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Major Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling in California

Landlord getting sprayed after trying to repair plumbing issue himselfIf you own a rental property, you’ve probably given thought at some point to updating its kitchen and bathrooms. After all, this would make the rental much more attractive to prospective tenants and allow you to set rent higher. Often, the obstacle is knowing where and how to start. In this article, we’ll review how bathroom remodels work, where you should begin, and what crucial mistakes you’ll need to avoid for a successful remodel with a high return on investment (ROI).

Starting without a plan

Okay, you’ve got a bit of money to invest back into your rental. The first thing you need to do is slow down. Many property owners are eager to quickly invest in their property as soon as possible so that they can get back to renting it out. But, you need to step on the brakes, take a step back, and put together a plan. Not doing so almost guarantees cost or time overruns.

Ask yourself: what do I want to get out of this project? After all, you’re remodeling your rental’s master bathroom—not your own. What you like or think looks good is irrelevant. What your next renters will like is what you want. To get ideas, start with online research. Then, take things to the next level by talking to a bathroom remodeling expert or experienced contractor. They’ll be able to provide you with an overview of styles that are popular in your area.

Next, start pricing out everything: tile, plumbing, sinks, bathroom vanity, and more. Mostly, you want to know three things going in: how much the renovation is going to cost, how long it will take to complete, and who you will need to hire to get it done.

Let’s review that last point in greater detail.

Not hiring a professional plumber

We live in a renaissance for DIY projects. Thanks to easily accessible online tutorials and videos, more property owners are deciding to handle their remodeling work. Make sense, right? While do-it-yourself renovations have their time and place, it’s essential to know when you’re out of your league and in over your head. For example, unless you have the tools, training, or experience of a plumber, you should probably call one when you need pipes moved, faucets and fixtures installed, or a drain fixed.

As with any home remodeling project, the price of forgoing hiring a pro could be disastrous. Many property owners learn this lesson the hard way when their seemingly okay pipe fittings and connections later prove not to be so trustworthy. Others realize the importance of a professional when they realize their work is not up to code, which may make it difficult for them to rent out or sell the property.

Of course, hiring the right professional matters, too. If you simply go with the lowest bid and the cheapest contractor, you could be taking on enormous risk: that the project isn’t going to get done right, that the project isn’t going to get done on time, or that the contractor might walk away with your money. Save yourself a headache by hiring only a trusted, vetted plumber in California. Ask any prospective plumbers about their qualifications, licensing, insurance, and more.

Putting too much into the project

This goes hand-in-hand with planning for your bathroom remodel, but it’s worth repeating: too many property managers make the mistake of over-investing in their rental’s remodeling project. The more you put into the bathroom remodel, the longer it will take to recoup your investment. For maximum ROI, you need to strike a delicate balance between a bathroom that looks great and will attract renters and one that won’t cost you a small fortune.

To accomplish this, focus on necessities over luxuries. While you might put a jacuzzi tub in your bathroom, this isn’t your bathroom, and most renters are going to better appreciate a great-looking shower over a luxury bathroom. You can also keep costs low by avoiding moving existing plumbing and electrical. Not only does this require the expertise of a plumber or electrician, but significant layout changes can quickly inflate your remodeling costs. There may also be code considerations involved with layout alterations, which can lead to further time and cost overruns.

A successful bathroom remodel within reach

By planning your project, working with a professional, and setting reasonable goals and limits, you can ensure that your upcoming bathroom remodels for your rental property goes off without a hitch. Of course, there’s plenty of other factors to consider. See this new infographic from the team at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing in Hayward, California, for even more tips.

Plumbing mistakes to avoid

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