Bathroom Refurb Lessons

interior designer melbourne, bathroom refurb


Initially I wanted to paint my bathroom as a ‘quick’ update before doing a full refurb at some point in the future but after getting some paint quotes and thinking about the work and disruption involved I decided to go ahead with the full bathroom refurb earlier than planned.  Despite doing this type of work for clients all the time, here are the lessons I learnt from this project;

  1. Choose a builder who you know you can work with, despite the price, I think it’s really important to have a good builder, who is available and communicates regularly, trouble shoots easily, and project manages the job professionally.
  2. When trades people are on site, you NEED to be there, even if you think the work is easy or straightforward, there will always be a question you need to answer and it’s better to be there than coming home and finding the work is not what you wanted because the tradie had to guess and if you can’t be there work with an interior designer who can communicate on your behalf.
  3. Keep searching for the pieces you want. I fell in love with a particular vanity and needed it custom made, one supplier said they don’t custom make it so I researched until I found a place that would.  And I really wanted a black shower screen but what I found initially were expensive, just when I was about to compromise and get a chrome shower screen I found a black one within my budget.
  4. You need a contingency budget for things you might need to buy during the work eg; tiles, I under ordered on tiles and bought the wrong shower arm which I had to replace.
  5. A good job takes time, we seem to think that things can happen quickly these days, but a good quality job takes time. Allow the trades enough time to do a quality job the first time round to avoid problems later.
  6. Keep your quote and anything you’ve agreed with your builder handy because between the time of your negotiations and work starting, your builder may forget things. For example, my builder and I agreed that paint was including in the quote so when he asked if I was buying the paint I was able to refresh his memory.
  7. Know your stuff, communication between your builder and his trades can be like Chinese whispers. A trade might arrive on site with instructions which don’t suit your brief.  Best to check in with the trade ask what he’s up to and ensure he’s been instructed accordingly.
  8. Talk to the tradie about what you want and ask advice, they might have a different more suitable perspective. After all they’re the expert.
  9. Know your style goal and colour scheme from the very beginning, then all the decisions you make along the way will be much easier.

I started seeking quotes for my bathroom refurb in October 2017, it took me a long time to find the right builder, I got 6 quotes varying from $5,000 to $10,000 and finally made a decision in January 2018.  We didn’t start the project until February 2018 and it took 2 weeks.  Managing this process yourself as well as coming up with a design and researching and buying pieces requires a lot of time and patience.  If you would like to discuss your bathroom refurb contact us for a free no obligation meeting.