DIY Bathroom Remodeling Isn’t So Scary After All

by Editor on May 8, 2013


If you were to talk to an experienced real estate agent, they would tell you that of all the rooms in your home that you can upgrade prior to sale, bathroom remodeling is easily one of the most important. Also if you talk to most homeowners, they will tell you that bathroom remodeling is one job that they avoid the most.

It’s their lack of experience that’s to most of the blame for this. If you stop and think about it for a moment there are so many projects that you can do around your home where you can rely on prior experience.

No one wants to learn their lessons the hard way either because hard lessons learned during a bathroom remodeling project doesn’t come cheap. You can still learn from others and the following are seven suggestions outlining how you can take the fear out of your bathroom remodeling project.

Don’t Get Flushed Over Toilet Replacement

If you really don’t cherish the idea of getting involved with a toilet replacement project, don’t worry because you’re not alone. Toilets are no fun when they malfunction, so this is one household appliance nobody wants to learn lessons about the hard way on. The real irony here is that when it comes to a bathroom remodeling project, replacing a damaged or outdated toilet can have a huge impact.

Now here’s the surprise. A toilet is one of the easiest home renovation components you can change out in your home, because all it takes is the removal of two small nuts on each side of the bottom. Of course the water line has to be disconnected too, but really it’s just those two nuts on the side on the bottom that are holding it down.

Give it a flush to drain the back tank, and then you can use a plunger to force the water in the bowl down the drain. After the hoses have been unscrewed, the next step is a simple matter of picking the thing up and carrying it outside. Attach the new toilet simply repeat the process in reverse.

New Tub and Shower Fittings in 3 Minutes

If your tub and shower have seen better days but you don’t have money budgeted for completely replacing either one or both of them in a full-blown bathroom remodeling project you can still bring about considerable change by simply replacing the fittings.

This means the waterspouts and the knobs, and you may surprised by just how easy it is to do and how affordable new ones are to buy. So give it a test by reaching up, grabbing hold of your shower fitting and giving it a good counterclockwise twist. Chances are that it’s like most, and that’s all you have to do to remove it.

Most tub waterspouts go on and off the same way and it don’t get any easier than that. The hot and cold water handles are little bit more difficult, so you’ll need to search them over to find the little Allen screws on the sides that keep them in place.

Using an Allen wrench, back off the screws that keep them from coming off, and a guess what? That’s right! They’ll twist right off. It can all be done in about five minutes, and then for the replacement simply repeat those steps in reverse. Also take the old fittings to the hardware store with you when you shop to make sure that the new ones go on the same way.

Doing New Baseboards is Really Quite Basic

Replacing older style outdated baseboards should be included in any bathroom remodeling project. It’s finish decorative carpentry and for some reason most homeowners have it stuck in their heads that they need years of experience to do finish carpentry and have it come out looking right, as if it were worked on by a professional contractor.

Don’t worry, because installing new baseboards is easy as long as you follow a few simple steps. Step one for instance is to do minimal damage to the wall when you remove the old baseboard. Run a razor knife along the top edge so you don’t peel off big strips of paint when the old boards are removed.

Use a hammer, a small nail and a pencil to go along the wall. Locate and mark the studs for the new baseboards for that are going to be installed. Make your pencil mark about an inch above, so you’ll be able to see it when you lay your new baseboards up onto the wall.

Simply measure and cut your new colonial style baseboards with a 45° angle at each end, so they join together properly. Lay your board on and drive a couple of finish nails in at each stud. Use a fine deed of painters caulk to close out the gap at the top where it meets the wall; wiping it clean with a damp cloth for a nice low-profile finished seam.

Replacing an Old Medicine Cabinet is Good Medicine

If your medicine cabinet has seen better days, then no doubt you’ve stopped and admired a new replacement more than once during trips to the hardware store. The problem you may have had is that you somehow have it stuck in your head that replacing the medicine cabinet is one of the more difficult task in a bathroom remodeling project.

Nothing could be further from the truth, because it’s in fact one of the easiest tasks that you can do. Go ahead and open your medicine cabinet and take a look along the sides. There you’ll see a few simple screws and that’s all that it takes to remove it, so if you have a screwdriver on hand you’re ready to go.

Remove the screws, and head on down to your local hardware store with you old medicine cabinet in hand to make sure you get a similar fit, and then go ahead and pick out a brand-new one. To install it simply repeat the same process in reverse. Plug it into the hole in your wall, drive the screws back in and you’re done.

Bathroom Caulking the Same Way the Pros Do it

Completely replacing the caulk can have a huge impact on a bathroom remodeling project, and a few tubes of silicone bathroom caulk are cheap to buy too. The problem you may have is that you already given caulking a try. You may think that it’s messy and difficult to achieve smooth and professional quality results but that’s okay.

Start out by completely scraping out all the old caulk, paying extra close attention to discolored areas in around your bathtub and shower.

Use a brand-new sharp razor blade to slice off ‘just the tip’ of your tube at a ‘slight angle’. Use the very tip, so you don’t end up with a thick bead when you give it a squeeze. Remember you’re looking for a nice thin bead because when you’re applying caulk on a remodeling project ‘less is better’.

Lay it down in long, consistent, smooth strokes and then use denatured alcohol instead of water to dip your finger in to smooth it out. Denatured alcohol delivers the best “no stick” results. Wipe your finger clean after each stroke, and don’t rush. If there’s an area where it needs to go on thick, then you might find that using two applications works better than trying to do it all at once.

Don’t Make Painting More Difficult than it Should Be

Painting is one of the more difficult tasks of any bathroom remodeling project, and the problem that too many people have is that they make it even more difficult than it should be. The following is a small handful of professional painter tips to help you shave time, work easier and achieve better results.

Step one is to remove all light switches and electrical wall plug covers. In fact remove anything off your walls that you can, and that includes towel hangers and your toilet paper roll holder. Then, shut off the water to the toilet, unscrew the bolts under the tank and remove it as well, so you’ll be able to paint behind it.

After you’ve removed everything, use masking tape, paper and sheet plastic to mask off and cover up everything that you couldn’t remove that you don’t want to get paint on. This means that you for sure need to cover the floor too, and make sure that you don’t track drips around your home when you step in them.

The final word of advice here is to use the best quality paint that you can buy, because cheap paint will require more coats for full coverage. You’re far better off to spend the money that it takes, rather than hours that it takes for extra coats. Besides the more coats you put on, the more opportunity you have to end up with paint where you don’t want it to go.

A Few Final Words of Advice

Practice always makes perfect no matter what it is that you’re doing. So while you’re out shopping, make it a point of picking up a couple of cardboard boxes to toss in the trunk of your car. When you get home you can use them to practice running beads of caulk on until you get the hang of it. It’s not rocket science. You just need to arrive at an application technique that works best for you.

About the Author

Written by Joana Moore. She is a painter and an artists. She loves going to art galleries and museums.

photo by: jinkazamah

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