28 July 2015

Planning A Bathroom Reno? My Reno Experience...

Planning and tackling a renovation of any size is hard work - but in my eyes a bathroom is the hardest. You don't get a second chance, once those tiles are laid and the fittings installed that's it, there is no going back! You want to do it right and only do it one time.

You may remember my bathroom renovation that we did late last year? Here is a refresher for you:
++ I spoke about my inspiration and ideas here
++ The after photos and big reveal

So only having one bathroom in our house it was a big deal when renovating - we had to rough it for a few weeks with no shower or toilet, there was a few hiccups along the way and we made it out at the end with a fabulous new bathroom that I LOVE.

I thought I would give you a little insight into the bathroom planning I went through and things I had to consider when designing and making the big decisions. 

Here are my tips when planning a bathroom renovation:

|| What do you need in a bathroom? ||

Work out what you need in a bathroom versus want. I needed a real bath, not a coffin bath as we named it (yes it was built IN the ground!), more storage and a larger shower. You might consider things like:
++ More natural light
++ Storage
++ Adding or removing a bath to gain or save space
++ Adding a second sink if you have a large family
++ A wall mounted vanity to save space and give the illusion of a larger, lighter space
STORAGE - I installed these floor to ceiling recessed cupboards into the wall. There are push close doors, so they look completely seamless you don't even realise they are there!

|| Okay, now what do you want in a bathroom? ||

I had a set list of wants...
++ A large showerhead
++ A ceiling mounted showerhead to save space in the actual shower and give a 'cleaner' look
++ Niche cut outs along the bath to be able to put soaps, candles, decorative items
++ A above mounted sink, I am tall and didn't want to be bending down further than I have to!
++ A wall mounted tap, just because!

There is a definite difference between the two lists.
Now that you have listed your wants and needs, you start to see where you can spend and save money! You will also find your limitation of budget and need to make compromises. If you shop around and get some different quotes like I did, you will start to see that the bathroom you 'need' versus the bathroom you 'want' are very different in price. This is where compromise comes in. 

CEILING MOUNTED SHOWERHEAD - If budget allows - do it! It feels like you are standing under a waterfall each morning. Bliss!

|| Decisions I made ||

I chose to design a bathroom that incorporated alot of my 'wants' - here are some of the ramifications of those.
++ A ceiling mounted showerhead meant that the plumber had to run extra piping up the walls and through the ceiling. This meant added labour and material costs.
++ Having a niche cutout along my bath meant extra framing work the carpenter had to do as well as extra materials costs and labour from my tiler from all the extra tile cuts he had to do
++ A above mounted sink mounted to a free standing wall mounted vanity meant that the waste pipes had to be located in a certain position and I could not find a vanity that had the correct dimensions...I spent days looking for the right fit and finally I came across a perfect match that was a third of the price of others I had been looking at. But this cost me two days holdup in the renovation process as I didn't have my fittings ready and therefore the other trades were held up.

You can see that sometimes the 'wants' and the changes associated with these can be costly and sometimes a little time consuming. I was also adamant on using a particular brand of tapware that was not in stock and was on backorder, this too cost us a few days in lost downtime for trades. My biggest tip is to have all of your fixtures and fittings chosen and purchased/onsite when you start. This will minimise any delays and downtime for trades.

NEW BATH - Saying goodbye to the coffin bath when we threw it into the skip bin was the best feeling!

|| The inevitable ||

There are some things that are out of your control with a renovation, like the weather for instance. You would think that being an indoor renovation the weather didn't matter? Well it did! Being late November it was  hot an humid here on the Gold Coast and that meant that all of our waterproofing wasn't drying and setting. We had to put industrial fans in the space to try and speed up the drying process - the waterproofing then took an extra day to dry once again we had a delay and there was nothing we could do but wait!

Our home is roughly 30 years old, so once we started pulling apart the bathroom in demolition we found there had been a long term water leak that had damaged the timber work under some sections of tiles. We then had to install new sections and this takes time, but more importantly extra money. It is unforeseen and therefore with any renovation you should always allow a little extra money for these types of issues.

Working in the Construction industry, I understand that delays happen. You have your trades booked for a certain day, then when this changes they may not be available the day you require them. This happens, so you need to be prepared to tack on a few extra days onto your schedule to allow for this. Don't set expectations that are unrealistic!

ABOVE MOUNTED SINK - The added bonus with an above mounted sink is the bench space you gain. I have heaps of room on both sides of my basin to place things!

My biggest tip?

Be prepared and have extra finances available if things go over budget. Nothing worse than a half finished renovation!

So there you have it - some of my tips and things to think about. It is a massive project and time and planning needs to go into it!

If you want to see more of my house, you can see some of our completed projects here - of course as always there is more to come! A renovation is never complete! 

Here are some fabulous styling tips on how to decorate your bathroom too!

