How Long Does It Take to Remodel a Bathroom?

Does your master bathroom have an avocado green bathtub from the 1970s? Or, worse yet, carpet? If so, overhauling this en suite tragedy could pay dividends, adding as much as $40,000 to the resale value of your home. You’ll also benefit from a more stylish and functional space.

But bathroom renovations aren’t cakewalks, namely because they can take some time. Though the duration of your project will vary, the average bathroom remodel takes anywhere from six weeks to several months. If your home only has one bathroom, that means you could be showering at the gym for a minute (or two).

Hiring a vetted and reliable contractor is the best way to ensure your bathroom remodel goes smoothly. When you work with a professional, you can expect your renovation to go through three phases:

  • Phase 1: Pre-Construction
  • Phase 2: Construction
  • Phase 3: Post-Construction

We explore the bathroom remodeling process in more detail below.

BATHROOM REMODELING: PRE-CONSTRUCTION PHASE

Estimated Timeline: 1 to 8 Weeks

We know you’re eager to say goodbye to your avocado green bathroom. However, there are some important tasks you must check off first. During the pre-construction phase, you’ll need to follow these steps:

STEP 1: HIRE A CONTRACTOR

As you look for a qualified contractor, a quick Google search will turn up dozens in your area. You can also ask for referrals from friends and family.

Arguably, this is the most important step of your bathroom remodel. A reliable contractor can ensure your renovation is completed not only well, but also on time and on budget. Though you should receive quotes from several different contractors, you shouldn’t simply pick the cheapest one.

Rather, consider vetting potential contractors by asking the following questions:

  • How long have you been in this business?
  • Do you have a contracting license?
  • Can I see your certificate of insurance?
  • Will you obtain the permits and oversee inspections?
  • What’s the timeline for completion?
  • How will you clean up at the end of each day?

When you find “the one,” you’ll be expected to sign a contract. This contract should describe the work to be performed, payment terms, and the timeline.

STEP 2: PIN YOUR VISION

Before you launch into a remodel, you need to have a general idea of your intended bathroom design. You can do some “visioning” before hiring a contractor, knowing that your contractor can help you finalize your vision based on what will work best with your space and budget. A simple Google search can offer loads of inspiration.

As you scroll, consider:

  • Materials: Do you want tile floors or vinyl? Would you prefer a granite vanity or are you okay with laminate? The materials you select influence the overall aesthetic of your bathroom.
  • Floor Plan: Is your current en suite bath awkward and cramped? If so, you might need to modify the floor plan. A skilled contractor can easily tackle changes to your bathroom’s layout.
  • Budget: The average bathroom remodel costs $7,500. However, that number can easily double and even triple if you plan on adding deluxe features like a soaking tub or water closet.

STEP 3: GATHER PERMITS

Permitting is a daunting process. If you don’t complete the paperwork correctly, you could face thousands of dollars of fines. Fortunately, when you hire a general contractor, they’ll handle this process for you.Securing the proper permits and approvals can take one to eight weeks, depending on how backlogged your local building inspections office is. If your renovation project just requires carpentry work, you probably won’t need any permits. However, any project involving plumbing or electrical will require city or county approval.

STEP 4: PURCHASE MATERIALS

As your contractor works with the local building inspections office, they’ll also begin ordering materials for your project. This could take a few weeks to a few months depending on your desired materials. Custom shower tiles, for instance, will take longer to receive than standard tiles ordered from a local hardware store.

Your contractor should be aware of certain construction material shortages. Based on these shortages, they can make suggestions to keep your project moving forward. For example, if a certain granite countertop is back-ordered, your contractor may suggest a more readily-available material like laminate.

BATHROOM REMODELING: CONSTRUCTION PHASE

Estimated Timeline: 2 to 5 Weeks

The construction phase is the most exciting part of any bathroom remodel. It’s when homeowners can finally bid adieu to outdated wallpaper and grimy shower stalls.

