Kitchen and bathroom renovations checklists

Thinking of doing a bit of home renovation? For many with little experience and first-hand knowledge, this can be a daunting task. We enlist the help of two building specialists who share their kitchen and bathroom renovations checklists.

Steve Burke and Suzanne Burke are co-authors of Nail Your Renovation without getting Screwed, a new book packed full of expert renovation advice and tips so you avoid becoming a building horror story. They share their checklists for kitchen and bathroom renovations.

Before you start any major home improvement project, make sure you know how much you are planning on spending before you do anything else. Then break down your overall budget and into a budget cost for each fixture, fitting, materials and tradesperson.

Ensure you allow for labour costs which can be the biggest cause of budget blowouts on any renovation project. The best and easiest way to avoid any unexpected costs is to get a fixed price quote from each trade in writing before you start.

A little bit of planning goes a long way and can help set you up for a successful project and a beautiful home transformation that you are proud of.

Kitchen Renovations Checklist

  • Research the market, figure out your likes, needs and wants
  • Get your kitchen designed
  • Make selections
  • Cabinet Measure Up
  • Disconnect electricity, water and gas services
  • Asbestos removal – if required
  • Commence demolition
  • Form up any new walls or bulkhead
  • Plumber and sparkie tube out
  • Line bulkhead or new walls and perform plaster patching
  • Apply the set coat if required
  • Flooring installation/fixing
  • Install the new cabinets
  • Plan and measure the position of cut outs in tops, creating the template for the benchtops.
  • Manufacture the benchtops
  • Fit the benchtops
  • Splash-back installation or tiling
  • Paint walls and ceiling
  • Fit off the plumbing and electrical
  • Fit appliances
  • Final Clean
  • Final inspection

Bathroom Renovations Checklist

  • Select plumbing fixtures, tiles and vanity
  • Meet your plumber on site
  • Meet your tiler on site to confirm your tile selections
  • Confirm lead times for your plumbing fixtures, tile selection and vanity selection
  • Get a site bin delivered
  • Electrician to cut off the power
  • Plumber to cut off fixtures
  • Demolish and remove old tiles and cabinets
  • Slab preparation – wet down and compact the sand pad, apply a termite treatment, pour the concrete slab
  • Tube-out and pre-wire by plumber and electrician
  • Plastering
  • Get the tiles and vanity delivered
  • Mark out tile heights on the wall
  • Apply Waterproofing to all wet areas
  • Install vanity and top
  • Tiler lays tiles
  • Glazier measures up shower screen and mirror
  • Plumber and electrician fit fixtures and electrical
  • Painting
  • Glazier fits the shower screen and mirror
  • Final clean
  • Tiler applies silicon to the tile junctions
  • Final inspection

How to create an inviting bedroom environment

A good night’s sleep means more than a quality mattress and pillow. Wrap up in luxurious linen and create an inviting bedroom with a neutral environment and loads of textures to ensure you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

The importance of decent sleep can not be overstated. Not only is it vital to our everyday vitality and wellness, it’s also essential for our long-term health. “Good quality sleep is where most of our bodies’ growth, healing and physical restoration occurs,” explains Sleepyhead marketing manager, Felicity Turner. “When you get anything less than seven hours of quality sleep, your body produces a chemical (amyloid beta) that is known to be connected to the development of Alzheimer’s.”

The first step to ensuring you wake up feeling rested is having the right mattress. The role of a mattress is to provide a comfortable sleeping environment that eliminates pressure points and supports the body so it can maintain proper spinal alignment, leaving the muscles relaxed and restored. “You can’t experience REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep if you’re on an uncomfy surface,” Turner points out. “You’ll be constantly in motion, tossing and turning.”

Despite common myths, a hard mattress isn’t necessarily good for your back, Turner cautions. “It’s good for some people, just not everyone,” she says, recommending buyers seek the assistance of a mattress specialist when purchasing their new bed, and take time trying different kinds. Selecting a new, supportive pillow is equally important, she adds. “We fundamentally believe that a mattress should never be purchased without a pillow to suit. The mattress supports your body, but the pillow is the bed for your head.” Perhaps most importantly, however, is acknowledging that hand-me-down mattresses are a bad idea. Mattresses don’t last forever, Turner says, and a secondhand mattress is unlikely to serve you any better than it served its previous owner.

Create an inviting bedroom

Once you’ve found the right mattress for you, it’s important to create an inviting bedroom environment. Noise, temperature and light all contribute to quality sleep, so organise your space according to your preferences. Your bedding should also be taken into consideration. “Look for natural fibres, which help regulate temperatures and circulate air,” Turner advises. Sleepyhead’s new range of sheets, pillows and duvets are made from natural fibres for this very reason.

Selecting quality fibres is part of textile designer Fleur Maggs’ job. “We use a mix of knit and woven damask textiles depending on the product we’re designing,” she explains. “We may also use speciality yarns like silk, linen or cashmere in premium ranges which feel luxurious and also have inherent natural benefits.” Maggs, who oversees the design process from concept to creation, says that knit is the most popular textile by an overwhelming margin. “This is because of the softness you experience when you initially touch it and when you’re sleeping, it’s amazing!”

There can be up to four new fabrics across the mattress top, border and bed base, Maggs says, noting that it isn’t all about the mattress. “Textiles used on headboards and bases are upholstery quality,” she says. “These are pieces of furniture, so the textiles have the performance expectation like other furniture in your home.”

Finally, fibres aside, developing sleep rituals is also essential for quality sleep. The body takes 30 minutes to prepare for sleep, so allowing yourself time to relax and calm the mind before you get under the covers is crucial. “A night-time ritual such as having a shower or reading a book before sleeping signals to your body that it’s time to start winding down,” says Turner. Following a routine is even more helpful, so try to be consistent with timing.

Read more: How to create a welcoming winter bedroom