On average, a bathroom remodel should take you about 4-6 weeks, depending on the size of the project.
If we deduct the weekends and the project continues at a uniform pace without breaks, it should ideally take a month.
However, in case of unexpected circumstances like a major structural issue, the duration could be double the estimated timeline, i.e. 12 weeks. Again, assuming that you want to do a major overhaul of a master bathroom, the process could take 6-8 weeks or more to be completed.
A larger space will naturally take longer to get revamped.
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Phases of a Bathroom Remodel
Any remodeling project has various phases, each of which comes with a different timeline. Whether you decide to hire a contractor and execute the task on your own, a bathroom remodel project can be broken down into three primary phases: pre-construction, during construction, and post-construction.
- Pre-construction: This phase precedes the actual demolition or installation part of the project. This is an organizational step where you hire a contractor, procure all the necessary materials, fix your budget, and finalize the design layout. One of the crucial tasks here is to discuss the contract and acquire permits so that the actual construction can begin.
- During construction: As the name suggests, this is where the actual work takes place. This phase includes demolition of the existing space, creating a new space based on the design layout, inspection of the progress, and final installation.
- Post-construction: Once the construction is done, one has to prepare comprehensive breakdowns of what was demolished, what was added, and check whether everything mentioned in the contract has been fulfilled. Based on the contract settlement, one makes the final payment and the project is then considered complete.
Sub-Phases of a Remodel and Their Time Estimates
Choosing Contractor (1-2 weeks)
Finding the right contractor isn’t an easy task. It requires in-depth research and some patience. You can start by posting a job requirement online (social media platforms) that can attract professionals of varying expertise. Another way is to simply look up contractors or service providers online and get an online consultation over a call. Once you find someone who fits your bill, you can schedule a site visit for them to check the space and understand the requirements.
Design (1-2 weeks)
The design phase is like a preliminary step where you share your ideas with the contractor who accordingly comes up with a layout. But before you share your vision, you should have a clear idea of various aspects—measurement of the room, what features to incorporate, where to place them, etc. The layout could go through several revisions before you and the contractor are finally on the same page. These details will also help your contractor come up with a quote to help you fix the budget.
Contract Signing and Obtaining Permits (2-8 weeks)
The next step is to set a contract and then obtain all the necessary permits for the construction to begin. The criteria for permits vary from one city to the other and it’s mandatory to get approvals before any construction work. Sometimes, you get approvals instantly while on other occasions, you might have to wait for weeks and months to obtain a permit.
Ordering Materials (1-4 weeks)
After finalizing the design and agreeing on a price, your contractor or you can start ordering the required materials. The delivery time could vary based on the products and materials you order. For instance, materials that are shipped from overseas can take weeks or even a month to arrive. On the other hand, custom parts take longer to be manufactured than readymade products. So, the duration could extend beyond your expectations. To ensure seamless execution of tasks, you need to work with your contractor to create a common schedule.
Demolition (3-4 days)
Bathroom remodeling would really mean removing all structural aspects, from the base frame to the existing features like the sink or bathtub. Once all the old elements have been demolished or removed, the workers would clean up the space and prepare it for the newer additions such as walls, flooring/tilework, plumbing, electric work, etc.
Inspection and Permit Sign-Off (1-2 days)
Most remodeling projects go through inspections by city municipal authorities, who verify if the process up to code. The construction work usually comes to a halt and only resumes after the authorities certify that the building is secure and sign off the permit. The timeline for this could vary in different cities but does not longer than a week.
Installation and Cleanup (2-5 weeks)
The demolition process is naturally followed by the installation of new features, right from the flooring to adding bathroom vanities. This is where the actual work happens. Here, you may consider sorting out every possible task—installing floor tiles, painting the walls, installing a shower, sink, tub, lighting fixtures, vanities, etc. One of the key jobs, following the installation, is the cleanup process. You need to remove excess debris left from wood shavings or sanding, polish the rough edges, and scrub the floors and walls before adding any final touches.
Adding Décor Items (1-2 days)
After you’ve anchored the main components, it’s time to add décor items such as rugs, towel stands, cubbies, storage units, shower curtains, mirrors, and so on.
Contractor Walkthrough (2-3 days)
At the end of the construction, the contractor will review the entire process, make notes on the materials used, and changes made to the overall structure. This report allows you to evaluate the work and verify if it was up to their standards. If you’re dissatisfied with any part of the remodeling or notice that something is incomplete, you can request changes before the project is wrapped up.
Rework (1 week or more)
If you request any changes, the contractor will have to rework the project and get it sorted. This can continue until you’re fully satisfied with the outcome. The timeline will vary accordingly.
Final inspection and payment (2-3 days)
After all the changes have been made, the contractor will do a final inspection. The inspection is recorded for the future to ensure that the bathroom is safe to use. Once the bathroom is fully inspected and ready for use, you can discuss and finalize the payment. Once the payment is made, the project is considered complete.
Factors Affecting the Timeline of a Bathroom Remodel
It is rare for any remodeling project to go exactly as planned, as unexpected conditions can delay the process or change the scheduling. Let’s look at some factors that affect the duration of a bathroom remodeling project.
Nature of the Project
Remodeling could mean renovation from scratch that involves demolition and rebuilding. This can take weeks or months to get done. On the other hand, if you only need a cosmetic remodel like installing a new wallpaper or fixing a pendant light, it could be done within a couple of hours or just 2-3 days.
DIY vs. Professional
The duration of a bathroom remodel will depend on whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a team of professionals. DIY projects usually take much longer, assuming you’d only work on weekends or have to squeeze in work time. Sometimes, DIY bathroom remodel projects go up to a year while professional jobs get done in 1-2 months max. However, if the contractor employs sub-contractors, the timeline can extend as the workers might be juggling several jobs and can assist you only when they’re available. In this case, a job that can be completed in 10 or 15 work days might go up to a month or two.
If the materials you order aren’t locally available, the delivery time can be longer which in turn will delay the entire construction process. The same goes for custom products which take longer to manufacture than readymade ones.
The lesson from the above discussion is that no matter how meticulously you plan your bathroom remodel, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Make your payments on time, keep an eye on the progress to ensure that nothing has been missed, and you might save quite a lot of time. We hope this article comes in handy when you estimate the timeline for your next bathroom remodel project. Happy remodeling!