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Bathroom Renovation Checklist – Everything You Need to Know – [2023]

by Corey Douglas | 24/04/2019

Renovating a bathroom can be overwhelming. There’s a long list of things to consider, from budget and layout, to permits, style and functionality – and that’s just the start.

So before jumping straight into a bathroom renovation or remodel, do you have your checklist down to a tee?

Here we outline all the important steps to make any bathroom renovation run smoothly and quickly, and share a few expert tips along the way.

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 are in place to ensure the health, safety and structural stability of a building. Private or Council Building Surveyors can issue these permits after inspecting the building plans and the site to make sure that the construction will meet certain regulations. The permits then have to be sent to the local council as well as displayed on site.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Be mindful of this when planning your bathroom renovation.

Plan the bathroom renovation timeline

A bathroom renovation is a step-by-step process that requires a strict timeline. Of course, if you’re working with us at Houseace we will manage the process and keep you informed at all stages:

  1. Strip-out
  2. Structural work which includes repairing any structural damage or water-damage etc
  3. Plumber connects the water supply and drain pipes
  4. Electrician connects the wiring
  5. Tiles are laid on the floor and the walls
  6. The new bathroom is waterproofed
  7. The bath will be installed
  8. Cornice moulding will be installed (if applicable)
  9. Tiling, grouting, and painting
  10. Cabinets are installed
  11. Plumber and electrician do fit-outs
  12. Shower screen, mirrors, and accessories are installed
  13. Final clean, final touches and inspection

bathroom renovation

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.

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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.

bathrrom renovation


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).

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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?

Getting the bathroom of your dreams requires some excellent understanding of how bathroom renovation works. If you’re looking for Sydney bathroom renovations, give us a call on 0283 116 843. You can also click the yellow button at the bottom right of the screen to have a chat with our friendly team.

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