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Make Your Renovation Pain-Free in 2024

Renovating your home can be an enjoyable and thrilling endeavor, but it can also present challenges and many moments of trepidation. A successful bathroom or kitchen renovation entails more than just selecting a color scheme, shower head, and eye-catching tiles.

The reality is that achieving your dream renovation involves a multitude of intricate details that must be executed correctly. To simplify your journey, we’ve gathered our renovation thoughts and considerations if you’re planning to renovate in 2024 to ensure you have a renovation experience that you’ll cherish. Here’s our guidance which, if you consider and potentially follow, you’ll prevent your project from becoming a potential source of frustration and disappointment.

Understanding Renovation Timelines…

‘Reality’ television shows often depict the transformation of bathroom or kitchen renovation spaces within a handful of weeks to the amazing reveal, making it seem like a quick and magical process.

We know you won’t be fooled as equally from a professional renovator’s perspective, we enjoy it as entertainment and yet view it as ‘imaginary’ TV in terms of construction and renovation.

The true timelines for renovating a bathroom or kitchen are quite different. It involves many weeks of meticulous planning even before the actual construction begins.

The facts are, that no matter how eager you are to complete your renovations swiftly, there are aspects that simply cannot be rushed. For instance, if you intend to retile your floor or walls, a significant part of any bathroom or kitchen renovation, you must account for the time required for applying and allowing the waterproofing layers to dry before the first tile can be laid.

Regrettably, one of the most consistent mistakes homeowners or people planning to renovate make is failing to familiarise themselves with the actual time frames, which can lead to disappointment and stressful situations in their expectations. If you think about the process and what to consider timewise there’s…

– Design, reviewing, potential re-designs, graphical interpretation and/or 3D renders, technical drawing, drafting and specifications, building inspections, detailing and selection, potential permits, project planning, and the scheduling of trades and general availability.

– There’s also your selection of the fixtures and fittings, where you have to order, (fingers crossed it’s in stock), and then the delivery timeframe may not be to your liking or plan. 

– The variables of delivery timeframes apply to most of the elements in any renovation. Delays of any key items such as tiles or taps in a bathroom, cabinetry, or a benchtop in a kitchen will just add to the timeline and have a roll-on effect.

Therefore, if you’re contemplating a bathroom or kitchen renovation, our recommendation is to acquaint yourself fully with the process.

There’s also the nature of the availability of a professional renovator if you choose to engage one. You may have your budget, your plan, and a good idea of when you want to start and hopefully finish, and yet…

Can your renovator accommodate you in their construction timelines?

Do they have access to all the trades you require in an active and timely manner?

Are they reliable and can you trust them to honour their timeframes?

If they have other projects on the go, how do they prioritise you amongst all the other work they might be committed to?

That promise of 3-4 weeks can easily blow out to 7-8 weeks and beyond so do your homework on your renovator, especially when you’re presented with a contract for the project, ordering, and scheduling management.

We’re currently informing many clients that if you’re planning to commence your renovation in mid-end 2024, now is the best time to talk to us, share your vision, and possibly start the selection and planning process even though we’re only in June.

Why discuss a renovation when you’re hoping to start later in 2024?

Put simply it’s because of ‘timeframes and the process’. While all our other client projects are currently underway or being planned for completion, we’re confirming and scheduling 2024 August and beyond projects now and even have clients confirmed, all planned and ready to start in August through to Oct this year.

The actual client planning and considerations that go into delivering any quality, professional, and on-schedule bathroom or kitchen renovation should never be taken lightly.

Don’t forget you also have to plan any renovations you make, around you,  your family, your work, your holidays, or anything that could happen during the planning or in the meantime. Be wary of any builder that just accepts the work, and doesn’t fuss about selection, planning, and scheduling, as if it’s easy to sort around any period of the year.

Another simple starting point for understanding renovation timelines can be found in another post of ours on the step-by-step renovation process, or our frequently asked questions which provide insights into the journey, helping you make the most of your renovation experience.

Interior Design is more than style and decoration…

Is it worth engaging an Interior Designer for your bathroom and kitchen?

There’s a prevailing misconception about the role of interior designers, which is often reduced to their role in adding the final design and decorative touches. The scope of their work and skill set is far more intricate and comprehensive.

