Your favourite antique bathroom tap has finally stopped working. It’s time to go modern, but you cringe at the thought of what a plumber will charge to come out and replace it, knowing that trades mark-up their materials.

What to do? Head straight to the local home-ware store, buy a reasonably priced replacement, call the plumber to come out and install your new tap. Cheaper right? 


In a large majority of these cases, the homeowner actually ends up paying more, blowing the plumbing budget out of the water

More often than not the purchased product is incorrect for the circumstance which means your plumber is called out, only to have to return again. If you have a good relationship with your plumber they may not charge you for two visits but let’s face it … time is money.

This scenario is of course not just limited to taps but covers many plumbing items that homeowners (and especially renovators) purchase when they are working to a tight plumbing budget.

Bathroom renovations


Below are some of the things that you should think about before going ahead and buying your own materials:

  • Consider the warranty – when the materials are supplied by your plumber they are under full warranty. If you purchase them – while you might have a small warranty on the actual product, your plumber can only warranty their labour. This can causes issues further down the track if something goes wrong.
  • Properly assess your requirements – If you are renovating and have fallen in love with a certain product that you just have to have … have you checked whether it will connect with existing materials and/or structure?  It’s not going to be any good if you end up lovingly looking at that amazing gold plated toilet seat on your mantlepiece because it wasn’t the right shape for your toilet bowl.
  • Be mindful when buying online – you may think you are getting a bargain when buying high-end bathroom fixtures offshore, only to be confronted by problems such as connections not matching or the product is made of less than quality materials, which ultimately means unwarrantable again.  
  • Engage a plumbing expert – while we love general home-ware stores (and spend quite a bit of time in them) if you are dead set on purchasing plumbing products go to a specialist stockist and get expert advice.  Most plumbing outlets such as Cooks, Reece and Cass Brothers will sell directly to the public, however, remember this will be at the full retail price.
  • Be prepared – if you are doing major renovations having a sewer service diagram handy for the plumber when he or she arrives will help save time and money. Diagrams are generally updated if any changes to drainage (moving a sink, basin, WC/toilet or a sewer repair) have occurred.
  • If you can avoid it, don’t move the plumbing – of course, this is the easiest solution if you are doing a bathroom renovation! You can make a substantial saving simply by sticking with your original plumbing points. This applies to your kitchen and laundry plumbing points, too. Speaking with a qualified plumber will help provide you with information on how to make the most of your current layout.
  • Finally … if its too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of cheap – things are cheap for a reason.

Need help with plumbing repairs or planning your renovation? 

Call Peter today on 0456 575 424 for an obligation-free discussion.