Reece Bathrooms’ Daniela Santilli weighs in how long a bathroom really takes…
There’s no doubt about it, The Block contestants completed a phenomenal amount of work each week. Of course, that is because they’re dedicating 100% of their time and effort to the task; not letting a day job or even sleep get in their way. If The Block has inspired you to tackle a bathroom makeover, you’ve probably wondered how long your own renovation will take. Here, I outline the key stages involved in building a bathroom, whether you’re starting from scratch or renovating.
Stage #1: Defining your vision
The start of your bathroom renovation will be marked by the creation of your vision for your project. Gathering inspiration on and offline, creating a mood board and collecting samples of fixtures, fittings, hardware and finishes will help you define your style, and what you want your bathroom to look like. This is something you’ll continue to revisit and refine throughout the design process.
“Having a clear vision of your bathroom renovation will definitely set up the process to run as smoothly as possible. Spend the time looking at your budget and working through the costings. Always add in a buffer for unforeseen issues, as they always arise,” says Alisa, one half of former The Block winners and interior design duo, Alisa and Lysandra. “We also find it vital to order all the different samples and place in a mood board, to give the overall feel of the project.”
Stage #2: Pre-Build
Once you have the design locked in, it’s time to order your bathroom products, confirm relevant permits and find and book the right tradespeople – obviously something that can prove to be contentious on The Block! It typically takes around 10 weeks to decide on products and materials, get your paperwork in order, and meet and book in your tradies.
“Bathroom renovations are often the busiest as they can require a variety of tradies that need to work at all different stages. When booking your tradies, make sure to do your research and finds ones that come recommended and shop around with quotes. Make sure to communicate clearly on all the details and timelines,” says Lysandra.
Stage #3: Meeting your team
While there’s an element of ‘making it up as you go’ on The Block, to avoid that kind of pressure it’s important to communicate the finer details before the work begins. Hold a meeting with your project manager and/or tradespeople to discuss your design – everything from grout colour, tap and vanity height to power point locations. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and your vision is expertly realised.
Stage #4: Preparing the build
The Block is a 24-hour worksite, your home isn’t. Your tradespeople will need 2-to-4 days to set up the site, sequester the area they need to work in and, most importantly, check that all your products have arrived and are correct.
Stage #5: Building your new space
The next stage is when everything starts to take shape, with waterproofing then tiling, and fixtures and fittings being installed. This usually takes between 8-to-10 days on site. Earlier this season, we saw what happened when Jesse and Mel went full steam ahead with their guest ensuite; their desire to race to the finish line meant that things were missed and, ultimately, led to an unfinished bathroom. While Jesse and Mel may have been bound by a tighter deadline than a renovation off The Block, this lesson in process and procedure is one to remember in any bathroom project.
Stage #6: The finishing touches
Work should slow down at this point, but this means that the details are being perfected. It’s these little details that really matter, because they’re what makes the space uniquely yours. By taking the time to install them correctly, things like robe hooks, toilet roll holders and towel rails will be perfectly placed for your needs. Expect this to take 4-to-5 days.
Stage #7: Sign off and handover
Instead of a mad dash to the finish line, you’ll have a couple of days to inspect all the amazing work your team have done and sign off the job with your builder. Check if there are any snags in the tiles that have been laid, or that the tap pressure and flow is adequate, for example. It’s not something we see on The Block regularly, but it’s an important element of creating a bathroom that’s better than you imagined.
Creating a bathroom is a really rewarding experience if you follow the right steps. Remember, it’s not a race or a competition. Unlike The Block, it’s best to take your time, prepare yourself for every stage and avoid the drama.
From creating your moodboard to managing your bathroom build, The Bathroom Kit has everything you need to create a bathroom better than you imagined.
What do you think of the above advice? Does it fit your own experience or expectations?