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Bathroom Renovation - DIY Style

Jan 19, 2008
When you consider bathroom renovation, DIY (do it yourself) is an attractive option just because of the costs involved. The bathroom is one of the most expensive of rooms to renovate. If you enjoy learning new things, getting your hands dirty and have patience, then there are some parts of bathroom renovation DIY style which can be done. However, if you have a major plumbing or electrical problem in your bathroom, get professional help. Your home could risk major structural damage, otherwise.

When you think of bathroom renovation DIY projects that you can do, all plumbing and electrical work should never come to mind. Legally, only a licensed plumber or electrician can and should fool around with such equipment. If you plan out your bathroom renovation project in advance, you'll have enough time to get a few estimates from plumbers or electricians. Getting it done right will save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.

The facts:

1. You are NOT permitted to do any electrical or plumbing work yourself.
2. You will need to check with your local council before doing any structural work yourself.

Next you need to ask yourself these questions:

- How big is the job?
- How long will it take?
- Do I have the time and skills to do it myself?
- Have I got the necessary tools to do the job?

Some of these questions will be easy to answer, e.g. you can hire the necessary tools. However when it comes to skills and time, think carefully. It may pay to break down the job into smaller jobs. Know what you can comfortably do versus what an expert can do. Reaching a compromise where you complete the finishing touches yourself may the most economical and personally satisfying method.

With that out of the way, if you are still keen to do it yourself you should plan your workflow so that you do things in the right order. You will also need to give yourself plenty of time because there's a fair chance you will end up spending more time on the smallest room in the house. Now here's another consideration: Do you expect to still be using the bathroom while you are doing renovations? If your answer is 'yes', then it's a bad idea. If you haven't got a second toilet or don't have access to a shower then peace and harmony in the household will be stretched to the limit. Best to pack up the household inhabitants and send them off for a long weekend. You'll get more work done and you won't be hassled by someone looking over your shoulder thinking, "Do you know what you're doing?"

Although you can't touch the lighting or the plumbing yourself, that still leaves you with a lot you can do for bathroom renovation DIY projects. Since you are in the bathroom so often, you'll want to make it as pleasing to your eyes as possible. You can tackle new cabinets, towel racks, door knobs, curtains or blinds, paintings or pictures on the walls, a new lick of paint and new towels to match. Remember with any bathroom renovation DIY project that you have vertical as well as horizontal space to express your creativity. Even getting a new wastepaper basket and toilet brush holder can change the look and feel of a bathroom. And don't ignore the lights. Although you can't do electrical work, you can install new color or softer lit light bulbs, which might relax your eyes, or put in a new light fixture.

Perhaps there is a theme or basic color scheme you want your bathroom to have. Since it's a room you want to relax in, please don't paint the walls in garish colors like neon yellow, no matter how cheap the paint is. Even "relaxing place" could be a theme you can build your bathroom renovation DIY projects around, with dark curtains, soft light bulbs, pale, gentle colors and a shelf to put a little rock garden or a bowl or potpourri on. Give yourself time. The beauty of bathroom renovation DIY projects is that you do not have to stick to a schedule.
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