For your remodeled bathroom to operate well, it’s critical to install vent and drain lines of the proper size and slope. Use a 2-in. line to drain the shower and 1-1/2-in. line to drain the sink. The vents for the sink and shower can be 1-1/2-in. pipes, but a toilet should be vented with at least 2-in. material. Make sure that the drain lines drop 1/4 in. for every foot of travel toward the main stack.
The cheapest route of all also typically the one that takes the most time: doing all or most of the work yourself. A very (very) skilled DIYer with plenty of time and a group of willing friends and helpers may be able to finish a bathroom remodel nearly as fast as a general contractor, but very few homeowners fall into that category. And there is the issue of quality: good contractors will do the job professionally, while many DIY installations will be recognizable as the work of an amateur.  

Planning. Both DIY and contractor remodeling jobs depend on good up-front planning in order to control costs and keep things speedy. Some of the key elements include drawing plans (essential if your remodel will involve layout changes to the bathroom), obtaining building permits, signing contracts with any pros you will use and scheduling their time, and sourcing and ordering materials. A general contractor will do most of this work for you (which is why he costs more), but to save money, you can do all the planning work yourself. 
With just a few affordable changes, this powder room got an elegant new look. A slender pedestal sink adds a graceful shape to the room without taking up much space. The easy-to-clean wainscoting behind the sink adds a pretty architectural element in this small bath. Installing the painted beaded board just past the midpoint of the wall draws the eye up and lends a sense of height and a layer of charm.
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This eclectic bath got a one-of-a-kind floor with a pebble-tile "rug" created with mesh-back river rock tile squares. Using just a few pieces of the more expensive pebble tile adds a luxe touch to the bathroom without adding much to the remodeling costs. The pebble tiles are the same color as the border tile, which creates an uninterrupted visual plane along the floor -- and helps the small bath feel larger.


Planning. Both DIY and contractor remodeling jobs depend on good up-front planning in order to control costs and keep things speedy. Some of the key elements include drawing plans (essential if your remodel will involve layout changes to the bathroom), obtaining building permits, signing contracts with any pros you will use and scheduling their time, and sourcing and ordering materials. A general contractor will do most of this work for you (which is why he costs more), but to save money, you can do all the planning work yourself. 
Disconnect the trap from the tub, remove any clips, fasteners or screws that hold the tub to the wall, and demolish the old cast iron tub with a sledgehammer. Remove the sink and toilet. Turn off the electricity at the main panel and remove light fixtures. Cap the wires with wire connectors. Then rip out the wall finishes and surfaces clean down to the studs and pull out any insulation. If your ceiling is in good shape, use a utility knife to cut the drywall along the edges so the wall materials will separate cleanly from the ceiling.

Powder room: Larger homes often have a powder room, or half-bath, that has little more than a sink, toilet, and a door for privacy. It is a convenience bathroom used by family members and guests when they have no need for the amenities of a full bathroom. The small size and a limited number of fixtures mean that a powder room can be remodeled fairly quickly, but because it is a secondary bathroom, it also means that you can take your time since there is at least one other bathroom that can fill during remodeling.
Drywall installation. Most remodeling jobs will involve opening up at least some of the walls and ceilings, and after the plumbing and wiring rough-ins have been inspected and passed, a drywall pro or DIYer can then install and finish the drywall. This is somewhat tedious work, but it is well within the skill level of most DIYers. The money-savings here are modest, though, because professional drywall installation is not pricey. 
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