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Renovate to get a bigger bathroom in Sydney

Move wall to make bathroom bigger

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Making a bathroom in Sydney 
bigger is quite easy

If you live in an old home in Sydney then you’ll realise that having a huge bathroom was not really a ‘thing’ back then. Most people wanted big living areas or a huge backyard. In older homes the bathroom was considered a utilitarian space that was meant to be functional and not much else.

 

Today, our tastes and how we live has changed. Homeowners desire the feeling of a day spa like retreat with things like deep bath tubs, steam showers and large changing areas, so we often get asked how to expand an existing bathroom or whether it is possible to remove a wall to expand a bathroom.

That is hard to do in tiny spaces. Yes, you can make your bathroom bigger and forget all those silly website blogs giving you tips about what colours to use or how to choose compact furniture. 

We are talking about how you can literally increase the room space in your bathroom by renovating your home and having walls moved. 

That’s right, your bathroom right now might be 1.5 metres x 1.0 metres in size, but we can help you turn that into something that is maybe 2.0 metre x 2.0 metres by working out what wall can be moved from its current location so that you can make a bathroom bigger.

 

Can walls be moved in a house when renovating
For a free standing house there are some walls that are load bearing and others are just internal dividers to create the room layouts of the home. If they are not carrying any load relating to the roofing then they are relatively easy to remove, shorten, lengthen or shift.

How much a wall can be moved will depend on the house of course and what you want done to the area that is losing space. Although it is possible to move a wall in a house to then make a bathroom larger.

Where it can become more difficult is if that wall is load bearing and is used to keep the roof structure in place. In those situations we would engage with an engineer, builder or architect to come up with plans to be able to make the correct changes safely.

 

Can walls be moved in a unit or apartment block
For a unit that is in an apartment block things are a bit more difficult but it is still possible to be done. It is a similar process with the added steps of seeking strata approvals before any structural work can be done. 

Some apartment blocks might be easier to work on compared to others. If your unit has a small laundry or storage cupboard next to the bathroom then these might be easy to remove so that more space is allocated to the bathroom to be renovated.

 

Either way for a house or a unit it is possible to make your bathroom bigger by moving the existing walls you have.

What are the steps to moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger?

 

Wall preparation
The first step in the process of moving a wall to make a bathroom bigger is to understand the location of all the existing services. This includes the plumbing, electrical wiring, down lights, ducted exhaust systems and what is on the other side (or under the floor) of the existing room.

In the majority of cases the wall will be made out of a timber frame with wall studs that is covered with Gyprock. This is the easiest type to demolish and then remove, most cases they won’t even be structural load bearing walls.

You might have a situation where two of the walls are Gyprock but the other two are solid brick. Depending which way you are expanding the space of the bathroom this could prove to be a bit more expensive as it would require more labour to remove the heavy brick wall that is in place.

All of this should be checked by a licensed builder or engineer before anything is started to make sure the roof or other parts of the house don’t cave in as things are being removed.

 

Floor layout
Once you determine what constraints you have to work with you can then measure out the space and work out a floor plan layout. The reason you want to do this is to know where your toilet, vanity, shower or bath will be placed.

Depending on your choices it may require the plumbing to be adjusted so it is in the right location in the flooring after the new wall is installed.

For a concrete slab this will mean cutting into the floor to extend or run new plumbing services which is more difficult to do compared to homes on timber floor boards.

Electrical wiring and lighting will also need to be adjusted to accomodate the new size and shape of the bathroom after the wall has been removed. Being a larger room you might need more lighting and have power points in multiple locations.

 

Demolition
Once you have everything approved and a layout ready to go you can begin the demolition process. How much work is involved will depend on the property and the type of wall. Very quickly you will get a sense of how much larger your bathroom will be once the wall has been removed.

 

 

Construction
Once the demo has been completed the floor area has to be prepared to then have a new wall built. Once the new wall has been installed the work needs to then be done for plumbing, tap and electrical locations around the room. You also have to consider things like the ceiling roof lining, cornices and maybe even adjusting where the window is placed so it is centred to the new larger bathroom correctly.

Combined laundry in Sydney to make bigger bathroom

 

Combining rooms to make more space
One of the most popular renovation tasks we get asked for is to combine a laundry with a bathroom in Sydney to make it larger. In this scenario we don’t necessarily move a wall, we’ll actually remove it completely as most of the time the bathroom and laundry share a common wall.

The rest of the process is similar to what we explained above, but it is another way of creating a larger bathroom. You still have the ability to add a washing machine in a concealed cupboard in the bathroom to get the best of both worlds.