A proficient interior designer engages with your project from inception to completion, aiding in crystallising your vision and transforming it into a tangible reality. Armed with their specialised skills, interior designers offer expertise in the essential aspects of bathrooms and kitchens, including spatial planning, floor plan layouts, research and product selection, color schemes, material choices, functional spaces, and lighting design to make the key living spaces meet your vision.

An interior designer takes the time to understand your ideas, lifestyle, and budget to formulate a comprehensive design brief and scope of work. They can also provide valuable insights on where to allocate your budget intelligently, helping you make cost-effective choices and advising on areas where it’s worth splurging to maximize future returns. With their guidance, you can avoid costly mistakes such as unsuitable inclusions, incorrect sizing, or poorly manufactured items.

Collaborating with an interior designer streamlines the decision-making process, saving you significant time. Their expertise enables them to guide you efficiently, making your project management smoother and more effective. In 20 years as a renovator, we’ve never known a client question or doubt the role of their interior designer. It’s literally the opposite reaction where the designer’s input and guidance truly helped in so many areas they just hadn’t considered.

For many homeowners, a bathroom or kitchen renovation project can be the perfect opportunity to bond with family members and get creative together — but it can also be one of the biggest sources of stress in a relationship. How do you compromise when you and your partner clash over patterned tiles versus plain tiles, or whether to install a second basin to navigate your morning routines better?

It can be extremely common for couples to have conflicting tastes and priorities when it comes to style and design. This can lead to a great deal of tension and ultimately has the potential to slow down the renovation process.

An interior designer can help you get through this period together with minimal arguments and stress, listening to both parties to ensure each person’s individual tastes and personality are incorporated into the design so everyone is happy at the end of the day.

The term ‘Budget’ does not always mean an inexpensive renovation…

You have seen a million ideas, designs, and styles. Online and social media home renovation resources are constantly bombarding you with inspiration. You’re ready to make your home more functional, beautiful, and breathtakingly updated which will stand the test of time for many years to come. The problem is that you don’t really know how much your dream ensuite, main bathroom, laundry, or kitchen is going to cost you, or if you can comfortably afford it.

We recommend you spend a considerable amount of time creating a realistic budget. While budgeting is hard, it’s a crucial step in creating a pain-free renovation experience. So how do you determine the cost? Many factors influence a budget for bathroom or kitchen renovations. First of all, there’s your vision, then again there’s the ‘reality of the cost’.

The first port of call may be your friends, family, or a neighbour who may have recently renovated one or multiple rooms. If you’re fortunate they may indulge you in the real numbers and explain what renovating truly cost them. If they’ve used a professional renovator, they may share the finer details that should be simply outlined and separated into two areas of cost;

– Building and Construction (Demolition, general building & carpentry, installation, plastering, rendering, bricklaying, waterproofing, electrical, plumbing, tiling, glazing painting, cleaning, caulking…there’s more…)

– Fixtures and fittings (this would include all non-construction elements such as tiles, taps, baths, showerheads, cabinetry, mirrors, lighting, benchtops, white goods, ovens, sinks, range hoods, stoves, doors, skylights…there’s more…)

So how can you work out the cost of renovation for your home?

With so much to consider from the outset, the best way if you have a figure in mind and to create an accurate budget for your renovation, is to probably seek help with at least an estimate or a detailed quote from a renovation professional. There are economies of scale if you multi-room, they’ll consider the detailed requirements of the project, your home with an inspection prior, the room configuration, potential build hurdles, and your desires, and they’ll be able to provide you with at least a reasonable estimate of how much your project is likely going to cost.

One crucial piece of advice is to make sure you’re looking at comparable quotes if you go to more than one professional renovator and don’t share the actual documents. With a good outline of what you are seeking, leading renovators will be able to take that information and provide you with a reasonably accurate estimate or quote of what it will cost.

If they’re fishing for more information from the competitor’s quote, then the chances are they will provide you with an obviously reduced quote upfront, and once it gets underway, factor in variations that bring you back to the competitor’s quote or may even cost you even more in the long run. A professional renovator will always stand by their contracted numbers unless something truly unforeseen occurs or you as the client decide to make substantive variations and changes.

