There are a lot of tasks you shouldn’t DIY in your bathroom renovation. I’m going to share the most common questions I’ve been asked and the correct action to take.
Home improvement projects have been on the rise during isolation.
It’s quite tempting to do all the things yourself if you have the time and you’re trying to save money. However they could be a disaster waiting to happen down the track.
4 Things Your Shouldn’t DIY in Your Bathroom Renovation
These are real life examples of when things have gone wrong because of DIY.
Disconnecting waste and water from fixtures during demolition
If you’re preparing your bathroom for a renovation, disconnecting the waste and water from the existing fixtures may be a harmless thing to do.
But this should be done by a plumber.
A plumber will isolate the services before disconnecting. A common step often skipped by the homeowner.
You won’t be covered by home insurance if you forget to isolate the water from the fixture you’re removing.
It can also be difficult to remove waste connections (toilets) and not cause damage to the outlet that may be needed for a reconnection.
Often, the builder will demolish the bathroom and remove the fixtures.
However, one builder did this and forgot to isolate the water.
When they disconnected the basin, full bore water not only flooded the bathroom, but caused significant damage to other areas of the house which weren’t in the scope of works.
When it came time to claim on their insurance for the damages, it wasn’t paid out because the builder engaged in works they were not licensed to do.
If this can happen to a builder, there is certainly no protection for a home owner disconnecting the fixtures from their bathroom.
Action: Organise a plumber to disconnect the fixtures for you. You can isolate the water to your premises so the site is ready for the plumber to disconnect and cap the services.
Organise an electrician to isolate power too. Once the services are isolated, feel free to work with your builder to remove tiles, walls and debris from the site.
Connecting fixtures to different plumbing waste points
To save money on a renovation, it’s advised to keep plumbing in the same position. This can be cost and time-effective because the plumbing is already in place.
If you choose to create a different layout, please involve your plumber to know what can and can’t be connected to which waste.
I was asked recently if a toilet could be hooked up to a shower waste as a friend of a friend had done this in their bathroom. The friend of a friend is not a licensed plumber.
This is an illegal installation because the shower waste is connected to a trap and a toilet is a trapped fixture.
The shower waste has a 50mm waste connection, but a toilet requires 100mm.
Most shower wastes feed into the floor waste. If the waste from a toilet is fed into a floor waste, you will have raw sewerage smells permeating the bathroom. This is not only an illegal connection but a significant health issue.
Action: When connecting fixtures to existing plumbing wastes, replace with the same fixture. Only a licensed plumber should be installing your fixtures.
There is no warranty on fixtures that are incorrectly installed and you won’t be able to claim on home insurance because they are bound by the plumbing laws of the state.
There are waterproofing products available from hardware stores which profess to waterproof your bathroom for a fraction of the cost and time.
If it sounds cheap, it probably is and you don’t want to be cutting corners when waterproofing a bathroom.
If you’re tempted to DIY the waterproofing in your bathroom, consider if you’re prepared for revamping the bathroom in a year or two due to water damage.
Action: Get your builder to organise the waterproofing in your bathroom. The cost and time for installation will give you peace of mind for the longevity of your bathroom.
Redirecting water lines
Redirecting water lines to reconfigure the bathroom layout should be done by a licensed plumber.
It’s an easy mistake cross connect water lines and damage a shower combination.
It’s a costly mistake to run water lines to a shower, have the walls sheeted, waterproofed and tiled to find the water was connected to the wrong side – or no water connected at all.
Actions: All water lines must be installed by a plumber. They should also be tested by a plumber before walls are sheeted. It can be a costly exercise to demolish your new bathroom because the water wasn’t connected correctly.
Can you suggest other tasks you shouldn’t DIY in your bathroom renovation?
If you want to know what plumbing you can do at your home check out this post:
When Can You Do Your Own Plumbing Work?