Hiring a Professional Plumber for Your Bathroom Remodel
Installing a shower door or replacing a faucet or toilet seat are minor improvements many homeowners can do themselves, but an extensive bathroom remodel requires a higher level of skills and should be left to the professionals.
Brainstorm bathroom remodeling ideas
You’ve probably looked at pictures in magazines or online for remodeling ideas. If you know how you want your new bathroom to look and have compiled some pictures, save them to show the remodeling contractor. Likewise, if you already know what types of fixtures you want, or you have ideas for wallpaper, keep a list of these items to share with the remodeling contractor.
It’s important to know what you want before you ask a remodeler to put a price on it. Also, stay consistent with your plan when you invite remodeling contractors to give you quotes. Otherwise, it will be difficult to compare prices.
Hiring a bathroom remodeling contractor
Referrals and word of mouth are still the best way to track down a reputable bathroom remodeling contractor. When the renovations are done on a professional level, and the customers are happy, this is how the service industry businesses grow and prosper. So, if your neighbor, friend, coworker or family member was satisfied with a recent remodeling job, ask them for the service contractor’s contact information so that you can get in touch to get an estimate.
Also, be sure to check online or ask others for references for highly rated bathroom remodelers in your area and choose the one who has established a good reputation and solid work experience. Hiring a new company that you know nothing about can be risky, especially if it’s unable to give you references from previous clients.
When you’ve narrowed down your choices, contact several remodeling contractors, and arrange for them to come to your home to give you written estimates. Make sure that the contractor is licensed, insured and offers a guarantee on his or her work.
Planning a bathroom renovation
There’s a logical order for installing various components during a bathroom remodel. Whether you attempt a DIY job, work closely with a plumbing contractor or let the professionals handle all the work themselves, it’s important to work in a certain order. That way, you maximize your time and prevent ruining completed work that’s already been installed. Before laying out a floor plan for a remodeled bathroom, you might want a plumber to help lay out the toilet, water lines, and drains. Determine wall placement: This initial step requires precise planning, since building codes require certain clearances around toilets and sinks.
- Construct walls/install plumbing drain lines: If the bathroom floor is made of wood, the walls should be constructed first, followed by the plumbing drain lines. If the floor is made of concrete, the bathroom remodel should follow the opposite order. Either way, remember that it’s best to leave drain and water supply pipe installation to a licensed plumber.
- Install tub or shower: With concrete floor poured (if applicable) and the wall studs in place, it’s time to install the remaining above-grade plumbing drain lines and vent pipes, followed by the bathtub or shower. Cover the tub or shower walls with a heavy drop cloths to protect them. Then, install all water supply lines.
- Rough in heating and cooling ductwork: Dedicate places for supply registers, heat piping, and ventilation for exhaust fans.
- Install electrical wiring: Make sure no wall-mounted fixtures obstruct the places you plan to install mirrors or medicine cabinets.
- Install insulation: Make sure to insulate all exterior walls for energy efficiency and consider insulating interior walls as well for sound proofing.
- Install cement board and drywall: Cement board is needed anywhere you plan to cover with ceramic tile, such as around the tub. Choose moisture-resistant drywall for all bathroom walls.
- Install tile: Start with tub and shower tile followed by floor tile.
- Install door and trim: If you choose to paint the room, now is the time to do it.
- Install toilet and sink: To protect floor tile during this step, cover it with a drop cloth.
- Install final accessories: Mirrors, towel bars and other accessories go in last.
There is something to be said about using a qualified plumbing contractor for your remodel. It can make your life so much easier. Plumbers often get a bad rap and are the subject of popular jokes, but if you have ever broken off the water line while trying to install something or make a repair, you know how valuable a plumber can be.