November 23rd, 2016 in

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How to Renovate a Bathroom: 5 Stage Process

Over the coming weeks I’ll be looking at the 5 Stage Renovation Process, focusing specifically on how to renovate a bathroom and project manage the entire job.

Each stage will be broken down into bite-size chunks for easy digestion. It will also be full of practical tips and builder’s hacks to get you on the right path with your renovation.

This step-by-step approach will help you gain the knowledge and confidence to better manage your DIY bathroom renovation or at least know how to work with someone who is going to do it for you.

Whether it’s your architect or your builder. Heck it could even be your Uncle Frank. No matter which way you go you’ll be on top of things right from the start.

 

Created by an Experienced, Licensed Builder: How to Renovate a Bathroom

 
This process has been something I’ve refined over the past two decades during my days running a building company in Sydney, Australia.

What I’ll be showing you is exactly the process that I have used day in, day out on all my home builds and renovations. So you’ll be getting first-hand experience in how to do and how not to do a bathroom renovation.

 

Planning-a-bathroom-renovation

 

As with all home improvement projects, there is a rhythm and a flow to them. Certain things need to start before other jobs can progress. If you miss any of the essential steps then it could create a domino effect.

However, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan, like unseasonal weather conditions, late supplier deliveries or even financing issues. When getting to grips with how to renovate a bathroom, this is one of the key things to get your head around.

But as with everything in life, the better you plan for contingencies, the better you’ll be able to quickly deal with any set backs.

I find that keeping calm (and having a few beers!) always helps to even things out when the SHTF. So find your calm zone and make sure you use it during the renovation process.

 

So What Exactly is the 5 Stage Renovation Process?

 
The 5 stages can essentially be grouped into 3 core elements: Research, Planning, and Construction.
 
5-Step-Renovation-Process-How-to-renovate-a-bathroom
 
Below is a brief outline of each one.

 

Stage 1: Research

 
As the name suggests, this is when you start gathering all your ideas together and working out what you’d like your bathroom to look like. It’s probably the most fun part of the entire renovation process – although completing the job does run a very close second.

It’s never been easier to source great designs, find inspiration, and learn how to renovate a bathroom. The previously exclusive world of interior design has now been cracked open for everyone to peek inside. And with no end of online websites catering for the home improvement addict, you can literally track down exactly what you’re after in an afternoon.

Websites like PinterestHouzz and HiPages are a great start!

For more in-depth information about Stage 1: Research check out:

1. Where to Find Bathroom Design Ideas & Inspiration

2. How to Organise Your Bathroom Makeover Ideas

 
how-to-renovate-a-bathroom-houzz-research

 

Stage 2: Planning

 
Once you have a good idea of what you’d like your bathroom to look like, the next stage is putting everything in place and making sure you calculate your costs.

Things to consider now would be:

Plans & sketches

 

Job file structure

 

Finishes schedule

 

Budget Cost Calculator

 

Stage 3: Pre Construction

 
Now we get to the hiring people and project timeline stage.

Finding contractors

 

Planning out your project timeline

 
contractor-renovating-a-bathroom
 

Stage 4: Construction

 
Here we go! This is the meat and potatoes of the entire bathroom renovation. It’s where everyone gets to work.

But before getting started you need to have a site establishment checklist on hand.

Read more: Use a Site Establishment Checklist Before Starting Construction

Some of the key areas that will be covered in this stage include:

 

Stage 5: Project Completion

 
This is when you breathe a sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

But before you do, there are always a few final last minute things to tidy up before you can enjoy your new bathroom.

Read more: Complete Bathroom Renovation

 

So that’s it in a nutshell. As you can see the 5 Stage Renovation Process flows in a logical way and will help guide you through your home improvement project.

Once you work through the process you’ll certainly know how to renovate a bathroom like an expert.

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Bathroom?

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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May 1st, 2017 in

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Top Renovation Mistakes That You Shouldn’t Touch With a Ten-foot Pole

Bessie Hassan | Money Expert at finder.com.au

Whether you’re a seasoned renovator or it’s your first time, there are many mistakes that you should actively avoid when starting out on a new project.

From overcapitalising or renovating the wrong rooms to re-locating plumbing and electrical work, there are several renovation blunders that you should steer clear of if you want your project to be a success.

