TOP 10 DIY Bathroom Renovation Mistakes

Bathroom Renovations Sydney | Novalé Bathrooms

So, you have just received a quote from a Bathroom Renovation company, and if you didn’t fall off your chair from the cost, your next thought may have been, that you can save yourself a lot of money, by renovating the bathroom yourself, Correct?

These days with reality TV shows like The Block or House Rules, we see everyday people getting down and dirty and building amazing spaces in their homes, and it is very easy to assume that if they can do it, how hard can it really be? People, all-of-a-sudden turn into specialist tradespeople who can design, cost and build complex renovation projects, which include state-of-the-art kitchens and luxurious bathrooms. And that is also under the confines of unrealistic time deadlines.

Now, I am not saying that there aren’t unqualified people out there who may be able design and build a DIY Bathroom for example, but the facts are, that unless you have undertaken a Bathroom Renovation Project before, there is simply no way of knowing of all the pitfalls with renovating the bathroom yourself, which may arise.

Let’s look at the Top 10 Pitfalls with a DIY Bathroom Renovation Project


There may be many motivations as to why people would wish to take on a massive project like a Bathroom Renovation themselves. The first may be that they wish to save money, and another example may be that they think it’s not that difficult, as they have watched The Block, and if everyday people can do it, then, why can’t I?

However, if your main motivation is to Save Money with your Bathroom Renovation, then you need to ensure that your objectives are achieved. Unfortunately, First Time DIY Bathroom Renovators, are not adequately trained to allow for all incidentals, mistakes, trades and contingencies which may arise during the bathroom renovation. And more-often-than-not, a DIY Bathroom Renovation Project, can end up costing people far more what a Professional Bathroom Company could achieve.


Additionally, people can quite easily lose sight of the bigger picture and get carried away with purchasing expensive fixtures which may not necessarily be in line with their overall budget, and this can quite easily break the bank. For example, you have-to keep in mind that your Bathroom Renovation will add value to your home, but it won’t add value if you overspend on fixtures which other people who could potentially buy your home, may see as a waste of money. DIY Bathroom Renovators who have experience will understand this, however for first-time bathroom renovators, it is easy for them to get caught up in the emotion of their bathroom and overspend on fixtures, which otherwise could haven better spent on tradespeople who can provide a much superior finish.


If you have a keen eye for design, then chances are you will be able to transfer this to your bathroom project. However, for those people that don’t possess those design skills, then they are going to struggle bringing all the various elements together. From floor or wall tiles patterns and textures, to fixtures, fittings and joinery, it can be quite difficult to envisage, and can often result in poor decisions, which will ultimately affect the end-result and-also the budget.


Waterproofing is only one of the many trades required for a complete bathroom renovation, but it would also have to be the most important, without discounting the value of the other trades. For those who have never waterproofed before, it would have to be the most unforgiving out of all the trades. Should your bathroom not be water-tight, then ultimately your bathroom would need to be ripped up and started again. There is no second chance with waterproofing and as it sits under the tiles, and all other installed fixtures, there is no easy way to fix it, and you can now see how much it would cost to start again, not to mention the time it would also take to redo.


There are more trades required to produce a bathroom than any other space in your home. They include, Plumbers, Carpenters, Water Proofers, Tilers, Joiners, Painters, Electricians, Plasterers, Stone Masons and Glaziers. That means there are 10 trades you need to understand the basics of, should you wish to renovate the bathroom yourself. Now, you may only be wishing to engage these tradespeople to come in and do the work required, but how do you know if they are doing a satisfactory job or not? You will not know until a problem arises, for example if a carpenter doesn’t put up the wall straight, you won’t know until the tiler will lay the tiles and it may come out warped and there are many other examples that may arise like this one.

Where most people may be able to save money with their bathroom renovation, may be with the demolition, but even that requires a fair amount of knowledge about what to pull out first, shutting down services like electricity and water, and much more than just putting a sledge hammer to the walls and floors.