But this phase can also be very stressful. Expect lots of noise and dust. You can also expect to be without a bathroom for at least a month. If this is your home’s only bathroom, your general contractor will work to minimize the inconvenience. They may remove the toilet very last, for instance.

During the construction phase, your contractor will follow these steps:

STEP 1: DEMOLITION

Demolition is the dirtiest part of a bathroom remodel. To make way for new fixtures and materials, your contractor will tear your powder room down to the studs. Tile, sheetrock, sinks, tubs, and showers will be removed.

Demolition typically takes 1-2 days. However, this process often takes longer if your bathroom is located on the second floor.

STEP 2: PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL & FLOORING

Once your contractor has stripped the bathroom, he or she will rough-in new plumbing and electrical. They will also install your new flooring. This process can take one to two days.

STEP 3: DRYWALL & TILE

Drywall, also called plasterboard, is used to create your walls and ceilings. Installation takes about a day. Placing tile in your bathroom should take about six to eight hours.

STEP 4: SHOWER & TOILET

Next comes your new tub and commode. Installation is fairly straightforward and should only take a few hours. Of course, if your shower involves intricate tilework, expect this to take longer.

STEP 5: FINISHING TOUCHES

In the final days of construction, your contractor will install your vanity and countertop. They’ll also prime and paint your bathroom walls and hook up your toilet, sink, and electrical outlets. Though your contractor is in charge of the construction process, you should still have a solid idea of how the project is progressing. You should also keep track of scheduled payments.

BATHROOM REMODELING: POST-CONSTRUCTION PHASE

Estimated Timeline: 1 Day

By the post-construction phase, most homeowners are eager for a bubble bath or just a construction-free home. But there’s one more important step: the walkthrough with your contractor.

During the walkthrough, it’s suggested that you:

  • Open and close all of the drawers and doors
  • Turn the faucets on and off 
  • Inspect the walls, paint, tiles, and floor

If you see anything is incorrect or not up to your standards, you’ll create a “punch list” of fixes that need immediate attention. Your punch list could include simple tasks like straightening a crooked mirror or tightening a leaky faucet. However, it could be more complicated, like fixing a chipped floor tile.

The walkthrough is also an opportunity to ensure that your bathroom has been cleaned properly. Most contractors will leave the area in what’s called “broom clean” condition. That means they have swept the floor, vacuumed the carpet, and wiped the countertops. However, you may still need to do a deep clean.

PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED

The average bathroom remodel takes anywhere from six weeks to several months. However, unforeseen hiccups can quickly change your timeline.

Factors that may delay your project include:

UNANTICIPATED REPAIRS

Oftentimes, older homes hide issues like leaky pipes, mold, or termites. These problems rage on undetected until a contractor rips a room down to the studs. If your contractor finds a major issue in your bathroom, they’ll need to address it before moving forward with your remodel.

SCARCITY OF SUPPLIES

Kinks in the supply chain could also affect your bathroom remodel. If your preferred flooring gets back-ordered, for instance, your contractor may have to halt construction altogether. In these situations, your contractor may suggest using a more accessible material.

BACKLOGGED INSPECTORS

As the construction industry booms, city and county building inspectors are scrambling to keep up. Since inspections must be completed at various points throughout your bathroom remodel, scheduling issues could delay renovation by days or even weeks. Fortunately, most general contractors have a rapport with inspectors and will keep lines of communication open.

YOUR PERFECT BATHROOM IS JUST A CLICK AWAY

A bathroom remodel can be a rewarding experience that adds value to your home and improves your daily routine. However, ripping out a dated shower and installing chic subway tiles is easier said than done. Unless you have intensive construction experience, you shouldn’t wade into a bathroom renovation alone – you need an expert.

As a vetted and insured general contractor in Charlotte, Portico can help you reimagine your cramped guest bath into a spa-like retreat. What’s even better? We offer free quotes and reasonable time estimates.

Contact us online or give our Charlotte bathroom remodelers a call at 704-742-2720 for more information on how we can make your dream bathroom a reality.