To tell you the truth, I thought my bathroom renovation would be a simple process without any headaches. I thought I had done my planning carefully, ticked all the boxes and was ready for a smooth ride. How wrong was I! On the bright side, if everything had gone to plan, I would not have been able to give you some hands on information at all! Here are my tips for getting it closer to perfect.
TIP 1 – HAVE A BUDGET AND DON’T BLOW IT!
Be aware, everything is probably going to be more expensive than you think it is! A good guideline for a bathroom budget is to not spend more than 5 % of the value of your house. It’s also a great idea to set aside 10-15 % of your bathroom budget for any unexpected costs, because believe me, there will be! During my bathroom renovation I accidentally dropped a door on the tilers brand new IPhone 6. Thus I had to replace and pay for his phone, screen protector and phone case before he could finish the job. (Note to self: Don’t do acrobatic moves climbing over rubble during a renovation process)
TIP 2 – GET SEVERAL QUOTES
Always get a few quotes to compare. Getting your own trades and not a bathroom renovation company might be more labour intensive, but it could save quite a few dollars in the long run. Read the fine print… Make sure you compare apples with apples and that everything you wish for is included in the price. E.g. rubble removal, delivery fees etc.
TIP 3 – MEASURE AND PLAN YOUR LAYOUT
Before making any purchases of bathroom products, measure the room and outline your space requirements. Make sure you have storage for towels, cleaning products, etc. If installing a free standing bath and wall mounted spout and taps, make sure your bath is within the spout’s reach (No, I don’t know this out of experience!).
TIP 4 – HAVE EVERYTHING DELIVERED ON SITE BEFORE YOU START
Order your taps, bath, tiles, cabinets and all other fixtures before you even start demolishing your old bathroom. Some of these items could take weeks to arrive. During my renovation process, I rushed around to the last minute to find a toilet and then forgot to unload it from my boot. When the plumber showed up at my house to install the toilet, I had to rush home from the hairdresser, dressed in my robe with hair covered in dye to unload the toilet from my car. Fortunately, I have a very understanding hairdresser and I was back for the full treatment in 10 minutes flat.
TIP 5 – HAVE A TIME FRAME AND STICK TO IT.
Don’t assume that a bathroom renovation will take only a few days because it’s a small area. A complete bathroom renovation could take up to 18 days and that would include demolishing, waterproofing, tiling, etc. Waterproofing usually takes about 48 hours to dry properly. If you want to save time (and money!) try to reuse your existing tiles or cabinetry.
TIP 6 – KEEP RESALE IN MIND
Yes, some people like apricot coloured tiles and little blue fish as a decorative edge around the bath and shower, but your next home owner might not. Stick to neutral colours and you will only have to renovate once. It’s the best palette for new homeowners to envision their own style in and will make staging a lot easier. To get a few ideas, I suggest visiting homes for sale and see what upgrades they’ve done to their bathrooms.
TIP 7 – DON’T DO IT YOURSELF
A lot of home owners taught themselves to be pretty handy to save some bucks. They know how to change a toilet, paint a cabinet or even upgrade light fixtures. A bathroom, however, is not the place to try out those newfound handy skills. Removing lead paint, moving load bearing walls and working with complex plumbing, is best left to skilled, licensed professionals that understands current building regulations.
Phew, didn’t turn out too badly, what do you think?
Well, I hope this has been a little helpful and hasn’t scared you off attempting your first renovation project!
Cheerio ’til next time!