There may be many different reasons to replace a shower. An overall bathroom renovation… A shower may not be properly sealed… Or the current tub is a yellow monstrosity from the 70s. No matter the reason, there are a few things you should know before you replace your shower. Follow this checklist so that you understand everything about the potential project.
Even if you have a standup shower, tub, or wet room currently installed, you can change the design to better fit your needs. So takes some time to think what would best fit your needs, and what also maximizes your ROI. Larger showers or a shower and separate tub combo works well in master baths, while a traditional tub shower combo works well in children’s bathrooms.
Make sure to consider a designer if the shower is going to be moved. Although this will cause an additional cost to your project, designers are an important part in making sure your bathroom remains functional and fluid.
If you are planning on changing the type of shower or moving the location, make sure that the plumbing costs is budgeted. Moving things around in a bathroom can get very expensive, so this needs to be at the very top of your list.
As well as the cost, any extenders or splits created when reconfiguring your plumbing can cause a loss in water pressure. The professional handling your project should be able to avoid these problems, but make sure you ask when planning a project.
General Contractor vs. Bath Specialist
At this point its time to start collecting bids, but consider going beyond your average general contractor. While many are perfectly capable of handling shower repairs and replacements, there are Bathroom Specialist who know much more about this specific type of renovation.
These types of businesses are usually listed under “Kitchen and Bath” professionals, and they usually are price comparable to general contractors. They may even have access to trade shows and other resources to give you a better finished project.
Buying the Shower or Shower Materials
Now it is actually time to pick out what you are going to put into your bathroom. It is suggested that you shop on your own for the perfect shower, but then talk to your selected professional to actually buy the materials needed. Many professionals are members of “professionals only” shops. They are able to buy fixtures and materials straight from manufacturers, lowering the cost of going through a middle man like Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Photo by Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia Commons
Preparing Your Home and Family
A simple shower renovation can leave families trying to function out of one bathroom for a week or more, and this needs to be remembered when planning schedules. Make sure your home is ready for construction as well, by track proofing the path the contractors will be taking from outdoors to your bathroom. The renovation will most likely get pretty dirty, so you may even want to find an alternate living situation while it is happening.
Helping With The Project
Many homeowner’s like to have a hands on approach with projects in their home, but don’t step in when it isn’t necessary. Contractors may let you help with the demolition or removal of the old shower, but when it comes to the installation it is usually best to just get out of the way. Trying to help in that capacity may lead to a slow down of the project, and completion times that are pushed back.
Checking Work Quality
Simply checking the quality of work done by a contractor is surprisingly a decision that falls by the wayside for most people. After the project is complete, make sure that seals, water pressure, tiles, racks, and doors are all completely functional and secure. Even a small leak can cause a bevy of other problems later down the road.
Remember Your Professional (if they were great!)
This may seem like a bit of shameless self promotion, but it is hard in this modern day to find a renovation professional that provides great work at a reasonable price. Considering rewarding your professional with a reference, and keep them in your contact list for future projects down the road.