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Bathroom Renovations Melbourne: Our Process, Step by Step.

If you’re about to embark on your first kitchen or bathroom renovation, you may be experiencing a whole host of mixed emotions. How long will my renovation take? How does the process work? What’s the next step?  

If the prospect of plunging into the unknown makes you feel equal parts excited and worried, we want you to know that you’re not alone! In fact, most people feel this way before engaging the services of a Melbourne renovation specialist. 

Knowing what to expect at every stage of the renovation process is the perfect way to ease those reno nerves, so here you will find everything you need to know about what the process of renovating with smarter BATHROOMS+ looks like.

By the end of this post, you will have clarity on everything that will unfold in your home, from the initial consultation when we discuss your dream space until the day you walk into your shiny new bathroom or kitchen and beyond. Read on! 

A side note before we begin

Renovations are, by nature, a complex endeavour that involves many moving parts. That’s why we always recommend enlisting the help of an experienced professional who can deliver the type of results that will stand the test of time and add value to your Melbourne home. 

As you can imagine, a professional renovation experience drastically differs from a self-managed renovation in many ways. DIY is an option for people who have the time to self-train, do countless hours of research, and commit to a full-time schedule managing the project. To tackle a renovation, you will also be willing to make the inevitable mistakes that come with inexperience, which are normal and part of the learning curve. But in our expert opinion, the majority of people lead very busy lives these days and hence don’t have the time or the emotional capacity to learn the ins and out of a home renovation. 

Our process has been designed and finessed over the past 17 years to offer an enjoyable and easy renovation experience for our clients, who will only have to participate in the fun parts, leaving the rest to us, the professionalsBut if you’re interested in reading about the intricacies of managing a renovation project, the Victorian Building Authority’s website is a great place to start.   

 To learn more about our process, read on! 

1. Get inspired 

So, you’ve decided to renovate your bathroom or kitchen. How exciting! 

Now it’s time to think about what you want for your new space, so you can start envisioning it. If you’re design orientated and know what you want and how to communicate it to your designer, skip this section and go straight to step two. But if you don’t know where to start, there’s nothing to worry about. We’ll get you creating mood boards and considering you and your family’s needs in no time. 

One of the best ways to get inspired is to jump on Pinterest, where you will find plenty of beautiful bathroom and kitchen designs. Don’t worry if you can’t put a label on a particular style yet; Pinterest lets you create personal boards (like old-school scrapbooks) where you can save your favourite images, all in one place. Our tip is not to give it too much thought. Save the images that resonate with you the most, and we bet that by the end of the session, you will find a common thread or pattern (and if you can’t see it, your designer sure will.) That’s your style! 

Another great way to get you started is to have a browse through ourcase studies. Case studies are images of bathrooms and kitchens that we’ve previously designed and built using tried and tested productsThese images are accompanied by a description of what our clients wanted to achieve and how we made it happen. This description is commonly known as the ‘brief,’ which is a big part of our step 2, the in-home consultation, but we’ll get to that. 

Please don’t be intimidated by its fancy name, a brief is a straightforward documentYou can think of it as a list of your wants and needs for the renovation if you’d likeIt doesn’t need to be long or complicated and certainly doesn’t need to be written in design jargon. The brief aims to give your Designer a clear idea of what you expect to achieve with your renovation, so they can make it happen. 

To recap. Having a list of priorities and collecting inspirational images isn’t mandatory, but it certainly helps you and your designer to begin communicating about the direction you want to take on your renovation journey. See it as building a solid foundation for your renovation project, which can eventually save you time and energy down the track.  

2. In-Home Consultation + setting a realistic budget 

Now that you have a fairly good idea of what you want to achieve with your renovation, it’s time to book your free in-home consultation. Fill in the form on our website, and our lovely showroom consultant will contact you to discuss your renovation needs and book you in for an in-home consultation with one of our award-winning interior designers. 

During this very exciting first meeting in your homeyou will get introduced to your Interior Designer, who will work alongside you through the duration of your project, from concept to completion. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss your renovation ideas in your home, where you can point at all the features that aren’t working for you and your family. If you’ve created a mood board or project brief as per step one, show your Designer! 

Your interior designer is there to listen to your needs, bounce alternative ideas around with you and create design solutions that are tailored to your specific needs. They will also provide you with an on-the-spot estimation of how much your project is going to cost. Suppose you’re unsure how to budget for your renovation. In that case, your Interior Designer will help you set a safe and realistic budget to ensure you don’t overstretch your finances or fall short of your expectations. 

