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Bathroom DIY: Which Jobs Should Be Left To The Experts?
When it comes to DIY, there are many pros and cons to weigh up. This is especially true for bathrooms where there is a combination of plumbing, electrics, and ventilation to consider before you even reach the storage and decor schemes. This can make it difficult to decide which jobs you should tackle yourself and what is best left to the experts.
The risks of faulty workmanship in the bathroom are high, from leaks and flooding to dangerous electricals and mould. If the work is not carried out correctly, this will affect the lifespan of the bathroom and can lead to costly and time consuming repairs further down the line.
On the other hand, doing work yourself rather than paying professionals can save you a significant amount of money. It’s also a chance to learn new skills, which brings a sense of accomplishment and can be built on in the future. You will also have the opportunity to have complete creative control over the project, so that it looks just as you want it.
The key is take into consideration the complexity of each task and decide if you have the appropriate skill level or sufficient time and aptitude to bring yourself up to that level. You will also need to buy or hire the appropriate tools and equipment if you don’t have them already.
Most people will be able to manage relatively straightforward jobs such as painting. However it’s important to use a suitable paint that will inhibit the absorption of moisture and resist mould growth. Removing and replacing grout between tiles can be done quite easily with an electric grout remover, but it is rather tedious and time consuming work.
Replacing shower bars and shower heads are also quite simple jobs that can be done without any specialist tools. Remember to turn off the water at the stopcock first. Installing a glass shower screen is a job that requires some drilling but is otherwise not technically difficult.
Tiling is not a technically complicated job, but it is skilled work that can take some practice to do well. In most cases, the tiles will need to be cut to fit into corners and ceilings, requiring certain tools and a mastery of technique. Mistakes can lead to breakages and miscalculations, which can be costly and time consuming.
If you fancy a go at tiling, it might be better to start with a small and simple area such as a splashback rather than dive in with a whole wall or floor. Any small mistakes will be rather obvious and can detract from the overall finish of your bathroom.
Hiring a plumber can be expensive and it might be tempting to have a go yourself. Installing a toilet or basin may be a reasonable option if you are competent at DIY projects and have the relevant tools. However, installing or altering pipework is best left to a professional because you really do not want to be dealing with leaks or floods should you make an error.
It’s actually against the law to carry out DIY electrical installations in a bathroom or kitchen under part P of the building regulations in the UK. Anything more complicated than rewiring a plug socket or changing a light bulb needs to be left to a qualified electrician, otherwise you could be fined up to £5,000.
The other factor to take into account is just how noisy and disruptive the work will be, and when you intend to carry it out. In some areas there are restrictions on the hours you can do noisy DIY at the weekends and bank holidays.
For example, Oldham Council says: "As a general rule, noisy works should only be undertaken between the hours of 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, and 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.”
“No noisy works should be carried out on Sundays or Bank Holidays. Within these hours, there is an expectation under this legislation that ‘best practicable means’ will be used to prevent nuisances occurring."
Therefore it’s advisable to check with your local authority for any restrictions and always be considerate of your neighbours.
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