Remodeling a Bathroom for the Best ROI
Maybe you’ve just about had it with your old bathroom and crave the Instagram-worthy bathroom you’ve always dreamt about. Maybe you’re thinking about moving and trying to decide whether a bathroom remodel is a good return on your investment. Or maybe you’ve just moved into your house and need to remodel a bathroom, but don’t know where to start.
If you’re considering a remodel and need to know more about how much value a bathroom remodel adds, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll look at when and why you should remodel your bathroom, if it’s worth the investment, and if you do decide to do it, some tips on where to splurge and save to maximize results.
Is it worth it?
How much value does a bathroom remodel add to a house? According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, a bathroom renovation is the most popular of all home improvements. So that would be a resounding yes! It makes sense when you think about what people really pay attention to when they’re looking for a new house: The kitchen and the bathroom. They’re the rooms that new home builders’ splurge on, and because they’re the rooms we spend so much time in, they also get the most oohs and aahs. So what’s the actual bathroom remodel return on investment?
Data show that bathroom remodels yield the biggest returns in terms of boosting your home’s resale value. At resale, midrange renovations recoup 67.2% of their costs, while upscale renovations recoup 60.2% For reference, on average, homeowners spend just over $20,000 on a midrange bathroom renovation project, and nearly $65,000 on an upscale bathroom renovation project. It all helps explain why 26 percent of sellers make some sort of improvement to a bathroom before selling, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018.
How do I know if I should do it?
If you have doubts about bathroom remodel ROI, here are some instances when it might be a good idea.
When it comes to your bathroom functionality, how it’s arranged makes all the difference. For anyone who shares a bathroom with other people, you know what we’re talking about. If you’re dealing with a layout that just doesn’t work, a bathroom remodel can be a great idea. You also might consider a remodel if you or someone close to you is looking for more safety, in which case an adjustment to the layout could be a good fit to meet your evolving needs.
Over time, things break, fall apart, come loose, and get damaged. Tiles loosen, plumbing becomes problematic. These are things you don’t want to deal with over and over. The only thing worse than minor issues in the bathroom are the big problems they can cause over time. Can you say water damage? You do not want to go there.
Out of style
Styles change and tastes evolve, and you may want to do some remodeling in your bathroom to reflect those changes. You could do a complete remodel, or just touch up and swap out important things like tile, paint, and lighting. Sometimes a little goes a long way.
If you’re thinking of selling your house soon, is there new construction in your neighborhood that’s listed around your target price? If you’re going to be competing with new homes, a new bathroom can separate you from the pack.
And one more factor…joy!
If you're not planning on moving anytime soon, think about how remodeling your bathroom would just plain make you happy. If there’s a scientific study that measures how much enjoyment you get from a bathroom remodel, we know what it would say: You can’t discount how happy you’ll feel when you get to enjoy your new remodel. Even if your bathroom remodel ROI doesn’t increase dramatically, you’ll have had all that time enjoying your new bathroom.
How often should I do it?
Just based on styles and trends, you might remodel your bathroom every four or five years. But that’s ambitious (and costly). if you base it on the durability of fixtures, tiles, and appliances, plus factor in when you’ll really need a remodel, it’s harder to pinpoint. It could be anywhere between 10 to 20 years. There are many variables, like how long you stay in your house, how tired you are of your bathroom, and your budget. So, unless you have a major problem in your bathroom like serious water damage, it’ll likely be a combination of different variables.
How much will it cost?
What’s the cost of a master bath remodel? As with so many things remodeling-related, it depends. Your budget will be influenced by many factors, including the size of your bathroom, how much work it needs, and the quality of the tiles, fixtures, lighting, and bath you want. How much you do it yourself vs hiring a professional will make a big difference too, so the cost of a master bath remodel will vary.
That said, according to Home Advisor, a bathroom refresh on the lower end (new paint, fixtures, plumbing) can come in under $5000. Average, mid-range remodels generally run in the $15-20,000 range, and higher end remodels go up (and up!) from there.
Remember, your remodel can cost as much as you let it. Make sure you have a realistic budget and try to stick to it.
Where to start?
If you’re going to do a full bathroom remodel, start with what professionals call the “wet area”—the tub or shower and surrounding walls, valve, and doors. Bathroom remodels start here, not just because it’s the biggest area, but because just about all safety and maintenance issues originate here. Think about leaks behind walls or water under the floor. You don’t want that. It’s a good idea to trust this part of the remodel to professionals.
Bath Fitter® can work with you from start to finish to help you create your new shower or bath. The designers will help you choose from hundreds of designs to customize your bath just the way you want it, and the Design Your Own Bath tool can help you get started. Installers are respectful of your time and space. They’ll clean up as if it were their own home and complete your job in as little as a day.
Beyond the tub
Once you have the tub and shower figured out, it’s time to think about the surrounding elements. Some items that may increase the return on a bathroom remodel include new flooring, tile, paint, lighting, vanity, and mirrors. Let’s look at a few of them.
You know bad bathroom lighting when you see it. So how do you avoid it? Natural lighting from windows and skylights helps bathrooms feel brighter and airier. For effective artificial lighting, recessed LED lights can provide ambient light. Overall, avoid harsh light sources and bare bulbs.
To make sure you steer clear of water creeping in where you don’t want it, bathroom flooring has to be moisture resistant. But you also want it to look great. Consider ceramic and porcelain tile and natural stone. Sheet vinyl and vinyl tile are also popular for bathroom flooring because they’re water resistant.
And maybe treat yourself a little…?
Have you ever been in a hotel with heated floors or towel racks and wished you could have that at home? Well, maybe you can. If you’re ever going to do it, do it during the remodel. This way, you experience disruption just once.
But can you actually afford it? Well, it definitely adds to the cost of a bathroom remodel. One benefit of a heated floor might ultimately be lower heating bills as you set your thermostat a little lower. Another is the fact it could be awesome and send your happy meter through the ceiling. How great would it feel to get out of the shower and into a pre-heated towel? When it comes to bathroom remodel ROI, the longer you stay in your house, the more you can enjoy it. The sooner you’re thinking about selling, the better an investment it might be.
An important consideration is the possibility of you or someone you love needing extra safety to accommodate decreased mobility, whether it’s now or down the road. Even if it’s not in your immediate future, taking a few key steps now can save you money and headaches later. A walk-in shower and grab bars in a bath are great options for accessibility. Don’t forget the slip-resistant tiles. An expert like a Bath Fitter® design consultant can help you think through the options.
How much does a bathroom remodel add to the value of your house? Of course, every person has different priorities that impact the final decision, including timing, budget, and patience. What’s not debatable is the fact that bathroom renovations are the most popular of all home improvements. Return on investment is solid. What’s more, it’s a room where you spend a lot of time and it’s important for you to be happy and comfortable there. If you have any questions, we’re here to listen.
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