Take $1200 OFF Your Bathroom Remodel If You Act NOW!
+ 0% Interest AND 0 Payments for 18 months. Don't make a payment until Summer 2025!!*

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Myrtle Beach





Bathroom Remodeling: DIY or Hire a Contractor? 

Bathrooms are notoriously challenging to renovate, with numerous potential pitfalls when attempting a DIY project. Problems can quickly escalate, making it essential to consider all aspects of your project before diving in. Let’s explore the pros and cons of a DIY bathroom remodel versus hiring a bathroom remodeling contractor to do the job for you.

At EZPro Baths Express, we've completed hundreds of bathrooms this year alone. This full bathroom remodel includes a new vanity and countertops and a tub to shower conversion.

DIY Bathroom Remodeling 

If you’re considering starting a DIY bathroom remodel, we’ve laid out everything you should consider and how to prepare before getting started. 

**A Quick Note on Homeowner’s Insurance & DIY Remodels** 

If anything were to happen to your home during a DIY remodel that resulted in a leak or flooding, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the damage. This is the biggest con of doing a bathroom remodel yourself. Bathroom remodeling companies are insured against any damage they may cause and any injuries the installer may suffer. Because of their experience they are much less likely to cause damage to your home or get injured during the installation. 

Assessing Your Experience 

Before you start your project, it’s important to consider whether you have the experience to complete it yourself. If you’ve successfully completed home improvement projects like replacing kitchen cabinets, building a deck, or installing a fence, you’re off to a good start! These tasks indicate that you have some hands-on experience with tools, materials, and basic construction principles. 

However, DIY bathroom remodels require more specialized skills, particularly in areas like waterproofing, electrical work, tiling, and plumbing. Each of these areas comes with its own set of challenges and risks. For example, improper waterproofing can lead to significant water damage – eventually costing you thousands more than you initially planned to spend, while electrical and plumbing mistakes can pose safety and fire hazards. 

Build Skills Through Smaller Projects 

If you’re new to remodeling, begin with smaller, manageable projects to build your skills. Tasks like hanging shelves, replacing doors, and painting are all excellent starting points. These projects help you gain confidence and familiarize yourself with basic tools and techniques.

Basic plumbing tasks, such as replacing a toilet, are relatively straightforward for beginners. However, it’s important to remember that a full bathroom remodel is significantly more complex and involves multiple trades and skills. 

Over time, as you work on different projects, you’ll start to accumulate a set of tools and materials. You’ll also learn which tools are essential and which ones can be borrowed or rented, helping you make better purchasing decisions.  

The more projects you complete, the more confident you’ll become in your abilities. This confidence is crucial when tackling a large project like a bathroom remodel, as it helps you stay calm and focused, even when unexpected issues arise. 

Build Your Skills by Volunteering or Helping Others 

Volunteering with organizations like Habitat for Humanity is an excellent way to gain practical experience, offering opportunities to work on various construction projects, including building homes and renovating spaces. This hands-on experience often comes with the guidance of seasoned professionals who can teach you the ropes. 

Assisting friends or family members with their DIY projects is another great way to build your skills. Whether it’s helping to install a new kitchen backsplash, laying tile, or constructing a shed, you’ll gain practical experience and confidence. 

By volunteering with organizations or helping experienced friends or family members, you can learn from people who have done this work before, offering guidance, correcting mistakes, and demonstrating best practices that can save you time and money on your projects. 

These experiences can expose you to a variety of techniques and materials, helping you learn how to properly grout tiles, install drywall, or handle complex tasks like installing electrical outlets or plumbing fixtures. 

Knowing Your Limits 

It’s essential to recognize your limits. For example, if you’ve never done electrical work, it’s best not to attempt it on your own. Electrical and plumbing work require specific knowledge and skills to be done safely and correctly. Mistakes can lead to serious safety hazards, such as electrical fires or water damage. 

For complex tasks, consider hiring professionals. You might handle the demolition, painting, and other simpler tasks yourself, but leave the plumbing, electrical work, or waterproofing to experts. This hybrid approach can save you money while ensuring that critical aspects of the remodel are done correctly. 

Tools and Equipment 

Remodeling a bathroom yourself involves a variety of specialized tools and equipment, many of which you might not own. Investing in all the necessary tools can be costly, especially if you only plan to use them for a single project. Borrowing tools from friends or renting them from hardware stores can be practical and budget-friendly alternatives. 

