The remodelling of your bathroom can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a daunting experience if you don’t have the necessary and correct information at hand to guide you before making some important choices, such as how much money to spend and which company to choose to do the job.
A renovated bathroom can also add considerably to your home’s market value and this is another reason why you should seek advice from a company with a proven track record when it comes to both quality workmanship and customer satisfaction.
You may be asking yourself if renovating your bathroom can be a Do It Yourself job, to which our answer is a resounding “no”…. and that’s not because we would be doing ourselves out of some work!
With some of the renovation tasks around your home, DIY may indeed be a viable option if you have the necessary skills to do the job on your own.
But when it comes to bathroom renovations, even experienced and seasoned DIYers have been known to struggle as there are so many steps involved in the process which require skilled tradesmen and the use of systems and technologies that homeowners simply don’t have access to.
Electricians, plumbers, tilers and water proofers are all highly skilled and experienced professionals and an integral part of the bathroom renovation process.
At Yes I Can Renovations, we only use the best of the best in each step of the bathroom renovation process. That is, fully licensed and fully insured contractors who utilise the most up to date methods such as state-of-the-art waterproofing and tiling systems, which in turn allow us to provide industry-leading Warranties.
Many Australian homeowners fancy themselves as DIY experts, and there’s no doubt that you will derive immense satisfaction from completing a project at home on your own from start of finish.
Done correctly, it will also save you a lot of money….but by attempting a DIY project for which you don’t have the required skills or experience, especially if you cut corners, it could all end up in tears – with a finished product of inferior workmanship which won’t look as nice, last as long or both.
Worse still, you may end up with a completely ‘botched up’ job for which you will have to spend a lot more money to have a professional tradesman or company rectify on your behalf – they may even have to redo the entire job from go to whoa.
As previously indicated, some tasks around the home can be completed with a pleasing outcome by talented DIYers, or a combination of the DIYer and one or more contractors.
But when it comes to bathroom renovations, it is strongly recommended that you stick with the experts for the entire project as a lot can go wrong from as early as the initial strip out stage when water damage or structural problems may be discovered (in which case professional rectification would be required, anyway).
ESSENTIAL STEPS, PROCESSES & MATERIALS IN BATHROOM RENOVATION
- STRIP OUT: The strip out can be quite complicated depending on access to the bathroom (ground floor, upstairs, or in an apartment block). Tasks may include removing the wall and floor tiles (removing floor tiles can be quite difficult and may require a jackhammer); removing asbestos (a dangerous task); insulation, removing wiring, repairing the ceiling etc. A skip bin will be required. As you can see, there are many variables.
- PLUMBING: Plumbing is a skill that takes the contractor many years of experience to master. We use the same contractor who does the initial plumbing work to return to install the PC Items as he would already be familiar with the layout of the plumbing and will be on site if something goes wrong. He will also check the PC Items to make sure there are no leaks. Having a professional do the plumbing will mean the difference between the job lasting for 15-30 years as against five to seven years (at best) if you don’t get the job done by an expert.
- ELECTRICAL: Again, a lot of training and experience goes into making a good electrician, whose tasks when renovating your bathroom may include any new electricals, power points, LED lights, IXL, spa bath, running wiring, relocating light switches and ensuring that power points are not too close to the hand basin and the shower. When renovating a bathroom, you want the best of the best which means for the end product to come up to the current standard and for the work to last for the longest possible time.
- SHEETING: The amount of sheeting and its cost obviously depends upon the size of the bathroom, how many corners there are, if the ceiling has to be re-sheeted as well and if you have any damage. We use Hardiflex 6mm compressed fibro cement sheeting, which we have to cut to size, so sheeting can be quite a complicated job.
- WATERPROOFING: Waterproofing is an aspect of the job which must be done correctly to ensure there are no issues further down the track. Our waterproofers are experts in their field. The current industry standard is three layers of waterproofing (two layers of solvent-based below screed and a layer of acrylic-based above screed) so it’s in your best interests to ensure that the company renovating your bathroom is following the correct industry guidelines. And remember, the waterproofer has to return to the site over three days to allow for drying.
- GLUE AND GROUTING: If the bathroom is levelled, 3-4 bags are required per 4 square metres.
- SCREED: Screed must be a minimum of 30mm thickness. It takes between 20-50 bags of sand and 3-4 bags of cement. It’s one thing for your bathroom to look the part but if the water doesn’t drain properly, it defeats the purpose.
- TILING: Experienced, professional tilers are worth their weight in gold! There is no way we will compromise on quality when it comes to the workmanship of the tiler as the tiling makes or breaks both the appearance and the longevity of your new bathroom. Whats the point outlaying thousands of dollars on a full bathroom renovation and then allowing a mediocre tiler to do the job as poor tiling will ruin everything. We pay our tilers ‘top dollar’ and they do a fantastic job, but some companies only pay their workers half of what we do. Remember, you only get what you pay for.
- SILICONE: Please don’t think you can get away with outlaying $40 and doing the silicone work yourself! If you want a top job, it needs to be done by a professional who will ensure a good quality seal. And please note that the sealing should be checked every year and reapplied every 3 to 5 years.
- PC ITEMS: New PC Items are a must in your new-look bathroom. PC items include – but are not limited to – tiles, vanity, shower screen, tapware and toilet. We recommend a minimum spend of $1,500 (up to $2,500) for good quality PC Items. If you wish to extend your budget a little further, Italian and custom-made PC Items are on the market from $3,000 - $10,000 plus.
- SHOWER SCREEN: Don’t fall for the trap of buying a cheap shower screen, available from some of the well-known hardware outlets….they are very flimsy and you will be lucky if they last for six months! Good quality, Australian made, custom shower screens are on the market for $800-$1,200 depending on the size and whether they are fully framed, semi-frameless or frameless.
- SITE CLEAN UP: There will be a lot of sand, cement, glue, sheeting offcuts etc left over at the site which needs to be dumped at the local tip as the skip bin would have been taken away after the initial strip out. We will clean up the site and polish the tiles, leaving your new bathroom in pristine condition.
Yes I Can Renovations has been an industry leader in bathroom renovations in Sydney for a number of years now.
Director Richard Dargham is absolutely passionate about the building game and there is nothing he doesn’t know about bathroom renovations.
Over the years, Richard has recorded dozens and dozens of fantastic YouTube videos about bathroom repairs and renovations and other aspects of the building industry, which you will hopefully find helpful and interesting.
Here are just a handful of the links and for more, simply click on the Videos tab at the top of this page.
- Disclaimer: As most readers would be aware building material costs have increased sharply since Sydney re-opened after the Covid lockdowns of 2021.
Prices continue to spiral so please bear this in mind when reading this blog and watching the videos as some of the costs/prices quoted may no longer apply.