If you’re building a new home the chances are your budget isn’t endless. You need to think carefully about where to spend extra money and where to save it. So which upgrades are worth the extra expense and will make a significant difference to the look and functionality of the space? It’s a question Senior Write Georgia Madden from Houzz Australia asked three bathroom experts. Here’s what they said.
1. A Skylight
Adding a skylight is one of the most effective upgrades you can make to a bathroom. Having natural light streaming in from overhead creates a serene, spa-like atmosphere. It also means you can do away with having a window, which gives you more scope with shower placement. There are many options available, from solar-powered and electrically operable skylights to ones with tinted glass in various sizes and finishes. What you choose will depend on your roof type and budget. For a new build, plan the skylight early so it’s factored into the roof shape and orientation. If you’re renovating, you’ll need a builder to assess for obstructions in the roof space before you can commit. Also be aware that having constant sun streaming into a bathroom can make it uncomfortably hot, depending on the room’s size and orientation. If this is the case in your bathroom, be sure to invest in some motorised blinds to cut the glare.
2. Integrated Power Points
If you have chargeable shavers or electrical toothbrushes or if you plan on using or charging any electrical devices in the bathroom, consider installing power points inside cabinets or drawers to avoid benchtop clutter and messy, dangling power cords. Just be sure to tell your electrician early on that you want power points integrated into your vanity or drawers so he or she can plan for them.
3. A Mirror Cabinet
Upgrading from a regular mirror to a mirrored cabinet will help keep your benchtop clear; it’s the perfect spot to house all those small creams, tubes and bottles at a convenient eye level. Mirrored cabinets do not need to be expensive and can either be partially recessed into the wall or surface-mounted. Just be aware that your choice of installation will affect your lighting options for around the mirror.
4. Underfloor Heating
Stepping onto a warm bathroom floor is a joy on those cold winter mornings, and it’s something I’d particularly recommend if you’re designing an ensuite. An underfloor heating system costs anywhere from $1000 + to purchase and install, plus running costs. Be aware that you’ll need to specify it right at the start of the build/renovation process.
5. Custom Joinery
Custom joinery is probably my favourite upgrade as it adds so much to a bathroom. Often clients will start off thinking they will buy something off the shelf. However, you can never achieve the perfect fit, look and functionality this way. I always encourage clients to spend a little more for custom joinery so they can achieve an outcome that is completely tailored to their bathroom and their individual needs. Custom joinery can add $2,000 or more to the overall costs. And again, it needs to be decided upon in the planning stage of your build or renovation to allow for space planning.
6. A Stone or Solid-surface Bath
For more tactility and a better-quality finish, move away from porcelain basins and baths and opt for stone or solid surface materials instead. Be aware that these materials need to be cared for, making them better-suited to an ensuite rather than a family bathroom.
7. A Shower Niche
Dispense with the shower shelf and opt for a niche instead – it provides a neat, practical spot to store shampoos and soap, and it won’t encroach on your standing space in the shower. Plus, a niche creates a far more sophisticated and streamlined look.
It’s important to make all your ideas known to your builder at the start of the design stage, that way nothing will get missed our become to complicated later on. Also look into the standard inclusions of a builder to your aren’t caught out by extras. At Hurst Homes we pride ourselves on providing no hidden extras, and full turn-key homes for our clients. That’s why shower niches and custom joinery comes standard in all of our builds. Just another reason why we are considered Wagga’s Best Builder. If you’re interested in building in the Wagga area contact us today on 0438 692 962 for a preliminary estimate on your dream home.
For more great articles from Georgia Madden, or tips and tricks from other Houzz experts visit Houzz.com.au