Top Renovation Mistakes

Here are some key renovation mistakes that you should avoid to ensure that your time and money is used effectively.

 

1) Underestimating material and labour costs

Failing to research material and labour costs is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to property renovation. Whether it’s researching labour costs online, comparing quotes from different suppliers or finding out which materials are the most durable or environmentally-friendly, there are many things to consider when embarking on a renovation project.

There’s plenty of support available to help you make all the right decisions, including online calculators, free suburb/profile reports, online retailers, industry bodies and much more. For instance, if you’re taking out a loan to cover your renovation costs, use a calculator to forecast your repayments.

Soak up all the information you can to ensure that you make the right decisions for your project and don’t fall into the trap of underestimating costs, as this may lead to you overcapitalising on your project (ie, selling your property at a loss).

Remember to also factor in any other indirect renovation costs including local council fees, professional fees, finance repayments, rental payments (if you have to move out during the renovation) and so on.

2) Not setting yourself a timeline

While a lot of people emphasise the importance of budgeting (which is important, of course), many forget to create a project timeline. Once you’ve mapped out the scope of your work, you should estimate how long each task will take and come up with a project completion date. If you don’t set yourself a deadline, you’ll never finish!

For example, you may allow yourself two weeks to measure the areas properly and four weeks to prepare and finalise your administrative work (eg, submitting plans to the council or applying for a DA).

top home renovation mistakes

3) Going overboard with DIY tasks

There are some tasks you can definitely do yourself, such as painting or basic landscaping, but there are also certain things that you shouldn’t attempt. When it comes to more complex work such as plumbing or carpentry, you should always consult a licensed professional.

Attempting DIY projects for complex tasks, particularly those that require power tools, is not only dangerous but it may end up being more costly if you do it wrong and then have to rectify it later down the track.

4) Not doing some field work

Combined with your online research, you should also do some field work prior to commencing your renovation project. Speak to local real estate agents about the types of upgrades or features that will add the most value to your property and stroll through your neighbourhood to get a feel for other renovations happening in the area.

You should also consider the demographics of the area so that you know who you’ll need to appeal to when it comes time to put your property on the market. Knowing the demographic profile of potential residents, such as their age, disposable income or living preferences (eg, do they want to own outright or rent?), will help you reach more informed decisions.

renovation mistakes to avoid

5) Renovating the wrong areas/rooms

Spending $15,000-$20,000 on a laundry upgrade is just ludicrous. When planning out your renovation project, focus your energy (and money) on the areas that are most frequently used or occupied throughout the property.

Generally, you should focus the majority of your renovation budget on areas such as the master bedroom, the living room and the kitchen (and less on areas such as the laundry or guest bedroom).

6) Relocating electrics and plumbing

Moving around your electricals and plumbing can be extremely costly, so if possible, you should try to leave them in the same location.


Planning and seeing through a renovation project can be timely, costly and emotionally draining, so it’s worth doing some research to learn about common mistakes and how to avoid them. Spend some time reading up on prices, materials, installation methods and industry trends so that you can achieve your desired outcome and live in your dream home.

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Bathroom?

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

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January 31st, 2017 in

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Where to Find Bathroom Design Ideas & Inspiration

When it comes to finding bathroom design ideas there are literally millions of places you could look for inspiration – both online & offline. And with such a huge range of options it can get overwhelming when it comes time to making decisions about which look and feel to go with.

If you’re unsure of where to start or are feeling stuck then this article will help point you in the right direction.

 

Sourcing Bathroom Design Ideas: This Stage is Very Addictive!

 
The research stage is by far the most fun part of the renovation process (besides the demolition stage of course!). It’s the time when you can literally go crazy and create your ultimate wishlist of design ideas without touching the bank account.

There are a couple of sites that I suggest you start looking to get bathroom design ideas and inspiration – here are my three top picks:
 

1. Houzz

 
They in multiple countries worldwide including:

 

In case you haven’t heard of Houzz before, here’s some info:

  • It’s a platform for home renovation and design.
  • Brings together the homeowner and home professionals in a uniquely visual community.
  • Browse and save beautiful home photos.
  • Find the right design and construction professionals.
  • Connect with others who have been there too.
  • Houzz started as a side project but has become a community of more than 40 million.

