Common Remodel Mistakes

metal plate, base, commode, toilet, nail gun, backer board

Hi. This is Nathan Harrison for Fine Remodel.com. What is the most common mistake made in remodeling? Well, I can certainly think of a lot I’ve made, but when I try to think of the most common and costly mistake, one in particular comes to mind. I’ve seen or heard about this mistake being made many times. I never have made it myself…thankfully.

So, here it is. You’re finishing up with your bathroom remodel. Your walls are done. Your floor is done. And you’re running the bast around the room, and after that, all that’s left will be the fixtures and the electrical outlets.

And you’re running this piece of bast that goes behind the commode. Maybe you’re able to avoid having to notch it like they did here. They ran the supply line a little low. You get it fitted and you nail it.

Now, if you nail right here, you’re probably going to hit a copper supply line. I don’t know why, but it just seems an intuitive place to nail.

If you’re lucky, you’ll hear the water running inside the wall.

If you’re not lucky, you’ll find out when the floor below you starts to make water sounds.

Now, those of you who really know your building codes are going to respond, “Hey, there should be a protective metal plate there” on the bottom plate, the 2×4, which is also called a plate, that the supply line is passing through. And you’re right.

Here’s an example of the way that supply lines should be protected. All of these are important to keep screws from penetrating the copper supply lines. You can see that we missed a few spots there.

You need to do this, however you need to be aware that this may not be enough to keep you from hitting your supply line behind the toilet with a long finish nail. And here’s why.

Once you put the backer board and the tile on top of the subfloor, there’s not much of this bottom plate of the wall left to catch. And it’s very easy, when you’re nailing your base, to nail a little high so that you would miss the metal plate altogether, as well as missing the sole plate, the wood piece.

So you need to guard against this error on several fronts. Do the metal plate, but also make a note here on the wall, put up painters tape, definitely mark on the base “no nails” as soon as you cut this piece of base…anything you can do to keep yourself from making this error because it can be very, very expensive as you can imagine.

And you don’t need to depend on that sense of security from knowing that there’s a metal plate in the wall (which there should be), but again, it’s very easy to miss that.

So that’s my #1 most common and costly mistake in my opinion. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments below.