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Breezy bathroom renovations on a budget

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Nila Sweeney
Many people put off bathroom renovations, fearing the hip pocket won’t be able to handle the whopping cost – but we’re here to show you that a bathroom refresh doesn’t have to cost the earth.
 
Whether you’re looking to revamp the bathroom in your own or in an investment property, one thing is a certain: improving the look and functionality of a bathroom is a sure-fire way to add value to your property.
 
And while many bathrooms across the country are in desperate need of a makeover, many owners shy away from the task because they worry it will blow the budget.
 
Renovation expert Geoff Doidge, one half of Brisbane-based duo the Reno Kinds, understands property owners’ concerns, as bathroom renovations can be one of the most costly areas to refresh in a home.
 
“According to HIA, the average cost of a bathroom is $27,000,” explains Doidge. “You can spend tens of thousands if you like and make it like the Taj Mahal, or you can do it very simply for under $800.”
 
Doidge has renovated many tired, old bathrooms on a shoestring budget in his time, and here he shares his foolproof strategy for success.
 
1. Use white tiles and paint
You can’t go wrong with a light, fresh, crisp shade of white. It brightens up even the smallest bathrooms and gives the impression of space and light. Furthermore, white walls and floors provide a clean, neutral colour palette for you (or your tenants) to add your own personal touches to with décor.
 
2. Use existing plumbing
Moving pipes not only costs a lot of money, but according to diybathrooms.com.au, you may need council approval to renovate a bathroom if you significantly alter the plumbing or alter the windows. They also point out that any building work worth more than $12,000 may require home warranty insurance, depending on your state.
 
3. Replace the toilet, vanity and taps
By replacing these key items you achieve the look of a full-bathroom renovation, but for a fraction of the price. Doidge recommends scouring second-hand/recycling centres, auctions, eBay, newspaper listings, garage sales, factory outlets or catalogue sales. “You do need to spend a bit of time finding them, but you can make a big saving,” Doidge says.

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