 

Bathroom-Design-Ideas-Houzz
 

2. Pinterest

 
• Main website – www.pinterest.com
• Most people have heard about Pinterest (well almost everyone!).
• It’s a free social media network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’ on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others’ boards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned.
• Home improvement is only one of the topics you can find on Pinterest – there are loads more catering for all interests.
• If you’re a newbie to Pinterest check out the help section – All About Pinterest Guide

 

Bathroom-Design-Ideas-Pinterest

 

3. HiPages

 

  • Known as Home Improvement Pages.
  • Australia’s most visited building and renovation website.
  • Platform for taking your building or renovation project from concept to completion.
  • Connecting Australians with local trade professionals and home services for over 13 years.
  • Has thousands of inspirational photos to get your creative juices going.

 

Bathroom-Design-Ideas-HiPages
 

Other Places to Look for Ideas & Inspiration

 
Below is a list of some more places you can look.

Online

  • Use Google/Bing for keyword searches

 

Magazines

  • Great for making ‘mood boards’ the old fashioned way (i.e. cutouts).
  • Also check out their website & social media for ideas.

 

Home décor retail outlets

  • Great place to see complete room makeovers – IKEA does this really well.

 

Specialist bathroom showrooms

  • Another great place to see finished bathrooms as well as touch/feel the fittings etc.

 

Fairs/Events open to the public

  • Great for finding the latest trends, ‘must-haves’, and up-and-coming designers

 

Interior designer

  • For those with deep pockets, you could hire an interior designer to do all the legwork for you.

 

Keeping On Top of All Your Information

 
The next step is to start making a list of all the websites/places you’ve visited for ideas so that you don’t forget where you found something that you liked.

Here are a few options on how to collate/organise everything:

1. Create a simple word document that lists all your finds in one area.

2. You can use online note taking software that allows you to save all your links into it.

A good one is Evernote – https://evernote.com. There are hundreds of other note taking apps on the market, but Evernote is good because you can use it on various platforms like your PC, mobile phone and tablet, and they all sync to each other so you can see your notes anywhere.

 

Bathroom-Design-Ideas-Evernote
 

I’ll be doing a follow-up article on the best ways to collate and organise your bathroom design ideas which will cover more options.

 

Word of Warning – Beware of Overwhelm

 
Be careful of falling into the ‘analysis paralysis’ zone. You know the place where you see so many things you like but are too scared of making a decision in case you choose the wrong one.

One way to overcome this is to make a list of things you absolutely have to have in your new bathroom. This could be a shower and bath combo, lots of storage etc. By narrowing down the field you can focus your attention on what’s really important to you and ditch the stuff that’s not.

If you do fall into the overwhelm trap – try taking a step back, stop looking and go for a walk/leave it for a while.

Sometimes the break can help clear your mind so it has time to mill over the choices in the background (subconsciously). A beer always helps too ☺

 

So that covers the first part of Stage 1: Research – finding bathroom design ideas. In the second part, I’ll go through how to create a filing structure and some online/offline apps and tools to make your life easier when collating the info.

To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

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February 2nd, 2017 in

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How to Organise Your Bathroom Makeover Ideas

If you’ve ever done (or at least dreamed of doing) a home improvement project, you’ll know that the first step is research. Scouring the Internet and beyond for great bathroom makeover ideas is a load of fun but all that info needs to be organised in a way that you can easily find it later.

Collating Your Bathroom Makeover Ideas

Here are a few ways you can get on top of things.

 

1. Folder/Filing Structure

Before you start gathering all those great bathroom makeover ideas, work out a system to file the info – much like the folders in your filing cabinet. Believe me – it will save you a heap of time in the long run if you do this upfront.

Below is a list of categories to get the ball rolling but feel free to add more if you like.

  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Sink
  • Fixtures/Taps
  • Lighting
  • Flooring
  • Walls
  • Tiles
  • Storage
  • Décor
  • Furniture/Cupboards
  • Colour scheme

 

Choose a method that works best for you – it could be the list above, alphabetical, colour coded etc. Everyone has their own way of doing things – so there’s no right or wrong way!

 
bathroom-makeover-ideas-organization

 

2. Offline & Online Tools & Apps

There are also some great offline & online tools/apps you can use to collate all your info in one place.

Offline

Word or Excel

A lot of computers nowadays will come bundled with Microsoft Office (both PC and Mac) when purchased. The product suite consists of Word (text editor), Excel (spreadsheet), Powerpoint (presentations) and a number of other useful applications. You can find out more by heading over to the Microsoft site.

