7 Things to Consider Before Renovating Your Bathroom (Expert Tips Included)

Renovating a bathroom can be an exciting but daunting task! With so many decisions to make, it’s important to make the choices that will bring you the best results. With that in mind, we invited our friends at Seamless Builders to shine a light on the seven things you should consider before plunging into your next bathroom renovation. Here they are: 

1. Budget

The first thing to consider when renovating a bathroom is your budget. Renovations can quickly become expensive, so it’s important to set a realistic budget and stick to it.  Once you have a better idea of the costs involved, allocate your budget to different areas of the renovation. Here’s an example breakdown of costs:

  • Labour: 40% of budget
  • Materials: 30% of budget
  • Fixtures: 20% of budget
  • Contingency: 10% of budget

Labour costs:  Labour costs will depend on the extent of the renovation and the tradespeople you hire. For example, the cost of hiring a plumber to install a new shower or bath may be around $1500-$2500. An electrician may charge around $75-$100 per hour for installing new lighting, switches, or power points.

Material costs: Material costs will depend on the type of materials you choose, including tiles, flooring, paint, and other accessories. For example, the cost of porcelain tiles can range from $50-$100 per square metre, while a custom-made vanity can cost between $800-$1500.

Fixture costs: Fixture costs will depend on the type of fixtures you choose, including toilets, sinks, taps, showers, and baths. For example, a basic toilet may cost around $150-$250, while a high-end model can cost up to $1000.

Contingency: It’s always a good idea to set aside 10% of your budget for unexpected expenses or changes to the original plan.

Track your expenses: Keep track of all expenses and update your budget planner regularly to ensure you’re staying within your budget.

For the ones who want to save costs, then Amy Wolland from Seamless Builders says it is possible: ” You can save on costs if you do some of the work yourself, like painting, plastering or installing your own fixtures. However, remember that you’ll have to deal with any warranty issues yourself if they arise”. 

2. Consents

You may need a building consent to make certain changes in your bathroom. We recommend you use the online NZ Government’s Buildit tool to check if your project requires consent. Note the Buildit disclaimer which states “users are advised to seek independent professional advice before applying any information contained on this site to their circumstances. MBIE shall not be held liable for any claim for any loss or damage because of reliance on the information contained in this website”. 


Expert Tips on Bathroom Consents from Seamless Builders

As of now (March 2023), new bathroom addition consents can range from $3,500 to $4,500 for council consent excluding drawings.  While the drawings itself will range from 5-6k depending on your chosen designer and the experience they have.

Usually, for a bathroom renovation that is like for like, then you should not need a consent. However, if you are changing an acrylic shower to a tiled shower, then you will need consent. 

3. Layout

The layout of your bathroom is another important factor to consider! Think about the size and shape of the space and how you can make the most of it. Consider the location of the toilet, shower, and sink and how they relate to each other.  Keeping the original layout, and replacing like for like is the most cost effective way to renovate your bathroom, says Amy Wolland from Seamless Builders. You may want to consult with professional renovators like Seamless Builders, to help you create the best layout for your space. If you are planning it yourself, here are some thing you will need to consider:

Determine the space available: Measure the size of your bathroom and determine the best layout that suits your needs.

Consider plumbing and electrical requirements: Make sure to factor in the location of plumbing and electrical outlets when designing your bathroom layout. It’s easier and more cost-effective to place fixtures close to existing plumbing and electrical connections.


4. Functionality

Consider the practical aspects of your renovation to ensure that your new bathroom will meet your needs. 

Prioritize Functionality

Keep in mind that the bathroom should be functional and comfortable to use. Choose fixtures and features that meet your needs and enhance your bathroom experience.

Allocate space wisely

Consider the size of your fixtures and how much space they will take up. Allocate enough space between each fixture to ensure adequate movement and functionality.

Optimize storage

Maximize storage space by incorporating cabinets, shelves, or niches into the design. This will help keep the bathroom organized and clutter-free.

Select appropriate materials

Choose materials that are durable, easy to clean, and can withstand moisture. This includes materials like porcelain, ceramic, natural stone, and waterproof paint.

5. Style

Your bathroom should reflect your personal style. Think about the look and feel you want to achieve with your renovation. Do you want a modern, minimalist look or a more traditional style? Consider the colours, materials, and finishes you want to use to create the look you’re after.

6. Lighting

Lighting is an important consideration in any bathroom renovation. Think about the natural light available in the space and how you can maximize it. You may also want to consider adding additional lighting, such as task lighting over the sink or a statement light fixture.

7. Contractors

Finally, consider who you will hire to complete your bathroom renovation. Look for a reputable contractor with experience in bathroom renovations. Check their references and ask to see examples of their previous work. Make sure you have a clear agreement in place before work begins, including timelines, costs, and any warranties or guarantees.

Renovating your bathroom can be a great way to update your home and add value to your property. By considering these seven factors before you start your renovation, you can ensure that your new bathroom meets your needs and fits your budget.

Overall, a bathroom renovation in New Zealand can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 or more, depending on the scope of the renovation and the materials and fixtures used. It’s important to plan carefully and allocate your budget wisely to ensure you get the most out of your investment. If you are based on the Bay of Plenty, then we recommend your visit the Seamless Builders website or give them a call on 021 114 1544 to give you a hand on your next bathroom renovation project! 

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