Preparing for the Unexpected When Tearing Out An Old Bathroom

Ron Nanberg | Mon, Jul 11, 2016 | Bathroom Remodeling

Preparing for the Unexpected During a Bathroom RemodelWhen it comes to Chicago bathroom remodeling, there is the Idea of how it will happen - and then there is the Reality of how it actually happens. Ideally, these two aren't all that different from one another.

Every once in a while, however, the unexpected happens - especially when it involves tearing out an old bathroom.

Tips For Handling The Unexpected During a Chicago Bathroom Renovation

These "unexpected" happenings are one of the reasons we advocate building a 10% to 15% "emergency fund" into the bathroom remodeling budget. When you do this, you're less likely to be affected if unplanned events unfold. If you don't use it - all that money can be put back into the savings account or directed towards a well-deserved vacation to recover from remodeling madness.

Here are some of the most common findings that can set you back when you tear out an old bathroom.

Things Aren't Built to Code

Building codes were ultimately developed for public safety. They evolve and change over the years. In the case of bathrooms, which involved the combination of both building, plumbing and electrical codes - there are a lot of parameters to contend with.

If your design-build team starts tearing out walls and things aren't up to code, those items will need to be updated. In some cases, this may involve a few, minor changes. In others, it can mean ripping things out and starting from scratch. The good news is that the added expense and delay will result in a much safer bathroom for your household and its guests.

Mold, Mold Everywhere.

Wowza! Everything looked so pristine from the outside, but when we opened things up - there was mold everywhere. Mold and mildew infestations are bad, bad news. Not only do mold spores diminish indoor air quality and respiratory health, they eat away (literally) at organic building materials, which leads to long-term structural damage.

If we find mold, the area must be thoroughly dried out. Any moisture sources will need to be detected and repaired, and the surrounding area must be bleached to eradicate errant spores. Finally, any compromised materials must be repaired/replaced.

Load Bearing Structures Can't Be Removed

While we can make good guesses, contractors don't always know exactly which supports are load bearing (meaning they're required to keep the house from collapsing) and which aren't until we actually get in there. This can affect proposed bathroom layout changes.

Things Are on Back Order

Back-ordered items can take a shockingly long time to come in, which can set you back quite a bit in terms of calendar dates and the money it takes to "rush order' them. You're better off having a "Top 3" for major selections so you have a quick fall-back plan if first-choice items don't pan out. Even better, work with local suppliers who can tell you what's immediately available and what's not.

Working with an experienced bathroom design-builder will help you foresee some of the challenges inherent in your Chicago bathroom remodeling project.

What to Expect During the Process of a Bathroom Remodel