Here’s a detailed look at the tools you might need for a bathroom remodel: 

Basic Tools 

Hammer: Essential for demolition and installing nails. 

Screwdrivers: Both flathead and Phillips screwdrivers are likely necessary for removing and installing fixtures and fittings. 

Pry Bar: Useful for removing old tiles, baseboards, and other materials during demolition. 

Tape Measure: Accurate measurements are crucial for planning and executing your remodel. 

Level: Ensures that your installations, such as shelves and tiles, are perfectly horizontal or vertical. 

Utility Knife: Handy for cutting materials like drywall, caulking, and more. 

Cordless Drill: Used for drilling holes and driving screws, a cordless drill is a versatile tool for many tasks. 

Pliers and Wrenches: Necessary for plumbing work and removing/installing fixtures. 

Specialized Tools 

Tile Saw: Essential for cutting tiles to fit around fixtures and edges. Tile saws can be expensive, so renting one might be more cost-effective. 

Wet/Dry Vacuum: Useful for cleaning up dust and debris during demolition and throughout the project. 

Stud Finder: Helps locate studs behind walls, which is crucial for mounting heavy fixtures and cabinets securely. 

Pipe Wrench: Necessary for plumbing tasks, particularly when working with old pipes that might be difficult to loosen. 

Plumber’s Snake: Useful for clearing clogs in drains and ensuring your plumbing is in good working order. 

Caulking Gun: Used for applying caulk around bathtubs, sinks, and other fixtures to prevent water leakage. 

Grout Float: Essential for spreading grout evenly between tiles. 

Tile Nippers: Useful for making small, precise cuts in tiles to fit around obstacles. 

Hole Saw Kit: Used for cutting precise holes in various materials, such as tile or drywall, for plumbing fixtures. 

Oscillating Multi-Tool: Extremely versatile, useful for cutting, sanding, and scraping in tight spaces. 

Jigsaw: Great for making intricate cuts in materials like wood or laminate. 

Circular Saw: Useful for larger cutting tasks, such as cutting plywood for subfloor repairs. 

Electrical Tools 

Voltage Tester: Essential for safely checking if electrical circuits are live before working on them. 

Wire Strippers: Used for stripping insulation from electrical wires. 

Fish Tape: Helps pull wires through walls, conduit, or insulation. 

Safety Equipment 

Safety Glasses: Protect your eyes from dust, debris, and splinters. 

Work Gloves: Keep your hands safe from sharp edges and rough materials. 

Dust Masks or Respirators: Protect your lungs from dust, mold spores, and other airborne particles. 

Hearing Protection: Essential when using loud power tools like saws and drills. 

Knee Pads: Protect your knees when working on flooring and tiling projects. 

Borrowing and Renting Tools 

You probably don’t have all the tools listed above sitting in your shed or garage. Given the cost and infrequent use of some of these specialized tools, consider the following strategies: 

Borrow from Friends and Neighbors: If you know someone who has completed a similar project, they might have the tools you need and be willing to lend them to you. 

Tool Libraries: Some communities have tool libraries where you can borrow tools just like you would borrow books from a library. 

Hardware Store Rentals: Many hardware stores offer tool rental services. This can be a cost-effective way to access expensive tools for a short period. 

Scope Creep 

Scope creep refers to the expansion of a project beyond its original objectives, often leading to increased time, cost, and complexity. In the context of a DIY bathroom remodel, scope creep can significantly impact your project, transforming what seemed like a manageable task into a much larger endeavor. Understanding and preparing for potential scope creep is essential to keeping your remodel on track and within budget. 

Changing Design Choices 

Your significant other or other family members might change their minds about design choices midway through the project. For instance, they might decide they prefer a different tile pattern, a new vanity style, or an upgraded showerhead. These changes, while often improving the final result, can lead to additional costs and delays as you source new materials and adjust your plans. 

As you progress with your remodel, you might come across new trends or ideas that inspire you to make changes to your original design. Incorporating these trends can lead to further adjustments and additional work. 

Focus on the essential aspects of the remodel first. Once the critical elements are completed, you can consider additional upgrades if time and budget allow. 

Create a plan and stick it as closely as possible to avoid unnecessary complexity. While it’s tempting to add new features, remember that each addition can complicate the project further. 

Unexpected Issues 

During demolition, you might uncover structural issues such as rust, mold, rotted wood, or termite damage. Addressing these problems is crucial for the safety and integrity of your bathroom, but they can also add considerable time and expense to your project. 

