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Bathroom Renovation Checklist – Everything You Need to Know

by Corey Douglas | 24/04/2019

Revamping the bathroom can be as exciting as it is daunting. There’s beauty in a well-executed renovation that takes a once outdated space and transforms it into a spa-like sanctuary, but the journey to get there demands meticulous planning and preparation. That’s why we’ve prepared this comprehensive checklist to streamline your bathroom renovation process. We’ll dive into everything from budget management to selecting the ideal contractor, setting timelines, handling demolition, and planning for the perfect intersection of style and functionality. Strap in and get ready, because a well-planned renovation is the first step towards your dream bathroom.

  • Understand the importance of building permits and know when you need one
  • Plan a realistic and manageable budget for your bathroom renovation
  • Select the perfect contractor team to carry out your vision
  • Set a timeline that’s practical and realistic, celebrating each milestone
  • Handle the demolition process efficiently with minimal wastage
  • Plan for your bathroom’s style, functionality, lighting, and ventilation

Remember, a successful bathroom renovation isn’t just about the destination, it’s also about enjoying the journey!

A bathroom remodel is a significant undertaking with numerous aspects to consider, from your budget and design, all the way to obtaining permits – it’s a long to-do list.

Before taking the plunge headfirst into a bathroom renovation project, is your checklist primed and ready?

This guide will streamline your bathroom renovation process, providing an organized sequence of steps, and a sprinkle of expert advice to boot.

Estimating Your Bathroom Remodel Costs: A Comprehensive Guide

Did you know that the cost of a bathroom remodel may actually vary slightly from country to country? This can be primarily attributed to differences in labour prices and material procurements costs faced in each specific region. In Australia for instance, the associated prices provided by Aireno paint a relatively different picture from those reported in the United States.

In your bathroom remodel checklist, irrespective of where you find yourself in the world, it’s key to include all essentials like your sink(s), shower, tub, toilet, faucets, mirrors, flooring, tiles and grout, lights, vanity, countertops, and more. Having this list ready and taking a meticulous approach towards cost planning based on your country’s pricing standards can save you from any unpleasant budget surprises.

Keep in mind that the size of your bathroom, the fixtures you intend to install, and the materials used will also influence the total renovation costs. Being aware of this can help you plan your budget effectively and smoothly carry out your bathroom renovation project.

Choosing the right material for Your Bathroom Renovation

Having established the need for a thorough selection process when it comes to choosing your materials, let’s take a deep dive into some of the popular choices. It’s essential to remember that your choices should answer to the needs of durability, style, and of course, budget.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

These bad boys create a beautiful, classic look for your bathroom floors and walls. They’re also highly resistant to water and are easy to clean. Ceramic tiles are cheaper, while porcelain tiles are dense and resist heavy wear and moisture better.

Natural Stone Tiles

For an opulent look and feel, consider natural stone tiles. These materials include granite, marble, slate, and limestone. However, be cognizant that these require regular sealing to keep them water-resistant.

Engineered Quartz

Engineered quartz has fast become a popular choice for bathroom countertops due to its durability and low maintenance. Unlike natural stone, it doesn’t need to be sealed and is resistant to scratches and stains.

A word on Paint

No renovation checklist is complete without selecting the right paint. Look for semi-gloss or satin finishes for bathrooms since they repel moisture effectively and are easy to clean. You might also explore specific bathroom paints that resist mold and mildew.

When making your choice, consider the environment, your budget, the desired longevity of materials, and your aesthetic. In order to achieve harmony between practicality and design — consult with your contractor or interior designer. Their rich experience, coupled with a deep understanding of materials, will result in a beautifully renovated bathroom that strikes the perfect balance.

Do you need a building permit?

Before you even start thinking about renovating, your first question should be: “Do I need a permit for my bathroom renovation?”

In Australia, and most countries and cities around the world, any work done on an existing wall that involves changing the shape, structure, and functionality of the building requires a building permit. However, if you were just undergoing a minor, low impact development you may not need any sort of approval.