 

Can a powder room be made larger?
The same idea can apply to a powder room, ensuite or separate toilet. Typically these are all really small rooms that are very close to the main bathroom. By removing a wall you can then divert the space to the bathroom to make it bigger than it was before.

Depending how much space is available you may even be able to add a shower, storage or other practical things like a deep sink to turn it into a multi-functional space.

What are the options to expand an existing bathroom?

 

When you start thinking about trying to make the bathroom bigger there are normally one of four choices you can make that include;

• “Borrowing” space from an adjacent closet, bedroom or hallway

• Reconfiguring the existing space to improve how it is laid out

• Convert a spare bedroom close to the existing bathroom

• Add an addition or extension to create an entirely new space

 

From a cost perspective, changing the layout of your existing bathroom is the least costly and with clever design choices can make it feel bigger without moving any of the walls.

 

Moving a wall is the next best choice as it can be taken from an existing room that is already in the property and within the existing wall structure.

 

Convert a linen cupboard
For some homes there is a linen cupboard in the hallway that backs onto the bathroom and is the same width. This can be removed to extend the length or width of the bathroom. You would have to consider other storage options in the home to reclaim the space elsewhere, but a bigger bathroom will add more value to a home in the long run. 

Convert a spare bedroom
Lots of homes in Sydney have a tiny spare bedroom that doesn’t get used much. This might also be a small office or even a balcony that was closed in some time ago. All of these small spaces could be added to an existing bathroom to make it larger than before. It might be even possible to take half of it and use the other half to create a study nook

Using the space under a staircase
Quite a lot of homes have a void under the staircase, sometimes this gets used to store a vacuum cleaner or empty boxes. Although it can be used to make more space for your bathroom.

How much does it cost to move a wall to make a bathroom bigger

The cost to move a wall to make a bathroom bigger in Sydney can be anywhere between $2,000 and $30,000 – sounds crazy right that there is such a huge estimated cost for this type of renovation work.

Although think about it for a second, there are millions of possibilities considering the thousands of home variations that exist in Sydney. So there is no accurate way to define a price for moving a wall really.

One home might have a simple Gyprock wall that takes a few hours to remove and another one might need an engineer consultation, new structural steel roof supports fabricated with new brick wall construction.

Suffice to say that the costs of making it bigger will be recouped later if the property is ever sold, so this makes it a clever bathroom renovation choice to make.

Free bathroom package written quote

It’s really easy to find out how much a general contractor for home renovations will cost in Sydney. We offer an obligation-free site inspection, consultation & written price quote so that you can work out all the costs before you commit to renovating.

How can you plan a bigger bathroom layout?

If you want to fantasise about a bigger bathroom then use a tool like Reece’s Imagin3D so that you can see what else can fit into a larger space. Their online planning tool makes it easy to adjust the room size and then place items in it so you can compare maybe a 1.5 x 2.0 metre room to one that is say 3.0 x 3.0 metres in size. 

It is an easy way to see what is possible to do in a bigger space.

Get more bathroom renovation advice

Enjoy some of our free home renovation contractor guides that explain the practical steps to getting your home renovated without spending a fortune while making sure you get the job done right the first time.

Frequently asked questions

Here is a collection of the questions we get asked a lot when we get phone calls or emails and people want information about how to make their bathroom larger.

It is easy to make a bathroom larger. The simplest way is to see what can be removed from what you have now, getting rid of clutter can make it feel larger. Painting it a brighter colour can also help or using large format tiles is a good trick as well. The best way to make a bathroom larger is to move a wall and create more floor space to build a new bathroom on.

It is easy to make a small bathroom larger by taking space from an adjoining room like a linen cupboard, bedroom, laundry or toilet. By adjusting the walls between your existing bathroom and other spaces to can make a bigger bathroom. How easy this is to achieve will depend on the structure of your property. Solid double brick homes are harder to work with vs gyprocked walls or ones that are load bearing.

How much does it cost to move a wall to make a bathroom bigger depends on how difficult the site is to work with. The cost to move a wall to make a bathroom bigger can be anywhere between $2,000 and $30,000 – sounds crazy right that there is such a huge estimated cost for this type of renovation work.

Although think about it for a second, there are millions of possibilities considering the thousands of home variations that exist in Sydney. So there is no accurate way to define a price for moving a wall really.

One home might have a simple gyprock wall that takes a few hours to remove and another one might need an engineer consultation, new structural steel roof supports fabricated with new brick wall construction.

Suffice to say that the costs of making it bigger will be recouped later if the property is ever sold, so this makes it a clever bathroom renovation choice to make.

