Getting Started on Your Bathroom Renovation

Specialist Trades

A bathroom renovation requires more specialist tradespeople than any other room renovation in your house. Organising the correct sequence of the trades is vital to the smooth completion and quality of the renovation. Plumbing and electrical work must be completed by a licensed tradie. Waterproofing needs to meet Australian Standards and is also best completed by a qualified specialist.

Cost of Bathroom Renovation

A standard bathroom renovation, including all trades work and mid-range fittings and fixtures starts from around $18 000 – $20 000. An ensuite or small bathroom renovation can cost a little less, however, it requires the same trades work and fittings and fixtures. Beware of cheaper quotes which may not have the same inclusions or guarantees. When receiving quotations always compare ‘apples with apples’.

Timeline and Disruption

A bathroom renovation from demolition to fit out will take 4-5 weeks to complete. You need to plan for the disruption. If you have only one bathroom you will need to make alternative arrangements whilst your bathroom is out of action.

Hidden Costs

When receiving a quotation, look at what is included. Does your quotation include all demolition and trades work? Are there allowances for items such a tiles and tiling? These should be listed as Prime Cost (PC) allowances. Are the cost of fittings and fixtures included in the quotation? Look for any hidden costs.


Builders and tradespeople must honour the implied warranties in the Domestic Building Contracts Act, which require that they:

  • carry out the work in a proper and workmanlike manner, in accordance with the plans and specifications set out in the contract
  • ensure all materials supplied are good and suitable for the purpose and are new, unless otherwise stated in the contract
  • carry out the work in accordance with all laws and legal requirements
  • carry out the work with reasonable care and skill and complete works by the date (or within the period) specified by the contract
  • ensure new homes, extensions, renovations, repairs and kit homes (or similar) are suitable for occupation when completed
  • ensure other types of work and the material used are reasonably fit for the intended purpose.

Registered builders and tradespeople must have domestic building insurance for all work over $16,000 (to cover you if they die, become insolvent or disappear) – this is in addition to the builder’s contractual obligations and warranties.

Fittings and Fixtures

The choice for your bathroom fixtures is huge and it helps to have a specialist to guide you in this area. All products installed in a bathroom need to be covered by Australian Standards. Buying from specialist bathroom stores and choosing reputable brands will give you the assurance that you have the expertise to help you with decision making and the back up support if a problem arises.