You can find out if you need approval and apply here. Or if you are thinking of working with Houseace, we will advise, check and look after this procedure for you.

What is a building permit anyway?

Building permits serve as a crucial component to maintaing both health and safety standards whilst ensuring structural integrity in any built environment. These permits can typically be obtained from either private or Council Building Surveyors. The issuing process involves a thorough review of the proposed building plans, and an inspection of the site itself, to ensure all intended works adheres to the requisite regulations. Once issued, these permits must be submitted to your local council and clearly visible at the site in question.

Is a building permit the same as a planning permit?

Lots of people confuse Building Permits with Planning Permits, but they’re two separate things. Building permits relate specifically to building construction. Planning permits, on the other hand, are legal documents giving permission for land use or development and may be required by your local council. If you have obtained a planning permit, unfortunately, that doesn’t remove the need to obtain a building permit.

Generally, bathroom renovations, extensions or alterations to single dwellings are only subject to gaining a building permit. However, a planning permit may be required if your home has an area of less than 500 square metres. It is also required if you live in a conservation area or if your home is listed as a heritage building. You can find out more information on this here.

Don’t run the risk of your project stopping halfway!

If you are planning a DIY bathroom renovation, we advise getting a home inspector over to inspect your home and give you the thumbs up.

As the homeowner, you are legally responsible for obtaining any building permits required, so keep this in mind if you’re doing the home improvement yourself. Of course, at Houseace we can look after this responsibility for you.

Budget… How much does a bathroom renovation cost?

How much are you willing to spend on renovating your bathroom? If you don’t have this penned down, now is the time to get a fully inclusive bathroom renovation quote. Click the link to find out how much your renovation would cost, depending on the size of your bathroom, finish level, your current bathroom and a range of other factors. Here you can find out what should be in a home improvement quote.

The general rule is to spend no more than five to ten per cent of the total value of the property on your renovation. That way you’ll ensure you don’t spend more than what you can potentially sell the property for one day.

We have a whole blog post dedicated on the exact costings of a bathroom renovation and the average renovation cost in Australia, right down to the smallest fixtures and fittings. Check it out here.

Moving past the budget, your bathroom renovation requires a meticulously detailed checklist, to ensure you cover all the bases. It includes everything from cabinets and sinks, to showers and tubs, toilets, faucets, mirrors, and floors. You might also need to consider updating your tiles and grout, lights, vanity, and countertops. Without such a list, you run the risk of overlooking key components.

Now, you may be wondering about the luxury additions to a bathroom renovation. If you fancy a bit of opulence, your project might include additions like an oversized, jet-powered spa tub, a steam shower, heated floors, or even a towel warming drawer. Bear in mind, these elements can significantly impact the total cost of your renovation project.

The size of your bathroom significantly influences the overall cost, fixtures, materials used, and labor costs. Regional pricing differences also play a substantial part. An accurate, reliable contractor can consult and provide a clear, transparent quotation on these factors.

Speaking of the timeline, the average bathroom remodel varies significantly based on the project’s scope. The phase-wise renovation schedule typically involves demolition, possible framing changes, electrical and plumbing rough ins, waterproofing, painting, vanity and countertop installation, tiling, plumbing fixture installation, lighting, and styling.

While it might be tempting to rush through the procedures, bear in mind that a planned, organized approach will lead to better outcomes. Patience is key during a bathroom renovation, making sure every step is thoroughly executed prevents future issues, keeps the quality intact, and helps ensure your new bathroom is worth every penny spent.

Remember, redoing your bathroom is not just about the aesthetic change; it can also encompass updating old fixtures with new ones, changing decors, freshening up paint, and more. It’s a complete revitalization of a key part of your home – a place to relax and unwind. Therefore, careful thought and detailed planning are essential for a successful and satisfying bathroom renovation.

Choosing a contractor for a bathroom renovation

A bathroom renovation involves more than one hand to get the job done – so you’ll need to find a respectable local electrician, plumber, contractor, and painter, or a team who can do it all.

The good news is, with Houseace, there are no hours wasted compiling and comparing quotes and local contractor reviews. You can get a fixed quote (not estimate) in a minute or so, which includes labour, material, supplies, and project management. We hate hidden fees!

We’ll then handpick a rigorously vetted, top rated home renovation crew to do the work for you – and be there to answer any questions from set-up to clean-up.

Deciding whether to undertake the renovation yourself or hire a contractor is a pivotal decision. While DIY may appear cost-effective at first glance, keep in mind the potential risks and hidden costs. Tasks such as plumbing, electrical work, and HVAC are best handled by professionals. Hiring experts not only ensures quality work, but also saves you time and money in the long run.

Finding a local contractor who can efficiently handle all aspects of the remodel is crucial. Selecting a contractor isn’t something to take lightly. Check for the contractor’s licensing, reviews, recommendations, and customer feedback. Reliable sources such as neighbors, friends, review sites, and Aireno can offer invaluable recommendations.

Hiring a professional team through Houseace leads to quality results. Every contractor in our network is rigorously vetted and top-rated to guarantee the best possible renovation experience. Our team members are professionals with a proven track record in home renovation. They are ready to tackle any obstacle that may surface during the process.

Being organized and planning ahead pays dividends in managing complexity and avoiding unexpected costs. Our team at Houseace makes your bathroom renovation project run smoothly, ensuring you stay informed at every step. As we steadily progress from the set-up to the clean-up phases, we’re always available to answer your questions and address any concerns.

Remember, the quality of work is essential in judging a contractor’s performance. We, at Houseace, pride ourselves on the highest quality of workmanship. Not only do we deliver on time but we also ensure an unrivaled level of satisfaction for our esteemed clientele.

Take the stress out of your bathroom renovation by partnering with Houseace. Let our experienced team transform your dreams into reality.

Set a realistic timeline for your bathroom renovation

Depending on the size of your bathroom, a regular renovation takes anywhere from three to five weeks. Here’s a breakdown of the time-frame:

  • 1 to 2 weeks to draft a final design of how you want your new bathroom to look, including picking colours, tiles, and features, etc
  • 2 – 3 days for demolition and then cleaning
  • 2 to 5 weeks for construction
  • 1 week or less for the plumbing and electricity
  • 1 – 2 days to clean and add final touches

So, you’ve decided to renovate your bathroom. Exciting, right? Sure, but it also involves considerable planning, budgeting, and decision making. You’ll be choosing from different designs, styles, and materials to create that perfect space. And, you’ll be handling various elements such as cabinets, sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, faucets, mirrors, floors, tiles, lights, vanities, countertops and much more. But hey, don’t sweat it! We’re here to guide you.

Prioritising what to renovate

Where do you start? First things first, take a good look at your bathroom and set your priorities. Think about which features you’d ideally like to change. If it’s not broken or outdated, consider leaving it – this could save you a decent chunk of your budget. Do you need a new sink or can the old one do with just a new faucet? Do the cabinets need to be replaced, or will a fresh coat of paint do the trick? Carefully examine every corner; this will help you allocate your budget effectively.

Explore cost-saving measures

Did you know that maintaining the general layout of your bathroom can significantly cut down costs? This way, you’ll avoid the expenses that come with moving major plumbing around. Feel free to change the appearances and accessories but think twice before deciding to change the place of your toilet or shower.

The importance of a contingency bathroom

During a renovation, your bathroom may be out of commission for weeks or even months. Where will you be showering in the meantime? If you don’t have a spare bathroom, it may be worth considering temporary arrangements. Perhaps a friendly neighbor can let you use their facilities, or maybe you’ll have to schedule a short stay elsewhere. Planning this ahead of time will definitely help to avoid last-minute hassles.