But if you want to do it on the cheap then there’s a free alternative called OpenOffice.

Text Editor / Notes

A text editor is like Word but without all the formatting options. Much like Microsoft Office, most computers come with a basic Text Editor. Also many mobile phones now also come with Notes (iPhone) or similar so you can even gather info on the go.

Online

Evernote

Evernote is a great option to organise your bathroom makeover ideas in one central place. As it’s an online software service, you can access your account from any device with Internet connection. They also offer a free account as well as paid for plans.

Google Docs

Google has its own online version of Word called Google Docs, and Excel called Google Sheets. If you have a Gmail account then you’ll be able to access these for free. You can learn more here.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking and personal information management (PIM) application for collecting, organising and sharing digital information. It’s basically Microsoft’s online version of Evernote.

It’s also the only Microsoft Office suite app you can download and use for free without a license to the suite or 365 subscription.

 

These are just a few suggestions – there are a lot of alternatives out there on the market. I have simply picked the ones I prefer to use but go ahead and choose whatever suits you.

So that covers the second part of Stage 1: Research – organising your bathroom makeover ideas. To read part one go to – Where to Find Bathroom Design Ideas & Inspiration 

To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

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February 6th, 2017 in

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3 Ways to Get Your Bathroom Floor Plans Done

Once you’re done with sourcing ideas and getting inspiration for your renovation project, you’ll now need to draw up your bathroom floor plans.

This is the start of Stage 2: Planning and it’s the process where you literally sift through your wishlist and work out where everything will appear in your new bathroom – to the centimetre!

Rule number 1- you always need a plan to work off so that you can be organized for success. Here are 3 ways that you can go about organizing your plans or sketches.
 

How To Do Your Bathroom Floor Plans

Below I’ve outlined three options ranging from hiring someone, using online software, and even simple hand drawings.

 

Option 1: Pay to have your plans drawn by a draftsman, architect or interior designer

Paying a professional to design your plans and sketches can be one of the best ways to kick off your bathroom renovation. But it will also be the most expensive option.

If you are time poor and don’t have the confidence to draw something yourself (which are some of the other options below), then this would be the most stress free route.

The level to which you engage someone to help you out is entirely up to you. On the higher end you may pay someone to draw your plans and make all your selections (i.e tiles, plumbing fittings, joinery paint etc). Or on the lower end, it may just be a simple sketch of the room and the rest is up to you.

If you decide to go for option 1 there are a number of sites where you can find a professional depending on what part of the world you are from.

Below are some examples of a few links that may help.

 

Bathroom Floor Plans draftsman

 

Option 2: Draw your own bathroom floor plans with an online software package

There are certainly a tonne of different software packages out there that you could use. Some of them are great – but others are, well… crap! Here are my top picks.
 

Edraw

 

Smart Draw

 

Sketch Up

  • A very powerful 3D modelling program.
  • Can come in handy to draw details if 3D visualisation is needed.
  • Note: This program has a big learning curve and will take a lot of study to go through the video tutorials and learn. Certainly not recommended for the beginner.
  • There are free and paid versions. Check out: sketchup.com

 

Bathroom Floor Plans Edrawsoft

 

Option 3 – Draw your own plans by sketching out a scale diagram on paper, and then scanning and saving

This option is the most ‘hands-on’! Depending on how you’re going to use it, you can be as precise or as rough as need be.

If you’re going to be doing most of the work yourself then you’ll want to be as bang on with measurements as possible. On the other hand, if you’ll be using a project manager/builder to do it for you – then a rough sketch is ok.

Its important to be accurate with all your measurements, so your bathroom floor plans match what you plan on building on site. For example, lengths and heights of walls, where vanities and basins will be positioned, taps, cabinets, light fittings, towel rails, toilets etc all need to be carefully positioned and marked down on plan.

Keep in mind, the reason you’re scanning and saving your bathroom floor plans is so they can be emailed and reprinted. Don’t just make one copy!