If you connected with your interior designer at your in-home consultation and can imagine your renovation dreams coming to life with the sB+ team then the next step is to get you started on your first design concepts! In this exciting part of the process, your interior designer will create a design concept for your new space, which you will see in 3D. Your designer will also create an itemised quote, so you can see down to the last dollar what your project will cost.  

If you would like to take this step with the sB+ team a $95 per room payment will be taken by your designer and they will get to work on your personalised proposal. 

3. Design presentation 

 After your in-home consultation, your interior designer will get to work on preparing your concept design and itemised renovation quotation for you. This can take anywhere from one week to ten days to prepare depending on the size and complexity of your project. You’ll then be invited into one of our showrooms to sit down with your designer and go through your personalised renovation proposal. 

It’s essential to understand what to expect from this meeting so you come prepared to make the most out of it.   

During this meeting, your Designer will propose a concept design based on the information gathered during your in-home consultation. A concept proposal is the earliest stage of the design process, where your designer will introduce you to your tailored renovation solution. 

Your Designer will walk you through your proposed new layout and explain in detail functionality, accessibility, lighting, and more. Then you will be presented with a curation of tried and tested products to match your taste and style, so you can start getting a picture of how the sB+ will approach functionality and form in your project. 

As this is the discovery phase of your renovation, our best piece of advice is to come with an open mind and ask as many questions as you need. Your interior designer has years of experience designing bathrooms, kitchens, laundries, and more, so they will be able to provide you with a wealth of information and expert guidance. 

By the end of this meeting, you’ll have an accurate indication of how much your renovation will cost, and you will be leaving armed with an itemised quotation to continue to look over at home. This proposal is as detailed as humanely possible to include all of your required building works, trades, materials, and products and is valid for one month.  

Once you have mulled over the details of your concept design and quotation, you’re ready to begin your exciting renovation journey with the smarter BATHROOMS+ team.  

In order to book your project start date, a Design Specification Fee of 5% of your project total will be taken and a building inspection will be booked in. What’s a building inspection? Glad you asked because it’s our next stop. 

4. Building inspection 

If you are at the building inspection stage, then your renovation project is starting to take shape. 

This is the part of the process where your dedicated Building Inspector will conduct a comprehensive inspection of your home. They will take a deep dive into the building’s condition to double-check measurements and spot any potential issues before the building stage evecommences. 

Your building inspector will confirm your home is up to Australian standards checking things like if your fuse board is up to code, and your home has a pressure limiting valveIf your project requires structural work now is the time when we’ll find out if we need building permits as well. Your Building Inspector will also discuss logistics with you, like where your skip bin will be located, how much protection we need to allow to keep the interiors of your home safe and sound, if we need a portable toilet, etc. 

A building inspection might not be the most glamorous part of the process, but it’s an invaluable one. Having an expert Building Inspector visit your home pre-build is an absolute must if you want your renovation to run smoothly and avoid nasty surprises down the track.   

A thorough building inspection takes about an hour per room, depending on the size and complexity of the project. Once the Building Inspector completed the job, they will come back to our office with a wealth of knowledge about your home so your Designer, along with the talented drafting team, can start working on your final working drawings. They don’t have the specific products and finishes that will go on your new space, as you haven’t selected them yet, which leads us to our next stop, the selection meeting. 

5. Product and finishes selection + final contract price 

Remember your Pinterest boards and scrapbooks? Time to whip them out because we’re getting into the fun stuff! 

You’ll now be invited to one of our showrooms to meet with your Interior Designer again for the very exciting selection meeting. During this meeting, you will also get introduced to your Design Specifier. A Design Specifier is an expert advisor with a wealth of knowledge on materials, products, and finishes. They are the ones in charge of sourcing all the products that will go in your new bathroom or kitchen. Having an experienced Specifier in your renovation project is a huge bonus! 

Guided by your taste, your Interior Designer will present you with a curation of products, fixtures and finishes for your renovation project. From tiles to tapware, cabinetry to showerheads and more, you will be able to touch and feel samples of a wide range of products. And for some of them, you’ll be able to see them installed in our beautiful bathroom and kitchen displays throughout our Port Melbourne and Burwood East showrooms. 

