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.
To begin, rip the top and side jambs to the thickness of the wall framing plus the exterior wall sheathing. The cement board will lap over the jambs. The windowsill should also be flush with the interior framing, but hang over the outside sheathing about 1-1/2 in. and have a 5-degree slope toward the outside to help shed water. To keep water from running behind the siding as it drips off the edge, cut a shallow groove (or saw kerf) in the bottom lip (Fig. A). Also, remember to flash behind the trim to keep the window watertight. Trim the window exterior to match the house, using caulk to seal between the trim and siding.
Demolition. All remodeling jobs start with tearing out and removing elements that will be replaced. Depending on the level of your remodeling job, this can be a simple matter of removing old fixtures and flooring, or as complicated as removing everything down to the wall studs and floor joists. Either way, this can be hard work but it is not difficult, and most homeowners can do this work themselves to save money. Most demolition can be done in a weekend. You will need to rent a roll-off dumpster or arrange for a disposal company to take away a pile of demolition debris.
The job of installing our wall-mounted fixtures was tougher than it had to be, thanks to poor and contradictory one-size-fits-all instructions, metric fittings and duplicate and missing mounting parts. Prevent hard-to-fix future problems by test-fitting the actual fixtures when roughing in framing, plumbing and blocking to make sure everything will work out. Then finish the walls. When test-fitting, simulate finished floor and wall surfaces to get the clearances right.
Guest bathroom: This is a full-service bathroom, with sink, toilet, and shower or shower/tub combination, but one that is used sporadically when guests visit. In empty-nest homes, a kids' full bathroom might be converted to a guest bath. Because guest baths get only occasional use, many people choose to use economy fixtures and materials, which can greatly cut costs. And because this is a secondary bathroom, you can take your time remodeling it, which also saves cost.
For the most part, that means moving the GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) and other power outlets so that they line up with your new vanity and cabinets. After all, you don’t want to have to reach down next to the toilet in order to plug in your hair dryer. You should call in an electrician for this step, especially if you have never worked with home wiring before.
You’ll spend $3,000 to $8,000 on the typical remodel. Anywhere from 40 to 65 percent of a bath upgrade cost comes from labor. However, doing any project yourself means no insurance and added fees if something goes wrong. Hire a professional for any work you’re not comfortable doing, such as the plumbing and electrical. Consider the pros and cons of DIY vs professional bathroom remodeling.