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How much will a bathroom renovation cost? Here’s five ways to save.


In any house, it’s a smartly presented kitchen or classy bathroom which adds the wow factor and if done well, can add significant resale value to a home and brighten your mood at the end of a work day.


According to Director Warren Adolph, a Licensed Builder with 30 years renovating experience, a budget of $25,0000 to $30,000 is realistic for a completely new family-sized bathroom including completely gutting the existing bathroom, upgrading the exterior insulation and joinery to bigger new double glazed, thermally broken windows to retain warmth and create extra light.


“This figure will cover minor non-structural wall changes to the bathroom, new fixtures and fittings, associated plumbing, part tiling, electrical costs and carpentry. For a smaller-sized ensuite, allow between $15,000 to $20,000.”


On the other hand, he adds, if you are only planning to refresh the fixtures, splash a new coat of paint and replace the vanity cabinet and lighting, the average cost should be less than $10,000.


With extensive Auckland home renovation experience, Warren shares five practical tips on how to reduce your bathroom renovation costs.


1: Retain the same footprint.

If you want more space, moving or extending the bathroom makes sense but enlarging the footprint adds cost. A clever bathroom designer can help you maximise the space you have by considering the existing bathroom layout. You may be surprised at how much extra space exists by using the clever eye of a professional bathroom designer.


Want to give the illusion of a bigger bathroom? Then lighten up the paint or tile colour and strategically place a large wall mirror opposite the bathroom window. Both these hacks will give the room a larger feel without the need to move or rip out any walls.


Shifting load bearing walls, changing the size and position of external windows, adding skylights and even adding insulation to uninsulated external walls are all works that require a Council Consent under the NZ Building Code. Applying for and obtaining a Building Consent can be a time consuming and costly process that could be avoided with minor changes.


2: Piggyback existing plumbing & electrical services.

Retaining your taps and fixtures in the same place helps to avoid plumbing and electrical reconfiguration. This means that the position of your shower, vanity, and toilet will remain the same but a completely new refreshed look will be achieved with new contemporary fixtures and tap ware.


If you are moving the bathroom, consider positioning next to the kitchen or laundry to use the existing plumbing connections that will service these existing wet areas. If upgrading from a floor-mounted pedestal basin to a new wall hung basin and vanity, the plumbing will need to be altered and concealed in the wall for the new position of the fixture.

Consider using existing wiring too and keep your switchboard in its current location. Moving it can involve shifting the mains cable or extending circuits - both complicated, expensive tasks.

Moving plumbing and electrical services can be costly so try to avoid it as much as possible.


3. Shop around for deals and make trade offs.

Got your heart set on a tiled walk in shower with double shower heads? You can opt for deluxe items on a budget but be prepared to compromise on aspects that won’t get noticed. It’s a matter of agreeing on the priorities!


If budget’s an issue, opt for a stylish acrylic or cast iron bath rather than high-end materials like natural stone and engineered products. Choose a premium brand vanity as opposed to a bespoke custom-made vanity and basin bowl insert.


We recommend using recognised tap ware brands. The savings associated with lessor known unsupported brands can be more hassle than they're worth. As such it may be a case of settling for a stylish mixer with less functionality (at a significant discount) than a top of the range unit.


Tiling a bathroom can make it look a million dollars. But smaller tiles and complicated patterns will usually increase the cost of installation, so we recommend sticking with large format tiles that are simple and timeless. Add features such as wall recesses for shampoo and conditioner and foot holds for that extra wow factor. Tiling part height or only tiling specific feature walls around the high use fixtures can look just as good as fully tiled walls


4. Upcycle, recycle, sell.

You don’t have to replace everything to make your bathroom renovation look great. Instead of replacing the cabinetry, consider restaining or painting the vanity unit in a fresher colour, change the drawer handles and pulls. You can also recoat your bathtub and vanity bowl to give it a new, bright white look. At the very minimum, we recommend investing in new tap ware, a modern mirror, a new heated towel rail and bathroom hardware. A new toilet paper holder and towel ring are items that can give a tired bathroom a fresher look at minimal cost.


Turn trash into treasure. Sell any unwanted fittings (if they’re in reasonable condition) on Trade me or steel fittings to a scrap metal dealer. It’s amazing what people will pay for a surplus claw foot bath, heated towel rails or tapware.


5.Do it once, do it right.

For any bathroom renovation, plan a contingency cost overrun of at least 10 to 15% for unforeseen problems. In older homes, damaged flooring, deteriorating pipework , wall linings and fittings may need replacing to prevent leaks. Timber framing and old linings may be impacted by rot and mould.


“We can’t always predict what lies beneath old floors or behind wet space walls until we get on site and rip off linings and flooring’, says Warren.


It’s best to plan for unexpected costs and to make any repairs immediately rather than do a patch up job which won’t last the distance and end up costing more in the future, he adds.


As a bespoke Auckland housebuilder, Warren Adolph Homes provides peace of mind with a 10-year guarantee. They take pride in their aftercare service.


“We’ve been building for 30 years and place immense value on longstanding relationships. Our client reviews reflect our strong track record.” says Warren.


Avoid making the common mistakes on an Auckland bathroom renovation and talk to Warren Adolph Homes. They can manage your project from concept to completion with their hand-picked team. If you’re looking for a licensed builder in Central or West Auckland, book your free onsite consultation now.



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Warren Adolph Homes Ltd
103A West Coast Road, Glen Eden,
Auckland, 0602

Phone 09 818 2921

Mobile: Warren 021 999 310 or Andrew 021 546 043

Certifed builders specialist NZCB
Licensed Building Practitioners LBPs

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