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DIY vs. Hiring a Professional: Deciding the Best Approach for Your Tub-to-Shower Conversion

DIY bathroom tub-to-shower conversions have been on the rise in Canada since the global pandemic. Home and condo owners have been finding ways to lower their renovation costs amid inflation and fluctuating interest rates.

But is DIY the right choice for such a major project? A tub-to-shower conversion requires knowledge in the plumbing, electrical, and construction fields as hidden problems can be discovered during the renovation. Structural damage, mould, and wood rot could also be waiting behind the walls or underneath the floorboards.

These aspects alone are reason enough to consider hiring a professional for a tub-to-shower conversion. Additionally, a professional service will have insurance, warranties, and guarantees to ensure the highest quality of workmanship and provide peace of mind for the homeowner.

Consider the pros and cons of each form of renovation before deciding which approach is best for your situation.

tub to shower conversion services

DIY Renovations

Potential Benefits

  • Cost savings: A DIY tub-to-shower conversion can save you up to $1,000, especially if you choose budget-friendly products and avoid the cost of labour.
  • Skill development: In learning how to convert a tub to a walk-in shower, you may be able to learn new skills and gain knowledge through hands-on learning.
  • Personal satisfaction: DIY projects of any magnitude give homeowners a sense of pride and accomplishment if performed properly.

Considerations

  • Physical demands: A tub-to-shower conversion requires removing the tub and existing fixtures to install the new shower components. It could also entail heavy lifting and awkward physical positions during the renovation.
  • Time commitment: As this type of project involves several stages, there is a large time commitment required to complete the renovation. A tub-to-shower conversion is not a one-day project for an amateur.
  • Skill level requirements: Without the proper training, certification, and knowledge of bathroom renovations, there is a high chance you might make expensive mistakes and/or risk your safety.
  • Permitting and code compliance: Whether the project is in a single-family dwelling or in a condominium building, there are codes that must be adhered to and permits that need to be obtained. The regulations may call for a certified plumber or contractor to perform the work.

Hiring a Professional

Potential Benefits

  • Speed and efficiency: As a professional bathroom re-fitter has access to the proper tools and knowledge for a tub-to-shower conversion, the project can be completed in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Expertise and quality assurance: The expertise a certified plumber and/or contractor brings to a project is undeniable. They also offer quality assurance that every aspect is done right and that any mistakes will be covered by their labour guarantee.
  • Time and stress reduction: When a professional company performs a renovation, it usually comes with an estimated delivery time, meaning you can rest assured that the bathroom will be completed on time. This is especially important in homes where there is only one bathroom.
  • Warranties and peace of mind: Only a qualified contractor can offer peace of mind with their warranties for the labour and materials supplied doing the renovation.

Considerations

  • Budgeting for professional fees: As with any professional renovation, costs are based on the company’s years of experience, expertise, knowledge, and access to materials and services. All labour, material, and extra fees need to be carefully budgeted for with a tub-to-shower conversion.
  • Verifying experience and qualifications: Not all contractors have the same expertise when it comes to tub-to-shower conversions. Ask for proof of experience and qualifications for such a complex project.
  • Reading online reviews and checking references: Check references provided by the contractor and get referrals from family and friends when hiring a professional service. Online reviews can give you a better of idea of the company’s communication and quality of work.
  • Negotiating costs and scope of work: Ask for an estimate of the cost and timeline of the project. You may be able to negotiate the scope of the work and the associated costs without compromising the quality of the work.

Weighing the Options: A Personal Assessment

Still on the fence about which option is best for you? Weigh your options by considering these factors:

Budget Limitations

How much will it cost to convert a bathtub to a walk-in shower? You might think a DIY project would be cheaper, but the costs can range from $4,000 to $10,000, with any unforeseeable issues raising the cost up to $20,000. Professional contractors have access to various suppliers, which means you may have more flexibility. Homeowners might be able to get a builder’s discount.

DIY Skills and Confidence

How confident are you with your skills when converting a tub to a shower? The grand scope of the work involved requires knowledge and experience. If you have no previous plumbing, electrical, or flooring expertise, it can save you time, money, and potential mistakes by hiring a professional contractor. Plus, a certified contractor can provide safe and efficient work that complies with local building codes and regulations

Time Availability and Dedication

With the wide range of complex work that is required with such a renovation, it demands a great deal of time and dedication on the part of the homeowner to complete the project. Hiring a professional reduces the stress of the project itself while allowing you the freedom to attend to your own professional or personal matters.

Additional Tips for Success

For DIYers:

  • Gather detailed instructions and diagrams.
  • Rent or purchase necessary tools and equipment.
  • Enlist a skilled friend or family member to help.
  • Obtain the necessary permits and ensure code compliance.

For hiring professionals:

  • Get quotes from multiple qualified contractors.
  • Communicate your budget and expectations.
  • Sign a detailed contract outlining the scope of the work.
  • Ask questions and stay informed throughout the process.

Contact Lampert Renovations for Easy Tub-to-Shower Conversions

If you need assistance with a bathroom tub-to-shower conversion in your home or condo, talk to the experts at Lampert Renovations. With more than 100 years in the renovation business, we are here to help you make your vision of a beautiful and functional bathroom a reality.

Contact us at (416) 787-4925 or email [email protected] to book a free in-home or showroom consultation!

About Lawrence Lampert

Lawrence Lampert is the third generation running Lampert Renovations with over 45 years’ experience in the family business. He first started working for his father at the age of 15.  In 1980, Lawrence began running the retail end of the business, gaining experience in selling products and designing showrooms. Lawrence began running Lampert Renovations in 1995 and started up Lampert Bath Liners Plus in 2004, providing customers with acrylic bath liner systems as a grout-free and budget-friendly solution.

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    All we need is the size of your vanity and some pictures of your bathroom. From there we can select everything including grout colours, towel bars, faucets, tiles and anything else you might need. We will then give you a firm quote for your job and if you would like to move forward we can visit your home to confirm measurements.

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