How to Plan a Bathroom Renovation
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How to Plan a Bathroom Renovation

Planning a bathroom renovation is never an easy task. Here we discuss the many things to consider to achieve your goal.

A bathroom is a relatively small space but, you might be surprised to know that bathroom renovations are more complicated and expensive than most people realise. Following are tips on planning a bathroom makeover and things to consider before starting.




Start with a bathroom renovation goal.

The first step to starting a bathroom renovation project is understanding what you want to achieve. Your goal might be to maximise space, upgrade the look or increase the value of our home.

As a bathroom consists of numerous components, a renovation project will often require a range of skilled and qualified tradespeople to achieve your goal.


Identify existing bathroom problems.

Start with identifying the problems with your current bathroom layout and functionality. Here are a few common questions a homeowner may ask themselves:

  • Is the space too cramped?
  • Is the hot water tank in the right place or is a new hot water tank required?  
  • Is there enough storage space?
  • Are there ventilation issues?
  • Does it cater for the needs of all the home occupants?
  • Can our bathroom be more water-efficient?



Before renovation: This bathroom was cramped with a hot water tank in a storage cupboard occupying much-needed space.


What are your 'must-have' bathroom features? 

Next, think about the bathroom features you must have or need. Here are a few features homeowners might be seeking in a bathroom renovation:

  • Improved lighting
  • A new basin or a twin basin
  • Walk-in shower or a bath
  • Wall-mounted showerhead or tapware
  • Increased water pressure
  • Water-efficient showerheads, taps and toilets
  • Concealed cistern
  • New floor
  • Grab rails


Create a bathroom project wish-list.

When working on your bathroom project, create a bathroom renovation ‘wish list’ of features you want to include. These are items that can be adjusted or removed depending on what your budget allows, such as:

  • Floor-to-ceiling tiling
  • Heated towel rails
  • Recessed storage and feature lighting


After renovation: The hot water tank has been moved to the attic, allowing space to reposition and install a shower bath, concealed cistern and heated towel rail.


Get a quote from a Qualified Professional.

Once you have collected your ideas, plans and a draft of requirements, it’s now time to get advice from a trade professional on the scope of your bathroom renovation and a cost estimate.

TIP: Before hiring a trade professional, check a tradesperson’s ratings and reviews. Only people who have hired a tradesperson via Onlinetradesmen can submit a rating.


Hiring a builder for your bathroom renovation.

Post a job via Onlinetradesmen if your renovation project requires changing the layout of the existing room, such as removing a structural wall, relocating electrics and plumbing etc., by selecting bathroom installation -' 'Builders - Bathroom Refit'.


Include as much detail as possible in the job post, as this will help the responding trade professional better understand what is required.

Many Builders on the Onlinestradesmen platform will manage the entire bathroom renovation project and work closely with subcontractors such as plumbers, electricians, painters and tilers, as well as order materials and fittings, provide estimates and completion certificates.


Choosing an interior designer or architect for your bathroom renovation

Is designing your bathroom proving more challenging than you thought? Homeowners often underestimate the work required to bring design ideas to life but, an interior designer can help and even manage the project from start to finish.

An interior designer can guide you on the design style you are seeking to achieve, whether it is contemporary, minimalist or traditional, work according to your budget, have the skills to sketch or draft CAD drawings and help with maximising space, including the layout of:  

  • Baths, basins and showers
  • Lighting
  • Mirrors
  • Cabinets and shelving


Doing it yourself - DIY Bathroom Renovation.

If you intend to manage your bathroom project you will need to coordinate trade professionals like tilers, carpentersplumbers and electricians to get the job completed according to your design goals as well as meet the latest building regulations and safety standards.

Be sure to have a clear plan and schedule in place, as some trades will need to be finished before other tradespeople can arrive on-site. 

For example, you may decide to demolish the old bathroom yourself – but you will need to hire a carpenter if there is a requirement for a new subfloor or if additional framing is required to hide plumbing or install integrated wall or shelving units.

You will require a plumber for first-fix plumbing plus installation of bath (if included) and an electrician for first-fix electrical including requirements for ventilation such as exhaust fans.

A carpenter can drywall and install moisture-resistant boards around the bath and surrounding areas and a plasterer for finishing ceilings and walls.

Once dry, a tiler will be required to tile, grout and seal walls and floors. When the tiles are down, you can organise the installation of the second electrical and plumbing fixes and vanity, basins, and lighting and finish priming and painting walls and doors.

During your project, be sure to keep in close communication with each trade and order your materials, sanitaryware, basins, shower units fitting and fixtures in advance. Pay close attention to waterproofing and ventilation. These are the two areas where a bathroom will quickly lose its value due to leaks and mildew.

Allow for cost and time contingency as you may encounter unexpected problems like damage to sanitaryware, plumbing issues or out-of-stock materials. Even the weather could cause unexpected delays.

Note: Check with your local authority that proposed modifications, particularly those that involve structural work or relocating services, do not require planning permission.


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