8 Hidden Bathroom Renovation Costs

November 26, 2021

If you’ve been living in your house for quite a while—say, a few years or so—then you’re likely confident to say that you know all the nooks and crannies of every single room. You’d know that the third step on the stairs makes a creak, the wall behind your bookshelf seems to be hollow, and the kitchen faucet drips water after it’s turned off. Every house has its quirks that only the homeowners would know about, but if there’s one place that has a lot of secrets, it’s probably the bathroom. You might think that everything looks great, but there can be some pretty big problems hiding behind all of those stylish tiles and fixtures.

You may already be aware that bathroom renovations cost big bikkies, but if you don’t do some research now, you could end up with more pressing problems down the road…and, consequently, even bigger bills! Check out these 8 hidden bathroom renovation costs that can sneak up on even experienced homeowners!

HIDDEN COST #1: The lack of forethought.

As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. While we totally understand how tempting it is to rip everything out and replace them with newer and better fixtures, tiles, and everything, doing so would be an extremely unwise idea.

Before hiring a contractor, it is imperative that you’ve at least outlined the things that you want them to do and the things that you don't. It would be best to create a step-by-step list beforehand that you can then consult with them. In most cases, those who failed to come up with a proper plan before the start of the actual renovation work got caught out in the early stages, which triggered a domino effect throughout the rest of the process. To illustrate, let’s say that initially, you just wanted to get new tiles as the old ones seem to be quite outdated already. However, just when the renovators were about 75% done installing the tiles, you decided to get a new bathtub. As you can probably imagine, removing the old one would mean destroying the newly-installed tiles. Thus, resulting in wasted labour and additional costs—costs that could have been avoided had enough planning and preparations been made!

HIDDEN COST #2: Not checking for existing problems. 

Before starting your bathroom’s demolition, it is crucial that you check whether or not there are any plumbing issues. For instance, if there's a leak in the roof outside, then there might as well be one in your bathroom. A plumber would have to come in and fix that, which means more expenses on your end. Unlike the preceding number, this isn’t something that you can avoid should there actually be existing problems already, but checking beforehand would at least give you a heads-up on the extra costs.

HIDDEN COST #3: Removal and disposal of old fixtures. 

All bathroom makeovers entail alterations to the current layout. This, however, may include the removal of any existing fittings, such as cabinets and shelves. Before you start the job, check with your contractor to see whether the disposal is something they'll take care of and, of course, account for the added expense that comes with it. Otherwise, it would be your responsibility to dispose of the stuff, which may entail paying for skip bin services or paying a visit to the nearest landfill or recycling centre.

HIDDEN COST #4: Making electrical upgrades. 

When you go all out on a bathroom makeover, it sets off a chain reaction that starts with the need for the creation of an entirely new layout. This, in turn, would almost certainly necessitate the relocation and addition of light fixtures, switches, and other electrical items—all of which requires the expertise of an electrician as rewiring would have to be done. And there we have it, yet another expenditure that you might have overlooked during the budgeting process!

HIDDEN COST #5: Not ordering enough tiles.

Last month, we enumerated 10 mistakes to avoid when designing your bathroom, one of which is making inaccurate measurements. Such oversight may potentially lead to a shortage in tiles that would then require you to go on another trip to the store and possibly even cause delays just in case they have to be ordered. Oh, and if luck just isn’t on your side, they might even be sold out already…yikes! Anyway, fret not, because the solution for this is relatively easy: just make sure to get at least a 10% extra to spare you from all the hassle!

HIDDEN COST #6: Failing to take the finish into consideration.

While we're on the subject of tiles, it's worth noting that some finishes are more difficult to install than others, resulting in more grout, a longer installation time, and, of course, higher costs. Mosaics and irregularly shaped tiles are two examples of these finishes, so if you're intending to use either of the two, make sure you're prepared to spend a few extra hundred dollars (they'll be well worth it)! In any case, purchasing all finishes before the renovator begins work is a wise idea so that they are aware of what you plan to use and therefore provide you with an accurate quote.

HIDDEN COST #7: Damage caused by water.

One of the most unpleasant things about renovations is that they are never totally free of surprises. Perhaps you thought that you were simply going to have to remodel your bathroom in an attempt to keep up with the latest trends, yet as they lift up the floorboards, there is apparently a lot of other problems that need to be dealt with! Take water damage, for example, which can be caused by broken pipes, poor plumbing work done previously, or leaking roofs. If any of the previous problems happen to impact your bathroom during renovation, it would have to be dealt with first before any other sort of work can begin.

HIDDEN COST #8: Termite infestation.

And finally, speaking of unexpected surprises, termites are the nemesis of almost any homeowner. In fact, according to a study detailing the most common forms of home damage throughout Australia, this is one of the top reasons why homeowners have to shell out money for repairs! Common signs of termite damage in bathrooms include hollow-sounding walls, loose tiles, and sagging ceilings. If you’re experiencing any of these, then you’d best be prepared for the additional $400-$500 on top of your renovator’s usual fee. In terms of prevention, though, one of your best lines of defence against termites is to make sure that your home’s foundation is free of either any openings or cracks.

As you may have also deduced from this blog post, there are only hidden costs if one doesn’t plan or research enough before taking on any major project. This is especially true in the case of bathroom renovations, which can possibly break the bank if not carefully planned. It's not just the fixtures and fittings that need to be considered when renovating a bathroom; there are plenty of other factors that should be accounted for, such as plumbing, electrical wiring, lighting sources, and space considerations.

If you’re not sure where to start in terms of planning, that’s totally okay! OzGood Bathrooms offers professional advice on how to take care of all aspects of a remodel so there won't be any hidden costs down the line. For professional bathroom renovations and waterproofing services at competitive prices, give us a call at 0403089798.