Bathroom Renovation: DIY or Tradie?

Be clear about your skills and know when to call in the professionals for a bathroom renovation 

DIY or tradie, Handyman with drill and tool belt,

Figure out which jobs you can do yourself and which requires a professional during a bathroom reno 

There is plenty you can do in a bathroom renovation to save money without compromising safety standards but knowing your limitations and the legalities is key. 

Overestimating what you can achieve in terms of quality and time is the DIYer’s downfall, and skimping on quality can cost you more in the end. 

Warranties and insurance for many products may be void unless installed by a licensed tradie and in most cases you need a compliance certificate to make a claim. 

Anything involving plumbing or wiring is off limits, but jobs you can do yourself include stripping and demolishing the old bathroom. 

Replastering, tiling, painting and installing fixtures are all DIY jobs. 

TIP If you are doing a complete reno, factor in skip hire or waste removal. 

General guidelines 

A plumber and a sparkie are essential and, depending on your state and council regulations, a waterproofer may be required. 

Tiling and painting can be done DIY but be realistic about your skills and the value of your time before getting stuck in. 

The cost of professionals 


A licensed plumber will disconnect and reconnect the services, as well as installing tapware, toilets, sinks, showers and baths. You’ll need a plumber to move or reconnect pipes and install waste outlets. 

Plumbers cost about $70 an hour. If you don’t relocate plumbing then budget for $1200.


A licensed electrician has to do all hard wiring of lighting and power, and can also install exhaust fans, heaters and power outlets. They charge About $60 to $70 an hour plus appliance costs.


Waterproofing is essential to prevent leakage that can cause structural damage and damp. Termites are also attracted to wet and warm environments. It’s illegal to DIY the waterproofing in some areas.

An average-sized bathroom costs about $600 to waterproof.


A pro charges by the square metre, plus materials. The final quote will depend on logistics and the condition of the walls and floor. From $2000 for labour, plus materials costs.


A pro quotes for a full job but the final bill also takes logistics such as height of the room, access and preparation requirements into account.

About $50 an hour plus the cost of the paint. 

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