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6 things to consider before you renovate your bathroom

Relax, you have options.

If you sometimes have trouble just deciding what to make for dinner, the idea of organising a bathroom renovation can feel paralysing. But take heart: it doesn’t really matter which tiles or showerhead you choose. As long as you get the big stuff right, you’ll be thrilled with your new space. These six rules will help you get the best result at the right price.

1. Keep your outlay in sync with your home.

To avoid over-capitalising, cap your bathroom renovation budget at 5% of your home’s value. For budgeting purposes, allow about 65% on construction costs, such as plumbing, electrical, windows, flooring, and labour; and 35% on fixtures and fittings. Your vanity and tiles will be the feature pieces, so be prepared to spend more on these items to achieve that wow factor.

For a house worth $1,000,000, that translates to about $32,500 on constructions costs and $17,500 on fixtures and fittings. With apartments you need to be more careful – renovating your bathroom will cost the same, if not more, yet the return may be less. You need to be smart with your design and budget allocation, so do talk to the experts.

2. It pays to pay for your design.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch – or a free plan for renovating the place where you prepare lunch. While the designers at home centres, bathroom stores, and cabinet shops won’t charge you a fee, they aren’t working for free. Their pay comes from the retailer or manufacturers of the products they’re selling, which limits your choices. What’s more, in-store designers, especially those working at home centres, tend to be relatively inexperienced with actual renovation work.

Since your project will only be as good as its design, skip the freebies and hire a veteran designer without any conflicts of interest.

3. You can create a bathroom sanctuary without busting the budget.

If you’re thinking of extending your home, please think twice and explore alternatives, before busting your budget. You’ll find that with extensions come permits, councils, delays, more headaches and ultimately extra cost.

An alternative is to steal space inside. The cost of this is minimal compared to extending beyond the existing footprint. By repurposing space from an adjacent hallway, a no-longer-needed chimney or an underused bedroom, wardrobe, or porch, you can expand your bathroom or even create a new one at perhaps half the per-square-metre costs of an addition.

If you need advice, the experts will be able to see potential space that can be re-purposed – extra space you may never have imagined was there.

4. To cut costs, hold on to what works.

You can slash the price tag for any bathroom renovation by limiting how much of the old bathroom you replace. For instance, keeping original windows can save you $1,000 to $2,000 per window. And original doors can often be restored. These detailed pieces can also bring charm and character into an otherwise brand newly renovated space.

But don’t fall into a trap of keeping things that just don’t ‘cut the mustard’. Unless it’s a truly authentic Victorian claw foot piece, don’t be tied to keeping your old bath.

5. Think seriously about a turn-key solution.

If you think you can manage a renovation yourself, make sure you explore all options before doing so. Although the upfront cost can appear higher at the outset, employing professionals to manage the entire project on time and on budget can save you thousands in the long run. The renovation process is often filled with unexpected hurdles. This is where the experts come into their own and the peace of mind is well worth it.

6. Get your skates on if you’re moving anytime soon.

If you expect to put your house on the market within 2-5 years, renovate now. Not only can a clever renovation add $1,000’s to the sale price, but you will actually have time to enjoy it yourself! There’s nothing worse than finally getting your brand new bathroom just the way you want it, only for the new owners to enjoy it instead of you.

The smarterBATHROOMS+ team of designers and experienced builders are here to help you. Call us for a free in-home consultation today on 1300 662 838.

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