Bathrooms are very prone to water damage and mold, especially if there have been leaks or poor ventilation. Discovering mold behind walls or under floors can necessitate thorough repairs, which can be costly and time-consuming. 

Older homes often have outdated electrical wiring or plumbing that doesn’t meet current codes. Bringing these systems up to standard is essential for safety but can expand the project’s scope significantly. 

Managing Scope Creep 

Set Clear Objectives 

Before starting your remodel, create a detailed plan that outlines every aspect of the project, from design choices to materials and timelines. This plan should include a clear budget, timeline, and list of priorities. 

Ensure that all decision-makers are on the same page regarding design choices and project scope before you begin. This agreement helps minimize changes mid-project. 

Prepare for the Unexpected 

Include a contingency fund in your budget for unexpected issues. A good rule of thumb is to allocate an additional 10-20% of your total budget for unforeseen expenses. Build some flexibility into your project timeline to account for potential delays due to unexpected problems or changes in design. 

Communication and Documentation 

Maintain regular communication with your significant other or other family members with skin in the game. Frequent check-ins can help ensure that everyone is still in agreement with the plan and can address any concerns promptly. 

Keep a record of any changes to the original plan, including the reasons for the changes, the new decisions made, and any additional costs or time required. This documentation helps you stay organized and provides a clear history of the project. The next time you decide to do a home project yourself you can adjust based on what you learned from this project. 

Professional Consultation 

If you encounter unexpected structural, electrical, or plumbing issues, it may be time to consider consulting a professional. An expert can provide valuable advice on the best course of action and help you avoid costly mistakes. 

For particularly complex or critical tasks in your DIY bathroom remodel, consider hiring specialists. For example, if you discover extensive water damage or mold, a professional restoration service can ensure the issue is handled correctly. 

Time Commitment 

Balancing a bathroom remodel with work, family, and other commitments is crucial when considering the project’s timeline and goals. It’s essential to realistically assess how much time you can dedicate to the remodel each week. Having a bathroom out of commission for an extended period can disrupt your daily life significantly.  

Professionals typically complete a full bathroom remodel in 20-40 hours, whereas a DIY project might stretch over weeks or even months. 

Throughout the project, set specific goals for each phase and track your progress regularly. Be realistic about the time and effort required, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help for complex tasks or if the project timeline starts to extend beyond your initial estimates. Effective planning and goal-setting can help you navigate the challenges of a DIY remodel while minimizing disruptions to your daily life. 

Material Management 

Managing the ordering and storage of materials is a crucial aspect of a successful bathroom remodel. Without proper planning, you may encounter delays, clutter, and frustration during the project. Here are some essential items you may need to order when remodeling a bathroom, along with tips for managing their storage: 

Tiles and Flooring: 

Consider the type, size, and quantity of tiles needed for your bathroom floor and walls.  Order extra tiles to account for potential breakage or mistakes during installation. Store tiles in a dry, flat area to prevent damage and make them easily accessible during installation. 

Fixtures and Fittings: 

This includes items such as faucets, showerheads, towel racks, toilet paper holders, and cabinet hardware. Double-check measurements and compatibility with your existing plumbing and layout. Store fixtures and fittings in their original packaging or labeled containers to avoid confusion during installation. 

Cabinetry and Vanity: 

If you’re replacing or installing new cabinetry, measure the space carefully to ensure a proper fit. Order vanity tops, sinks, and any additional storage components needed. Store cabinetry components in a clean, dry area, keeping hardware and accessories organized and labeled. 

Lighting and Electrical Supplies: 

Plan the placement of light fixtures, switches, and outlets in your bathroom design. Order lighting fixtures, bulbs, wiring, and electrical outlets as needed. Store electrical supplies in a secure location away from moisture to prevent damage. 

Plumbing Materials: 

If you’re making plumbing changes or installing new fixtures, you’ll need pipes, fittings, valves, and seals. Order plumbing materials based on your project’s specifications and consult with a professional if necessary. Store plumbing supplies in a dry area with easy access for installation and repairs. 

Paint and Finishing Materials: 

Choose paint colors and finishes for walls, trim, and ceilings. Order paint, brushes, rollers, primer, caulk, and other finishing materials. Store paint cans securely in a cool, dry place and label them for easy identification. 

