When you think about DIYing your bathroom remodel, you could have visions of a beautiful update at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to tackle a DIY project. 

If you don’t have the necessary skills to complete a DIY project, the finished product can often look cheap. Furthermore, it can often wear out quickly. Or worse, it could end up costing you substantially more. You might discover you ultimately need to bring an outside contractor. It could be that you break something you’re trying to fix. Or, you could get finished and discover that you didn’t finish the project up to code. 

Before you start tearing up tiles, ripping out pipes, and planning new grout colors, make sure you are fully prepared for the project at hand. Take a moment to consider the following common pitfalls before you dive in, so that you can make sure you won’t suddenly find yourself knee-deep in water — literally or figuratively. 

Common DIY Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes and Oversights

Not Properly Waterproofing Fixtures

The bathroom is what’s considered a “wet room,” meaning it has a variety of fixtures that use water. These include your toilet, shower, and sink. Each of these features are can be leaks and water damage. And, any updates to them can pose a serious potential for something to go wrong. 

If you don’t fully waterproof any one of these features, the results could include: 

  • Mold and mildew
  • Higher utility bills
  • Compromised structure
  • Water damage

Failing to Measure Properly

Walk into a lot of DIY remodels and you’ll notice things don’t seem to fit quite right. Cabinets aren’t flush with walls. Doors have to be opened in precisely the right order. Tile is a little wonky in the way it fits together. 

Why does this happen? Often because the person doing the DIY remodel failed to measure their space properly. It’s easy to have happen. Because for all the elements within your bathroom to fit together, each piece needs to be considered within the whole. 

Typically, DIY remodelers will measure how a cabinet fits into their layout and then how the sink fits within the cabinet. But, there can be other nuances to consider such as what angle the sink must be placed for proper plumbing or how the cabinet needs to be shifted to accommodate the bathroom door. These are small considerations, but they can have a big impact on the finished product. 

Not Setting a Realistic Timeline

It’s not uncommon for a DIY remodel project to drone to take substantially longer than planned. This can happen easily for a variety of reasons, including: 

Not having all the materials you need. Whether it’s another trip to the store or waiting for back ordered materials, that costs you time. 

Doing the project in small chunks. Chances are, if you’re doing a DIY remodel, you’re doing it in your spare time while also going about the everyday business of living. That means you might only be able to do a small piece of the project here or there. Or it could mean that you have to press pause on a big part of the project and pick it up later — both of which can slow down the process. 

Running out of money. Another common pitfall DIY remodelers encounter is underestimating the budget they’ll need to finish. There are a variety of reasons this can happen for a variety of reasons including need to re-do an update to discovering more damage than you planned for. 

Discovering Asbestos

Asbestos can be extremely dangerous to your health. And for those who have homes built before 1984, it’s a very real threat. It can often be found in the walls, under the flooring and in the ceilings of your bathroom. 

As you undergo a remodel you’ll want to look for black spots on the wall or in-between the tile. Any time you do find it, you’ll want to contact a licensed expert immediately to handle the removal, as it can be extremely dangerous to inhale. 

Make Sure Your DIY Remodel is a Success by Being Honest About Your Expertise

If you want to explore a DIY remodel, you’ll want to make sure that you’re honest with yourself about what projects you can and can’t handle. This means taking stock of what an update really takes and whether or not you actually have the expertise to complete it. The school of YouTube can be wonderful, but it can also come with the cost of trial and error.  

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