Near the top of the list of things you can do to increase the value of your home is the bathroom remodel. No big surprise there. But aiming for a higher price tag on a home’s value is certainly not the only reason homeowners have remodeling of one or more bathrooms high on their “to do” lists.
Many people simply want to feel better about the look and feel of their home’s interior. Updating the look of that humdrum, old fashioned bathroom can be a cost-effective way to get that job done.
Define Your “Why”
Perhaps the most valuable tip we can offer in this area is taking the time to define exactly what you hope to gain from a bathroom remodel. Defining this all important ‘why’ should set the tone for your project. Doing it for financial reasons will have a completely different scope than doing it as a matter of personal enjoyment. Thinking of these two dimensions up front will help determine to what extent your project should be cost-effective or enjoyment-effective.
This will also help you set the scope of the project. Is your goal to increase resale value, improve functionality, add amenities, express your style or expand storage space? If you’re like most people, the answer is a combination of these. So, now you’re ready to set your priorities, make your plan and establish your budget.
Tips and Considerations
To help you in making a realistic remodeling plan, here are several things to consider:
Get the right kind of help. Unless you’re in the remodeling business yourself, getting professional help in key areas can save you time, money and headaches. Depending on your scope, this may involve interior decorators, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and the like.
Know your measurements. As you’re preparing your new floor plan, learn some standard bathroom dimensions so you don’t draw plans that are unworkable. Items like standard bathtub and shower enclosure sizes and how much space is needed for a toilet will alleviate the need for adjusting your plan mid-stream.
Prioritize plumbing changes. Making moderate adjustments to the plumbing, like moving faucets or even the shower can be rather straightforward. Moving the toilet, however can have major cost implications since it’s the heart of the bathroom drainage system.
Tub vs. Shower. Ask yourself how much you actually use the tub in the targeted bathroom. As long as it’s not the only bathtub in the house, replacing the tub or tub/shower enclosure with a walk-in shower can be a nice modernization move. But keep in mind that a classy standalone bathtub can also make a welcome design statement.
Counter top height. Typical countertops are 32”-34” inches above the floor. Be sure to take into account the configuration of the sink with respect to the cabinet and countertop height. Make sure the finished counter height allows for washing hands and brushing teeth comfortably.
Don’t replace cabinets needlessly. If your cabinets are in good condition structurally, consider painting or refinishing them and use the cost savings elsewhere like investing in stunning countertops.
Splurge on a few high-end materials. Because the bathroom is one of the smaller rooms in the house, spending extra money for a few higher-end materials and finishes can be a good investment. It can add the look of luxury at a reasonable cost. Incorporating an interesting backsplash with your countertops for instance can make things look more high-end.
Small walls are big opportunities. You can get more bang for your buck than anywhere else in the house by customizing your bathroom walls with attractive materials such as real beadboard panels and crown molding.
Focus on accessories. Spending extra on a few high-end accessories like a nice light fixture or cabinet hardware can provide more eye appeal per dollar than things such as upgraded tile. A high-end rug might also be a better investment than a tile upgrade.
The Rest of the Story
While this list is certainly not all inclusive, it should get you started on the right track. Since the bathrooms are the rooms in your home the most dependent on your plumbing systems, your best bet is to call in the experts from South West Plumbing for advice on your remodeling project.