a 2 piece I would probably have to remove sheetrock. Now I've created a whole nother mess.

Now I have to make sure it doesn't leak because a 2 piece has seams everywhere and I'm an anti mold fanatic. So that leaves me with tiling the shower and I'll be honest it ain't gonna happen...I might do a kitchen back splash but it's just not in me to do a full shower and be confident in my work.

These replies give me lots to think about I appreciate them all

Tile showers are actually to me what brakes are to Blaine- If I understand his experience level correct-

I’m just trying to make it analogy that they are something I’ve specialized in and I’m going to tell you that the performance has practically nothing to do with the tiles chosen or the tile work- Americans had gypsum based for before tile showers for the better part of a century- The performance of the tile shower is about 100% in the set up of the shower before tile - And actually even the setting materials can have more affect on mold than the tile- Because cement-based products are alkaline and mold does not like an alkaline environment.

The tile itself is just a veneer.

The hard part for the inexperienced person is doing it so that it works and also doing it in such a way that you can actually get tile on it successfully.
 
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cliffish

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I actually believe Blaine was a tile guy at one of his former careers.

Back to the bath, there is nothing wrong with doing it yourself and punting out some of the work you might be concerened with. I did 2 bathrooms but hired a plumber to set the tubs/shower and the shower manifold at tile depth. I did not want to chance finishing it and having a leak after.
 

AndyG

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I actually believe Blaine was a tile guy at one of his former careers.

Back to the bath, there is nothing wrong with doing it yourself and punting out some of the work you might be concerened with. I did 2 bathrooms but hired a plumber to set the tubs/shower and the shower manifold at tile depth. I did not want to chance finishing it and having a leak after.

Blaine was and has posted some project pics at home too- I believe he is the kind of person that is just going to do anything exceptionally well.
 
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Squatch

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When I bought my house in '96, I tore it down to the studs (gutted it), and did a total remodel. I hired a buddy to do the electrical, but I did all the plumbing. I asked a lot of questions first of a plumber friend that I trusted (this was before I had a computer). Ultimately, I increased the size of the bathroom, installed all new drains and vents, and did copper pipes throughout the house. My total cost was $410 (in '96), was done to code, and I've never had a leak. I had never done anything like it before, and it took me two months of weekends. Was it worth it? Six months after I moved in, the neighbor had a broken pipe, and spent $1,400 on getting it repaired. Hell yes, it was worth it. And it was probably the single most rewarding thing I did out of the entire remodel.

Go for it, @P man. It's not complicated. Read up on your local codes, and they will basically give you the clues to what you'll need to do. That's my take on it, anyways. Best wishes, whichever way you decide to go!
 
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