Let’s face it, the biggest workhorse in the house (alongside the kitchen) is the bathroom. We spend a lot of time in there, getting ready for work, school and bed; showering, grooming, and (ahem) contemplating life whilst in the shower cabin.
Bathrooms and kitchens are also the most complex rooms to renovate, and can sometimes require the skills of tradespeople to get the renovation done properly. On the plus side, the bathroom is also one of two rooms upon which the average return is at least 62%, and for which a number of homeowners see a full 100% return on their investment.
Updating your bathroom can increase the value of your home far higher than any other renovation you’re contemplating. Think about it – when someone is looking to buy a house, which rooms do they investigate first?
These are the ones that make the most difference in your ability to get the house sold for the price you want. It’s also likely that they’re the same rooms in the house where you’ll most appreciate updating as long as you call it home. One really nice point (and important to remember) is that you don’t have to do a full gut to make a big impact in your bathroom.
Take note of the most important features of the room; replacing certain outdated fixtures, countertops, shower cabins and a fresh coat of paint while keeping plumbing lines intact will go far and will save money.
Even an updated light fixture makes a big change, especially if the former light gave the room a dull glow or was minimal. A bright bathroom with enough light to see by is inviting and freshens up the place. Unless you’re planning on staying in the house for good, update with an eye for neutrals or something that will fit the likes and dislikes of the public at large.
A purple countertop might be just what the doctor ordered to fit your personal style, but other people might not be so keen on your bravery. You’ll want to keep the personal notes to smaller details; artwork, linens and such, so that your style isn’t off putting to potential buyers.
Styles and trends will change, but a good designer can help you choose colours and lines that will stand the test of time. Two little words to keep in mind before you touch a single thing in that bathroom; plan ahead! Barging on like a bull in a china shop without a plan will lead to expenses that you may not be able to recoup later on down the line. A good plan, along with good tradespeople is a recipe for success.
Other tips for your bathroom renovation:
- Don’t attempt to do renovations unless you’re a certified tradesperson. If you can tackle painting or laying floor, that’s one thing, but plumbing and electrical is entirely another.
- Salvage what you can. If your toilet is in good working order, and will fit in well with the new renovation, keep it! Not everything has to be new and you’ll save money if there are a few existing pieces you can work with.
- Keep the same layout for pipes and electrical whenever possible. Keeping the bathroom’s footprint can save thousands in specialized renovation costs. New fixtures will make a huge affect without altering their location.
- Shop around. Just because you’ve found a fixture or accessory at one store at a certain price doesn’t mean you won’t find it cheaper somewhere else. Take notice of upcoming sales and auctions.
- If you’re using tile, get creative with a more standard tile for most of the bathroom, and accent them with more expensive specialty tile. You’ll get the richer look without the price tag.
- Keep plumbing fixtures and accessories from dating too quickly by buying what stands the test of time, not what’s trendy right now. Trends can change quickly – even seasonally, and it’s easier to keep in touch with what’s hot when it comes to towels or soaps in the colour of the moment than to replace an entire countertop or shower.
- Homeowners and buyers love touches of luxury in their bathrooms; a spa-like shower averages an 85% return on investment when it comes time to sell.
- Instead of replacing floor tiles, see what a good commercial cleaner and new grout does to the space. You’ll get the same impact of a new floor with a lot less cost, time and hassle, so you can direct your hard earned money towards other highlights; a soaker tub or a granite counter.
Tour other newly renovated bathrooms, take note of what you love most, and gather input when it comes to pros and cons of homeowners experiences. Renovating your bathroom can be the most satisfying and financially savvy improvement you’ll make.