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Bathroom Resources

Understanding DIY Bathroom Remodels

Bathroom remodeling can be an exciting opportunity to customize your space to better fit your needs. It is also an excellent way to improve your home’s return on investment. Whether your bathroom’s upgrades are with living or selling in mind, there are a lot of things to consider. 

While it can be tempting to take on a DIY-mentality for the allure of control and cost-saving, it is important to understand what projects are appropriate to take on yourself versus which are better left to the professionals. That’s where Modernize can help! Learn whether you should take a DIY bathroom remodel approach, or partner with a professional to get the job done.

Table of Contents

A Contractor’s Role 

When it comes to a bathroom remodel, a contractor typically plays a big role. From securing permits and performing labor to helping to dispose of old appliances, contractors’ duties can be huge, depending on how involved you’d like them to be. 

It’s important to discuss elements about the remodel with your contractor or potential contractor ahead of time. This will help you to know what to expect during your remodel, and whether your project will require a professional or a DIY bathroom remodel approach will suffice.

Questions to ask include — but aren’t limited to — how long will you be without bathroom or plumbing access and how to prepare your home for demo day. 

Do All Bathroom Remodels Require a Permit? 

Not all bathroom remodeling work requires permits — it depends on the scope of the job. 

For instance, to replace an existing window or door, but keep the same frame size, would not necessarily require a permit. But adding a brand new window, door or skylight would. 

Here’s a quick overview of remodeling work that does versus does not require a permit:

Do I Need a Permit?  Answer
Adding new plumbing  Yes
Painting the walls  No
Adding a skylight above the shower Yes
New electrical for a vanity mirror  Yes
New countertops for the vanity No
A new shower frame around an existing fixture No
Demolishing a load bearing wall for a new shower frame Yes

Depending on where you live and the scope of your project, your contractor may need to secure permits on behalf of your home in order to complete your bathroom remodel. Permitting requirements can be complicated, so Modernize always recommends discussing this with a contractor ahead of time. 

DIY Ideas For Bathrooms

While it’s important to understand a contractor’s role in the bathroom renovation process, there are still some jobs that a homeowner can handle themselves. In fact, some DIY bathroom renovations can save homeowners significant money when remodeling. Here are some ideas: 

Use Paint to Revitalize Your Bathroom

Paint is an easy way to change the whole vibe of a room. Not only can it be used on walls, fixtures or cabinetry, painting bathroom tile is an exciting way to switch things up. 

Patterned cement and encaustic tile are increasingly popular. But with a can of paint and stencils, you can achieve the same feel without having to pull and replace existing tile. 

Refinish Your Sink

Colored ceramics used to be a huge hit for bathrooms. But these days, the hues can give a dated effect. With the help of ceramic epoxy, sinks and counters can get a sleek new look with just a little elbow grease. You can also explore additional energy-efficient bathroom fixtures to revitalize your bathroom while cutting energy costs.

Change Up Your Mirror

Whether you opt to build a frame around your bathroom’s existing mirror or replace it all together, mirrors are an effective design tool because they make rooms appear bigger and more spacious without having to knock over any load bearing walls. Painting or adding a wood frame around an existing mirror is a beautiful way to enhance an existing piece. 

Before diving into a DIY bathroom remodel, it’s important to prioritize your goals to avoid getting overwhelmed. Make sure to consider these several important questions before getting started remodeling on your own. Remember, with the help of a contractor on logistical concerns, you’re given more room to daydream over counter finishes and paint schemes. 

Modernize is here to help you figure out what’s the best option for your goals. Get started by reviewing our Contractor Checklist before hiring a professional, or explore ways to save on your bathroom in the short and long-term.

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