Basic Bathroom Renovations Part One – Planning

If your bathroom looks like these then with a bit of effort, two weekends and less than $2,000* we can get it up to scratch.

This is a guide for women who want to DIY the bathroom renovation themselves.  If you were on The Block you’d spend at least $20,000k but in the *real world* I’d be waiting forever for those kind of home improvements.

**  Here’s the catch, if your home was built before 1985 its highly likely that it contains asbestos. If you discover your bathroom contains Asbestos, its gonna cost more.  If the home was built before 1985 its highly likely there will be Asbestos.  You’ll have two options in your bathroom renovation – avoid disturbing it (no cost) or if you plan to disturb it, expect it to cost more.


Here is my guide to effective DIY bathroom renovations for women renovators.


1. Planning

Consider your family circumstances.  What is important?  Do you have little kids and need a bath?  Do you have a tribe of women using the bathroom vanity and need more storage space?  What layout would work best for your family?

Make a wish list.

Consider the specific problems of your bathroom.  Do you have a water leak under the basin?  Mould issues, broken tiles or leaky taps.  This is likely to include things like repairing and replacing degraded grout and sealant, fixing anything that is leaking and improving ventilation.

Make a to do list of things to fix.

This should take no longer than 30mins to 1hour.

Based on these lists you can identify which tradies you are likely to need.  This should include a plumber and an electrican if you are changing over power points and the like but the rest I would DIY.

The Plumbette (link) has some great information on plumbing all over her blog.  She’s my go to for advice on all things plumbed.

Think about what you can salvage or reuse.

  • Can you leave the vanity carcass as is but just paint it and change the handles?
  • Can you leave the bath in situ and just use that great bath paint?
  • Can you leave the tiles in place and just paint them?
  • Don’t change the floor plan – moving the plumbing or electricals around within the room is the thing that will add cost.
  • Do you really need a frameless glass shower screen or would a simple upgrade of the shower curtain rail and a new beautiful, quality shower curtain work just as well?

Then consider the timeline of how you will achieve your renovation.

When are tradies required?

In what order?

Allocate some timing to your project for yourself and your trades and book them.  I always send my tradies a reminder text or two in the days leading up to the booking.  Pay cash on the day and they’ll always prioritise you!

1. How to find cheap renovation materials

What materials are needed?  There are cheap ok options available for most everything at Masters and Bunnings.

However my best deals have come from Facebook Renovators and Buy Swap and Sell Pages like:

To check out more Buy/Swap/Sell Facebook Pages in your local area, take a look HERE

Here are some sample listings on these facebook sites:

Bathroom Vanity- $200

Bathroom Vanity- $300

Don’t forget you can post WTB (wanted to buy), list what you want to buy,  a lot of people including builders have excess stock from jobs or renos they have done and they may be the small quanitites you need.

I also used a lot of clearance places and seconds stores like Hughes Renovators Paradise. They are often online now too so you can just search from home before going to the effort of driving there.

Gumtree and Ebay also rock as does places like Hughes Online where they are often offloading stock from places that have gone broke.

My sneaky favourite Ikea!  That place is great and has the most amazing bathroom range.

Recycled Options- Hughes, Grays Online etc.

About Suzanne Commerford

Suzanne has stepped out from behind the desk of Australia's largest home inspection business to build the skills, confidence and independence of women to tackle maintenance and home improvement projects around the home.

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