Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Bathroom Shuffle

Dear Joe,

What kind of man hours would it take to move a bathroom from one side of the hallway to the other?  Like literally across the hallway.

Thank you,


Sent via FaceBook


Hi Sheri,

Thank you for the great question.  It’s going to be difficult to give you an accurate estimate without seeing the project in question.  But I can give you some scenarios and some guidelines that will help you decide whether or not this project is going to be feasible.

The first thing that we have to take into account is that by moving the bathroom to another room we go from renovating a bathroom, to constructing a new bathroom in an existing space and then renovating a second room.  So refinishing that second room will add an additional week onto the project.  Keeping the original bathroom as a second bathroom, as long as you don’t renovate it at the same time, will keep the cost down somewhat as long as it is still serviceable.

Renovating a bathroom is a project that will usually take about two weeks.  Obviously this changes with the size, complexity, and lavishness of the bathroom but a standard three piece bath, completely redone with all new fixtures, ceramic tile, and lighting is about an 80 hour project from start to finish.  This may or may not allow you to relocate fixtures within the space; this will be dictated by the location of the bathroom relative to the rest of the house.

By now moving the bathroom to another part of the house, and it doesn’t really make any difference whether you move it across the hall or from one end of the house to another or from one floor to another, you are opening up not one but several cans of worms at the same time…so I hope you’re hungry.  You need to consider door sizes, swings and locations; window sizes and locations; clearances for tubs, showers and toilets; electrical requirements; plumbing rough in locations; subfloor; venting; waterproofing; etc.  The most important of these will be the ease of which you will be able to access a water supply to feed your new bathroom, and route a drain which will carry away the waste water, and supply a vent to allow the drain system to breath.   If you are doing this work on the second floor or the main floor of a bungalow with a finished basement this will almost invariably necessitate the repair of ceilings and walls in adjacent rooms that will need to be opened up to install the new plumbing and electrical systems for your new bathroom.  So now you are not only renovating two rooms but potentially three or four.  Chances are you will also have to acquiesce to a bulkhead on either a ceiling or a wall that will conceal the new plumbing pipes.

So if this hasn’t scared you away then you are ready.  You’ll want to get a couple or three quotes from different contractors as well as a look at some of their past work if at all possible.  This is going to be a long process with a lot of decisions to be made along the way so you will want to hire a contractor who has your vision in mind and can be there with the answers to your questions and options so you are as informed as possible moving forward.  Living in a house whilst under renovation is never an easy time but having a contractor who is prompt, courteous, clean and efficient will help the time pass quickly and get you into a new bathroom as soon as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment