By Ian Hewitt
Bathrooms have changed since I was a kid. Then, they all seemed pretty basic, with a basin, bath, shower and toilet. Pretty ordinary too. You'd go in, do your business and get out.
Now, with features such as Balinese-style open-air showers, beautiful timber and stone finishes and toilets that look like they could have been invented by NASA, bathrooms have increasingly become luxuriant places to linger and potentially rooms of great style, depending on how deeply you want to dig into your wallet.
The fact is, bathroom renovation costs can vary dramatically, with the high end being very high if you insist on the finest materials and fittings. At the low end, though, a basic bathroom renovation can be had for less than $13,000.
Archicentre*, in its 2007 Cost Guide, says bathroom renovations are likely to cost from $12.000 to $22,500 (en suites cost less). If the job happens to be in Sydney, Hobart or Canberra, you can add another 30 percent.
These prices would in most cases include plastering, painting, wiring, plumbing, relocation or replacement of windows, the renewal of fittings and fixtures, cabinetry additions and surfacing (eg. tiling) and assume a medium-quality upgrade.
Sam Karkar of Bathroom Renovations Perth, says the cheapest available bathroom renovations are those where the layout of the bathroom remains unchanged and no major plumbing changes are needed. In addition, all the new fittings, including toilet, tiles and shower screen, would be at the budget end.
Normally though, Sam's customers want a better than basic-level job. Sam says the final price of the typical bathroom renovation he does in Perth ranges from around $12,000 to $25,000. This includes the old bathroom totally stripped out; new walls; drainage rearranged; new ceiling; new electricals, including lighting, exhaust fans; allowance for full-height tiling and decent-quality PC items (toilet, bath, etc).
Steve Riddle of Changing Bathrooms in Collaroy, Sydney, says the cheapest bathroom renovation he would provide would be around $16,000. His average price is closer to $18,000 to $20,000, plus about $3000 to $4000 for tiles and other PC items. Steve stresses that the customer can pay a small fortune for bathroom fittings and materials if they want, for example vanities in excess of $2000, $110.00 per square metre for tiles and frameless glass shower screens for around $2000.
As for timing, Sam's company can do a full renovation in between Five to Eight Days.