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What you need to know before you start your bathroom renovation

Bathrooms can be one of the most rewarding rooms to renovate and decorate in your home - and the most challenging
Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Ashley Pratt

Whether your choices involve style or functionality, many of the decisions you make when renovating a bathroom can not only be costly to change but also have a knock-on effect. Here’s what you need to know before you take the plunge.

1. Set a budget

Costs can spiral in this room and you need to be clear and firm about how much you can spend on one space. Working within a budget helps to make decisions, not only about fixtures and fittings, but the many and varied labour costs involved, from tiling and plumbing to waterproofing and specialty trades. Be sure to add in a little extra for unexpected problems.

2. Don’t overcapitalise

Consider the value of your property before you extend your budget beyond its worth, particularly if you are planning to sell the property in the foreseeable future. Ensure your outlay can be recouped down the line.

3. Moving fixtures adds to your costs

If the layout works well and you’re just after a cosmetic upgrade, you can make significant savings by simply replacing fixtures such as your bath, sink, toilet and shower in their existing position. A frameless shower glass or a double vanity goes a long way to upping the visual appeal and functionality without a complete refit.

4. Plan for the future

If you have a family, remember the requirements for the bathroom will change over time. Evenings may revolve around bath time at first, so floor space might be your major consideration, but down the track adequate vanity storage and power points will come into their own.

5. Organise project timing

Perhaps more than any other room in the house, renovating a bathroom requires a specific sequence of works to be performed and managed around one another. Start from the ceiling down with the build, choose experienced tradespeople and share details of the work timeline across all parties.

BATHROOM With its freestanding tub (a ‘Cool’ acrylic model from Decina) and romantic linen Roman blind (from Inspired by Blinds), the bathroom has all the charm of a bygone era, albeit with modern conveniences.

6. Create a moodboard

Bring all of your ideas together onto one moodboard to stay organised and ensure everything works well aesthetically. Refer often to it and update with new items as you confirm choices.

7. Measure, measure and measure again

In a bathroom, everything is fixed in place. Measure every item within the space and mark out fixtures on the floor or in another location to ensure fixtures fit as they should and the layout works. Remember to allow for plumbing, whether in cavities, on walls or freestanding.

8. Shop around

Once you’ve decided on a range of fixtures and tapware, shop around to get the best price. Bathroom stores and plumbing suppliers will often offer a discount if all items are purchased in one place.

9. See for yourself

When browsing showrooms don’t be afraid to collect your fixtures and finishes together to see how they look in real life. Lay the tile pattern with samples, take your taps to the tile shop or take samples home to see them in the light they’ll be placed in.

10. Lighting and power

Carefully plan your lighting and power with a qualified electrician to ensure you have safe, adequate lighting personal care, proper ventilation and plenty of power points and wiring for heated towel rails.

Click here for inspiration.

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