Question from Linda:

If I purchase a set of plans online, can I chagne the layout of the bathroom with the contractor?
I would not change the wall position or adding fixtures, just the layout.

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Now as always a great question. Another wonderful question sent to And I love this question from Linda. And actually I get this question quite often in my business. A lot of times people like to buy their plans online. It saves them a lot of money, but here’s the question. We’re going to talk about it. If I purchase a set of plans online, can I change the layout of the bathroom with the contractor? I would not be changing the walls or adding fixtures. I would just change the layout.

This is a great question, Linda because you can change the fixtures and change some things around. You can change the layout, you cannot change the walls. If you start changing the walls, then all of a sudden you need to know if that wall a bearing wall? Does that wall have plumbing running through it?  You do not want to change your walls.

And also I’m assuming Linda you’re getting a permit for this job.

If you move the toilet to one end of the bathroom to the other, as long as your rough plumbing and rough electric are inspected, the Inspector does not care if the toilets on the right side of the room or the left side. They just want to check your plumbing to make sure it’s hooked up properly before you go into your finished products, which is flooring, tile shower enclosure, and then, of course, your fixtures, Plus, your sink and all that fun stuff but you do not have to worry about changing the layout. Just make sure in your rough inspection that the inspector sees it and that it’s signed off properly. You are more than welcome to change your layout. Your contractor can help you out.

A lot of times you can change your layout and you’ll have a subfloor which makes it very easy to move that plumbing around because you have that space underneath your floor, which is called a sub-area.

If you have a slab floor, it’s a little bit more difficult because now you got to come in there with a concrete saw, and a jackhammer, and break that concrete out to move your plumbing to where you want it. So, it’s a matter of cost also.

If you want to know if you have a subfloor and you’re not sure, go outside. If you have vents along the side of your home, back of you’re home, and in front of your home, that forces air underneath your home, that’s considered a subfloor. Now, it’s easy to move that plumbing around. But again, if it’s a slab, meaning a concrete floor, it’s going to be very, very difficult.

You want to make sure that if you’re changing the layout, and you have a slab floor, it’s going to cost significantly a lot more than what it would be if you have a subfloor. So that’s something that you want to check with your contractor and make sure that you’re comfortable in moving forward with.

So when you do your layout, the best thing to do is try and get a set of plans online that you don’t have to change, because that’s the other thing change orders are really, really tough to deal with.

They cost the contractor a lot of money, and inevitably, he’s going to pass that cost on to you. You also want to make sure that you do it right the first time. And by the way, speaking of online plans, I got to tell you, as a contractor, I love it when my clients already have a set of plans and they bring them to me because now I don’t have to go sit with an architect. I don’t have to prep those for getting a permit. Usually, the plans are ready for permit. There might be some changes – readline they call them at the building department, but when you have a set of plans, you’re showing your contractor that you’re prepared.

And not only that, with a set of plans that are controlled by you, the client, guess what, you can give a set of plans to three different contractors, and the contractors are all going to see the same thing. And then you’re going to get bids back based on the same information that you gave all three.

So it’s very smart that you get a set of plans, and then pick your contractor based on the best price, not always the cheapest price, the best price. Pick your contractor based on the best bang for your value. And you’re going to get three different opinions when you give it to three different contractors.

So again, I’m very proud of you, Linda, for actually getting your plans online and have it ready to go for your contractor. It’s very smart of you. I totally advise that if you’re doing a project, don’t be afraid to get them online or work with an architect yourself.

You don’t necessarily have to go online. Architects are out there and you can sit down with them. They’re very knowledgeable.

And it can even be a preliminary set of plans. You need just enough to count two by fours and where your plumbing goes, to start. And maybe the second set of plans, the finished set, will have your finished products like your tiles, and your type of flooring, or granite, or cabinetry. And that’s the stuff that usually as you migrate through the project you make decisions on.

So it’s a good way to work with a contractor. It’s a good way to do a project and it keeps you in control. So good luck with your project. Linda, I hope that helps you out.

I’d like pictures of your project, please send them to me. If you have questions send them to Send me your question. I will answer it right here on the air.

So thanks again, Linda for sending me that question.

I’m going to tell you, go to my website and check out all the local pros that you can reach out to. These are the contractors that I trust. I’ve been a contractor for well over 30 years. These are the people that have made me successful, and now you too can be successful using the same businesses that I use. They are the best in the business. Or they would not be doing jobs with me.