Home renovations in Australia are on the rise fast. With TV shows like The Block and House Rules contributing to the renovation craze, more people than ever are gaining the confidence and inspiration to take on their own DIY renovation project.
Bathrooms may be smaller spaces within the home, but they can add a significant amount of value and ‘wow’ factor to a home. A successful DIY bathroom renovation has the potential to completely transform a property.
Tackling a DIY bathroom renovation is one of the most exciting and creative processes to go through, but also is a big project to take on and can have many pitfalls.
Unless you’re a homeowner who’s been through the process numerous times or a professional bathroom and interior designer who does it every day, both large and small bathroom renovations can easily be derailed before they barely begin.
Don’t be another DIY bathroom renovation nightmare statistic! Here are our top 6 tips on what to look out for!
Blowing Out Your Budget and Timeline
Blowing your budget and project timeline are the two most common pitfalls for DIY bathroom renovations. Before you begin tearing out tiles and fittings, first determine how much money you’re willing to invest.
Over budgeting is always better and will allow some breathing room for any unexpected costs, which will almost always occur. The size of your budget, the quality of materials, and your choice of fittings all impact the budget.
To avoid overspending, know what splurges are worth investing in and which one’s aren’t. If you want to create a bathroom that oozes luxury while remaining cost effective, opt for dual basins and a separate walk-in shower and bathtub.
Features like stone tiles may look appealing, but the costs and upkeep associated with them aren’t usually worth the investment. Instead, choose stone-look porcelain tiles which can save you an average of $500-$1500. Knowing where to compromise is key to sticking to your budget throughout the renovation process and ensuring you end with the perfect bathroom.
Doing Your Own Plumbing
Plumbing nightmares can be all too real when it comes to renovations. Plumbing is definitely not the place to start thinking you’re the jack of all trades (unless you actually are) because attempting to take on plumbing work without experience can cost you severely.
Just like electrical work, some things are best left to the professionals. All plumbing fixtures should only be completed by licensed tradespeople.
Whether it’s because of wear-and-tear or poor previous installation, old plumbing fittings can sometimes end up as unforeseen costly problems. Look out for early warning signs before you start renovating – especially when it comes to your piping.
If you’ve noticed that your drains tend to drain slow, loud knocking sounds from the piping, inconsistent water pressure, or water leaks, contact a professional plumbing company such as Tunnel Vision to assess your bathroom before renovating begins.
It is far better to be aware of any potential plumbing issues before your bathroom reno begins rather than it becoming an unpleasant surprise during.
Skimping on Waterproofing
A bathroom that isn’t properly waterproofed is going to be a recipe for disaster. Water failure is one of the top building problems in Australia, and some states don’t even require a waterproofing licence to take out the work.
To eliminate any costly defects and protect your investment, always engage with a licensed waterproofer. Tackling the job yourself or getting someone to do it that isn’t qualified can end up costing you a fortune down the track. Not to mention, undo all the hard work you’ve put into your bathroom reno.
Overlooking Good Heating and Ventilation
A good bathroom should first of all be functional. You also want it to be an enjoyable place for relaxation.
Investing in inadequate heating and making sure there are enough open windows for sunshine is important for creating a feel-good space. Good ventilation will prevent mould problems too. With mould being the number one issue bathrooms face, you might want to take the right precautionary measures early on in the project.
Watching black specs of mould creep over your newly painted ceilings and walls is a bathroom nightmare. Even bathrooms that have plenty of open windows will need an exhaust fan to extract the steam and boost air quality.
The best way is to integrate an exhaust fan into the ceiling strip. This way, it runs the full length of the bathroom for maximum effect and keeps the clean lines of the interior, as opposed to a surface-mounted fan.
Using the Wrong Materials
Using the wrong materials in a full bathroom renovation doesn’t just affect the design and functionality of the space, but also maintenance down the track. We areas like the bathroom need to utilise materials that can withstand the heat and water.
This applies to everything! Bathroom fixtures, surface areas, tiles for shower walls and paint need to all be chosen with this in mind. Softwood, non-waterproofed MDF and fabric can swell, rot or discolour from the heat and water built up in bathrooms. When choosing a bathroom vanity, opt for one that utilises HMR board (high-moisture resistant) and has a formaldehyde rating of either E0 or E1.
If you are planning to use materials like hardwood, stone or travertine marble for bathroom walls and other surfaces, make sure it’s sealed. Ceramic wall tiles are incredibly popular in modern bathroom designs (providing that they are 100% waterproofed and installed correctly) because moisture isn’t a problem. For flooring options, check out the pros and cons of the top materials here.
Underestimating the Value of a Good Bathroom
The value of a well-designed bathroom layout is often underestimated. Don’t be afraid to splurge on a few high-end materials and finishes to create a luxurious appeal on a budget. Adding one or more pricer additions to a small portion of the bathroom can still be done within a budget.
Choosing low-quality materials, fitting and finishes may feel healthier for your wallet initially, but they won’t stand the test of time. Some bathroom necessities can be skimped on to save money, like the walls, but don’t skimp on good-quality taps, baths, toilets, basins and flooring.
The bathroom is an extension of living spaces in a home, so ultimately, you want to encourage people to spend time in it. Features like natural light (through skylights or windows), water efficiency, integrated sound systems, and fittings that complement the bathroom design make a big difference to both a regular and master bathroom.
We’re the Plumbing Piping Experts
Whether you’re renovating to add value, create a more functional space, or you want your own slice of paradise at home, a good bathroom is priceless.
If you have any further questions or would like someone to take a look at your piping before you begin renovating on your bathroom project, contact Tunnel Vision. We’re the experts in all things piping – call us on 1800 631 799 or send us an enquiry today!