How much does a bathroom renovation cost? - Articles - OpenAgent

How much does a bathroom renovation cost?

modern bathroom

Looking to spruce up your bathroom and add value to your home before you sell? Then you might be considering a bathroom renovation.

According to the Housing Industry Association, the average cost of a bathroom renovation in 2015 was $17,779. “Averages” can be deceiving, though. A budget renovation in a small bathroom can be as low as $5000 while a major renovation in a larger bathroom can cost $25,000 or more. You have to dig a little deeper to find out what your bathroom renovation is going to cost.

What determines the cost of a bathroom renovation?

Some of the major reasons why one bathroom might cost $10,000 to renovate while another bathroom renovation might cost $20,000 include:

  • Structural work
  • Moving plumbing
  • The cost of tiles and fittings
  • Additions such as a skylight or window
  • The size of the bathroom

Because of these and other factors, bathroom renovations are generally divided into categories:

  • A budget renovation costs between $5,000 and $15,000
  • A standard renovation costs between $15,000 and $25,000
  • A premium or luxury renovation costs over $25,000

Part of the cost includes tiles and fittings. For example:

  • Budget tiles cost around $55 per square meter (m2) while premium tiles can cost $165m2
  • A budget bathtub costs around $300. A premium bathtub can cost as much as $3000 and a mid-range tub might cost $1000
  • A budget toilet costs about $170. A standard toilet costs about $300. A deluxe toilet costs up to $1200
  • A vanity costs $450 for a budget vanity, $850 for a standard vanity and $1500 or more for a premium vanity

Cost differences are similar for other fittings such as shower screens, basins, taps, exhaust fans and other essential fittings.

The costs of your trades can vary, too. For example:

  • Moving or adding plumbing will add substantially to the cost of a plumber
  • An easy tile job will cost less per square metre than a more complex job.
  • If you’re installing floor tiles, your tiler should also be licensed to install waterproofing. If they are not, you will need to find a waterproofer. Waterproofing is required by law.
  • You may need an electrician to install extra lighting, a towel warmer, an exhaust fan and other electrical fittings
  • You may need to hire a carpenter or cabinetmaker for some jobs.

Tradies will charge different rates for different services. For example, a tiler may charge only $35m2 for a simple job. For a more complex tiling job that includes patterns, different sized tiles and other features, they might charge as much as $120m2. $65m2 is about the average for bathrooms, but again, that is an average based on the price spread.

There are few DIY jobs you can do to trim your costs. If you’re on a budget, you can try doing your own tiling, but a professional tiler will probably do a better job. By law, only licensed plumbers and electricians can install your plumbing and electrical connections. In most places, you will need to hire a licensed waterproofer. Painting can be a DIY job, but may not be worth the minor savings.

Read: 5 big mistakes to avoid when selling your home

How much should you spend on a bathroom renovation if you’re selling your home?

If you’re renovating to sell, your bathroom will be one of your important selling points. However, it is easy to spend more or less on your bathroom renovation than you need to.

What you need to think about is the value of your home and what buyers will want to see. In most mid-range homes, they won’t expect to see a bathroom that dazzles them with its fittings.

“If your home is of average value, buyers will be looking for a clean, tidy and functional bathroom.”

If your home is of average value, buyers will be looking for a clean, tidy and functional bathroom. In many cases, you may not have to do a full renovation. Instead, you can:

  • Have your tiles cleaned and regrouted
  • Possibly have your tub and basin resurfaced (this should be done by professionals)
  • Paint your walls
  • Paint your vanity and replace the handles
  • Modernise your light fittings
  • Replace your shower enclosure with a more modern shower enclosure
  • Replace your showerhead and taps

“These budget renovations can cost under $5,000, but add far more than their cost to the value of your home. If your bathroom is in decent condition, you can save even more by doing DIY renovations.”

These budget renovations can cost under $5000, but add far more than their cost to the value of your home. If your bathroom is in decent condition, you can save even more by doing DIY renovations.

For some tips, read: How to best stage your bathroom when selling your house.

modern bathroom

How much should you spend on a bathroom if you’re selling an upmarket home?

If you’re selling an older home in a more expensive suburb, you may need to do more extensive bathroom renovations. You may want to modernise your bathroom and make it appear larger. Today, many buyers are looking for bathrooms that have a spa-like feel. They want a bathroom that has natural light pouring in during the day and more than one overhead light.

Your real estate agent can help you with your decision. They will know how much value a new bathroom can add to your home and give you some tips. You may not need to do a premium bathroom renovation, but some renovations can add value to your home.

“As a general rule, you want to do renovations that will add twice their cost to the value of your home.”

As a general rule, you want to do renovations that will add twice their cost to the value of your home. If you go overboard on your renovations, you may be spending too much and may put buyers off. Some buyers may not want that $3,000 freestanding bathtub in the middle of the room.

If you’re stuck for ideas, a home stylist or interior designer may be able to tell you what needs to be renovated in your bathroom. A good home stylist or interior designer knows the local market and can help you design a bathroom that will appeal to the widest possible market without making you overspend.

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