How To Renovate a Bathroom in 5 Steps

How to renovate your bathroom

So, are you thinking it’s time to upgrade your home, and wondering how to renovate a bathroom? Awesome! Renovating your home is challenging, but it’s extremely rewarding once you’ve completed it and get to enjoy your sparkling new shower and a fresh coat of paint.

Whether you are planning a complete renovation or just remodelling a small part of your bathroom, it’s important to understand that this operation is a step-by-step process that needs to be completed carefully. Below, you’ll find the 5 most important steps you need to take renovate a bathroom.

1. Set a Renovation Budget

how to renovate a bathroom

I can’t overstress how important it is to set a realistic budget for your renovation upfront. The two biggest sources of disappointment for homeowners completing a renovation are not being realistic with how much a reno costs, and blowing their budget entirely. Are cheap bathroom renovations, possible? Absolutely – but you need to know what is realistic and how to stick to your renovation budget.

Whilst I recommend working with a renovation professional to set a budget before you start, you can read this guide about how much bathroom renovations cost in Sydney to get an idea of how much you should allow.

Know your financial capacity. If you can afford a complete $20k bathroom renovation, great! If you can’t, then know what you can achieve for less than this, and stick to it.

2. Choose a Bathroom Renovation Company

Once you’ve set a budget, you can contact bathroom renovation companies to find out if they’ll be a good fit for what you want to achieve and start getting quotes. Whilst many people consider the DIY approach, if this is the first time you are doing this, or if the design which you’ve picked is not a simple one, it might be better to hire a professional. Hiring an expert is also recommended since bathroom renovations might involve getting approval from your local council (see planning requirements for home renovations). A specialist will help you on every stage of the process, be it designing, budgeting or acquiring all the permissions, ensuring a smoother renovation that goes according to plan.

3. Decide on the Design for your new Bathroom

How to renovate a bathroom
A contemporary bathroom design complete with all the cabinetry, lighting and accessories

This is the exciting part! Now you get to decide what your brand new, amazing bathroom is going to look like, which tired, old, components you’ll replace (or all of them), what colours you’ll use and the layout. The goal here is to decide how your bathroom will look after you’ve finished the renovation. Here are several aspects to consider:

  • What colours you want to incorporate
  • The kind of tiles you’d want
  • The fittings and fixtures
  • Lighting
  • The kind of cabinets to install
  • Carpentry work
  • Placement of the windows, etc.

Your builder/contractor should be able to help you decide on what your new bathroom will look like, you can also check out these great bathroom design ideas. Make a selection after carefully examining how much space you have for your new bathroom. Above all else, make sure your design suits your budget!

4. Get Strata/Council approvals

In some cases renovating your bathroom will require council approval. Whilst it’s best to contact your local council to confirm, from my experience it’s more likely if your renovation includes structural changes like moving interior walls.

If you live in a strata-managed property, you will almost certainly need approval from the owner’s corporation for most types of bathroom renovations, since these usually involve changes to the tiling and waterproofing. You can find out more about this here.

A good renovation company will help you through the approvals process (or even do it for you).

Allow yourself plenty of time if you need strata or council approval for renovations. Council approvals in particular can take a while. Interesting, this step does intimidate a lot of people, but it’s not really that hard. So once you do get approval, and complete construction, your upgraded bathroom could be the unique selling point that sets your apartment apart from other homes in a unit-complex.

5. Start Construction of your new Bathroom

Once you have made all the arrangements in terms of raw materials and manpower, it’s time for the real work to begin. Usually, it takes around 20-30 days to renovate a bathroom, but depending on how complex your design is, it could even take up to 60 days. First, the builder will strip down the old bathroom to make the structural changes. Then, the plumber would fix the drainage system with all the pipes and sanitary fittings. Putting the tiles in place takes another 2-3 days and you’d also need to call the waterproofing expert at this stage. The process of waterproofing can take 4-6 days.

Next, comes the carpenter and the electrician. If your design has floor-to-ceiling tiles, you’d need to paint the ceiling before starting the tiling process. Then, you can put all the cabinets and bathroom accessories including the mirrors, shower screens, and the lighting setup.

Conclusion

Following the process above can help you renovate a bathroom more easily and help you stick to your budget. Bathroom renovations can cost you a lot more than what you would’ve initially anticipated without the correct planning and preparation at the start. Remember, you always have the option of hiring a professional bathroom designer and/or renovation company instead of managing everything yourself. A bathroom makeover expert could complete the project at a much faster pace and less stress on your part.