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Supervisor Stress - Bathroom Remodeling

The stress of remodeling a bathroom
Bathroom remodeling and stressful plumbing

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management

Project managing your bathroom remodel can be very stressful

Project managing and coordinating building and remodelling projects can be surprisingly difficult and to illustrate how stressful it can be lets take a very simple example:

You have enough space in the corner of your bathroom to fit a shower cubicle so that's exactly what you're going to do. You won't need a builder or a carpenter but you may need help from all the other trades on the list below.

Hiring contractors

Once you have selected the model of shower cubicle that you want and you have put it on order it's time to seek out good people with the skills that you are going to need and ask them to quote you for the job. This task in itself isn't easy because you have to first find trades people to approach either from the phone book or from recommendations.

It's best to approach more than one person from each field of expertise so that you can compare the quotations before you hire them to do the job. It's also best to have your requirements written down so that there can be no dispute over what you are hiring them to do.

Complex communications

Lets say you need 7 different skills to complete the job and you want to get quotations from at least 2 people from each skill. You will need to find 14 people, talk to them about the job and then ask them for a quotation. Not all of them will want to do the job or be able to do it due to other commitments so you might end up approaching a lot more than this.

Small bathrooms may not be as easy as you think

Remodeling a small bathroom presents it's own special problems simply because it is small. Don't fall into the trap of thinking it will be easy because you will have to deal with finding and positioning bathroom fixtures and accessories that are small enough to make the whole thing work. Be prepared to spend a lot of time accurately measuring things and playing with cut-outs on square graph paper.

If your bathroom is very small then you will need to consider how many contractors can practically be working in the space at the same time. This could have important implications on your project plan.

Take advantage of multi skilled contractors

As you talk to people you may well find that some of them are prepared to tackle more than one of the tasks on your list. For instance you might find a bathroom fitter that also does tiling and painting or a plumber that is also good at plastering. Taking advantage of multi skilled contractors can make your task of coordination a lot easier so it's well worth considering hiring them even if you think that they aren't the absolute best at their second skill.

Plan the project

Are you stressed yet? You haven't even started the job yet. When you have selected the people that you want to do the work on your bathroom you will need to plan the work and get each of the contractors to commit to turning up at the right time to do their part of the work. This isn't easy either because these people don't like being committed to dates.

Before you get people to commit to dates you need to work out when each person will be required. You will need a builder first to clear the area and remove tiles from walls and then a plasterer to finish the walls where necessary.

Once this is done you will need plumbers and electricians to make ready the water supply, drainage and electrical fittings for the shower unit. The electricians and plumbers will need to return to complete the work after the shower cubicle has been fitted.

The Shower cubicle needs to go in next so you will need a bathroom fitter and when it's installed you can call back the electrician and plumber to connect the services. When that's done you can get the tiling specialist and painter in to apply tiles and paint to walls.

Inspect and test the work

Apart from the flooring your brand new shower cubicle is now ready to try out so you give it a try. Yes it leaks, so who do you call? The leak might be from the cubicle itself which will mean getting the bathroom fitters back in to sort it out. It could be a leaky water pipe, which will require the plumber to fix. The water could be getting behind the tiles if they are not applied correctly and running down the walls so the tile fitter might have to return to redo the whole job.

The worst problem to have is a water leak that isn't obviously coming from anywhere; all you see are damp walls and a puddle on the floor below the bathroom. Who do you call now?

Well if this simple example hasn't stressed you out and you still think that you can effectively manage your bathroom-remodelling job then go for it and good luck. Managing even a small bathroom remodeling job can be stressful so why not get a project mananager to do it for you. More information on this in the article Bathroom Contractor Remodeling and Delegation

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management

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