DIY vs. Hiring a Contractor

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The times when the bathrooms were focused solely on function are long gone.

Today, bathrooms are designed with both functionality and style in mind.

When people consider remodeling their homes, the bathrooms are usually the first place they begin.

Remodeling bathrooms not only helps you modernize your home and add that level of luxury that was missing earlier, but it also increases the value of your property at the time of sale.

Bathrooms are, undoubtedly, the most important part of any house, and therefore, the investment that goes into the remodeling will give excellent returns in the future.

However, as a matter of fact, bathroom remodeling does not come cheap.

Even if your bathroom is small in size, it can cost you as much as $20,000 to remodel it from top to bottom.

The larger the bathroom is, the more expensive bathroom remodeling will be.

This is one of the primary reasons why people prefer remolding their bathrooms on their own.

DIY bathroom remodeling can help you save a lot of money, but there are some things for which you will NEED to call a professional contractor.

If you want to know which parts of a bathroom remodel you can do yourself and which need professional attention, continue reading this blog post for the ultimate DIY vs. contractor comparison.

When Talking About Bathroom Remodeling, What Can You Do-It-Yourself?

Woman Siliconizing Bathtub

DIY bathroom remodeling is time-consuming and stressful but totally worth it since you’re saving quite a lot of money.

You also get that sense of achievement at the end of the project, which is priceless.

When we talk about bathroom remolding, there are numerous things that you don’t need to hire a professional for.

  • If you want to update your vanity, you can do it yourself. You can buy a new sink top that is more stylish and modern in size and fits over your existing base. If trim and bevels on vanity doors do not match the new sink top, replacing them yourself is super-easy. Also, you can even replace the vanity entirely. All you’ll need is some extra hands to lift the weight.
  • You can replace the fixtures in your bathroom. This includes things like the faucets. You can even install accessories like towel hooks without any hassle.
  • Replacement of exhaust fan requires you to turn off the electrical supply, take the existing exhaust fan away, and install a newer, more efficient model that is similar in size to the previous one. You don’t need to hire a professional for this either.
  • Updating the lighting of the bathroom is another important aspect of bathroom remodeling. As long as lighting update does not require installation of light fixtures on a new wall, you can replace the existing fixtures with ones that are more stylish and have more bulbs.
  • Installing a mirror is the simplest and easiest way to enhance the appearance of your bathroom. If your bathroom is very small in size, a large bathroom mirror might even make it look bigger!
  • If you want new storage boxes or any wall accessories, you can do it yourself without any assistance from a contractor.
  • Swapping a toilet is no hard job if you know how to turn off the water supply. With a little help from your family, you can easily lift the old toilet and install a new one in its place. You’ll need a new wax ring to seal it, and you’re good to go!
  • Redoing the paint in your bathroom is one of the easiest ways to remodel it. The best thing about it is that you can do it yourself. You can also upgrade the bathroom walls by installing wallpapers or wall decals.
  • Window treatments like the installation of blinds or new curtains are also a super-easy, cost-effective, and efficient way of changing up the look of your bathroom.
  • A beadboard can literally transform the look of your bathroom. You can use an adhesive and install a beadboard on the lower half of your bathroom walls. If any wall hooks or stands come in the way, you can take them off and install them over the beadboard panel later.
  • Tiling the walls can also be a DIY project. All you have to do is make sure that you’re sealing the tiled walls around the shower area properly to avoid the growth of mold.
  • Tiling floors requires a lot of planning, homework, and patience, but it can be done by you if you’re really committed to the task. If you want to keep the process simple, groutable adhesive tiles are your go-to option. If you want proper tiling, you first have to remove the existing tiles, level the subfloor underneath, and then install the new tiles. This will put your bathroom in an unusable condition for several days, so make sure you have another bathroom to use.

Any of the tasks involved in bathroom remodeling that do not require any specialized and technical skills can be done by you.

Not only will performing these tasks yourself help you save money, but it will also make you feel good about your bathroom every time you see what you’ve accomplished!

When Should You Hire a Contractor?

Installing Exhaust Fan

While you can do most of the bathroom remodeling tasks yourself, there are some things that you should leave in the qualified hands of a professional contractor.

Trying to find your way around these tasks to save money might lead to disaster later on.

Let’s have a look at some bathroom remodeling tasks that you should leave to the contractor.

  • If you’re planning on relocating your tub, shower, or toilet, you will have to call in a contractor to do the job. These jobs involve replacing the plumbing, which isn’t something a regular DIYer can do. Your access to concealed pipes is limited, and therefore, you should let a plumber do this job for you.
  • If you’re planning to install new lights on walls that didn’t have a fixture earlier or any other kind of electrical work, you should hire a contractor to do it for you. Electrical work is risky, more so when it is near the shower or the water pipes. Therefore, to ensure your safety, you should leave this part of the bathroom remodeling process on a contractor.
  • If your bathroom does not have an exhaust fan and you want one in your remodeled bathroom, this is something a professional contractor should do. It will involve cutting through the wall and installing new electrical lines. Advanced DIYers might want to try doing it themselves, but this is not recommended at all!
  • If you reside in a colder part of the country, you may be tempted to install heated floors to enhance your comfort. The installation of heated floors is a highly specialized and technical job and can only be done by a professional. If you really want to save money, you can perform the final tiling task once the heated floors are in place.

For any core-level bathroom remodels, it is always advisable to hire contractors.

Professional plumbers and electricians are better equipped with the skills and tools needed to get the job done right.

Cost Comparison

Taking Money From Wallet

The DIY vs. contractor cost comparison is one of the biggest reasons why people prefer doing their bathroom remodeling themselves.

As mentioned earlier, even the smallest bathroom remodel can cost you as much as $20,000 if you hire a contractor.

A common average that a general contractor charges to remodel a bathroom is $250 per square foot.

If your bathroom is as big as 150-feet, a bathroom remodel can cost a humongous $40,000.

However, if you remodel the same 150-feet bathroom yourself, it will cost you as little as $75 per square foot.

Which means, remodeling the entire bathroom yourself will cost you about $11,000, which is significantly lower than what hiring a contractor would cost.

You can keep the remodel costs low and well in your budget if you choose your fixtures and accessories carefully.

The bottom line of this DIY vs. contractor comparison is that a DIY bathroom remodel will cost you less than half of what a contractor would charge.

DIY bathroom remodeling will help you save significantly on the labor costs but will retain the cost of hardware.

You can put the money you saved elsewhere in your house!


DIY bathroom remodeling projects are extremely common today.

With easy access to the required tools and online tutorials, DIY projects have been made easier.

However, hiring a contractor for bathroom remodeling gives you the peace of mind knowing that the contractor will take care of everything for you, which is totally worth paying for.

However, for advanced DIYers, bathroom remodeling can be an exciting and challenging project; not to forget the incredible amount of money that they can save!

If you know your way around doing basic tasks yourself, remodeling your bathroom by yourself is a great idea.

In case you’re not very skilled at DIY techniques, then this isn’t the best choice for you, and you should hire a contractor.

What you should keep in mind is that professionals might do a better and faster job.

Before you make your decision, weigh your approximate cost savings against the benefits of hiring a contractor.

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