Makeover for a Family Bathroom in Palmerston North, Manawatu

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The owners of this Palmerston North unit wanted to renovate the bathroom and create a more functional space for their growing family.

Before After
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The Initial Consultation

The bathroom in Ashley’s compact unit in Palmerston North was in definite need of updating. Its existing layout wasn’t maximising the limited - 6m2  - space available. The cubicle shower was opposite the main window and blocked much of the natural light, leaving the space dark and feeling even more restrictive.  
Ashley was considering replacing all the old pipework and tiling the floor as well. The couple reached out to local Manawatu Renovation Consultant Wayne Gordon to discuss options to revamp and optimise their compact bathroom space. 

Deciding Details

During the initial consultation, Wayne explored their goals for the renovation. With a baby on the way in a few months, Ashley felt it would be more practical to replace the existing cramped cubicle shower with a bath. Accommodating a bathtub, vanity, and toilet within the existing footprint would require some reconfiguration and a smart design. 
There was no set budget to adhere to; the couple’s priority was getting the best design for their small space so it would better suit the growing family. After producing concept drawings and confirming the project’s scope, Wayne provided an estimate of $22,678. 

Starting Construction

Once Ashley was happy with both the estimate and design, construction could commence for which Wayne brought in his project manager, Michael Zhang. Ashley had already arranged for the plumbing work to be completed independently, so Michael coordinated with the couple’s plumber to ensure the work schedule ran smoothly. 
Construction was estimated to take about five weeks but unfortunately, there were interruptions to the timeline. Several of the tradespeople contracted COVID and were forced to suspend work. Transparent communication from Michael mitigated any potential stress and Ashley was happy to wait until the tradespeople were recovered and ready to return to the job. 
Flexibility was key to the success of this project. Between COVID, public holidays, and variations to the flooring choices and electrical work, two additional weeks were required bringing the total time spent building to seven weeks. These variations cost an extra $1,225, which Ashley approved prior to execution; the final total was $23,903.

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A Well-Appointed Bathroom

The bathroom transformation is impressive. Converting the cubicle shower to the open bathtub is the most impactful change. Without the wall blocking the window the natural light floods in and makes the bathroom feel much larger. Installing a glass panel from Clearshield instead of using a shower curtain or door maximises the space visually and functionally.
Previously, the basin and vanity were tucked in the corner but in the new, optimised layout, a slim profile vanity and mirror unit sit parallel to the bathtub, improving the overall flow and usability of the bathroom. The finishing touch for this project is the new flooring and mini splashback. Black and white marbled tiles sourced from Quantum Tiles add a modern element to the otherwise classic design. 
Additional products and supplies used in this project were sourced from Mitre 10, Resene, Bunnings, Mico, and Placemakers

Final Thoughts

Wayne and Michael’s efficient coordination alleviated the stress of handling multiple contractors, suppliers, and COVID-related delays for Ashley, who is very happy with the results. Their project management skills were instrumental in delivering this project on time, within budget - and before the baby’s arrival!

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This project was completed in
August 2022
Project description
Bathroom renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
7 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Size limitations and COVID
Interesting aspects
Marbled tiles
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Wayne Gordon is Director, Operations Manager & Renovation Consultant of Radian Group Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Manawatu.

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