What to Do (And What Not to Do!) When Planning a Bathroom Renovation

What to Do (And What Not to Do!) When Planning a Bathroom Renovation

Planning a bathroom renovation may initially seem a little overwhelming – there’s so much to consider, so many choices to be made…and it all needs to take place within the confines of a set budget and a specific timeframe. This process can become a lot more streamlined and easier to manage if you follow some basic bathroom renovation principles. To help you get started, our design team has compiled a list of what to do (and what not to do!) when planning a bathroom renovation. 

4 Things to Do When Planning a Bathroom Renovation

1.Begin with a realistic budget

This should always be step one of any bathroom renovation project. A realistic budget will help to determine the scope of the project, what kind of fixtures and finishes you’ll choose and how extensive the remodelling will be (just replacing the shower and vanity or demolishing walls and starting from scratch). To ensure your budget is realistic, talk to an experienced bathroom renovation team and ask for their input on potential costs.

Don’t forget that a bathroom renovation will, on average, cost about 10% more than what it would cost to build the same bathroom in a brand new home (due to the cost of demolition and other associated works). And be sure to include a buffer to cover any unexpected expenses that may crop up throughout the renovation (most industry experts recommend a cost buffer of at least 10% of the total construction budget). 

2. Establish a construction timeline

According to a survey completed by the Housing Industry Association (HIA), a bathroom renovation will take (on average) about 16 days (although close to 1 in 4 bathroom renovations will take longer than 26 days). Without a clear construction timeline, you’ll struggle with getting materials delivered on time and with scheduling in relevant trades. This can create avoidable delays that may adversely impact your total budget. 

3. Carefully plan how you’ll use the space

You can now start planning the overall layout of your bathroom renovation. If you can, try to utilise existing plumbing and electrical connections, as this will minimise the amount of time these specialised trades will need to spend on site. While it can be tempting to cram in as many features as possible, make sure you allow sufficient space for installing fixtures such as toilets, bathtubs and vanity units. Try to find a balance between aesthetics and functionality, ensuring you have good lighting, ample storage and sufficient room to move around. 

4. Select high-quality materials

Your bathroom is likely to be one of the most frequently used areas in your home, so it makes sense to invest in high-quality materials. Selecting good quality tiles, fixtures and cabinetry can help to ensure your bathroom will continue to look fantastic and operate efficiently for many years to come. Conversely, opting for cheaper, poor-quality materials may lead to easily chipped tiles, malfunctioning plumbing fixtures and cabinetry that quickly damages. Investing a little more upfront can save you a lot of repair costs down the track. 

3 Things NOT to Do When Planning a Bathroom Renovation

1. Don’t try to sidestep building regulations

Building regulations may at times seem like an unnecessary obstacle, but the reality is, they’ve been put in place for a reason. First and foremost, building regulations ensure that renovation projects are completed as safely as possible. Additionally, they help to prevent future problems such as water leaks or rotted flooring. Trying to sidestep these regulations may help you cut costs initially – but considering the potential risk to your safety, the likely issues it will cause in the future and the fact that your insurance may not cover damages caused by subpar construction methods, it’s clearly not worth it. 

2. Don’t make unnecessary changes to the layout

It may be tempting to start from scratch when planning your bathroom renovation, but keep in mind the added costs that come with changing the layout. For example, if you move the shower, bath and sink to a different location within the bathroom, your plumber will have to run new pipes to those locations. Likewise, changing structural elements will add more demolition and construction costs to the project. If completely changing the layout will deliver a far superior result, this added cost may be worth it. But if there’s no good reason to change the layout, then it could be worth reconsidering. 

3. Don’t try and do it all yourself

A successful bathroom renovation typically involves a range of specialised trades and highly skilled professionals. If you have relevant trade experience in areas such as demolition, painting or tiling, then there’s no reason why you can’t complete these aspects of the project yourself. But if you don’t have trade experience, a DIY approach can lead to nothing but headaches and added costs. To ensure you end up with a bathroom that is regulation-compliant, functional and that looks fantastic, it’s well worth hiring experienced and professional contractors to complete the work.