Homeowners should remember that a bathroom renovation schedule is based on a best-case scenario, meaning everything runs smoothly and they encounter no difficulties during the project.
The average cost of a bathroom remodel ranges from $12,000 to $30,000. Choosing to update that out dated bathroom without major assistance from a professional contractor saves up to 40 per cent.
Review building code and permit requirements before starting any project to avoid costly fines and penalties.
Before a single wall has been destroyed or a fixture is removed, do a rough sketch of the finished project. It does not have to be a work of art, just a visual document of the ultimate project goal.
Supply shopping becomes much easier and building inspectors can easily suggest changes where needed to make sure everything is up to code.
- Demolition- Depending on the extent of the renovation, this first step can take up to three days. Keep in mind that materials may be difficult to remove from bathrooms above ground level. It can easily take two solid days to strip off tiles.
- Structural Work- Once the bathroom is stripped to the bones, another two days may be required for structural reinforcement, a new ceiling and drilling holes for soil pipes and extractor fans. This step is optional for solid foundations.
- Plumbing- Redirecting or expanding water lines takes up to two days. Moving a tub or toilet adds another day or two to this phase. If chasing out of concrete is necessary then add another two days.
- Electricity- Call in the professionals for this phase. It normally takes one day for them to complete the initial wiring needs.
- Insulation- The process takes half a day for reasonably sized bathrooms.
- Hanging/Finishing Drywall- Start hanging drywall immediately after installing insulation, but allow enough time for the finishing stage, which can include multiple rounds of joint compound application and sanding. This step takes a plasterer a day, including skim-coat application. Any plaster needs time to dry before tiling can begin. If you need thick plaster coats applied it could take a week to dry out.
- Tile work- it takes a tiler approximately three days to tile a bathroom. The step is optional, but remember to allow adequate drying time before moving to the next step.
- Cabinetry- Bathrooms tend to have few cabinets. Even assembling and fitting these will take a day.
- Floors- Vinyl floors take a couple of hours to install, tile and wood take considerably longer. Plan on a wood floor taking a day and a tiled one the same. If you need to hire a wood floor sander then add on another day.
- Cosmetics- Reconnecting toilets and sinks to waterlines takes approximately half a day.
Professional contractors recommend factoring in another two days to handle unforeseen events that can occur during the project.
Improvements That Have A Return
According to real estate agents, homebuyers want a relaxing bathroom with a luxurious appearance that is easy to maintain. Whirlpool tubs, unique tub and shower fixtures and sumptuous floors are always in demand. For homes with a single bathroom, installing a double-basin sink is highly recommended. Depending on the location, expect to recoup up to 60 per cent of rehab costs during resell.
If you are looking to cut costs during a remodelling project, do not change the location of the tub or shower. Keep any plumbing changes to a bare minimum. Take the time to comparison shop for fixtures and receive the best deal. Eliminate disposal fees by donating used fixtures to goodwill or a second-hand shop when possible. By prioritising what needs to be done, all bathroom renovation funds can be put to good use.
John Hahn is a bathroom renovation expert and his company Complete Bathroom Renovations has been operating in the Sydney market for 40 years.
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