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.
A DIY bathroom remodel is a big project. If you can only work weekends, your bathroom will be out of commission for two months or more. You’ll need all your expertise as an experienced do-it-yourselfer because you’ll have to tackle electrical, plumbing, tiling, drywalling, taping and even exterior siding. In this DIY shower remodel article, we’ll deal mostly with the nuts and bolts of ripping out existing plumbing and replacing it correctly with new, easily installed PVC piping.
Homeowners often imagine that remodeling a small bathroom—one that is about 50 square feet or less—will be much quicker, much easier, and much less expensive than remodeling a large bathroom. And they are often surprised to find that it's only a little bit quicker, a little bit easier, and a little bit less expensive. The reason? A small bathroom has most of the same elements as a large bathroom and remodeling requires assistance from the same in-demand professionals as does a large bathroom. The reality is that a 50 square foot bathroom may be one-third the size of a large 150-square-foot bath, but it typically costs about 75 percent of a large bath in terms of time, money, and effort.
Tear out the existing piping (Photos 5 and 6). Then frame the 2×6 walls that will contain the new plumbing and the opposite end of the shower base (Photos 8, 9 and 14). It’s easiest to nail the bottom plate to the floor and the top plate to the ceiling, then fill in the studs one at a time by toenailing them in at the top and bottom. Stack the studs directly in front of the old ones wherever possible. Space the studs in the center of the shower about 12 in. apart to leave room for the shower valve and showerhead. The studs behind the toilet should be spaced exactly 19-3/4 in. apart for securing this toilet chair carrier (Photos 8 and 15).
The key to a weatherproof, attractive glass block window both inside and out is to encase it in a custom-built wooden frame (Fig. A) with inside dimensions that are 1/2 in. taller and wider than the panel itself. That will give you room to adjust and shim the panel exactly and then inject expanding foam between the frame and the panel to lock it into the opening (Photos 3 and 4).
Although this bath was done on a budget, its small footprint didn't require much flooring material, which provided the homeowners an opportunity to splurge a bit. This woven mosaic tile is a perfect complement to the bathroom's style and will wear well. To stretch your budget, surround decorative tile with more affordable plain tile around the perimeter of the room.
A one-piece shower pan is the key to a leakproof shower. We opted for an easily installed fiberglass shower pan. Forty-eight inch wide pans are common and will work well; 60-in. units like we used must be special-ordered. The shower pan has to fit into the space left by the removed bathtub. Most bathtubs are 60 in. long, perfect for a 60-in. shower base.
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.
The Save My Reno team definitely had a huge task on their hands. This dark and dingy bathroom was in desperate need of a little TLC.
Related: 20 Clever Ways to Save Money in Your Bathroom
Follow Fig. B, for the new drain/vent plan. The new shower drain is vented separately into the main stack (Photos 10, 12 and 13). Most bathrooms have the main stack positioned directly behind the toilet. The wall-mounted toilet shown here cannot be positioned directly behind the stack because there’s not room for the necessary elbows. If your stack is more than 12 in. to the side of the existing toilet, you can keep the same location for the wall-hung toilet. But if it’s directly behind it, you’ll need to swap the sink and toilet locations like we did.
Electrical rough-in. This is another task that should be left in the hands of pros unless you are one of the very few DIYers who are experts at it. A licensed electrician will run new circuits where required, install lighting and vent fans, and will arrange for the work to be inspected. Later, after the inspection is complete and the walls and ceilings are finished, the electrician will return to hook-up outlets, light fixtures, and fans. Two inspections are required: one at the rough-in phase, another after the final installation.
Bathroom Renovations Sydney is a highly professional and reliable company. The team that they sent for my bathroom renovation was quite friendly, cooperative, and hard working. They hardly made a mess and ensured a clean working environment at all times. Everything went along very smoothly from the start and I am completely satisfied with the results that they have delivered. Thanks a bundle for the great service!