A bathroom remodel can both add significant value to your home and turn an outdated master bathroom into space you enjoy being in every single day. If it’s been a few years (or more like a few decades!) since your bathroom was last updated, it might be a good call to invest back into your home and renovate this space. However, it’s important to do things right: remodeling mistakes can potentially lead to a disaster for your project and your home. In this article, we’ll review some of the most expensive consequences of improper remodeling and plumbing, and when you need to bring in a professional.
Set your limits and stick to them
Many homeowners approach their bathroom to remodel with a can-do attitude and a seemingly simple path to saving money: they’ll do everything themselves. After all, homeowners today have access to online videos, tutorials, and nearly endless information—how hard could it be? While there are parts of your remodel you can take on yourself, such as installing vinyl flooring or repainting the walls, it’s important to recognize when you’re out of your element and you need to bring in an expert.
Even incredibly handy homeowners may find themselves not exactly sure how to properly slope a shower or install new wiring for an outlet by the bathroom vanity. Unfortunately, this is a common point at which things go wrong: improper installation of electrical wiring or pipes can lead to disaster. While representing lower stakes, not tiling a shower correctly or installing a vanity wrong just looks shoddy and unprofessional. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to bring in a remodeling professional to help.
Hire the right professional for the job
Even if you’ve made the right call to hire a pro, you’re not out of the woods yet. You need to put the time, effort, and money into finding the right professional for your project. Hiring the wrong person can result in an expensive mistake: you don’t want your shower to be the first one a rookie plumber has ever worked on. Without researching and vetting out contractors, you may end up hiring someone who is unreliable, unqualified, or untrustworthy. This could lead to things not being done right.
So, how should you go about finding the right person to work in your bathroom? First, don’t just go with the lowest bid. Submit multiple bids to multiple companies that have good reviews online. Then, when they call you, ask about their licensing, past experience remodeling bathrooms like yours, and if they have prior homeowners willing to give them a positive reference. If you’re making changes to your bathroom that require local permits, ask them about their process for pulling those and keeping everything in order. Their answers to your questions should give you an idea of whether or not they can be trusted.
What are the consequences of shoddy plumbing?
Regardless of how it happened, improperly installed pipes, fixtures, sinks, and shower drains could lead to an expensive disaster. The two most common outcomes are water damage and mold growth.
When plumbing is installed incorrectly, water damage is often the result. Even a relatively minor leak from between two ill-fitting pipes can eventually lead to major issues. The key to water damage is this: time is not on your side. The longer the leak is left untreated, the more extensive the damage will eventually be. Water can damage your home’s structure, walls, floors, furniture, appliances, and more. The stakes are specially raised in a second-floor bathroom, as gravity will carry any water from a plumbing leak to the next level down.
Where there are water and heat, there will inevitably be mold. Mold requires moisture to grow, and a hidden water leak provides more than it needs to thrive. Many people—including those with allergies or breathing conditions—are especially sensitive to mold, and prolonged mold exposure will make most people sick. If you discover water damage in your home, you need to bring in a mold remediation specialist for a closer inspection to make sure there isn’t any mold growth behind your walls. As with most urgent home issues, procrastination and waiting only makes the cleanup more extensive and expensive.
Here’s what else you need to know about water damage and mold growth
You can’t count on your home’s insurance policy to cover all the damages. While most home insurance policies do cover water damage, it’s only that caused by aging and deteriorating pipes: not as a byproduct of a botched bathroom renovation. Before you start work on your bathroom, be sure to consult with an experienced contractor in your area.