Home renovations are on the rise due to historically low-interest rates, government grants and housing markets booming. Since the pandemic, more people have stayed at home, and with fewer travel options, they are putting more cash into home renovations than ever before. However, bathroom renovations can quickly go wrong without the proper research, experience and skilled tradespeople, especially for bathrooms.

And experts predict interest rates will remain at rock bottom for the next three years, giving more an incentive to do some home renovations.

Before starting on your grand plans, here are some pitfalls to consider, so your bathroom renovation turns out to be a profitable success rather than a nightmare.

Pitfall 1.  Not hiring a qualified plumber

Even if you consider yourself pretty handy around the home and have a few trade skills, multiple things can go wrong without a qualified plumber’s expertise. A plumber will help you consider costs and advice on toilet relocation and existing plumbing and piping locations. They will check sewer lines and main drains and whether flooring needs to be changed to allocate concrete slabs and termite treatments. They will also get the necessary council consent if you need to add additional showers and toilets. Generally, consent isn’t required if you are not increasing the number of sanitary fittings. However, putting in a new tiled wet area shower will require approval and additional toilets. Not having the necessary components in place by a licenced plumber will cause you fines down the track and substantial plumbing expenses if you haven’t planned adequate waste removal options.

Pitfall 2.  Spending too much or not enough

According to Archicentre Canada, bathrooms can cost between $10,000 and $24,000 for a complete bathroom or ensuite. Still, it comes down to your individual needs, the overall value of the property, your home’s style, and the bathroom space. It’s always a good idea to get three quotes for the renovating, plumbing, waterproofing and tiling. While over capitalising can be a big mistake, it’s also just as important to not undercapitalised, which can devalue your property when it comes time to sell.

Pitfall 3. Doing a complete renovation instead of a cosmetic one

Often, old bathrooms may have good bones, and all that’s needed is an update of tiles and taps to look modern and fresh. A plumber can check your existing shower, toilets and basins and recommend whether they need replacing or that they are in good condition and taps and a new modern basin might be enough for a cosmetic change. It can be very economical to replace showerheads, taps and tiles without putting in a completely new shower in a different place in the bathroom.

Pitfall 4. Not hiring good tradespeople

Although it’s tempting to want to save money and do some of the renovations yourself, hiring the right tradespeople will save you in the long run. Specialised professionals should always do plumbing and electrical work, and it can be illegal to do these yourself in some circumstances.  You should check that they have a current licence and are fully insured to cover any problems on the job. Kitchen and bathrooms are highly specialised rooms, and without experienced people who know plumbing and waterproofing, you may end up having to redo the whole project again.

Pitfall 5. Choosing trends over function

With all the designer renovations shown on TV and social media, it’s easy to get caught up with the latest trends, but sometimes it should outweigh your choices over style when it comes to bathrooms function. Bathrooms can date very quickly, so sticking with neutrals and suitable quality tiles and fixtures can be a better investment than the latest bold colours or dramatic tiles.

You’ll also want to work back with the rest of the home. If you’re working with a historic home, you’ll have different renovation style ideas than in a modern home. A bathroom needs to be functional and hygienic first and stylish second.

It can be tough to adjust plumbing once construction has started, so having a professional plumber’s advice before your renovations are key. A plumber can advise on the best height of taps and fixtures and any new innovative water-saving devices like water-saving showerheads, which can also save you on your future water bills.

Contact our Licensed Plumber in Etobicoke, Ontario for a consultation and information on how we can help your renovation.