The reasons for renovation

Although a bathroom renovation may seem daunting, let’s not forget why you wanted to do it in the first place. Perhaps you have safety concerns, such as loose tiles or outdated electrical systems. Maybe you’re hoping to save energy by installing more efficient fixtures. Or you could be increasing the resale value of your property. Regardless of the reason, keeping your goal in mind will help keep you motivated throughout the process.

Creating a renovation schedule

Now, onto scheduling. Check the key steps in your renovation: Demolition, Framing changes, Electrical and Plumbing rough-ins, Waterproofing, Painting, Vanity and Countertop installation, Tiling, Plumbing fixtures installation, Lighting installation, Styling. Carefully note down dates for when each stage must start and end – you want to avoid the next step starting while the previous isn’t fully completed. This will ensure your renovation process is smooth and efficient.

No doubt, bathroom renovation is a big job, but with careful planning and organizing, it’s perfectly doable. Remember, it’s all about working smart, not hard!

Plan the bathroom renovation timeline

Renovating a bathroom is a meticulous activity that follows an orderly timeline. Naturally, if you engage with us at Houseace, we’ll oversee the whole project, ensuring you are well-informed at each phase.

Beginning a bathroom renovation can feel overwhelming with so many elements to consider. However, establishing a clear, structured plan can significantly lessen stress and lead to a more rewarding experience. Utilizing a bathroom renovation schedule simplifies the process, ensuring every task is well-planned and executed on time. Let’s run through the key steps in creating and following a bathroom renovation schedule:

  1. Start with a Clear Vision: Begin by determining what you want to achieve. List out the aspects you want to change and why. Are you redesigning for better functionality, more space, or an entirely new look?
  2. Create a Design Plan: Once you have a vision, transform it into an actual design plan. Consider hiring a professional designer if your budget permits, as they can expertly match your aesthetics with functionality.
  3. Set a Budget: It’s easy for finances to slip out of control during renovations. Setting a budget ahead of time helps you manage your expenses better and facilitates decision making.
  4. Find a Contractor: Find a reliable, licensed contractor who can bring your vision to life. Get several quotes, interact with different teams, and choose one that suits your budget and requirements.
  5. Timeline Planning: Set a realistic time frame for each renovation task. Consider all factors, such as the complexity of the renovation, contractor availability, and your living arrangements during the renovation process.
  6. Procure Materials: Once you have a design and contractor in place, start purchasing materials. It’s always wise to let your contractor review your choices to check for compatibility and practicality.
  7. Commence Renovation: With all the preliminary steps complete, you can finally begin your bathroom remodel. Start with demolition, plumbing, electrical installations, and then move onto installing fixtures, painting, and finishing touches.
  8. Final Review: Once the renovation is complete, walk through the bathroom with your contractor. Ensure all tasks are completed to your satisfaction before wrapping up the project.


Remember, bathroom renovations can throw challenges at you unexpectedly, but with a well-structured plan and an accommodating schedule, the process will appear far less daunting and you’ll have a newly transformed bathroom to show off in the end!

Demolition disposal

Renovating your bathroom involves a lot of demolition, especially if you are removing all your old fixtures and replacing them with new ones. If you’re attempting to do parts of the remodel yourself, think about how to trash the dirt and debris. And don’t forget the charges for employing the services of the disposal team to help you out in your initial budget.

Do detailed checks of the bathroom skeleton after the demolition

Sometimes you won’t be aware of a problem until you strip down to the nitty-gritty. So this is the point where Houseace or your builder will check the plumbing, drainage, electricity lines and connections before covering it. This will ensure you have a flawlessly functioning space after the bathroom renovation is completed.

Salvage what you can

Bathroom renovations can eat through your pocket faster than wax melts! To avoid spending on unnecessary expenses, salvage items that you can reuse in your new bathroom. After all, a mix of old and new and different furnishings can give a homely, authentic feel.

With all the above taken care of, now to the more important stuff that will bring your new bathroom to life!

Design, Style, Functionality 

Before you get sucked into the various designs on the internet, think about your available space and functionality.