What would be some of your top tips? Are you happy with the outcome, do you love it or are there some design regrets?
I would love to know, leave me a comment below.

If you have renovation project that you have tackled in your home then touch with me - I would love to hear from you! It could be a bathroom, living space or even the backyard. I am sure Glamour Coastal Living readers would love to see and I know I would Let me know if you feel like sharing! x

Linking up with Essentially Jess
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  1. Great tips. We renovated a few years back - we went from one bathroom to four! Our old bathroom was a tiny, shower-over-bath thing so anything we did was going to feel like luxury. We added two bathrooms in the extension first, then moved to that end of the house while we renovated the original bathroom to be our ensuite and put the other one in. Our must-haves in the main bathroom were a bath for the kids and an easy to clean shower for when they're older. Our must-haves in the ensuite were a double shower and double vanity. We adore our bathrooms! I just wish they were self-cleaning ;) #teamIBOT

    1. I know what you mean Emily - I am so particular about my bathroom and don't want it to get any mould or anything, I want it to stay in mint condition as I love it so much! That is incredible going from one bathroom to four - you are amazing surviving a reno like that. One thing you don't realise is the dust, it gets on everything doesn't it and is so endless....x

  2. I have never been game to tackle a bathroom reno; our first house desperately needed one but I knew my limits ;-)

  3. We are currently renovating our house, doubling its size and adding another bathroom and en-suite. It's so much work and difficult designing something that suits everyone's needs. I'm so excited to decorate our en-suite though and indulge in everything I want! Great tips thank you at the perfect time!

    1. Oh how exciting Amy - so glad you could benefit from this post! Until you experience it, it is definitely hard to imagine - of the dust...that is one thing I wont miss! It is endless isn't it! Good luck x

  4. Excellent tips Ashlea, really important ones too. Budgets do get thrown out really quickly oh and the time, that's so frustrating, not only for us as builders but the clients as well. All things you don't really know until you've been in the position yourself, or read great posts like this one. x

    1. Thanks Nicole, so true! I know my builder was frustrated by the end of it - especially with an older home there are some any things that can be unforeseen with the build that take more time and then more money!

  5. Oh my gosh what a beautiful bathroom!

  6. I think the hardest thing (besides being realistic with your wants!) is knowing you need to have a bit of a buffer zone in the budget for the unexpected.

    1. So true Malinda! You definitely need that buffer zone, we did overspend and I look back now and think there was probably some 'wants'that were not so necessary, but when you are in the thick of it making those decisions you don't see it that way!

  7. Great tips and I love your finished bathrroom. That cupboard is genius! We renovated ours when I was heavily pregnant so I insisted we hire a porta loo for the 2 weeks. Costly addition but a must for a pregnant lady! Always good to leave a buffer in the budget. There are always unknown costs that spring up! Xx

    1. If I had my time again, I most definitely would have hired a loo! It would have been a sight sitting on the front lawn though haha! You are one brave lady attempting a reno so heavily pregnant, hats off to you! So true, always leave that little extra in the budget, especially if you have champagne taste on a beer budget! Thanks for the link up x

  8. I've never attempted a bathroom renovation but now we are in our forever home it's only a matter of time before that will be something we need to tackle. Love your choices - it's definitely a bathroom to be proud of!

    1. Thank you Kirsty - with all the renovations shows on tv, they make it look easy but it is definitely something that requires some time and planning. Good luck with your reno when the time comes :)

  9. Yes we ARE planning a bathroom renovation and I have pinned your tips to my inspiration board. I love your new bathroom! x

    1. Oh thanks Bron - I am chuffed, glad to help and inspire! :) x

  10. I have yet to take on a bathroom reno - other than a basic paint job. But dang your gorgeous bathroom makes me want to rip one of ours out and start all over again xx

    1. A bathroom reno is not for the faint hearted! Stick to the painting, its alot easier :P

  11. Great tips lovely... everything I would reiterate. It's hard to believe our bathrooms have been finished for over 12 months now. What a stunning bathroom you've created. Well done. Jx

    1. Thanks Jess - much easier renovating without kids though, I take my hat off to you! I am in love with it, it's nearly my favourite room in the house I think :) x

  12. That is a beautiful bathroom. You must be so happy!

  13. Thanks for sharing this. It is such a good checklist of things that should be thought about. When I did my first bathroom renovation, I was not thinking about air movement and it basically made the bathroom unusable. We pretty quickly went back in and redid it so that the vents were in the right areas and even added windows.

    Essie Reed @ Valley Home Improvement

  14. So glad I stumbled upon this post, I've been thinking of renovating our bathroom for a while but haven't found the motivation. You've really inspired me, great tips and it looks fantastic! I really love the shower head and the tiles are beautiful. I think we will be doing a trip to the DIY shop this weekend! Thanks so much :)

    Wilfred Andrews @ LB Plumbing and Heating


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