Deciding to renovate your way to your dream bathroom is hugely exciting. But it’s a process that is all too often fraught with stress and costly mistakes — which is why it’s so vital to have the right team behind your bathroom renovation project. Even better when you know your plumbing team are experienced renovators, like Al’s Plumbing and Gas. Having already navigated their own home renovation, this family-run Brisbane-based business understand the importance of budget and quality and getting the job done right — especially when planning for the bathroom of your dreams!
“As someone who’s renovated with a young family in tow – and who help others renovate bathrooms every day – we know the excitement can be just as quickly replaced by the overwhelm and stress of making hundreds of decisions and – at times – a lot of money,” says Lauren Daly, Operations Manager at Al’s Plumbing and Gas. “Bathrooms renovations aren’t cheap, so it can feel like a lot of pressure to make sure the decisions you make will last the long haul.”
Lauren and the team at Al’s Plumbing and Gas have shared these six expert tips to help make sure your bathroom renovation is as stress-free as possible!
1. Get planning and know your budget
Before you pull out any tools or head to your nearest tile shop (tempting as it is!), stop to take the time to plan and budget for your renovation. Do you want to replace just a few fixtures to update those 1980s taps and tiles? Or will you be overhauling the entire layout and design — making extra space for a growing family or that dream bath you always wanted?
If your work involves relocating any fixtures – like a freestanding bath, toilet or basin – it’s most likely going to increase the price. Moving pipework will always up the overall cost.
Decide on your ideal plan, budget, and non-negotiables for your bathroom renovations, and stick to this when deciding your trades and fixtures.
2. Link up with licenced trades
Next, it’s time to find your trade partners. Bathrooms (and kitchens and laundries) all require several trades typically, and if it’s a significant renovation, you may even need a qualified builder managing the job.
Ensure your trades are all licensed with the QBCC (in Queensland) or other state authorities. Not only does a licenced tradie know the Australian standards, but it also means they’re insured. If things take a turn for the worse, you want to know you’re protected.
Make sure you have the right qualified team of tradies working on any renovation projects. If someone says they can do the plumbing, electrical, tiling, waterproofing, cabinetry, and it sounds way too good to be true, it probably is!
3. Communication is king
You want to make sure you are communicating with your trades ALWAYS. It’s expensive to re-do works, and not only are you paying for the materials again, but also the labour.
Bathroom renovations have an “order,” and each trade needs to do their bit at the right time. Ensure all trades or builders are aware of the final finishes, so no services are in the way of the final product. There’s nothing worse than having your trades standing around doing nothing while they wait and you’re still paying them! Sounds simple, right?!
4. Functional versus fabulous fixtures and fittings
When choosing your fixtures and fitting, don’t just get swept away by the pretty items. Make sure everything you choose is functional and practical — all the fixtures and fittings you choose need to last the long haul. So while you might have seen something fabulous on The Block – it may be completely impractical for your young family lifestyle.
It’s highly recommended to always speak with your trades before making any final purchases on fixtures and fittings — get them to look over the spec sheets to make sure they will work in with your design, as sometimes what looks amazing isn’t always functional in the space.
There are some key questions you need to ask when choosing your fittings. For example:
Will your sink be above or in the vanity? Do you want a mixer or separate taps? Does your vanity allow for this? And for sinks that sit on top of a vanity. Remember, kids are messy — with water being spilled behind the sink, will it annoy you, and is it easy to clean?
Do you need a bath? If you have a freestanding bath, do you want to be able to clean behind that?
Will your tiles be big or small, and the full height of the wall?
Toilets have different distances off the wall. Does it go right up to the wall, or is there a handy little dust collecting area? Let’s face it, no one wants to clean those spots regularly!
And don’t forget about storage! Simple things like a mirror cabinet or a larger vanity can be simple ways to add extra storage.
5. Purchasing, Warranties and replacements
It’s also essential to consider warranties and replacements for the future when you’re choosing fixtures and fittings. Sometimes having a one of a kind item means it’s hard to find parts if it needs replacing – and that means it costs you more in the long run!
And when you’ve made your purchases, make sure you have all your fixtures and fittings on-site and ready to go, so there’s no waiting on orders or holding up other trades. You don’t want to pay unnecessary labour costs!
6. Remember to enjoy the ride
And this is just a final reminder to remember from Al’s Plumbing and Gas that while renovations may still bring the odd, unexpected delay or frustration, if you can do your best to enjoy the experience and the creativity that comes from renovating and building your dream bathroom, it’s well worth the ride. And something you’ll always be proud of each time to take that shower!
Head to Al’s Plumbing and Gas website to find out more about their full range of services to for successfully renovating your bathrooms, as well as laundry and kitchen renovations.