You generally don’t need council approval to remove a wall to make a bathroom bigger. Although if you live in a heritage listed home then there could be some restrictions you need to adhere to. Alternatively if you live in a unit block you will need to get strata approval. For any property where the wall is load bearing then you will need an engineer or licensed builder to approve of any changes to the structure of the building.

You can expand a bathroom in Sydney by making adjustments to the existing walls. You might remove a wall completely or move the position of a wall to create more space in the existing bathroom. The most common way that people expand a bathroom in Sydney is by combining the laundry & bathroom to create a single room.

Expanding a bathroom by removing a wall can be a significant renovation project that requires careful planning and execution. Here’s the steps that are normally taken to expand a bathroom:

  • Evaluate the structure: Before removing any wall, it’s crucial to determine if it is load-bearing or non-load-bearing. Load-bearing walls support the weight of the structure above, while non-load-bearing walls are purely for partitioning purposes. If you’re uncertain about the wall’s load-bearing status, it’s essential to consult a structural engineer or a professional contractor.
 
  • Obtain necessary permits: Depending on your location and the scope of the project, you may need to obtain permits from your local building department. Contact them to find out about the specific requirements and regulations for removing walls and expanding a bathroom. Failing to obtain the necessary permits can lead to legal issues or complications when selling the property.
 
  • Plan the new bathroom layout: Determine the desired layout for the expanded bathroom. Consider factors like the location of fixtures (sink, toilet, shower, bathtub), electrical outlets, plumbing connections, and ventilation. Take accurate measurements to ensure that the new layout fits within the available space.
 
  • Turn off utilities: Before starting any demolition work, turn off the utilities that may run through the wall, such as electricity, plumbing, and HVAC. This step ensures your safety and prevents damage to the systems.
 
  • Prepare the work area: Clear the bathroom of all furniture, fixtures, and personal belongings. Protect any adjacent areas, such as floors and countertops, with drop cloths or plastic sheets. Cover electrical outlets and switches with tape to prevent dust and debris from entering.
 
  • Demolition: Start by removing any finishes from the wall, such as drywall, tiles, or paneling. Use a pry bar or hammer to carefully remove these materials. Once the finishes are removed, locate the wall studs by tapping lightly or using a stud finder. Take care not to damage any plumbing or electrical components hidden within the wall.
 
  • Structural modifications: If the wall you’re removing is load-bearing, you’ll need to provide alternate support for the structure. Consult a professional contractor or structural engineer to design a suitable support system, such as installing beams, columns, or headers. These modifications will help distribute the load and ensure the structural integrity of the building.
 
  • Remove the wall: Once the necessary structural modifications are complete, it’s time to remove the wall. Begin by cutting through the drywall or plaster along the edges of the wall, exposing the studs. Use a reciprocating saw or a pry bar to remove the studs one by one. Be cautious while removing the last studs, as they may be the only support for the ceiling or adjacent walls.
 
  • Modify utilities: If the wall contained any plumbing or electrical components, you’ll need to modify or reroute them to accommodate the new bathroom layout. This may involve relocating pipes, extending electrical wiring, or adjusting ventilation ducts. It’s recommended to hire licensed professionals for these tasks to ensure compliance with building codes and safety standards.
 
  • Reinforce the new openings: If the expansion involves creating new doorways or windows, ensure that the openings are properly framed and supported. Install headers or lintels above the openings to bear the weight of the structure.
 
  • Install new finishes: With the wall removed and the structural modifications complete, you can proceed with installing new finishes. This may include installing drywall, tiling, flooring, painting, and any other desired finishes for the expanded bathroom.
 
  • Install fixtures: Once the new finishes are in place, install the bathroom fixtures according to your planned layout. This includes sinks, toilets, showers, bathtubs, and any other elements.
Dylan
Dylan

Licensed builder and founder of Passion Built

About us

Passion Built, a premier licensed builder in Sydney, that provides bespoke bathroom renovation services tailored to meet the specific needs and visions of each client whether it is for a house, apartment or commercial use location. Recognised as one of the most modern bathroom renovation builders in Sydney, we specialise in transforming living spaces including a laundry

For those looking to revamp their bathrooms, our detailed bathroom renovation package brochure provides an array of options to renovate a bathroom in your house or apartment within your budget without compromising on quality. 

Unique services such as converting laundry to bathroom are handled with the utmost precision, showcasing our dedication to innovation. With a commitment to transparency and no hidden surprises, our fixed price bathroom renovation quotations ensure complete peace of mind for every single client. 

Trust Passion Built to design your new bathroom space; your dreams, our blueprint.