 

Important tips to remember when drafting your plans with any of the above 3 options

If you decide to go with Option 2 or 3 then you’ll need to make sure you include the following in your bathroom floor plans:

  • Plumbing layout for all services to be shown including heights of taps, mixers and spouts.
  • Electrical layout to be shown for all light points including LED strip lighting, downlights, pendant fittings, exhaust fans, light switching points, power points, heated towel racks and under floor heating including thermostat locations.
  • Tiling layout to be considered, will there be a step down in the shower, if so mark it on the plan. Will there be any feature walls? If so mark them on the plan as well. Is there a particular pattern you would like the tiles laid, i.e. brick pattern, diagonal? Where should cut tiles be placed, at the doorway, bath or other location? Thinking about the set out of tiles is important.

 

The above are just a few things to consider when drafting bathroom floor plans. Once you’re happy with the proposed plans it’s time to move onto the next part of Stage 2: Planning – the renovation project plan and creating a “Job Folder” Filing system.
 
To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

Online Course Available Now

The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

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February 8th, 2017 in

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Getting Organized With a Renovation Project Plan

As with any home improvement job, you really should have a renovation project plan before you get started. It’s a bit like a recipe – you can’t bake a cake without knowing the ingredients!
 

Renovation Project Plan: Gather & File

 
This stage of the project might seem boring, but creating a good filing system where you can keep all your information stored is critical to staying organized.

This really is a simple two-step process.
 

Step 1: Gather the Information

 
So the first thing to do is look at the different types of information you’ll need to gather to undertake all the bathroom renovation jobs.

This information will come from a variety of places and include for example:

  • Research – ideas, products, suppliers, contractors etc.
  • Bathroom renovation plans
  • Local council/State regulator regulations & approvals
  • Contractor agreements & contact details
  • Budget
  • Construction schedule
  • Supplies – types of products you’ll need to finish the renovation

 
This list is by no means complete but it gives you some idea of how broad the info gathering process is and why you need a renovation project plan.
 
renovation project plan contracts

 

Step 2: Organize the Information

 
Pretty soon you’ll start to see all the info piling up so you’ll need to organise it so you can find it later on. Going back to the good old-fashioned ‘filing cabinet’ approach, start by setting up some key folders – electronic or paper (I suggest both).

Try setting this up before you start gathering the info. That way you won’t have to backtrack and waste time re-filing or tracking down loose bits.
 

What is a Job Filing System?

 
A Job Filing system is simply a series of folders for all the items you may use in your renovation that can be accessed with the click of a button. An example of this is below, let’s call it “Bathroom Renovation 101”.

Create a folder on your computer that is easy to access and name it what you want (i.e. Bathroom Renovation 101), then you will need to create all the subfolders inside of the project folder like the ones below:
 
Renovation project plan filing system

 

Here is a download link to populate these folders on your computer and save some typing – Bathroom Renovation Job File Structure Folders

Now you may not need all these subcategories for your renovation, but it’s a pretty good example of all the things you may need to cover when doing a full blown bathroom renovation.

The idea of having all these folders is so that you can save all your information in relation to your project into these folders as you go, and be able to have that info at your fingertips in an organized manner when you need to re visit it.

Some of the folders I will go on to discuss in more detail when we cover those topics (i.e. Construction Schedule & Finishes Schedule), but most are self-explanatory.
 

Stay organized and stay in control

 
So this stage is pretty simple, but do it right and get organized upfront before starting. It’ll help you to stay on track and on top of things.

You’d be surprised at the number of stressed out people renovating – so don’t become one yourself!

That’s it for the second part of Stage 2: Planning  – renovation project plan & the Job Filing System. Let’s move onto our Selections / Finishes Stage.

 

To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

Online Course Available Now

The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

GET INSTANT ACCESS TODAY

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February 20th, 2017 in

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How Do I Find The Best Building Contractors?

There are many ways to find good quality building contractors such as by word of mouth referrals (i.e. family, friends, workmates etc.), local papers, Googling online, and much more.

But the way I suggest you do it (especially if you’re new to it all) is to use a trusted online service such as the ones listed below.

 

Keeping Track of Building Contractors Details

Before you do that, the first step is to create or use a template to capture all of the contractors contact details in one location. Having everyone’s information in one place will make it easier to find when you need to call or email them.

I’ve created a free Master Contractors template for you (the same one I’ve used in my building business) which you can download here.

Now onto the big question of how to find a contractor, I recommend you try these services below:

 

Here is a video demonstrating how to use these online services as well as running you through the Master Contractors template.

 

 

Signing Contracts: What’s The Process?

