I’ve found over the years that people often think that because a bathroom (or laundry) is a smaller room in the house, it doesn’t need a lot of attention. For a small room, it’s actually a big hitter because almost all trades will be involved with the renovation and errors can be costly and long-lasting.

To help you understand who the trades or specialists are and what they will be doing, I’ve compiled a list so you can be prepared and have a better understanding of how they’ll be involved in your project.

A person qualified to design buildings and interior spaces. Is a registered practitioner, with a university degree. To be a registered architect you must complete an architecture degree (5-6 years) and gain enough experience (3-5 years) to pass an examination set by the Architectural Registration Board in your state.

Responsible for the overall co-ordination and is the manager of the project. They will be your main point of contact and will:

  • Ensure compliance with building permits, if applicable.
  • Ensure contractual works.
  • Set and oversee the program.

Cabinet Maker
Manufactures and installs the joinery i.e. the cupboards, shelving, drawers, units, and maybe even custom fit windows if needed. They also provide benchtops or work with a subcontracted company (e.g. stone benchtop specialists).

A designer is not registered by the Australian Architectural board. Some states require designers to be registered with a Building Practitioners Board.

Connects all appliances if electrical, and will need to isolate power before any work starts. They will also install any power points, exhaust fans, and new lighting (hang any pendant lighting to your specification). Speak to them and get advice on lighting options BEFORE heading out to lighting stores.

Flooring contractor
Installs any vinyl, timber, cork flooring. They can also fix any changes to existing flooring that may result from your renovation project. Note: Please don’t even consider carpet in the bathroom or laundry!

Installs any glass shower screens, new windows, sliding doors, etc (if applicable). They will be invaluable when planning your shower screen options.

Fills gaps and paints walls, ceilings, any plasterboard, and the cabinets if required.

If needed, the plasterer will replace wall or ceiling plaster, and any bulkheads if necessary.

Installs and connects gas, hot and cold water, drainage, taps, and sinks.

Affixes ceramic, slate, marble, and glass tiles to walls and floors, using glues, grout, and cement. They may also waterproof your bathroom prior to tiling, depending on their qualifications/certifications and the State you are building in.



Site Supervisor
The general point of contact for both you as the client and trade. This job can also be undertaken by a bathroom specialist, but make sure you negotiate this at the planning stage. They are responsible for:

  • co-ordination of trades in line with the program;
  • quality control;
  • builder or cabinet maker employee;
  • site Occupational Health and Safety;
  • directing the builder as per the working drawings;
  • site security; and
  • site cleanliness.

Waterproofing Specialists
A specialist contractor licensed (required in NSW, QLD, and SA) or trained to apply waterproofing to the Australian Standard (required in ACT, Victoria, SA, NT, Tasmania, and WA).

Enjoy getting to know your team members of your build with the knowledge of what skill and expertise they’ll bring to the table. Or in this case, to the wet areas!

Written by Justine Teggelove, Co-Founder of Build in Common, Director, co-founder, and Director and immediate past-CEO of Rodine Australia, a commercial construction company with a national portfolio