There's no disguising a bathroom in need of renovation and there are ways you can save money on a bathroom renovation!
Awful tile choice from the 80's, grout that is beyond saving.
Shower screens that have hard water damage and are permanently frosted when they should be clear.
And the revolting black mold that settles in under silicone and cannot be budged.
Standard fare in old bathrooms across Australia.
Thankfully, bathroom renovations don't have to be an expensive affair. If you know what you're doing it's not hard to keep a lid on renovation costs.
Lets look at ways to keep costs down and make the most of your budget when renovating your bathroom.
Don't Move The Plumbing Fixtures
This is the main part of extra costs when renovating a bathroom.
Keep the shower, vanity, bath and toilet in the same spots.
New plumbing can be really expensive.
Reuse the existing water supply and waste points for your shower, bathtub, basin and floor waste. This will go a long way to keeping plumbing costs under control.
Assess What You Need To Change
The more changes, then the more expensive it'll be and this particularly realates to the plumbing.
If you're on a tight budget you can still make a surprising difference to the look of a bathroom by just by replacing tap handles, new paint and new accessories like towel rails and mirrors.
Think carefully about what's really going to make a visual impact.
A bit of creativity can go a very long way where tiling's concerned, for example.
A simple mosaic pattern is easy to do, and can make a massive visual difference to the look of your bathroom. A beautiful new floor will make far more impact than expensive new tapware
DIY Bathroom Renovation Costs
If you're a handy person and you would like to go ahead with cheap bathroom renovations, you can replace vanity/door handles, mirrors and even towel racks yourself, without hiring a tradesperson. So, how much will this cost you?
If you're on a budget, you can purchase a decent towel rack to install on the wall for as little as $35.
You can purchase bathroom mirrors for a price within the same ballpark.
Vanity doorknobs can be purchased at a very cheap price, depending on the material you're looking for. You can spend as little as $20 for attractive knobs.
If you're confident in painting your bathroom yourself, you save on costs.
What You Cannot Do In A Bathroom Renovation
Two areas that you are not legally permitted to undertake yourself are
1) tiling in the wet areas. You need to get a professional in to do waterproofing
2) installing or changing anything electrical
Bathroom waterproofing is mandated by law and must comply with Building Code Australia (BCA) and Australian Standard AS3740.
You can expect to pay $750 to $900 for professional waterproofing.
The cost of tiling can be broken into 2 components – the cost of the tiles themselves and the cost of a tiler. You can expect to pay a tiler anywhere between $75 and $120 m2.
If you want to take a short cut with tiling , you can find bathroom respray companies or you can cover up the existing tiles with tiles laid over the top.
This often done on floors. Often when demolishing before a renovation there can be several layers of floor coverings already underneath existing tiles.
Save on Labor Costs
If you're willing and able, you can save a lot on labor costs by doing some of the work yourself. You will still need to pay for trades to come and do the work that is required by law.
But volunteering yourself to do some of the manual work (particularly demolition) will mean lower labor costs.
There are some things you just can't cut corners on.
As we mentioned before – Waterproofing, plumbing and electrics MUST be done by licensed professionals!
It's also extremely important that you're certain before you start working that there isn't any asbestos in your bathroom.
Asbestos sheeting was very commonly used in the bathrooms right up till the 70's and exposure to it can lead to cancer.
You will need to have asbestos removed by a specialist using the right safety gear who'll dispose of it legally.
Reuse or recycle fittings and fixtures
If there's nothing wrong with the fittings or fixtures themselves. You can save a lot of money and unnecessary waste by resisting the temptation to replace them.
Think about ways you can style and theme the bathroom. Make the most of what you've already got on hand, and what the worst aspects of your bathroom really are.
If you're splashing out on a new basin or tub and the original one is still in good condition and has a retro vibe to it. Sell it on Marketplace or Gumtree to recoup some of your costs.
There's a pretty healthy trade in retro bathroom fixtures these days.
Shop Around For Bathroom Materials
This may sound obvious but if you have the time and inclination you'll probably save a small fortune by shopping around and buying the necessary materials, fittings and fixtures yourself.
If you are doing the shopping, make sure you've done your homework and you know exactly what you're after.
There's a difference between wall and floor tiles, for example.
Buying a tub with a centre plug hole if the current tub has a plug hole at the end of the bath will require new plumbing. This will to cost extra to install, and when replacing a toilet you'll need to account for whether or not it uses an S or P trap.
Likewise, paints for bathroom walls need to be suitable for use in bathrooms so that your walls are resistant to moisture.
Be aware that what you buy at Bunnings, is often not the same standard at what you buy from a bathroom specialist and some contractors may even refuse to use what you have purchased as they are not up to Australian standards. This often happens with tap ware. They are made cheaply overseas and they will fail after a few years.
You can buy great bathroom ware from auction houses – so keep an eye out f you o have a local auction room
Buy The Right Bathroom Products
If you're buying things, make sure everything's ready and available when building starts to prevent any delays.
Make sure you have more than enough tiles. If they break in future (or if you drop some during your renovations), you want to have some spares on hand that are from the exact same batch so that they're a perfect match.
Beware of non-certified plumbing fittings and fixtures. Look for the Water Mark label to make sure that all of the plumbing fittings and fixtures comply with Australian Standards.
Be extra careful when ordering online. Cheap and nasty fittings and fixtures will come back to haunt you and aren't worth the savings in the long run.
More Renovation Costs To Consider
Just like fittings, what trades will end up costing you will vary depending on what you need done, the size and accessibility of the space and even your location.
It's no secret that trades in capital cities and metropolitan areas tend to cost more per hour or per project than trades services in regional areas.
Are you prepared for the bathroom repairs?
Accept that your bathroom's going to be out of commission for a week or two.
To be on the safe side, double any time frame you're given by your contractor.
It's very common, for example, for people to discover rotten timber under bathtubs or behind shower stalls, which will require extra work.
Any other savings you make will be eaten up pretty quickly if you're unprepared for that, and you're forced to hire a hotel room if your bathroom is out of commission for and extended time.
If you're on good terms with your neighbours, maybe see if they're willing to share a bathroom for a bit.
If you are needing a Brisbane bathroom renovation builder to help you plan or oversee the bathroom renovation. Then reach out to the leading team in Brisbane