Should I Remodel My Bathroom Myself or Hire a Contractor?

Remodeling a bathroom is a large project that may take a few weeks. Some homeowners prefer to do the renovation themselves to save on costs and do things their way. Others hire a contractor for professional results, but which is better? 

You should not remodel your bathroom yourself unless you have the skills, time, and tools. Although hiring a contractor may cost you more, you will get better results more quickly. Make sure your contractor has the right credentials, ask for references, and check their previous projects. 

This article will discuss the pros and cons of remodeling your bathroom yourself. I will also explain why it is best to find the right contractor to do the job instead and what to look for when hiring a contractor. 

Is It Possible To Remodel a Bathroom Without Experience?

It is possible to renovate your bathroom without experience. However, Home Advisor recommends that you have some level of building expertise for this project to be successful.

If you are inexperienced, you’re bound to make at least a few mistakes, including these: 

  • Uneven tiles
  • Crooked appliances
  • Poorly leveled toilets
  • Faulty plumbing

Usually, you will have to live with these mistakes once the job is done or hire a handyman to repair minor mishaps.

Although experience is essential, there are remodeling tasks that you can do yourself, even if it’s your first time. A beginner can install a few bathroom flooring options and perform basic carpentry. Additionally, the following tasks do not require any experience:

  • Building walls
  • Constructing the boxing for a shower
  • Sink installation
  • Toilet installs
  • Making the bathtub alcove

Once a professional installs your plumbing, you can put in most appliances on your own.

Nonetheless, remember to set aside enough time to complete the remodel. Designing a bathroom can be challenging, and most homeowners need at least three months to complete the project themselves.

The Pros of Remodeling Your Bathroom Yourself

There are some advantages in opting to construct your new bathroom alone. 

The most notable advantage is saving on costs. On average, hiring a contractor costs $250 per square foot, whereas doing the job yourself costs about $75 per square foot. Note that you will only save money on labor. The material costs are still your responsibility.

Another benefit to renovating your bathroom yourself is that you will get precisely what you want. You have complete control over the appliances, positioning, finish, and colors. This control is essential for many people. 

Lastly, most homeowners get great satisfaction from doing this job themselves as it gives them a sense of accomplishment. Therefore, if you are looking for a fun household project, redoing your bathroom may be an excellent option.

The Cons of Remodeling Your Bathroom Yourself

Similar to other projects, remodeling your bathroom as a novice constructor has many disadvantages, too. 

Firstly, it is relatively inconvenient when compared to hiring a contractor. Professionals can complete this job much faster than you will. What may take months for you can be completed in a few weeks when you get in touch with an expert.

Another disadvantage is that you will most likely make critical mistakes. Homeowners that undertake the remodeling themselves often end up with poor wall surfaces. Besides, the wiring and water lines are almost always faulty. These mistakes could ruin your entire bathroom or impose additional costs down the road. 

If you’re a perfectionist, you should enlist help from a professional. 

How To Plan for Remodeling Your Bathroom Yourself?

If you do go forward with reconstruction alone, there are some essential things you should plan out before getting started. 

For a remodel to go well, you must consider the following first:

  • Floor plans
  • Color scheme
  • Appliances
  • Wall finishes
  • Storage space

Then, calculate costs. Since you won’t hire additional help, you only need to account for materials and shipping. I suggest budgeting for a modest emergency fund in case you need someone to fix a mistake.

What Materials Do You Need for a Bathroom Remodel?

To rebuild your bathroom, you will need some basic tools, including:  

  • Caulking gun
  • Sealant
  • Hammer
  • Spackle
  • Spackle knife
  • Power drill
  • Tape measurer
  • Pry bar
  • Chisel
  • Hacksaw
  • Extended wrench
  • Screwdrivers

Most importantly, you will need safety equipment like goggles and protective clothing. These are only some of the most common tools. Various projects will require a different set of tools. 

If you do not have everything on hand, head to your local hardware store. While there, ask a skilled handyman to outline the necessary items for your particular rebuild. You should include the cost of tools in your cost estimations. 

Tips for a Successful At-Home Remodel

When remodeling your bathroom yourself, keep the following tips in mind to get the best results:

  • Rent a dumpster to dispose of the debris.
  • Watch multiple online tutorials to learn the nuances of each task.
  • Research your hometown’s building codes. Failing to follow regulations could cost you a lot.
  • Have auxiliary work lights on hand. These are useful when the electricity to the bathroom is off.
  • Make alternative bathrooms available.
  • Measure everything twice for accuracy.
  • Use cement boards for the shower and tub walls.

Do You Need a Contractor for a Bathroom Remodel?

Typically, remodeling a bathroom requires several trade professionals. Therefore, hiring a contractor is not necessary, but it is the better option if you don’t have:

  • Design skills
  • Carpentry experience
  • Plumbing know-how
  • Electrical talents
  • The necessary tools

Moreover, you usually need someone to oversee the progress and make sure everything is going smoothly.

What Is the Estimated Cost of a Contractor?

A contractor usually costs about $250 for small projects. This price can quickly rise to about $58,000 or more, depending on your specifications.

Some contractors include the cost of materials in their pricing, while others ask you to make the purchases yourself. The average price of materials is about $11,000. 

Ideally, you want to choose a contractor with affordable pricing who adds the materials to the total. This way, you know the final price upfront and do not have to spend time searching for materials and equipment.

Is Hiring a Contractor Worth It?

Hiring a contractor is definitely worth it. It will save you time and money in the long run. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about accidents and fires. 

The right contractor will guide you towards the most cost-efficient building process. Given their expertise, the full remodel may cost less than expected.

Plus, some contractors offer a warranty on their services and are happy to make adjustments free of charge if necessary.

The bottom line is hiring a contractor will guarantee premium building material, professional designs, and friendly service. Therefore, it is the best option regardless of the cost.

Tips for Picking a Contractor

When choosing a contractor, ensure that they are skilled enough for the task. 

  1. The first step to finding the perfect contractor is looking at their credentials. Make sure that they have the right state licenses and certifications required for your state. Moreover, check that they have obtained these documents from a reputable association.
  2. Next, ask the contractor for their reference. Most professionals will have a list of former clients you can contact to check their work.
  3. It is also a good idea to ask for photos of previous jobs to see if they meet your standards.
  4. Finally, check the contractor’s insurance policy. Choose a company with rules that keep you and your home protected if something malfunctions on the job site.

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose to remodel your bathroom yourself or hire a contractor, you must have an idea of the design and functionalities you desire. Doing the renovations yourself will probably cost less, assuming you know what you’re doing. But a contractor will finish the project faster and with fewer flaws. 

Julie Khuu has a video on common design mistakes that may appear after your remodel: 

You can use this video as a guide for what to avoid during this project.