Huge List of Every Question You Could Possibly Have About Renovating Your North Shore Bathroom

March 14, 2023

Is it time that your overhauled your bathroom? Rejigged your master ensuite? Re-tooled your powder room?

Need lots of information first?

You’re in the right place. This article will get you started on everything you need to know – by listing every single question anyone has ever asked us about renovating a bathroom and providing an honest answer.

Clients have asked me just about every single bathroom renovation question possible. Lucky for you, I always write them down, especially if they’re really juicy and make me think.

The List:

How Much is It Going To Cost?

Here’s an easy calculation to to see how much your bathroom reno will cost depending on finishes. Higher end finishes like marble, free standing tubs or designer fixtures will result in higher costs. Standard finishes like ceramic tile, quartz vanity tops and well known fixture brands will result in lower costs. All the approximate fees below include design and the production of digital design drawings.

Powder Room Renovation: 3-6% of the cost of your home

Standard 3 Piece Bathroom Renovation: 4-7% of the cost of your home

Master Ensuite Or Large Bathroom: 9-12% of the cost of your home

How Long Is It Going To Take?

Use this list below to see how long a bathroom renovation with take if you live in North or West Vancouver. We’ve also included how long it takes to design, how long it takes for the materials to arrive to site and how long the permit process will take. You’ll see across the web, a lot of information spread around about how long it takes to renovate a bathroom. Don’t be fooled by an American website from the 90’s going on about how a bathroom only takes a few weeks to build. We build bathrooms all day, every day and this is the realistic time it takes where we live, post pandemic. Remember: slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

Powder Room Renovation:

Planning & Design: 4 weeks

Permit (only required if walls are being moved) and procurement of materials: 6-10 weeks

Build: 1-2 months

Standard Bathroom Renovation:

Planning & Design: 4-5 weeks

Permit (only required if walls are being moved) and procurement of materials: 6-10 weeks

Build: 2-2.5 months

Master Ensuite Renovation:

Planning & Design: 5-6 weeks

Permit (only required if walls are being moved) and procurement of materials: 8-12 weeks

Build: 3-4 months

How Do You Accept Payments?

Credit Card Online, Cheque, Wire Transfer, Apple Pay,

When Do I Pay?

The best way to pay your contractor for your renovation is by draws. Draws are set at the beginning of the project and a re based on milestones.

Are Your Cost Plus?

No, we are a fixed price contractor. That means, we give you one fixed price for the project. We do a lot of work be fore we start to make sure we know exactly what you want from your renovation. If you change something, a change order will be issued for your approval.

What Is Fixed Price?

Fixed Price means you receive one fixed price for your project and no extra fees unless you change something. The official name if this type of contract in BC is a Stipulated Fixed Price Contract. Our contract is based on the CCDC or Canadian Construction Documents Committee’s ‘Stipulated Fixed Price Contract’ and is written and edited by a renowned construction lawyer in BC. This keeps you legally protected during your reno.

Who Will Be In My House?

During the renovation you will have the project manager, site supervisor, company carpenters, vetted subcontractors, (possibly) engineers and inspectors in your home.

Will You Be Here Every Day?

We will be on site as needed to supervise sub-contractors and to preform tasks ourselves. This could be for an entire week, with a few day pause, or continuous. Sometime, flooring needs to cure before we can install vanities. We do everything in our power to make sure your bathroom renovation is not delayed.

Does The Owner Supervise Everything At All Times?

The supervisor is in charge of quality control, supervision of everyone on site and overall saftey. The owner of the company (Blake) will be on site for meeting s and to inspect the work done periodically.

Can You Help With Design?

Yes, we can provide a designer for you as part of our offering.

Do I Need To Go To The Tile Store?

No, we can bring you samples in the design phase

Can I Design The Bathroom Myself?

If you want to procure your own design that is absolutely fine. We find that providing the design as part of our offering allows us to make sure the designer knows the construction restraints and requirements of the home.

Do I Need To Hire Anyone Other Than You?

No, not if you don;t want to. We are full service

Do I Need A Permit?

If we will be moving walls are completely gutting the bathroom we will need a building permit. If we will be leaving the fixtures in the same place and not fully gutting the bathroom, we only require trade permits (plumbing and electrical) which both take only a few days to get.

Do I Have To Physically Go And Get A Permit?

No, at no point should you need to be present at the municipal hall. The processes for appyling for a building permit are very strict and specific. If you have not applied for a building permit in the past with success, we would advise against it. Plus, we do this for you as part of our offering.

Aren’t There Long Lead Times For Materials?

Yes, typically 6-10 weeks for non stock materials and 1-2 weeks for in stock materials. We mitigate this by making sure we purchase all of the materials before we start your renovation.

Aren’t Material Prices Going Up?

