By Andrew Stenos and Aaron Thoo, Integriti Bathrooms
The short answer is no. But if you’re going to attempt to project manage your bathroom reno and find and coordinate tradespeople yourself, make sure you know what you’re in for! Here, we share some reasons why a company like ours could save you time, money and sanity, and our tips for doing the job yourself if you decide to go this route.
When you engage a bathroom company, you are not just getting access to their tried and tested trades, but a full turn key solution. At Integriti, we believe a bathroom renovation should be a bathroom experience as it’s more than just a toilet! The bathroom is a space you use every day so not only should it be functional and user-friendly, it should be beautiful looking, somewhere to relax, a place to get gorgeous, pampered and enjoy the bathing experience. With life being so busy, it is one of the few places where we are free from distractions, away from technology and for many, where we are alone (perhaps not for the mums of small kids!).
A specialist bathroom company should provide full project management, timelines, the design (in consultation with you), assistance with tile and fittings selection, and ensure the room is functional and the fittings you have selected will work in the space. They’ll book in all the trades in a chronological order, check and ensure each one’s work is done correctly before the next comes in, provide warranties and insurance to cover the work done (in units, for example, when you renovate a bathroom from its original form, strata is no longer responsible for any leaks or damage to the building, the owner is). Licenses and insurances provide a level of protection and ensure if something goes wrong, you’re not left with a big bill. Overall, a bathroom company should give you a hassle-free process.
A bathroom company, as opposed to a builder and other trades, will be very specialist. This is important as bathrooms are the most detailed room in the entire home, the most expensive per square metre to renovate, and consequently, the most complex to get right. One of the major risks of engaging your own trades is that you may not be sure of what their work is like, especially if using them for the first time. You are relying on them to do their work correctly with no direction. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Costs can skyrocket.
Some people however, with more idea about the process, or who have renovated before and have trusted trades to call on, may want to project manage the bathroom themselves. In this case, we suggest going into it with a realistic idea of what’s involved.
When you manage your own bathroom, it will require a lot of time, attention, planning and focus in order to achieve a good quality renovation. It will realistically require up to 3-to-4 hours per day for around 4-to-5 weeks, depending on the complexity of your renovation. You need to factor in time to chat over the phone any time challenges or questions arise (this happens more than you think and can be tricky if you have a full-time job). Good trades are usually already busy and because of that, they are not looking avidly for new work. Your best bet is to get recommended trades from trusted sources such as friends and family. If this isn’t an option, you can try sites like Service Seeking and Hipages to find local trades, read online reviews and get quotes.
Once you’ve found people, make sure you discuss the full scope of the work so that you’re not hit up with huge expected variations (this is common with many trades coming in with cheap prices, then creating unexpected costs from leaving things off their quote). Without experience and a clear plan and understanding of what is needed, getting reliable and cost-effective trades can be a real challenge.
Will project managing save you money though? The short answer is yes, but to ensure that you do, you must have a clear scope, be on top of your trades, ensure they do good work free from mistakes, have fixed prices and have prepared a detailed budget, plan and timeline. Do all this well and you will save yourself around 10-to 20% on the total renovation. This percentage is the usual management cost to engage a builder or bathroom company.
When making your decision, think about what your time is worth, the risks of inexperience (a good bathroom company should be giving you a fixed price contract) and how you can really be sure your trades are good ones.
To discuss your bathroom renovation plans and get a free, no obligation, quote, contact Integriti Bathrooms today.