So when do you need to be talking with building contractors and obtaining quotations?

I’d suggest a minimum of two months before you plan on starting, or more if you can manage it.

Most good contractors will have at least a few months’ worth of work in front of them, and it will generally take a few weeks before they come back to you with a quotation.

 

TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND

1. Try and obtain 3 quotes so that you can compare your contractors on price but also on responsiveness.

2. During the quotation stages if they are hard to contact, don’t return calls and take a lot of chasing up for the quote – then I would be wary of using them as it’s probably how they will conduct themselves during your renovation.

3. Don’t be afraid to chase them up during the quoting stage. Sometimes a few extra reminders that you’re waiting on their price will keep you at the forefront of their mind.

4. Remember – most building contractors are generally on the tools during the day and do their quoting either at nights or on the weekends. The old phrase, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”, so don’t be afraid to follow up with them – but two reminders in my books is enough! After that, look elsewhere as they are probably not interested enough in the project.

 

Building Contractors quotations

 

GETTING IT DOWN ON PAPER

Once you have decided on a contractor and are happy with their price it’s time get an agreement down on paper.

Depending on what state or country you live in every governing authority will have different rules and regulations about what type of work licensed building contractors can carry out, and the dollar value associated with it.

Below I go through the process exactly the way I would given that I live in the state of NSW in Australia.

Over $5,000 AUD

Any work conducted over the value of $5,000 should have a small works contract in place.

These basically show the agreed price of the work, the building contractors details such as licences and insurances, the owner’s details and a place where both parties can sign off on the document.

This form can be downloaded here.

Under $5,000 AUD

If the works are under the value of $5,000 I still advise to have some sort of agreement in writing.

This should include: the price, building contractors details, anticipated start and completion dates, and any other terms and conditions you might like included such as building contractor is responsible for cleaning up their own rubbish, who will be supplying materials, will there be any damages occurred if the project is not completed in time (i.e. $100 off their price every day they are over the agreed finish date) etc, etc.

You’re welcome to download the Work Order Document that I use for yourself. Please Note: this document is not classed as legal advice, and I suggest you seek your own before entering into any agreements you may be unsure of.

 

Building Contractors tilers

 

Top 8 Building Contractors to Hire For Bathroom Renovations

Below is a quick list of which contractors (aka ‘tradies’ if you live in Australia J) you’ll need for each part of the bathroom renovation process.

BUILDER

Will help you do everything from start to finish but they tend to be on the expensive side as they literally manage the whole process. If you don’t mind running around and doing some of the work yourself then you can quickly save a fair chunk of money.

But if you’d rather not get your hands dirty and have the cash to burn, then hiring a builder is your best bet, as they’ll manage everything for you.
 

ARCHITECT

Helps you design the plans and layout for your bathroom, and to make sure everything fits into the space you have.
 

CARPENTER

Helps build the cabinets and storage space in the bathroom, making it look as professional as possible.
 

ELECTRICIAN

Handles everything from the lighting and power to heating and ventilation.
 

PAINTERS

Helps you get the place looking wonderful when you are finished with the building and design work.
 

PLUMBERS

Handles anything that involves water, making sure that bathroom fixtures, bath, shower and toilet are all working and flowing smoothly.
 

TILERS

A vital part of the process. They help you make sure that everything from drain management to overall quality of design is just right.
 

WATERPROOFER

Makes sure that the place stays nice and dry after you go for a shower, for example.

 

Ok so we’ve covered how to find building contractors, the quotations process, signing contracts, and also the type of contractors you’ll need to hire for your bathroom renovation. The next part of Stage 3: Pre Construction Stage is where we discuss setting up a construction schedule template (or project planner).

 

To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

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February 22nd, 2017 in

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Planning a Project Timeline With a Construction Schedule Template

Using a construction schedule template to plan out your project timeline is a great way to save time.

There’s no doubt about it, lining up all your key contractors and resources is one of the most important things you can do on a renovation project. It might seem daunting if you’re not a seasoned professional, but with a little guidance, you’ll be on top of things in no time.

The construction schedule template will help you to get down the scheduling basics. Then you can adjust the details according to discussions with each one of your chosen building contractors.

