How to renovate a bathroom – The 5 essential stages.

Bathroom Renovation.

Step 1 –  Researcher Stage / Draw Plans

No matter how big or small you need to have plans drawn so you can get the ideas out of your head and onto paper. Not only will this help you see the finished product laid out, it will also make it easier for all your trades and contractors to submit detailed cost proposals and save confusion on site when it comes to executing the works.

You don’t have to drop a bomb on the cost of plans, in fact there are many program’s on the market like Sketch Up where you can even have a go at drawing some plans for yourself.

Step 2 –  Tender Stage

Now that you have your plans it’s time to  go to the market and see what it’s going to cost you, I recommend breaking it down into two categories 1. Fittings ,fixtures and materials and 2. Trades and contractors.

Starting with no 1. You are going to need to visit a showroom to get an idea of the products you like and their associated costs, sometimes you can go to your local mega store and get it all bowled over in one go, but prepare yourself mentally as it can be a very long and mentally draining day. Another alternative is to break it up over a few weekends or days and look at doing tile selections one weekend, and pluming fittings another? There is no right or wrong, it’s totally up to you.

Secondly you need to know what your trades and contractors are going to charge, so I recommend using a service like Home Improvement Pages to get quotes from a few different contractors if you don’t already have some. Now this process tends to tie a little into my next stage of the Pre Construction as you need to know exactly what trades you require, so let’s jump into that.

Step 3 – Pre Construction Stage

Now one of the most important things for any bathroom renovation project is to have a construction schedule or time line of works mapped out so that you know exactly what resources and contractors are going to be needed and on what dates. I covered this in one of my earlier posts and I recommend you check it out as you will need a construction schedule to get started with your planning.

Construction schedule dates

Now the above is just a snapshot, but it gives you an idea of the sequence of how your contractors should be booked in to perform the works. Once you have your guys and all the steps laid out in your schedule you can book in a “Trade Day”, this is where you have your contractors visit your home or site and inspect the work area and your plans to confirm the full scope of what will be required.

The trade day would normally occour a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your anticipated start date so that you have time to compare quotes and allow enough time to be able to schedule in enough notice with the contractors you eventually select. This is also a good time to get a feel for how long each contractor will take on site so that your schedule can be adjusted accordingly prior to starting.

Once you are happy with you chosen contractors and tradesmen you should sign a work order or some type of small works contract so that the agreed price and timeframe for start and completion is in writing. Once you have all your ducks lined up its time to jump into the next stage.

Step 4 – Construction Stage

Well just as it sounds this is when the magic happens and all your months of planning ahead come together and pay off for you right? Well not always… Sometimes regardless of how well you plan there can always be some type of hiccup that throws a spanner into the works I.e. Delayed material deliver, sick or injured contractor, variation in the plan layout etc, etc

Regardless of what it is it’s critical that you communicate the delay with everyone involved with the project so they know if there start date has been moved back or pushed forward because of the delay.

With most contractors they have at least 3-4 weeks of work already booked in, so if you leave it to the last minute to notify them of a delay (I.e. The night before they are due to start) then you run the risk of losing them to another project.

Step 5 – Completion Stage

As each stage of the bathroom renovation comes to a close you will need to sign off on your contractors work to make sure it is up to standard and you are happy with the quality of work. In most cases this will be checked throughout the construction stage, but to close the loop you should look at implementing a 13 weeks defects period from the time you sign off on the completed works, this way it allows time for things to settle and any potential problem with the work to be seen.

I recomend that you discuss and document this with your trades and contractors in the preliminary stages when signing contracts so that they understand that it will be expected of them to come back 13 weeks after you have signed off on there completed work if there are any minor defects that need attending to.

I also recomend putting all warranties for plumbing and electrical fittings along with any certificates away in one central folder so that you have them to call on down the track if any warranty or service calls are required.

So there you have it, that is my step by step guide on how to tackle a bathroom renovation

If you would like more detailed step by step training I have set up a video training course that walks you through each stage in more detail and includes helpful links and templates to go along with it.

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