Your Bathroom Remodel Timeline Depends on What You’re Actually Trying to Accomplish


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As exciting as remodeling your bathroom can be, it can feel a bit like stepping into the unknown. Even the best-laid plans rarely get executed exactly on schedule, especially when you’ve got a lot of variables factoring into the project. That said, laying out your plans as thoroughly as possible will go a long to setting a timeline you can rely on.

In order to set an accurate timeline, it’s important to know what your renovation will involve. The length of time it takes to remodel a bathroom depends on the extent of what will be changed and whether or not your design and build teams are in sync. At a high level, we can distinguish bathroom reno projects between makeovers and complete remodels.

Bathroom Makeovers

With a bathroom makeover, your changes will mostly be limited to the cosmetic variety, without any changes to the plumbing or electrical infrastructure. To put it in other words, there won’t be any tearing out of pipes, wires, or vents. Instead, work is limited to the replacement of tile, fixtures like faucets and shower heads, vanities, and toilets.

Since there is almost no demolition involved, no large pieces need to be ordered. Unless specific fixtures or tiles need to be shipped in, there won’t be much waiting for material to arrive. Otherwise, paint, fixtures, and tiles can be selected without much hassle, allowing the makeover to start without delay.

Removal of old fixtures and tiles followed by a primer coat of paint can take a full day. Additional coats of paint can take another day, with installation of the new fixtures and tiles taking another day after that. Swapping out one toilet for another one could add another day to your timeline. A basic bathroom makeover can take between three to five days.

As you can see, the timeline for a makeover is relatively short and uncomplicated, but doesn’t leave you much room to make changes beyond replacing what’s already there.

Full Bathroom Remodels

If your bathroom is being completely remodeled, the work gets much more complicated. Not only is the on-site work more involved, but there’s more paperwork to do. Complete remodels require permits, which means there will be inspections, which also means there will be more waiting before the actual work gets underway.

Every new fixture makes things a bit more complicated as it requires more connections to electrical and plumbing, requiring more specialized labor. Just swapping out one shower for another adds a few days’ worth of labor. Consider the demolition, disconnection from utilities, removal, cleanup, installation, reconnection to utilities, construction, and finishing, and you have two or three days devoted just to one part of the bathroom. And that’s assuming everything goes to plan. And that’s just one piece.

The same process can be applied to the cabinets and vanity, taking up several days to remove the old pieces and install the new ones. Custom cabinetry and customized storage can also lengthen the timeline due to the design and construction time required prior to delivery to your bathroom.

Changing the placement of lights and ceiling fan will also add to your remodel timelines. While swapping one fixture for another can take place in one workday, moving the utilities around can require threading wires behind walls and above the ceiling, resulting in more time needed to perform the task.

Another factor that can add time to your bathroom remodel is if you order material that needs to be shipped from overseas. Not only can shipping lengthen timelines, but it can involve complications en route that delay delivery. Shipping is another variable that can set you off schedule before you know it. You can do your best to avoid this by ordering well ahead of long before work starts, but sourcing from a faraway supplier makes a remodel timeline harder to stick to.

Whatever sort of bathroom renovation you decide on, setting realistic expectations will set help keep your project as stress-free as possible. Also, remember to keep open lines of communication with your contractor to help ensure the timeline you’ve determined at the outset is stuck to as closely as possible.

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