 

Construction Schedule Template: 3 Reasons To Use One

Having a construction schedule template is:

  1. Another way to help project manage your renovation and plan out all the critical tasks one by one without clashes or overlap. Great for helping you think about each stage and what you’ll need to have organised when your tradies arrive on site.
  2. Great for helping you think about each stage and what you’ll need to have organised when your tradies arrive on site.
  3. Will show you the order in which most bathroom renovations will be sequenced, and this is how I would suggest going through and finding your building contractors one by one as you work down your list.

 

Below is an example of what a construction schedule template looks like (note: if you’ve enrolled in the How To Renovate A Bathroom course, all these templates are included).

 

Construction Schedule

 

And here’s a video that demonstrates how to use one.

 

 

Some of the considerations when filling out your schedule for each stage of the project are as follows.

 

1. Site Establishment

This is the stage where you should get the project set up BEFORE any contractors arrive on site. It covers things such as:

  • installing floor protection over carpets and timber floors
  • setting up skip bins for rubbish removal
  • setting up a first aid kit
  • any signage that may be needed to direct contractors
  • setting up all safety equipment on site (gloves, dust masks, glasses, etc)
  • setting up any temporary toilets if the bathroom will be out of action

 

During site establishment, I also book in my plumber and electrician. This is to make the work area safe. It’s also to perform disconnections for things such as water, gas and power so that the area is ready for demolition.

 

2. Discuss Timeframes With The Contractors

For all other items in your construction schedule template, I recommend discussing the timeframe to complete the works with the contractors.

When you engage them in the process, that way you are working within timeframes that they advise they can complete them in. So there’s no unrealistic expectations from either party.

 

Construction schedule template contractor

 

3. Avoid Scheduling Clashes

One of the main considerations is trying to avoid a clash in your schedule where two or more contractors need to work in the bathroom at the same time.

Bathrooms are generally confined spaces, and having guys working over the top of each other can be a recipe for disaster.

Depending on the scale and size of your project, you could have a plumber come in the morning and electrician after lunch. But generally speaking, I like to book them on separate days to avoid any headaches.

 

4. Keep your Schedule Up-to-Date

Another consideration is to keep your schedule current. If there are any changes such as delays or over runs with a particular section of your renovation, make sure you revise your schedule to reflect this.

Once amended make sure you contact your preceding trades and advise them of any delay well in advance so they can reschedule to fit you in at a later date. Calling a contractor one or two days before they were due to start won’t cut it!

Most good contractors will have a few months’ worth of work in front of them so it may take some shuffling on their part to fit you back in.

Finally, when you’re happy with your construction schedule, give every contractor plenty of notice on their start dates. Then book it all in and get ready to watch the magic happen!

 

That’s about it for now. I hope you can see the benefit of using this type of template to schedule in your construction work. If you have been following along and completing all the steps and advice along the way you are now ready to jump into Stage 4: Construction Stage of your project!

 

To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 
CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

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February 27th, 2017 in

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Use a Site Establishment Checklist Before Starting Construction

Before starting any construction work, it’s vitally important that you have a site establishment checklist on hand.

It’s there to help you prepare the building site so the renovation process can begin.
 

What is a Site Establishment Checklist?

 
Site establishment includes things like:

  • Protection to floors and existing surfaces.
  • Safety signs and first aid equipment.
  • Designated areas for material deliveries and rubbish etc.

 

It’s during this stage (or day on site) that you will also need to locate all of your mains services like water supply, gas and electricity.

  • Know where they’re located in case of an emergency.
  • Don’t scramble around trying to find a buried water meter at the last minute.

 

Below is an example of a checklist that I use for site establishment (note: if you’ve enrolled in the How To Renovate A Bathroom video course, all these templates are included).

 

Site Establishment Checklist example

 

Keep The Neighbours Informed!

This is also the time you’ll want to let your neighbours know when you intend to start with your renovation.

  • A letter dropped into the mailbox of your surrounding neighbours is all you need.
  • Let them know to expect a little noise and dust for a few weeks.
  • Give them a heads up if parking will be an issue due to tradesmen trucks and deliveries.

 

Here’s an example of a standard template letter that you could use.

 

Site Establishment checklist letter for neighbours

 

By doing this upfront you can save yourself a lot of headache by not surprising your neighbours with it. And remember that you have to live with these guys longer than the duration of your renovation project, so be mindful.

 

How to Perform Site Establishment

Site establishment can be anywhere from a couple of hours to take care of a few basics, through to a couple of days for larger projects.

