There is no doubt that Australian home owners love renovation projects, especially the bathroom. On top of that, a quality bathroom renovation will certainly add considerable value to a property, and can help boost its sale’s price, should you consider selling.
However, from experience and stories, we know that it is the selection of a quality bathroom renovator that can make all the difference to your renovation experience and value. The selection of the wrong bathroom renovator, could unfortunately result in everything from missed deadlines, unexpected costs surprises and even a poor quality finish.
Selecting the right bathroom renovation professional is critical. It will absolutely provide you with a level of assurance that your project will be delivered on time and budget and to a high quality level. More importantly, it will also mean a positive renovation experience with tradespeople in your home to help create a space that you enjoy day in and day out.
So here are our Tradebusters tips on how to choose a quality bathroom renovator.
1. Choose a professional specialising in bathroom renovation
Some tradespeople dabble in just about every aspect of home renovations, including bathroom renovations. So it is really important to select a tradesperson that specialises in bathroom renovations on a daily basis. The bathroom is one of the most complex rooms in the home to renovate and not getting it right can be costly. One of the most common areas where a bathroom renovation can go wrong is in the waterproofing- either taking shortcuts by failing to waterproof or simply doing a bad job. This can be a disaster if your bathroom needs to be re-stripped and redone again.
An experienced bathroom renovation specialist is more likely to know the correct procedures, materials and specifications to follow and get it right the first time. Quality wise, they are also more likely to produce far more superior results especially in the noticeable aspects like tiling.
2. References are important
A full bathroom renovation project is not cheap. It can range from several thousand dollars to $30,000 plus. Given the size of the investment, it is a project you cannot afford to not get right by making the wrong selection with your tradespeople. We encourage you to ask the bathroom renovator if you can speak to some of their recent customers and even see their projects in order to established if the renovation was delivered on time, to budget and to quality expectations. If there is one thing we do know, a reputable and quality bathroom renovator, would be more than happy to share with you recent projects and allow you to speak to their customers- so don’t be afraid to ask!
3. Don’t forget to do a licence check
It’s always advisable to only engage bathroom renovation professionals who carry the correct licences for that type of work. Unfortunately there are many tradespeople (like tilers, plumbers, property maintenance) that claim to perform bathroom renovations yet do not have the necessary formal licensing certifications to be “legal”. Be weary of such businesses and remember just because they may be qualified with a licence for one particular trade, it does not mean they are covered for every other trade. As a home owner, it your responsibility to ensure that any tradesperson carrying out work at your home holds the right licences. This helps you ensure that you are dealing with legitimate businesses and also offers your better consumer protection should thing go wrong. As a guide, if you are looking to do a complete bathroom renovation, the tradesperson must usually be licensed as either a “builder” or be holding a “Kitchen, Bathroom & Laundry Renovation Licence”. Licence requirements vary by state and may also be dependent on the cost of the project so it is always recommended you check with your states licencing bodies before you start your project.
4. Insurances are a must
Public liability insurance is a must for any business, but especially important for bathroom renovators. This protects you, your neighbours or anyone on your property should an injury occur during the project as well as property damage, should the bathroom renovator be at fault. If a bathroom renovator plans to sub-contact any part of the project works (e.g. plumbing, waterproofing, tiling) you should confirm if his insurance covers subcontractors or if they have their own.
We encourage you to have an open discussion with your bathroom renovator before the project begins around insurances, safety and liability and clearly understand who would be financial liable for accidents and property damage, should they occur. It is important you ensure the bathroom renovator has the appropriate cover, because if he doesn’t you may be held liable.
In addition, Home Building Compensation Fund insurance must be provided if the contract for works for a bathroom renovation exceeds a certain amount. This will depend on the size of the project.
In NSW for example, it is $20,000. Each state government site like Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs contain more information on values applicable for Home Warranty Insurance.
Request a copy of each policy and ensure it is current.
5. The quote inclusions and exclusions should be detailed
A good bathroom renovation professional will always submit a quote that breaks down just about everything about the job, from the amount of work to be done to the exact type and quality of materials to be used. A time schedule for the work should also be provided. Most of all, the quote should have a firm price attached to it and be clear on inclusions and exclusions.
Key items that you want to check to see if they are included in part of the quote are: tiling, waterproofing, plumbing, electrical, installation of bathroom PC items, fixtures and fittings.
Also, to really understand the overall cost of your project, it is important to know what costs you will need to pay for separately like choice of PC items like tiles, shower screens, basins, vanity and tapware etc, which are usually excluded from the bathroom renovation quote.
Like any good or service, making a decision on price alone is not always wise. Particularly with home renovations projects which can spiral out of control if any quality shortcomings require additional time and costs to fix. We recommend a combination of ensuring you have a reasonable and detailed quote with no short-cuts or hidden costs by an experienced and reputable professional, and most importantly with someone you can feel safe having in your home for a few weeks long.
Hopefully, these tips on how to choose a quality bathroom renovator can help you reach the right decision about your bathroom renovation. If you need help with your bathroom renovation in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth give us a call at Tradebusters. The bathroom renovators in our network have been with us for years and our team can help you establish who could be a good fit for you.
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