Bathroom Renovation Blunders: 3 Common DIY Mistakes

By February 7, 2017Bathroom, Kitchen and Bath
bathroom renovator

Remodeling a bathroom can seem like a simple enough job, so many people get the idea of doing it themselves.  With so many DIY shows and inspiration out there, it’s easy for a first time renovator to become disillusioned and tackle a project far too advanced for them. Obvious design flaws, code violations, and results that show a clear lack of skill are some of the biggest dangers of going about this project in the wrong way. Here are some things that can be prevented by calling in the professionals:

Bad Bathroom Design

For most, it would seemingly be clear that the most important aspect of design is usability. However, this isn’t obvious to all. One amazingly common error is installing the toilet directly in front of the sink. This doesn’t mean “next to” the sink, or even a few feet in front of it. In the worst cases, one would have to actually stand on the rim of the toilet to access the sink.

Another design mistake is far less shocking, but will still cause a lot of hassle.  While bathroom storage is important, especially in small spaces, some design options are better than others.  Placing a shelf directly above the toilet sounds like a great idea, but can cause logistical problems. It is often overlooked that a certain amount of headspace  is needed when arising off the toilet below. The result? The shelf ends up in the way. This causes it to get knocked when someone gets up, causing it to spill its contents directly into the now-vacant toilet – or worse, causing bruises to people’s heads.

Finally, there is the frequent error of placing the toilet paper holder too far away to reach it from the sitting position. It’s a simple, but very annoying, design flaw.

Code Violations

These aren’t as obvious to someone who isn’t a home inspector or similar professional, but they can be extremely dangerous. One such problem involves wires grounded to metal water pipes. Ground wires aren’t supposed to be hot, but can become so if there’s a problem with how things such as new bathroom lights are wired into the electrical system. Such problems can result in shocks or even electrocution to whoever touches the now-electrified water fixtures.

Other violations are simpler, but can be just as dangerous. The failure to use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in a bathroom leaves people vulnerable to accidents like electrocution from dropping an electric shaver into a sink full of water. Problems with other fixtures, like exhaust fans, can lead to fires. Bad plumbing decisions may lead to leaks or even floods.

Issues with Workmanship

Even if all of the codes are followed and a good design plan is made, there will still be the matter of workmanship. It takes time and practice – some say 6 to 10 years’ worth – to get good at things like construction, but most DIY bathroom remodelers are doing it for the first time ever. This generally results in a substandard look as well as issues that will lead to the early failure of certain parts of the room.

One particularly troublesome workmanship issue is the failure to get the flooring up close enough to the tub to allow caulk to make a good seal. In fact, caulking may not be done at all! Either way, this allows water to reach the subflooring – which is usually wood – every time a shower or bath is taken. Soon enough, the floor will rot. The same thing is true wherever any two surfaces don’t get properly sealed.

For these reasons and more, it’s important to always hire a professional for a bathroom renovation. AT RWC, we have decades of combined experience and will not make these errors. Give us a call to get the job done right.

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