How Long Does a Bathroom Remodel Take?

Have you finally decided to give your bathroom a makeover?

Maybe you dream of a spacious, contemporary-style space with all the bells and whistles. And that’s great!

However, you also have to figure out exactly how long does a bathroom remodel take.

Since it is one of the key areas in the house, you want to get it done quickly so that you can go back to using it again.

Let’s look into the average duration of a bathroom remodeling project and the major factors that affect it.

how long does a bathroom remodel take

How Long Does a Bathroom Remodel Take?

In an ideal world, a small bathroom remodeling project takes three to four weeks to complete.

Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world where downtimes and unexpected circumstances are bound to happen.

Given that, it’s a good idea to expect about eight to nine weeks to get everything done, from plumbing to the finishing touches.

Factors That Affect Bathroom Remodeling Timeframe

Very few reno projects go according to plan. To get a more accurate timeframe for your bath remodeling project, here are some things to consider:

The Project’s Scope

Do you simply want some cosmetic touch-ups, or do you plan to start rebuilding everything afresh?

If you choose to tear everything down, then it will take a couple of weeks to a few months.

However, if your bathroom simply needs some cosmetic work and finishing touches, you might be able to get it done in a few days or weeks.

If your bathroom has problematic areas, such as leaky pipes, damaged ceilings or walls, chipped tiles, or moldy surfaces, expect your project to take longer to finish.

The Manpower 

Do you plan to do it yourself, or will you be hiring a contractor?

By going solo, your remodeling project can take many months or even a year, especially if it is a major renovation.

Hiring a contractor saves you time and energy, but you have to be careful when choosing one.

Decide whether to hire a single contractor or someone who subcontracts work.

Working with an owner-operator is often the cheapest option, but if that person is juggling your project with other jobs, it could cause delays.

Another option is to hire individual subcontractors, such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and interior designers.

The problem with this approach is that you could spend more time supervising what has been done.

If you want the project done fast, consider working with a general renovation company.

A reputable contractor will have enough people with varied skills to complete your project on time. The only downside is that they usually charge more than a single contractor.

Material Availability

Another factor that affects the timeframe of bathroom remodeling is the availability of materials and supplies.

If the materials you need are available locally, acquiring them wouldn’t affect your project’s timeline that much.

However, if you are buying special items abroad, your project can experience delays.

If you are ordering materials offshore, it is important to plan your project early on to avoid delays.

In fact, it is best to collect the materials in advance for a smooth and fast renovation project completion.

Bathroom Remodeling Timeline

How long does a bathroom remodel take? Here is an estimated timeline for a bathroom renovation project that is based on ideal scenarios.

Again, unexpected things can happen, so don’t be surprised if your project takes way longer than this timeframe.

Closing the Property: One to Three Months

If you are moving to a new house, you should wait until you have closed the property before doing anything.

This can take anywhere from one to three months.

If you are in a hurry, wait until you have signed the contract before you start with any remodeling project.

However, if you are remodeling the bathroom of your existing home, your timeline begins with the second step, which is posting your project.

learn how long does a bathroom remodel take

Pre-Construction Phase: Four to Six Months

This phase is very important as it involves planning, designing, getting permits, and finding the right contractor. Let’s break it down into several steps:

1. Design Planning (One to Four Weeks)

Designing a bathroom can take several weeks to a few months, especially if you are doing it yourself.

Before any renovation takes place, you should have a good idea of what your new bathroom should look like.

If you want to speed up the design process, you can work with an interior designer, but this means added expense.

2. Posting the Project (One to Three Days)

The first step is to invite general contractors to bid.

There are many websites that help you find contractors by posting the space you want to renovate.

You can include inspirational photos and other information that can help you find the perfect contractor for your bath remodeling project.

3. Scheduling Site Visits (One to Three Weeks)

An on-site visit is an extremely important part of the process because it helps the contractor understand the scope of the project.

It is also your chance to gauge the experience and expertise of the contractor and see if they are the right people for the job.

After the on-site inspection, expect a written bid within five to seven days.

4. Choosing a Contractor (Three to Five Days)

It is recommended that you get a quote from at least three contractors.

Take the time to interview each one and ask the questions you might have, such as how long they could finish the project and if they have enough people to do the work.

5. Signing the Contract (One Day)

After choosing a contractor, they will put together a contract for you to review. This usually includes a description of the work, an outline of the costs, and payment setup.

6. Obtaining Permits (Two to Six Months)

Of all the steps that might cause delays, obtaining permits often leads the game.

You need to secure a permit from the Department of Buildings, especially if changes will be made to the plumbing, electrical, and structural components of your home.

Unfortunately, you will need a bucket of patience for this, as it usually takes two to six months to get approval.

That said, if you are just doing small aesthetic changes, like repairing plaster, repainting the walls, or refinishing the floors, there is no need to secure a permit.

7. Sourcing Materials (Ranges Widely)

If you choose to source all or some materials for the renovation by yourself, be sure to place orders as soon as the design plan is completed.

That’s because some items could have a long lead time, and you certainly don’t want that to cause a delay.

Construction Phase: Three to Four Weeks

After all the planning, finding a contractor, securing permits, and ordering materials, we have come to the fun part, which is the construction phase.

This can take several weeks to a few months, depending on the scope and size of your project.

1. Demolition (One to Two Days)

This tedious work may take longer if you have a large bathroom or if it’s on the second floor of your house.

In some cases, demolition may reveal unexpected problems, like rot or mold, significantly impacting your project timeline.

2. Rough Carpentry (Two Days)

It’s possible that you won’t need any carpentry work if the structure underneath remains in good condition.

3. Plumbing (One to Two days)

After stripping the space down to the studs, it’s time for the plumbing work. Expect a bit more delay if you plan to move things, like the tub, sink, or toilet.

4. Electrical Work (One to Two Days)

A professional electrician can get the wires, panels, and switches ready in just a day or two.

5. First Inspection (One Day)

In most cases, the city’s building department will conduct inspections before you close up the walls.

This only takes an hour, but scheduling an actual appointment can take a couple of days to a few weeks.

6. Insulation (Five Days)

Putting insulation in a bathroom can take a couple of days.

Moreover, some cities require an insulation inspection, which can cause further delays in the project.

7. Drywall Hanging & Finishing (Three days)

For a good contractor, hanging drywall should not take too much time. However, additional time is required to apply the joint compound and sand the drywall.

8. Painting (Two Days)

Painting a bare bathroom is easy and won’t take more than two days. That is, of course, if your bathroom design does not require some special paint job.

9. Installation (Three Days)

At this point, your bathroom should be looking pretty new and beautiful.

The workers will begin installing your new tub, toilet, sinks, counters, cabinets, shower, and everything else. Tiles and lights usually come last.

10. Cleanup (One Day)

Once everything has been set up and installed, it is time for the final touches.

You may consider hiring a post-construction cleaning company to deep clean the area. That’s because most contractors will leave the space in “broom-swept” condition only.

Remodeling A Bathroom

A bathroom remodeling project can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months.

To speed up the process, make sure to plan early and choose a reliable contractor.

Expect delays in the project no matter how well-planned it is, as many issues can resurface during the actual work.

Also, if you’re buying some materials abroad or ordering custom-made pieces, do it before the construction phase starts to avoid further delays.

Lastly, work closely with your contractor. If you want some changes done in the design of your new bathroom, inform him right away.

Always be available for every call, text, or email from your contractor to ensure everything is on track.