If one contractor is significantly cheaper than the other, it’s important to ask them why so that you understand where the potential savings are coming from. You want to be sure that the saving is not compromising the quality of the build, construction, and trades, or even oversights in what’s required.

We’ve decided to draw some lines in the sand and so as smarterBATHROOMS+ we suggest the following would be a good guide;

Estimated budget considerations for bathroom renovations:

$39,000 – $45,000      A stylish makeover of your existing bathroom design

$45,000 – $55,000      A stylish makeover including design or layout change to your bathroom

$55,000 +                       Your dream bathroom

Estimated budget considerations for kitchen renovations:

$37,000 – $40,000       A stylish makeover of your existing kitchen design

$40,000 – 50,000        A stylish makeover including design or layout change to your kitchen or more highly specified product

$50,000 +                       Your dream kitchen with some structural work involved.

Figures incorporate fixtures and fittings, permits, warranties, insurance, building works, and GST. Kitchen prices are exclusive of appliances.

And finally…

Can you get economies of scale in the cost of renovation per room if the renovation is multi-room, say ensuite and a main bathroom? Yes, as trades can operate and implement in two rooms for the same time and cost window.

Can you lower the cost by not indulging in the very high-brow fixtures and fittings? Yes, you can, most good renovators have the ability to access quality fixtures and fittings direct from the manufacturers and save you from the retailer’s markups.

Can you lower the cost by not overindulging in totally bespoke or customised elements, such as mirrors and cabinetry? Yes, you can and this is where many clients don’t understand that there are fabulous options to many of the ‘glossy bathrooms & kitchens’ they may see on the internet or magazines, where in most cases it’s exclusively made.

Can you complete a bathroom and kitchen renovation under the estimated budget considerations we’ve stated above? The simple answer is yes you can, and yet be realistic. You should never compromise on the quality or professionalism of the build, construction, project management, and trades. Bathrooms especially are prone to long-term problems and potentially extensive home damage if not done well and professionally.

When you’re dealing with a room that is constantly exposed to water, mist, condensation, temperature changes, and trade installation that is traditionally hidden behind walls, cutting corners will inevitably lead to additional major costs down the road and even in the short term.

‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.’

Niels Bohr, the Danish Physicist gave some great advice above about predicting the future in the 20th Century and yet we’re constantly asked by our clients, what we think will be the renovation landscape next year.

And so, currently in our view (note: we do not claim to be financial advisors) …


– If you’re planning to finance your renovation, if rates hold and appear to level out, the flow-on to increased competition in the lending sector often reduces borrowing costs. Fingers crossed, inflation stays firm.

– We’re predicting a continuation in the demand for building materials and trades. The lack of material supply will drive demand and may drive prices and further increase the timelines of projects. The demand for trades will also surge as major infrastructure projects and new home build projects pressure.

– There maybe a surge in house prices especially if there’s a slight trim in rates, so if you’re unhappy about the current state of being a landlord or a property investor in 2024 and have decided to move the property on, then renovating will likely pay good dividends if you plan to sell. It’s not complicated to understand the value of your property will increase in renovating your bathrooms or kitchens and turning your property into a ‘turnkey’ home for prospective buyers. 

So if we’re right with our predictions, then you’ll be able to save money in one area, and yet building material supplies will be unpredictable, and yet you’ll do well if you sell.

If you’re renovating yourself, or with a small operator, then you’ll likely be at the back of the queue. That’s where a dedicated renovation company’s infrastructure, selection skills, in-house trades and access to their own contractors, well-established suppliers, and finally their buying and delivery power will truly help and really save you time and money.

And so as we head towards the middle of 2024…

Life can be hectic. It’s a juggling act between the demands of work and spending quality time with family and friends while maintaining an active social and healthy life.

We know that it’s unlikely you’ll want to spend time too much time researching home renovations so to help, we do have our Free Bathroom and Kitchen Advice Guides that you can download here.

If we’ve instilled a little confidence in you taking the next step to having a chat with a professional renovator and a designer about your potential plans in 2024, then we do provide our free in-home or showroom consultations, where you can kickstart your bathroom and kitchen renovation thinking.

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