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Renovating a Bathroom? 3 Things to Know Before You Start

Whether you’re selling your home or want more to enjoy it more, renovating a bathroom is definitely a way to go. Not only will it increase your enjoyment of the home but often will add to its value. Whether it’s a master bathroom or a secondary bathroom tucked into a hallway, the remodeling project deserves careful planning before you get started.

Like a kitchen, a bathroom packs a lot of function into a small space. When renovating a bathroom, you must consider the following aspects.

  1. How much value will it bring to your home?

  2. What are your personal goals for the project?

  3. What is your budget for the bathroom renovation?

Increasing the value of your home

Before getting too far into the project when renovating a bathroom, do some homework about your neighborhood. While bathroom remodeling ranks high on the list of property improvements that pay you back when it’s time to sell, it won’t work miracles. Learn what the typical bathroom in your neighborhood is like, and keep that in mind as you make plans for your project.

Real estate websites like Zillow and provide a fairly complete list of properties for sale. You can search by area and these sites include detailed information and photographs. It’s well worth your time to find homes near you that are similar in size and bedroom count. Look at the photos, focusing on the bathrooms. The characteristics of the bathrooms you see will give you an idea of what other bathrooms are like in your neighborhood.

Unless this is a personal passion project, you probably won’t need to exceed the level of finish you see online. When you do sell your home, an appraiser may not give you full credit because the neighborhood home values won’t support such an upgrade.

Goals for a bathroom renovation

Your goals for the project. Clearly articulate why you’re renovating a bathroom. Homeowners often modernize or improve the bathroom to make the home easier to sell. Another common reason is to make it more convenient. Some people want to transform it from plain to luxurious.

It’s important to keep your goals in mind as you start picking the fixtures and finishes. It’s so easy to choose them based on personal preference, and lose sight of how they fit into the final project. You may consider heated towel racks when renovating a bathroom, but in terms of the market, it’s an upgrade that only you may enjoy.

Improvements that benefit you in the short-term and will help you sell the home are those that contribute to energy and water efficiency. Look for toilets, shower heads and faucets that carry the WaterSense label, and as you plan the lighting, use Energy Star LED bulbs.

Universal design has emerged as more than a trend. People are looking for homes that will accommodate them in the future. A bathroom renovation can command a premium on the resale market.

Renovating your bathroom on a budget