Our Interior Designers and Specifiers will recommend products based on years of experience working with leading Australian and international brands. If you can think of a shape, colour, or material you like, they will most definitely know where to source it. They also know which products are of exceptional quality to promote longevity and can recommend the products that are better left on the shelf. Capitalising on their advice is a sure-fire way to pick products and finishes that look amazing, will stand the test of time, and come with a handy after-sales service included! 

We suggest that you allow at least an hour per room for your selection meeting to ensure your newly renovated room looks exactly as you’ve always dreamed it. 

Based on this meeting, your Interior Designer will update your quote to reflect the final selectionThat’s your dream bathroom or kitchen! You did it! Your once itemised quote becomes a comprehensive contract complete with all the products you selected for your reno and a detailed account of the building works that will happen at your home very soon! 

Your dream bathroom or kitchen is weeks away from becoming a reality! The talented smarter BAHTHROOMS+ pre-operations team will be working hard to expertly schedule all the trades that will be part of your kitchen or bathroom renovation. They will also source all the product and fixtures for your project, ensuring everything is ready to go on the first day of the build stage, which is our following, and last stop! 

6.Your kitchen or bathroom renovation begins 

Time to say goodbye to the old to make room for the new because we’re about to swap pencils for hammers. 

On the first day of the build works (or job start date as we like to call it), you will meet on-site (AKA your home) with your Project Manager, who will oversee the whole build from demolition to the final fittings and everything in between. Your Project Manager is the captain of the build team. They manage our trusted and talented tradies, ensuring they do an outstanding job that meets Australian standards and your expectations. 

Each week we’ll give you a detailed schedule of precisely who’s turning up when (and we stick to it!). While our renovations are personalised and tailored to your needs, we have standardised procedures to ensure the works run as orderly and efficiently as possible, which prevents unnecessary disruptions or delays. 

 A standard Bathroom Renovation with smarter BATHROOMSis staged as follows: 

 STAGE 1  

Arrival of Bin and Portable Facilities (if required) Tiles, Taps, Accessories & Building Materials arrive Site Inspection with Supervisor Demolition  


1ST Fix Plumbing, Electrical and Carpentry  


Framing, Carpentry, Brickworks and Windows  


Plastering, Waterproofing Cabinetry Installation  




2ND Fix Plumbing & Electrical  


Installation of Shower Screen  


Fit Accessories, Caulking & Clean Site  


Supervisor Completion Checklist  

STAGE 10  

Completion Pack including Guarantees and Compliance Certificates 

 A standard Kitchen Renovation with smarter BATHROOMS+ is staged as follows: 


Arrival of Bin and Portable Facilities (if required) Appliances, Tiles, Taps, Accessories & Building Materials arrive Site Inspection with Supervisor Demolition of existing Kitchen or Laundry cabinets STAGE 2  

1ST Fix Plumbing, Electrical and Carpentry  


Floor preparation, plastering, waterproofing (Laundry only).  


Cabinet Delivery and Installation  


Flooring tiled or polished boards  


Bench Top Installation  


Glass or Tiled Splashbacks  


2nd Fix Appliances Plumbing & Electrical  


Fit Accessories, Caulking & Clean Site  

STAGE 10  

Supervisor Completion Checklist  

STAGE 11  

Completion Pack including Guarantees and Compliance Certificates 

We completely understand if this list feels a bit overwhelming, but we want to reassure you there’s nothing to worry about. Your Project Manager will keep in constant communication as your project unfolds, providing you with regular updates and advising you of milestones completed. 

When all the work has been completed, your Project Manager will conduct a thorough final check of your projecusing our comprehensive checklist. This way, they will ensure you are 100% happy with your space before the smarter BATHROOMS+ team leaves your home. You will also receive a 10-year guarantee on structural workwaterproofing, and have access to our dedicated after-sales service 

7. Celebrate in your beautiful new space 

Pause and admire your beautiful new bathroom or kitchen. What a fantastic feeling! Get ready to experience your home like never before because you have unlocked the benefits of a truly tailored living space that looks and feels exactly like you always wanted. 

And though your renovation journey may have come to an end this time, that doesn’t mean your smarter BATHROOMS+ experience is over. You’ve been a vital member of the Team during your renovation, which, in our eyes, makes you part of our ever-growing smarter BATHROOMS+ family. 

 Until the next time! The sB+ Team      

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