Conduct Extensive Background Research 

Embarking on a DIY bathroom remodel requires thorough preparation and background research. Educating yourself about the processes, materials, and techniques involved is crucial for success. Avoid regrets from your bathroom remodel by taking plenty of time to research as much about your project as possible.

Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to help you learn, ranging from online videos and forums to books and mentors. Here’s how you can utilize these tools effectively: 


YouTube is an excellent platform for finding tutorial videos on virtually any aspect of bathroom remodeling. Channels like Home Repair Tutor, This Old House, and DIY Creators offer step-by-step guides on tasks such as tiling, plumbing, and installing fixtures. Watching videos allows you to see the techniques in action, which can be more informative than reading about them. You can pause, rewind, and replay videos as needed to fully understand each step. 

Reddit and Online Forums 

Communities like r/HomeImprovement and r/DIY are great places to ask questions, share experiences, and get advice from seasoned DIYers and professionals. You can find threads on specific challenges, product recommendations, and success stories. 

Websites like DIY Chatroom and John Bridge Tile Forum offer specialized advice on home improvement and tiling, respectively. These forums often have experienced members who can provide detailed guidance and troubleshooting tips. 

DIY Blogs and Websites 

Websites like Family Handyman, Bob Vila, and Houzz offer articles written by experts on various remodeling topics. These resources provide in-depth information and professional insights. 

Many DIY websites feature project galleries that showcase before-and-after photos, giving you inspiration and practical ideas for your own remodel. 

Home Improvement Books 

Books like “The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual” by The Family Handyman and “Home Improvement 1-2-3” by Home Depot cover a wide range of projects, including bathroom remodeling. These books provide step-by-step instructions and detailed illustrations. 

Consider books that focus specifically on bathrooms, such as “Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Bathrooms” or “Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies.” These resources delve deeper into the specifics of bathroom design and renovation. 

Finding a Mentor 

If you have friends or family members who have experience with bathroom remodeling, ask them for advice or assistance. They can provide practical tips and help you avoid common pitfalls. 

Check if your local home improvement stores, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, offer workshops on bathroom remodeling. These classes can provide hands-on experience and the opportunity to ask questions. 

Using Pinterest for Inspiration 

Pinterest is a powerful tool for gathering inspiration for your DIY bathroom remodel. Start by creating a dedicated board to centralize all your ideas. Categorize your pins into sections like flooring, fixtures, and lighting for easy reference. Use Pinterest’s search function to explore styles, trends, and innovative features, such as unique tile patterns or statement lighting. 

Stay updated on the latest trends by following interior designers, home improvement brands, and DIY influencers. Discover unique design elements that reflect your personal style, and don’t hesitate to save a diverse range of ideas initially to help refine your vision. 

Collaborate with partners or family members by inviting them to your board, allowing everyone to contribute and discuss ideas. Sharing your board with contractors can also help them understand your vision better. Additionally, Pinterest can aid in practical planning by linking pins to purchasable products, helping you compare options and source materials.  

Still Have Doubts? 

If you have any doubts about your ability to complete the project, it’s best to just have a bathroom remodeling contractor take care of your project. If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina, you’re in luck – we’ll give you an exact price on your bathroom remodel. 

Hiring a Contractor to Remodel Your Bathroom 

Hiring a contractor for your bathroom remodel can be a wise investment, offering numerous advantages that often outweigh the initial cost. Let’s dive deeper into the benefits and considerations when hiring a professional. 

If you’re already set on hiring a contractor, you should check out our blog about choosing a bathroom remodeling contractor. 

Fixed Pricing and Budgeting 

Contractors provide detailed quotes that outline the cost of materials, labor, and any additional expenses. This helps you budget accurately and avoid unexpected costs. 

A formal contract will specify the scope of work, payment schedules, and deadlines, providing clarity and security. 

Quotes or estimates are just that though – guesses. At EZPro Baths Express, we only give exact prices for you remodel at the completion of a free in-home design consultation. That way you know exactly what your project is going to cost and exactly what we’re going to do to your bathroom. In the Carolinas? Schedule your FREE in-home design consultation with us. 

Cost Control 

Experienced contractors can manage costs effectively, minimizing the risk of budget overruns due to unforeseen issues or changes in the project scope. 

Read our guide on 8 Factors that Affect the Cost of a Bathroom Remodel. This blog covers the biggest costs of a bathroom remodel and quick tips to help you keep costs low. 

