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Upgrading a bathroom can add value to your home and can be an easy DIY project for homeowners with the right planning and skills. However, remodeling can also be time consuming and challenging. Here are some tips to help you succeed.
There’s nothing like a fresh coat of tile to make a bathroom feel brand new. Before you pick up a hammer, though, it’s important to decide what kind of tile you want and how much time you have available for the project.
Some tasks are better left to professionals, including rewiring and plumbing. Changing the placement of a toilet or showerhead requires substantial expertise, and anything that affects the location of water or electrical lines requires professional help to avoid costly disasters.
Similarly, DIYers should steer clear of projects that require complex framing or electrical work. These are often dangerous and could have serious consequences if done incorrectly, including flooding, fire, or electrocution. That said, most cosmetic or superficial remodels are doable by amateurs, including painting, re-tiling, and swapping out the vanity. Adding a new floor can also transform a space, but be sure to use waterproof inorganic materials, such as ceramic or vinyl tiles, to prevent the growth of mildew and mold.
While painting a family room or bedroom may be familiar to most do-it-yourselfers, bathroom paint requires more attention to detail. It must be mold-resistant and able to stand up to humidity. Some paint manufacturers make special “bathroom” paint with these qualities.
A fresh coat of paint can be one of the easiest DIY updates to transform any bathroom. You can add warmth with a rich taupe, cool sophistication with a classic gray or an airy, natural feel with a soft pistachio.
Replacing sealant is another easy, quick fix that’s also inexpensive. Use a Stanley knife to remove the old stuff and a cartridge gun to apply the new.
The bathroom needs a few finishing touches. Installing a new vanity, tub surround and shower curtain adds a fresh look. Add bath decor like new towel racks, shelf brackets and light switch plates that coordinate with your faucets. Place a comfortable, non-slip rug near any water-prone areas.
If a major change to the bathroom layout is involved, it may require a building permit that licensed contractors can get more easily than homeowners. Enlarging a bathroom, relocating plumbing or anything else that involves knocking down walls can require skills that most people lack and could cause severe damage to the home, especially if it’s done incorrectly.
However, cosmetic projects can be completed on a DIY basis, such as replacing the toilet, removing and installing an accent wall and repainting the room. Even a simple swap of the vanity, faucet and toilet saves $1,000 in labor costs. Make sure to purchase special-order items, such as a new bathtub or shower stall, well in advance.
The right type of lighting fixtures can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your bathroom. Installing a mirror directly over a vanity can redirect light and make the room seem larger, while changing out the old fixture for a modern one will instantly upgrade your décor.
A complete bathroom renovation can be costly, especially if you hire contractors to do the work for you. But DIYing the job yourself can save you money and give you the personal satisfaction of having made your home more beautiful. Before you begin your remodel, you need to carefully plan it out and determine what is worth doing yourself and what should be left to a professional. You also need to be sure you have the right materials, tools and skills to complete the project. Generally speaking, most homeowners can do cosmetic or surface-level bath remodels without professional help. Core-level remodels, however, require significant experience and may even be dangerous for someone unfamiliar with drywall or plumbing.