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Bathrooms. DIY or hire a professional?

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Bathrooms!! They can be a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of life, that is if the bathroom itself is how you want it to be.

We have been looking to do our bathroom for years (12 years to be precise) but have never been able to afford to get the professionals in, as we have no experience with plumbing in any way. My Dad helped us decorate our bathroom when we moved in - this just involved tiling the walls and floor. We have had a few issues with leaks - our toilet was leaking and we have temporarily "fixed" it. Our bathroom is on the tiny side and with a family of 5 we have to think practically - if it were down to me I'd have a copper free-standing bath and Turkish style tiling!

My husband started working in a bathroom showroom as a high-end designer two years ago, and in his words "thank god we didn't try to do it ourselves" as there is so much we didn't know would be involved.

Below are a few comparisons of having the professionals handle the whole project compared with doing it yourself.

The Professionals

Well for starters, places like Harrogate Bathrooms have years of experience within the industry, they know the answers to questions you wouldn't even dream to ask. Their website is well worth a visit.

Most bathroom designers have IT programs that will show you what your bathroom will look like even before you pay out any money. They will go through everything you want in your bathroom, tailoring to your budget (if possible) and will be able to advise you what to buy and more importantly what to stay away from.

Usually, they have a team of fitters who they work with who have the right expertise and qualifications to do the whole job themselves without sub-contracting out to anyone.

Most bathrooms take a maximum of three weeks to complete and should look how their designs illustrated.

Should there be any issues after the project has been completed (products/finish) you have the design company to go to and handle your problem - a face to the business as it were. All reputable businesses have guarantees/warranties and will also have a personal relationship with the representatives of the companies your products came from - so they will be able to get any issues resolved quickly.

Bathroom design companies tend to be more expensive than ordering all your parts online and getting the local plumber/builder to do the project, but there are a number of reasons why this can end up costing you more money. Not all plumbers/builders have experience with certain products, meaning that they might bodge it (which my husband has seen lots of times) and you'll end up paying out more money for the replacement parts, or more importantly, that part could fail after the job is complete and you suddenly have a major leak which can cost £1000's in repair bills.

Doing the project yourself

You may save a lot of money doing the work yourself, but as mentioned above this is not necessarily so. Unless you have worked in the industry, or have major experience with self builds, you will be looking for trades to come and do your bathroom -you then have to get references of each trade. If you want a bathroom renovation project where you can install the toilet fixture by yourself, consider a sanicompact toilet with built-in macerators. It saves space, water, effort, and time. Definitely an upgrade worth every penny and effort.

If you are doing the project completely by yourself, you will need the tools and know how otherwise your bathroom will not come out as good as it should be plus the project will probably take a lot longer. You also have to factor in whether the work you are doing safe and legal. If a product becomes faulty, you will have to deal with the supplier by yourself, which can be a headache depending on the company.

Even though the hubby does work in the industry, we still haven't got a lot of money so he is getting the products via work cheaply (ex-displays, discontinued products) and is doing the whole thing himself apart from the plumbing as he has no experience here, but we do wish we could get his whole fitting team in to do the job - wish us luck.

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