Yes, but the rate at which these products are rising in cost have been stabilizing post pandemic and inflation. Except a 10-20% increase in costs from pre pandemic levels

Will We Still Be Able To Use Our Water?

Yes. Most of the time with a bathroom renovation , we only have to shut off the water for a few hours at a time, for a total of 2-3 times during the rneovation. We can make sure we schedule these at the most convenient times possible for you.

When Will The Water Be Shut Off?

About 2-3 times during the bathroom reno. Once when we demo, again when we install the rough-in kits, and another before we sinatll the finished items

I Had A Leak In My Bathroom, Why?

If you previously had a leak in your bathroom, this was likely due to a leaking water line, drain pipe or shower system failure. Most of the time, we find that leaks result from shower system failure more than other type of leak. A shower system must be installed by a certified waterproofing technician and the shower glass must be installed and inspected as per BC Building Code. Any deviation from those requirements can result in a leak.

How Are You Going To Prevent Future Leaks?

We ensure that the waterproof membranes, plumbing systems and finished materials are installed by certified and lisenced professials. Once installed, every aspect of the work needs to inspected by municipal inspectors before we can proceed to the next steps. Shower waterproofing membranes must be ‘flood tested’ ie filled with water to check for leaks before covering with tile.

Do I Get  A Warranty?

Yes, by requirement from the Homebuilders Association of Vancouver we must provide a 2 year warranty on all parts and labour for this project. This is listed on our contract before you start the project with us.

What Happens If I Want To Change Something?

If you want to change something during the course of your reno, this is typically known as a change order. Just like the main contract, we price out the labour and materials of change that you want to make, then present you with a  fixed price change order document for you review online. If you want to proceed, you can sign this document online and pay online too!

What Are My Vanity Options?

There two ways to go with your vanity: Built-in or Pre-manufactured. A pre manufactured vanity comes with the countertop and the sink installed. It is simply hooked up to the plumbing system and you’re good to go. Pre-manufactured vanities are most cost effective than custom built vanities, but won’t always work in your space. If your vanity must span from wall to wall, or space is limited, a custom built vanity may be the way to go. Custom is also ideal if you want a vanity that you designed yourself, that looks stunning and matches other elements of your bathroom.

What’s A Vanity?

A vanity is the main cabinet in your bathroom that houses the sink(s) and faucet(s). If you have the space, you could install a dedicated makeup cabinet too – this would also be referred to as a vanity. Vanities typically have a mirror installed above them.

Can I Have A Soaker Tub And A Shower?

Yes! If you have the space, you can have both. If you are tight on space, an alcove tub (tub shower combo) works best.

How Hard Is It To Put In A Heated Bidet Style Toilet?

Heated bidet style toilet seats typically require a 20 amp dedicated circuit. This needs to be run from your electrical panel. Drywall may need to be removed and replaced to get to the toilet area.

What Is Your Experience?

BuilderWorks has a collective experience of over 50 years. We have been in business since 2018, but Blake and Brian have been working in the residential construction industry each for 15 years. We have renovated hundreds of bathrooms and will continue to renovate hundreds more.

Have You Won Any Awards?

We have won Houzz best of service for 3 years in a row!

What Happens If We Want Both Bathrooms Done At The Same Time?

This is not a problem. If you plan to move out during your renovation, you can do all of your bathroom projects at the same time. If you want to stay in your house, we can start on one bathroom and transition to the next, so you never have to leave you home.

What’s The Best Shower Door Option?

There are pros and cons to each:

Custom Glass

Pros: Can be any size and configuration you like, with whatever hardware you like

Cons: Can be more costly than a curtain or pre-manufactured door

Pre-Manufactured Glass Door

Pros: Works with most alcove tubs, can be installed quickly, can sometimes be more cost effective

Cons: Can sometimes have a long lead time, limited by the types of finishes

Does This Get Inspected By Anyone?

Yes, your your bathroom goes through 5-7+ inspections during the building process:

-Rough-in plumbing inspection

-Rough-in electrical inspection

-Tub/shower flood inspection

-Structural engineer (If required)

-Final plumbing Inspection

-Final electrical Inspection

-Final building department inspection (If the project is tied to a building permit)

How Do I Know When Everything Is Done?

Your bathroom renovation is complete when we have gone through the final punch list with you to make sure every aspect if completed to your liking.

What About That Little Knick In The Wall?

If you notice something small after the final punch list items have been taken care of, let us know and we’ll fix this issues for you, free of charge.


How Do I Get Started, What’s The Very First Step?

The very first step with your bathroom renovation is to print off this checklist CLICK HERE FOR THE CHECKLIST to make sure you know the basic scope of your project. It’s free and only two pages long, prints nicely on 8.5″ x 11″ paper too.