Bathroom renovations can cost upwards of $20,000 in Sydney, so it’s safe to say you’re making a substantial financial commitment. In a bid to save costs, you’re probably thinking of going the DIY route. But the fact is, there’s very little you can legally do without a licence in NSW. So, who can renovate a bathroom? Typically, the reno job is left to registered builders and licensed tradespeople like plumbers, painters, tilers, waterproofers and electricians.
Any residential building over $5,000 in NSW requires a builder’s licence. Builders typically manage the end-to-end bathroom renovation process, especially if structural or plumbing changes are involved.
Builders experienced in bathroom renovations can be invaluable to your project as they manage the entire process, liaise and organise tradies, gain permissions from councils and ensure the job meets Australian Standards. They are also responsible for ensuring the work is defect-free for six years.
NSW regulations stipulate that a bathroom renovation job valued at more than $5,000 requires a licensed professional to do the work. If you look after the project yourself, you’re responsible for sourcing these licensed tradesmen. On the other hand, a registered builder will handle these trades for you. Some licensed trades for bathroom renovations in NSW may include:
Plumbers are an essential trade when completing a bathroom renovation. A licensed plumber will install new water pipes, replace showers and baths, and relocate fixtures. They also need to be engaged for work on water or sewage pipes and stormwater drains to complete the job safely and to Australian Standards.
An electrician will work on lighting and electrical appliances such as lights, power points, fans and wiring. They are also trained to install and connect new power appliances. It’s relatively common for plumbers and electricians to work simultaneously during a building or renovation project.
Tilers lay tiles on floors and walls. It is a highly skilled trade that takes years to perfect, so it’s important to find an experienced and reputed professional to do the job. Tilers often complete the waterproofing for the project if they are licensed; however, if not, you’ll need to find a dedicated waterproofing company.
Carpenters are key players in any bathroom renovation. They will likely be required to do work such as framing, installing new cabinetry, built-in shelving and hanging doors. Carpentry is a specialised skill that requires a fair bit of experience.
A waterproofer is a licensed professional who applies a waterproofing membrane to wet bathroom areas. This could be on walls, floors, showers, baths or any other area that is likely to get wet. Waterproofing is essential in any bathroom as moisture can cause extensive damage if not treated properly.
Once the building work finishes, painters will add the finishing touches to your newly renovated bathroom. They will apply paint, varnish or other finishes to walls, ceilings and any woodwork such as trim and cabinetry.
What DIY Work Can You Do Without a Licence?
If you’re thinking of designing your dream bathroom and believe you’re up to doing most of the work yourself, you may have to consider what you can and cannot do from a legal perspective to protect your home. You can complete very little DIY work for a bathroom renovation without a valid licence. A homeowner can paint, attempt to plaster, have a go at light demolition, and seal tiles. However, the main disadvantage is that the quality may not be up to standard compared to a trained and qualified tradesperson.
While DIY is often marketed as a money-saver, this isn’t always the case. You may have to engage a professional to fix your mistakes in case of a poor job. This could end up doubling your out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, taking on work out of your depth can be dangerous. Plumbing and electrical work, particularly, can be dangerous if not done correctly. Only a licensed and qualified professional should take on these riskier jobs.
What Happens With A Strata Property?
Over 1.2 million people in NSW live in a strata-held property. That is around 1 in every 7 people, according to the NSW government. But did you know some additional complexities may be involved with your bathroom renovation project?
For starters, you may need approval for any work inside the house, even if considered a minor renovation. This includes a bathroom and kitchen renovation, changing the wall and floor tiles, installing and replacing wiring or installing ceiling insulation. If your project is a minor renovation, then you’ll likely need the approval of the strata committee. If the strata committee doesn’t have the authority to approve, you may need approval at an annual general meeting (AGM) with more than 50% of the votes cast in favour of your project.
All major renovations such as structural changes, waterproofing and making a false ceiling are likely to need a special resolution vote at the AGM with at least 75% of the votes favouring the project. These are just general guidelines. Since every strata property is different and may have different rules, it’s best to talk to your strata manager to find out the process before planning any renovation work.
An experienced Sydney bathroom renovation professional like DCON Group provides peace of mind that your project is compliant with NSW laws and regulations. As part of the industry for over ten years, we are responsible for the project from start to finish. We manage tradespeople, order supplies, quality check workmanship, and deal with surprises, so you can sit back and relax.
We also provide a written 7-year guarantee on all our workmanship so you can be confident your new bathroom will stand the test of time. We’re also covered for all building works and worksite health and safety measures. Plus, we’ll help you avoid common bathroom renovation mistakes that can cost you time and money.
Contact us today for a free bathroom renovation quote!