Renovating a bathroom can make a huge difference to the function of your home. And if you’re selling your home, it can also increase the value, as many buyers want to move straight in without having to spend money on expensive items like kitchens and bathrooms.
If you’re in an entry-level suburb, where it’s mainly first home buyers, they’re not expecting to see a $60,000 bathroom with all the luxury fixtures. They aren’t going to expect an oversized shower with double shower heads and high-tech automation that connects to your voice-activated devices. However, if your property is in a million-dollar suburb, you may need to look at these items. Using quality products and luxury touches will be required to attract the right buyers.
The key is to do what’s right for your home and to not overspend.
Here are my top tips for ensuring that you get a maximum return on your investment.
Minimise layout changes
One thing that will always increase the cost of a bathroom renovation is changing the floorplan of the room. If you’re planning to move the toilet, shower, or basin to a different place within the room then you’re going to need a plumber to change the waste pipes and water supplies. This is costly!
By keeping the layout as it is, you’ll save thousands of dollars. Just replacing the items with newer versions and updating the tiles will still give you that new bathroom feeling, without taking such a hit on the budget.
If you have a 3-way bathroom, knocking walls down to make the bathroom a single room can also be costly, as you will need to engage a builder. Think about whether this is really necessary. When you only have one bathroom in the house, a 3-way bathroom makes a lot of sense. You can have someone showering, while someone else uses the toilet or basin. For practicality this is a must! Remember you should always think about how it functions first, then think about how it looks aesthetically.
If you’re working with a small space, it can sometimes be worth the cost to get a layout that is more efficient. To make your space appear bigger, try raising the ceiling in your small ensuite or bathroom.
If you’re selling, don’t get emotionally attached to the property and be really honest about whether the changes are going to give you a higher return. If in doubt, get a few of the local agents in the area to give you their opinion of what buyers in the area are looking for. Trust me, they will be more than happy to share their valuable knowledge. And you might save a whole of time and money!
Do the demolition yourself
Where possible do the demolition work yourself. Items such as the shower, toilet, and basin aren’t that hard to remove. You can hire a skip bin to dispose of everything at a much lower cost than a contractor will charge you. This will help to keep costs down and reduce the need for an extra tradesman to complete the work.
If you are doing the demolition yourself, be sure to check old bathrooms for asbestos. Call an expert first and if they give you the all-clear, you can carry on with the demolition. It’s actually pretty satisfying to get the sledgehammer to the wall and demolish a room. I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it!
Another handy tip is to buy tiles, fixtures, and fittings online or from an auction or discount site as you can get them at a fraction of the cost. I recommend checking out Ebay, Gumtree, Tile Factory Outlet, Grays, and Cheapestiles.
Before buying the first thing you see in store, do some research online and compare pricing. Finding your items online can save you a lot of money and reduce the overall costs of the renovations. Online stores often sell products at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them in-store.
Timeless over trendy
To maximise your return on investment when renovating your bathroom, it’s best not to go too trendy with the new design. Keep it clean, simple, and classic. This will appeal to a broader buyer market and won’t polarise buyers. If you choose a design that is on-trend now, it’s likely that within a few years it will become outdated. Sticking to classic whites and simple designs is always a winner and creates a timeless look.
Communicate with your tiler
Communication with your tiler is so important when renovating a bathroom. There are a number of costs that can blow-out if there is no plan in place.
Firstly, if you’re trying to save costs, which most of us are, choose a larger tile, such as 300 x 600 or 600 x 600. This will make the install quicker and easier for the tiler. It also means they will not be charging for large amounts of time to tile the bathroom.
Secondly, be very specific with the tiler about how you want the tiles laid. You may think it’s obvious, but they can’t read your mind. Show them pictures of what you want so there is no confusion. This will open up a dialogue about the design, and if they can’t lay it the way you want for some reason, you can discuss the options and come up with a solution together.
It’s also important to let your tiler know that you don’t want them making decisions without you. It’s the only way to avoid a very costly mistake of having to rip out the tiles and start again. I also recommend trying to agree on a per m2 cost, rather than a per hour cost. If your tiler insists on a per hour charge, there is the chance that they’ll purposely take longer to complete the job in order to get more money out of you.
When it comes to the tiles, grout, and other bits and pieces needed to complete the job, see if your tiler can get a better price than you. Tradesmen can often buy at wholesale rates, so they may be able to get a better price than if you purchase them yourself. Make sure you’re getting the best price for the best quality products.
Splurge on a feature
To help increase the value of your bathroom, we recommend choosing one feature item that will be the hero of the room. It may be a feature tile on one of the walls, or you may want the vanity to be the showpiece in the room.
Shop around for your hero piece too, you don’t have to pay through the nose, just because it’s the feature of the room. There are some great bargains online!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the planning process, our qualified interior designer can help design and pull together a cohesive look that is right for your space. Learn more about our home styling package
Bathroom renovations are exciting and can make a big difference to your property. Do your research, find the best prices, and make sure that you are communicating with your tradesman in order to get exactly what you are asking for – for the price you have been quoted. Rember, the key to maximising your ROI is to do what’s right for your home and to not overspend.