Professional Expertise and Experience 

Professional contractors bring years of experience to the table. They are familiar with common issues that arise during bathroom remodels and know how to address them efficiently.  

Contractors employ skilled tradespeople for tasks such as plumbing, electrical work, and tiling, ensuring high-quality workmanship. 

During a remodel, unexpected issues such as water damage, mold, or structural problems can arise. Contractors have the expertise to quickly diagnose and fix these problems.  

If subfloor damage is discovered, a contractor can assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action, whether it’s a simple repair or a full replacement. Contractors have the tools and materials to repair subfloors correctly, ensuring the longevity and safety of your bathroom. 

For example, at EZPro Baths Express, we employ full-time installers who have years of experience. It’s likely that whatever unforeseen problems your bathroom has to throw at us, our installers have probably seen it dozens of times before. 

Compliance With Permitting 

Getting the proper permits is especially vital for plumbing and electrical work where mistakes can have costly and hazardous consequences. Professional contractors understand the importance of adhering to local building codes and regulations to ensure safety and compliance. 

Safety Compliance: 

Permits require contractors to follow specific safety standards, especially for plumbing and electrical installations. This ensures that your remodel meets safety regulations and reduces the risk of hazards like electrical fires or plumbing leaks. 

Quality Assurance: 

Permitting often involves inspections by local authorities. These inspections verify that the work is done correctly and up to code, maintaining the quality and integrity of your remodel. 

Legal Compliance: 

By obtaining permits, you demonstrate compliance with local laws and regulations. This helps avoid potential fines, penalties, or legal issues related to unpermitted work. 

Insurance Coverage: 

Some insurance policies may require proof of permits for remodeling projects. Having the necessary permits in place can ensure that your project is covered in case of any unforeseen incidents. 

Resale Value: 

Permitted remodels add value to your home, as they assure potential buyers that the work was done professionally and in compliance with regulations. This can positively impact your home’s resale value and marketability. 

Professional contractors handle the permitting process on your behalf, taking care of paperwork, submitting applications, scheduling inspections, and ensuring that your remodel meets all legal requirements. While it may add a step to the process, permitting is essential for a safe, high-quality, and legally compliant remodel. 

Quick Turnaround 

Contractors follow a streamlined process to complete the remodel efficiently. With a team of skilled workers, they can often finish the project in a fraction of the time it would take a DIYer.  

A faster remodel means less disruption to your daily life. Professionals can complete a full bathroom remodel in 20-40 hours, compared to weeks or months for a DIY project. 

At EZPro, shower or tub replacements can be as quick as one day to complete, while full bathroom remodels typically take about a week to complete. 

Project Management 

Contractors manage all aspects of the project, from ordering materials to coordinating different tradespeople. This ensures smooth and timely completion of your project. 

Quality Assurance 

Professional contractors adhere to high standards of workmanship, ensuring that every aspect of your bathroom remodel is executed flawlessly. 

Many contractors also offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind that any issues will be addressed promptly. 

Material Quality 

Contractors often have relationships with suppliers and can source high-quality materials at better prices than the general public. 

Proper installation of fixtures and finishes is crucial for the longevity of your bathroom. Contractors have the expertise to install everything correctly the first time. 

At EZPro, our shower walls are made from virgin acrylic that lasts much longer than typical fiberglass showers. And it’s backed by a lifetime warranty! 

Safety and Liability 

Licensed contractors carry insurance that protects both them and you in case of accidents or damage during the remodel. This reduces your liability and ensures that any mishaps are covered. 

Contractors adhere to strict safety standards, reducing the risk of injuries or accidents on the job site. 

Which Should You Choose – DIY or Contractor? 

It’s totally going to depend on your expertise and willingness to dedicate time and resources to completing a high-quality job. 

We hope this blog has helped you make the choice between hiring a remodeling company versus completing your bathroom remodel yourself. 

Hiring a contractor for your bathroom remodel can save you time, money, and stress. With our expertise, experience, and efficiency, we can transform your bathroom into a beautiful, functional space with minimal disruption to your life. We’ll handle all aspects of the project, from obtaining permits to managing the final inspection, ensuring a smooth and successful remodel. 

If you’re in North Carolina or South Carolina and considering a bathroom remodel, reach out to us for a free in-home design consultation. Our team of experienced installers is standing by to help you create the bathroom of your dreams with quality workmanship and excellent service along the way.

Photo of shower remodel

Schedule Your FREE in-Home Consultation

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Read More: