Don’t make these mistakes in your bathroom renovation 

Avoid these common bathroom remodelling mistakes and you will save significant time, money and aggravation in your renovation project (and you’ll love your new bathroom even more).

Mistake #1: Not spending enough time in the planning stage

What to do instead?

To avoid bathroom renovation mistakes, It’s best to have an experienced bathroom renovation team (like the friendly team at Regency Plumbing) on your side to do a proven two-stage planning process with you.

First, we meet with you on site to discuss your renovation ideas, design style, budget, and to understand what you don’t like about your current bathroom and what you’re aiming to achieve with your new bathroom. We can show you photos and examples of some of the hundreds of bathrooms we’ve worked on, and get a good idea of what will work in your space and for your household.

Next, we provide you with detailed plans that contain specifications and measurements so you can see how it will all fit together. Putting in the time upfront to get the planning and preparation right will make the project run smoother, to deadline and budget.

Mistake #2: Getting the budget wrong (or not setting a budget) 

What to do instead?

It’s important to have realistic ideas of what a bathroom renovation will cost. Spend too much and you may try to cut corners as the project progresses and you realise you don’t really want to spend that much. There’s no need to put yourself ridiculously in debt for a renovation that you won’t enjoy or that you will end up resenting every time you enter the room.

Spend too little and you’ll end up with a job that’s not done correctly. We believe in saving money wherever possible in a bathroom renovation, but the key is to know where you can save and where you can DIY, as opposed to where you need to invest more for higher quality products or specialist experience. When the Regency Plumbing team works on a bathroom renovation project, we always try to present a few options in different price points for bathroom fixtures and accessories, and we’ll always pass on our trades pricing (lower than retail) for materials when we can.

At the start of every bathroom project, we’ll work on a plan and budget with you that you’re comfortable with, so you know up front what your renovation will cost.

Mistake #3: Trying to DIY the waterproofing

What to do instead?

Leave the waterproofing of your bathroom to experienced, trained professionals. This is the crucial step where there is absolutely no margin for error. If you make even the smallest mistake in the waterproofing stage, you’ll end up with costly damage and may need to completely rip up the bathroom to re-lay the waterproofing membrane. We cannot stress the importance of this enough. We’ve done bathroom waterproofing numerous times and know how particular you need to be to get the it done correctly. There may be other areas where you can put your DIY skills to work – this isn’t one of them.

Mistake #4: Trying to DIY the tiling

What to do instead?

Only offer to do the tiling in your bathroom if you have a lot of experience in tiling, either floors, showers or walls. Trust us when we say, it’s trickier than it looks. A room plan needs to be drawn up, you need to know how the grout lines will lie and where the partial tiles will sit. And you need to be confident cutting tiles to fit. The job is even trickier if there is a pattern on the tiles and you want the pattern to sit in a particular way or line up a certain way (for example, the marbling on tiles needs to join properly to look its best). If you’re tiling over a waterproofing membrane, there is very little room for mistakes. Removing tiles once they’re grouted down could damage the waterproofing and lead to a raft of other costly amendments.

Mistake #5: Trying to project manage your bathroom renovation Auckland

What to do instead?

You need to understand how complex a bathroom renovation is, regardless of the size of the room. There are many moving parts in a bathroom renovation. If you’re remodelling a bathroom, it’s likely you’ll have a plumber, electrician, plasterer/gib stopper, tiler, painter, carpenter/builder/cabinet maker all in there at any given time. Chances are there will be at least two tradespeople in there at once most of the time. And each piece of the puzzle needs to fall into place on time. 

Like an orchestra conductor, a bathroom renovation project manager will keep all the parts moving cohesively around each other in good timing. Unless you’re able to be on site full time, and have experience in managing this type of building project, we suggest you avoid the mistake of trying to coordinate it yourself.

Mistake #6: Thinking you need to replace everything 

What to do instead?

Look around the bathroom you’re renovating and make a list of every single item in it – and we mean everything. There are the things above the surface that you see – mirror, cabinet, sink, mixer, sink plug, hand towel rail, bath towel rail, bathtub, ceiling light, ventilation fan, door, back of door hook, wall tiles/paint/wallpaper, floor tiles or linoleum, shower, shower door, drain, shelf, etc. It’s quite an extensive list. Then there are all the things you don’t see at first glance – all the plumbing components under the sink, behind the shower, below the tub, behind the walls.

This list is a great starting point for the budget that someone is going to create to keep your project under control. To this list they’ll also add the costs of labour, compliance checks and documentation.

What this should help you realise is that completely gutting a bathroom, removing and replacing absolutely everything, could be more costly than you’d like. We get it – you hate your old bathroom and just want to throw it all out and start with a clean palette. But remember, some of those fixings will look completely different in a new setting, with newly plastered and painted walls. If you don’t really need to discard the mirror or the towel rail, for example, then try to avoid putting these things in landfill.

When it comes to the plumbing components, the bathroom specialists Auckland team at Regency Plumbing will have a look and, at your initial consultation, give you an idea of what is still in good condition to be re-used.

Mistake #7: Not including enough storage 

What to do instead?

If possible, try to incorporate enough storage space in your new bathroom – which is a bit easier to do if you’re changing the layout or adding new cabinetry. We can help incorporate clever storage solutions for towels and toiletries that you may not have thought of. We’ve been renovating bathrooms for two decades and have seen some creative uses of space to help solve storage issues.

Drawers under the vanity are an easier way to access things under the sink (rather than doors). Wall hooks are great for tucking things away behind the door. Shower niches are a stylish way to keep things on display and ready for use without taking up space in the shower area. Corner shelves make good use of often neglected space beside the toilet. And window ledges done properly can add a few extra centimetres of space for smaller items. Remember, storage doesn’t need to equal clutter.

Mistake #8: Not having adequate lighting 

What to do instead?

As we’ve mentioned in another blog, Top 10 Design Ideas for a Small Bathroom, we often design around the sources of natural light. If you have existing windows, try to keep those. Natural light over the bath, or sunshine in the morning over the vanity, are wonderful features to make the most of. Along with natural lighting, you will still want “task” lighting – lighting at the right brightness and at the right height to make getting ready easy. You don’t want to be shaving or putting on make-up with poor lighting. We can give you several ideas of what lighting around your mirror will work for your space.

Mistake #9: Not having enough ventilation 

What to do instead?

Another reason we design around natural light sources is because we love to keep windows in bathrooms whenever possible. If there is an existing window, you’d be silly not to keep it. We can upgrade it to make it more modern and to ensure it closes securely. Our design team can give you ideas of how to dress it (blinds, shutters, glass frosting) so that it’s not an additional area for mould to form or hard to keep clean and tidy.

Windows aren’t the only form of ventilation in a bathroom. You’ll need an extraction fan to help keep the bathroom dry to prevent moisture damage. A good fan will remove odours quickly, which is ideal if you have a toilet in the same space where you (or other family members) are getting showered, brushing teeth, etc.

Mistake #10: Removing the bathtub 

What to do instead?

We always recommend clients keep a tub in the bathroom, if space allows. If your old bathroom didn’t have a bathtub, we’ll try to find room for one in the new bathroom if it’s large enough, and if there isn’t one in another bathroom in the house.

It’s tempting to remove a bathtub if you’re renovating a bathroom to create space for other things – a larger shower, a double vanity, more storage space. But we believe having at least one bathtub in a house adds value to your home. Should you ever decide to sell the house, a bathtub will make it attractive to families, as tubs make bathing infants and children much easier. A lot of people will immediately walk out of an open home if they can’t see a place to have a relaxing bath.

We can show you samples of bath and shower combinations that make clever use of space and look quite stylish in a new bathroom.

Avoid these common bathroom remodelling mistakes and create a bathroom you’ll love. Give Regency Plumbing a call for a no-obligation initial chat about your bathroom renovation Auckland.

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