Below are some of the typical site establishment checklist items for a bathroom renovation.

 

Site Establishment Checklist

 

1) Neighbour notification letters

Inform your neighbours of intended start date and site contact numbers.
Do this at least 2 weeks prior to starting on site.

 

2) First Aid equipment

To be stored on site in a prominent location.
Include for any site inductions with new contractors on site.

 

3) Site amenities

Including toilets, running water, site sheds, tool lock ups, lunchrooms, etc.

 

4) Permits

May need to be obtained from local authorities for project specific items i.e. skip bins, work zones or traffic control items.

 

5) Traffic control

Needs to be considered for organizing deliveries and managing pedestrians.

 

6) Plumbing and electrical services

Need to be disconnected to work zones prior to construction.
Temporary utilities may need to be installed for the duration of the build.

 

7) Signage

Builders contact details.
Private certifiers (if you have one) contact details.
Relevant warning signs.
Location of site office signs or any safety and induction signs to be erected on the site fence or in a prominent location.

 

8) Dial before you dig services

Is required before arriving on site.
This ensures that any authorities services or mains will not be damaged during construction.

 

9) Insurances

To cover the type of work being undertaken during construction.
Homeowners household insurances may need to be varied or amended during the course of the building works.
Includes insurances like:

  • Public liability.
  • Workers compensation.
  • Construction all risk.
  • Homeowners warranty.

 

10) Check approved development application

Ensure your DA is installed or considered at the time of the site establishment being carried out.

 

As I mentioned before, every bathroom renovation project is different so you’ll need to do some research well in advance to see what requirements need to be in place. By using a site establishment checklist you’ll ensure that all bases are covered.

The one thing I can’t stress enough though is to plan ahead and have everything ready for day one.

You don’t want be putting these measures in place during the project as it could be unsafe for anyone on site. You could also potentially risk heavy fines from authorities is you’re found not to be compliant with the requirements in your DA.

 

Once you have established the site you are ready to jump into the demolition process of Stage 4: Construction!

 

To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

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The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

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March 3rd, 2017 in

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Complete Bathroom Renovation

You’ve gone through a complete bathroom renovation project! Congratulations – you did it!

But before you race off onto another home improvement project, we need to finish some bits and pieces.

In this last step (Stage 5: Project Completion) I sum up some final thoughts & things to consider before signing off.
 

Complete Bathroom Renovation: Final Tips & Advice

 
There are a couple of things to consider upon completing you project, and they are – warranties and defects.
 

1) Warranties

 
With your warranties I advise you to scan (if you don’t already have a digital version) and save all copies of warranties for items that you purchase into your job folder in a separate warranties tab.

By doing this, if you have a faulty tap, toilet or a problem with anything else in your bathroom you can easily locate the paperwork without having to go digging through draws to find lose paper.

If you can find all your warranties in one place there shouldn’t be any problem to get the repair work carried out 6-12 months down the track.
 
complete bathroom remodel
 

2) Defects

 
With defects, I like to have a 3 month defects liability period for all my contractors.

If you want to set something like this up I recommend doing it in the initial stages when signing contracts with them.

The way a defects period works is by holding an agreed amount from the contractors price (i.e. 10%) for a set period of time after they have completed the works (i.e. 3 months).

When the 3 months defects liability period is up you’ll then have two options:

  1. Get them back for any repairs and final maintenance work that may be required and then release the balance to them.
  2. Release the balance if no defects have shown up during that period of time.

 

Generally a retention of money would usually only be held on larger projects and you may find that a lot of smaller contractors may not be receptive to the process.

It’s entirely up to you guys if you chose to go with a method like this. If you do, it’s just an extra safe guard to have in place if there are defects and a contractor fails to return. Then at least you will have some money towards paying another contractor to come and rectify any defects.
 
complete bathroom renovation project
 

Congratulations!

 
Last of all, I suggest sitting back with a cold drink and taking in the amazing project you’ve just created. You’ve done it – a complete bathroom renovation from start to finish.

If you got through this process successfully you’re ready to take on that next project!

How’s your kitchen looking?  😉

BTW – Don’t forget to share your experiences with the rest of the Renovation Junkies community, we would love to see how you went.

 

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

Online Course Available Now

The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

GET INSTANT ACCESS TODAY

Yes, I Want to Know More!