Pros and cons of getting custom made shower screens
Renovating your bathroom or ensuite? Time for a shower screen upgrade? If you’re on a budget, you might be thinking about popping down to your local hardware store to pick up a new shower screen, instead of ordering a custom made shower screen from a tradesperson.
Before you decide whether to go professional or DIY your shower screen, you might want to compare the pros and cons of each approach. So let me give you a rundown on some factors you might not have thought of yet.
What are the benefits of a prefab shower screen?
The main benefit of this option is cost – it’ll probably be the cheapest new shower screen you can buy. And also, availability. A prefabricated shower screen is probably sitting in your local Bunnings, ready to pick up and install right away.
This might work for you if you’re fairly handy with tools and you know what you’re looking for. If you’re a tradesperson (like a builder or cabinet maker), you might be able to figure it out and do a fairly decent DIY job. But a lot of tradies will still book a pro to custom-make and install their shower screen professionally.
Common prefab shower screen problems
In my experience, it’s very common to have problems with prefab shower screens, both when you purchase and install it yourself. Here are some of the most common issues I see and why I generally wouldn’t recommend a prefab:
- You’ll likely end up with a cheap, crappy quality shower screen
- The edges likely won’t match up perfectly – and neither will the fittings
- You might need to reconfigure your wall or other elements in your bathroom to fit around your shower screen, instead of getting a custom shower screen that fits your space
- When a shower screen is mass-produced, it’s more likely to have minor defects that go unnoticed that could lead to an exploding shower screen.
- Your retailer can’t provide you with expert advice on shower screen installation
- You’ll need to spend time installing it yourself
- You might need to buy or hire special tools to get the job done
- You might end up doing a dodgy job and end up with leaks, an unprofessional finish, and even safety issues
There’s a lot that can go wrong, simply because there’s a lot involved in the process, from choosing and purchasing your shower screen, to installing, fitting, and finishing it off. And if you’re not a professional, the risk of something going wrong is fairly high.
Why get a custom made shower screen?
Most people will choose a custom made shower screen, and rightly so. Here are just some reasons why it’s nearly always the smarter option:
- You get professional advice and access to years’ of experience to help you find a shower screen solution that’s the perfect fit
- You get someone to measure your space onsite (and consider all the potential factors) before you get a quote and order the materials
- You don’t have to spend your own time researching, finding, and installing it yourself
- You get something that’s custom made and fits the dimensions of your space perfectly
- You can choose hardware and handles that match your existing decor
- You get a professional finish that will last
- You can be confident it’s safe and follows best-practice
- You get attention to detail, with each piece individually inspected to ensure it’s in top condition before it’s installed
- You get the best quality materials, straight from the best suppliers, and your tradesperson will often pass on a great deal
The downside of ordering a custom shower screen
The main downside is price. You’ll pay more for a custom shower screen than if you picked something off the shelf and installed it yourself. And you’ll need to wait for a professional to book in your onsite measure, then order your custom materials.
So if budget is your most important consideration or you need a shower screen in the next day or so, prefab might be your best option.
Otherwise, a custom shower screen will offer the best value, when you consider the expertise, detail, quality, and end result.
So, what are you going to choose?
If I had a dollar for every time I heard…
“I wish I’d got a custom made one first off – would’ve saved us money!”
…I’d probably be able to take a nice little holiday by the beach.
Too many people try to go with the cheapest option and then end up ordering a custom shower screen anyway when it doesn’t work out. They end up wasting time and money to get the result they wanted.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. And if you pay very little for your shower screen, you should expect a very average result.
Remember, a shower screen is something you and your family will use every single day. Investing in a quality job and the best possible shower screen for your space will add to your quality of life, especially as you wind down and wash away the day. And a quality, properly finished shower screen will add to your home’s value if you decide to sell one day.
So whatever you choose, go with the option that will bring the most value to your daily life and home in the long-term.
Over to you…
Have you tried a prefab or DIY shower screen in the past? What was your experience like? Or if you chose a custom shower screen, what made you go with that option instead? Leave me a comment and let’s continue the discussion below.
And if you’re in Perth and you’re considering a custom made shower screen, give me a call (08 6555 8370) and I’ll let you know what options might suit your space and give you a quote.