Construction During Your Bathroom Remodel

Written by bprescottJanuary 30, 2012
A bathtub under construction

Bracing Yourself for the Construction

The bathroom is only one room, but you'll be amazed at how much material goes into making it fully function as the bathroom of your dreams. So where does all the stuff get stashed when it's delivered prior to installation? You guessed it - wherever there's space in and around your house. Some folks feel that tripping over and living around large boxes and building materials are the worst parts of remodeling because those annoyances discombobulate their daily life. But if you can mentally prepare yourself for being displaced for a while, it's not nearly so bad.

Watching your house turn into a mini-warehouse

Any remodeling project creates stress. To make the job run as smoothly as possible, spend time thinking about the process and how it will affect family members. Also take into account that the house will become a mini-warehouse of materials to be used in the new bathroom. This storage issue may not be much of a problem in a large home, where there's space galore, but it can be a real challenge in a smaller house that’s already packed full.

Plan a staging area for the new materials. Make space for all the components of the new bathroom. It's a good bet they’ll be delivered at different times, and often the first items to arrive will be the last things to be installed, so be sure not to block access to any of them. Most of these elements are large and bulky. The framing lumber, a whirlpool tub, and cabinets take up a lot of floor space, and you need to provide a clean, dry storage space. An enclosed garage offers the best protection; a porch or breezeway is another possible location. Any wood products, such as framing lumber or flooring, stored outside should be protected from the rain and brought inside for several days before installation to allow them to adjust to the new indoor environment.

As materials and fixtures arrive, open the containers and check to see that what is delivered is what you ordered, that all the parts are included, and that the parts aren’t damaged. Check fixtures for the correct color, style, and size. See that the flooring is the correct style and amount, and check the wallcovering to see that it's the correct pattern and that all the rolls came from same dye lot or run.

Making it easy on yourself

During any major remodeling project, the contractors you hire will become part of your family, whether you like it or not. To make it as stress free as possible, take preventive steps to prepare for the increased activity throughout the house.


Get ready for the invasion- no, not of body snatchers, but of contractors, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians working on your project. Before they arrive and during the remodeling, your house will become an open door to tradespeople and inspectors, who are all focused on the bathroom. They want to get in, do their job, and get out, so make it easy for them to do so. Unclutter the hall or area leading to the bathroom by removing any furniture. Lay down a heavy-duty dropcloth to protect the floor or carpeting from foot traffic.

Creating a tool zone

Designate a space near the bathroom where workers can put their tools or gear or where you can store yours if you're doing the work yourself. Some workers tote and store their tools in their truck, and others may leave their large, heavy tools at the job site (your house.) If you do the work, you'll want to designate a place near the bathroom to keep your tools and not clutter up the small confines of the work area.

Surrendering to dust

If new wallboard will be hung, prepare for drywall dust, not just once, but several times as installers sand and then resand the seams. Even when contractors hang protective plastic sheeting at the door to seal off the rest of the house, the sanding produces clouds of fine dust throughout the house. Until the walls are painted or finished, plan to get used to a fine white haze that permeates every conceivable surface of your house.

Purchase a shop vac that is designed to pick up dust and debris. A standard vacuum is not designed to pick up this type of material. The fine dust will eventually damage the motor, and the vacuum will just spread the dust around the house. Most shop vacs have an optional bag that installs over the standard filter that is designed to contain fine particles such as drywall dust.

To prevent a nervous breakdown, relax and take major cleaning chores off your schedule during remodeling. Admit that dirt and dust cannot be contained. Concentrate instead on keeping the job site clean, which will reduce the possibility of accidents. This attitude will also send a message to the workers that you expect them to maintain a clean, professional work site.

Avoiding entertaining

Remodeling a bathroom is stressful enough, so don't plan any other major events while you're living through it. Unless you're Martha Stewart, don't think about entertaining or having a houseguest. Wait until the bathroom is remodeled. That way, you can enjoy your guests and show off your new bathroom.

Of course, you may not want to become hermits, so if you give into the temptation and decide to entertain, just be straightforward with your guests. Explain to them that they’ll have to run to the gas station down the street when they need to use the facilities . . . just kidding. If you're comfortable having guests, serve wine and cheese in the shell of the bathroom- it's probably the only entertaining you'll ever do there. You may be surprised how many visitors are interested in seeing your bathroom in the making.


From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



Most of the commercial buildings have a separate boundary wall and safety gates for preventing forced entry and theft. You can also install a high-tech gate at the garage, for protecting your precious assets as far as possible.
Ben Meyers

Most of the commercial buildings have a separate boundary wall and safety gates for preventing forced entry and theft. You can also install a high-tech gate at the garage, for protecting your precious assets as far as possible.
Ben Meyers

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