To make sure you stick to your renovation timeline, choose all your hardware and fixtures before you start renovating. Fixtures to think about include: the sink size and shape, faucets, toilets and seat, bathtub and style –with or with legs, towel rails, shower – stainless or brass, medicine cabinet, storage, tiles, finishes, paint, heating, and cooling system. If you’re confused on colour or modern bathroom ideas, check out the Dulux paint colours currently trending.


Deciding on the lighting in a bathroom space can be a bit confusing. To get it right have a centre light in the middle of the bathroom that brightens the necessary space, and then depending on the size and design, a few sconces for your makeup mirror, and a small light source to accentuate the artwork (if any).


Bathrooms are wet and dewy spaces so without proper ventilation, mold, algae, and other microorganisms take habitat in the comfort of your bathroom. This can cause mould and that horrible damp smell, and also be a danger to your health.

To prevent this from happening, try using waterproof parts in your bathroom and ensure that windows are large enough in a strategic spot to allow for cross ventilation.

You can also use waterproof paint and binders to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom. The addition of a ventilating fan is a good idea for small bathrooms.

Want to speak to the Houseace team about your bathroom renovation plans?

Now, let’s jump right to the chase. Bathroom renovation isn’t an overnight task; it involves diligent planning, decisive steps, and might need professional consultation on certain aspects. To make this journey smoother for you, here’s what you should have on your bathroom renovation checklist:

Refining the Concept and Design

1. Identify the Need: Understanding what you want to achieve with your bathroom renovation is essential. Are you looking to increase the resale value of your home or update a dated design for personal satisfaction? Do you wish to incorporate energy-efficient fixtures or improve the bathroom’s safety features?  Know your reasons, they’ll guide your choices.

Stages of Remodeling

2. Demolition: The first physical step in your renovation. This involves stripping down the bathroom to its skeleton. Be prepared for a bit of mess and noise.

3. Reconstruction: Framing changes, if necessary, are done at this stage. Electrical and plumbing work is roughed in, paving the way for further steps.

4. Finishing Touches: Waterproofing, painting, tiling are a part of this stage. Vanity and countertop installation, revamping plumbing fixtures, and lighting installation shape up the bathroom’s new look.

Furnishing, Fittings & Accessories

5. Style, Design, and Functionality: Choose complementary elements that fulfill both aesthetic and utility needs.

6. Lighting: Plan for ample natural and artificial lighting that enhances the ambiance and functionality of the bathroom.

7. Ventilation: A humidity controlled ventilation system is crucial for preventing mold and mildew growth and maintaining indoor air quality.

Always remember, being organized and planning ahead can help avoid unexpected costs and ensure a smooth bathroom renovation project. And if you need any help with your renovation plans, you know who to call!

When renovating your bathroom, choosing the right materials is vital. Not only do these need to blend well with your design concept, they must also provide longevity and maximise function in your brand new bathroom space. Let’s take a look at some options:


Choosing a bathroom cabinet involves finding a balance between functionality and style. The cost of bathroom cabinets in Australia can range from $200 to $2,000.


To ensure durability and a pleasing aesthetic, selecting high-quality tiles is a must. Expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $120 per square meter, depending on the materials and quality.

Faucets and Showers

Opt for stainless steel or brass faucets and showers, for both their durability and timeless appeal. Costs in these categories can range from $100 to upwards of $1,000, based on quality and design.


Purchasing the right toilet contributes significantly to the comfort and efficiency of your bathroom. Prices can run from $150 for a basic design to $1,000 for a top-of-the-range model.


Good bathroom lighting is fundamental for safety and usability. Depending on your selections, you could see price tags ranging from $50 for a simple fitting to over $300 for designer lighting.

No matter what materials you select, remember to include them in your initial budgeting stage. Final costs naturally depend greatly on the specifics of the materials you choose, so it’s always a great idea to research your options thoroughly before the hammer hits the nail!

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