This would have to be one of the biggest pain points with people who undertake a DIY Bathroom Renovation. When your bathroom is underway, it can be an extremely messy process and if not contained correctly, can cause a considerable amount of havoc to the rest of the house. From concrete dust, which manages to find its way into every nook and cranny, to building and plumbing waste which can smell, and these are only a handful mentioned. These challenges need to be kept to a realistic timeline, which will have a minimal impact on you and your family, not to mention the rest of your home. By renovating the bathroom yourself you need to consider how long you will be willing to live in a battle ground for, and what is that cost worth to you.


Most people who have taken on a bathroom renovation project in Sydney for the first time, may never have experienced how difficult it can be to effectively-co-ordinate trades. It is very easy to underestimate how difficult it can be to ensure that all trades are onsite when they need to be. Especially if these trades have never worked with one another before. It is fair to assume that people who wish to renovate the bathrooms themselves are usually motivated by saving money, and generally people go with the cheapest quotes. This rationale then gets applied to the various trades that submit their quotes. And unfortunately for the DIY’er, this may be catastrophic. We have all heard of horror tradespeople stories, as they can be notorious for not turning up on time, or doing dodgy work, or simply not finishing their work in the appropriate amount of time. As you can see the flow-on effect of how First Time Renovators are at the mercy of tradespeople. Now not all tradespeople are like that, and that is why professional bathroom renovation companies use their own reliable tradespeople consistently.

Additionally, DIY Bathroom Renovators, need to also factor in the time they will need to project manage the bathroom. How long will they need off work, how will they be able to go about their daily busy lives without it effecting the outcome. A Bathroom renovation if done by a professional may take between 2-3 weeks, so you can see how long it may take if you factor in all the other incidentals or problems which may arise, if not done correctly. How long could you take off work or from your busy schedule, and how much is that worth to you?


Bathrooms are essentially wet areas, and with the heat from hot showers, moisture quickly builds up and can often lead to mould, which can have harmful effects to your health. Professional bathroom renovators understand the importance of good ventilation, but to a first-time bathroom renovator, this can often be overlooked. Allowing for ventilation prior to the project commencing will take-into-account all aspects of fixtures, orientation and airflow, and will ultimately save you time and money, but in a lot of cases, this is one bathroom renovation pitfall, which should be factored in from the outset.


Lighting would have to be one of the most overlooked aspect of a bathroom renovation, until it’s too late. Your bathroom is a space which you will use every day, so it is extremely important to get the most out of your bathroom. Good lighting can provide tranquillity and functionality, but it can’t be an after-thought, otherwise the position of the lighting will be hindered and will not give you the best possible result. Expert bathroom renovators understand the importance of what lighting can provide to the bathroom projects, and ensure they capture their client’s requirements from the beginning.


For DIY Bathroom Renovators, they often know they want, for example a bathtub, shower, vanity, toilet and other fixtures, but they may not know how to correctly place their fixtures which will give them the best positioning and outcome. Understanding where to place the toilet or knowing how to reposition their bathroom fixtures in a different way to how they were originally positioned, can be the difference between a good bathroom and a bathroom that creates a WOW factor.

Additionally, a lack of storage is usually one of the most common complaints about peoples’ existing bathrooms. These days with minimalistic design trends, storage can play second fiddle to other bathroom must-haves, but ultimately may have the most impact in a negative way.

For more information on our 7 Tips for a successful bathroom renovation”, click here.

At Novalé Bathrooms, we are a highly-experienced bathroom renovation company, with franchises across Sydney and the Central Coast. We see first-hand the most common mistakes first-time renovators may make by trying to do it themselves, and that is why we implement a unique 8 step bathroom renovation process and we encourage potential clients to see the 12 reasons to choose Novalé.  For more information on why you should choose Novalé for your bathroom project, please do not hesitate in contacting the Novalé team on 1800 NOVALÉ, for a Free In-Home Consultation.