Renovating your bathroom is a relatively inexpensive way to add a lot of equity to your home, and to improve the look and feel of the entire house. In fact, studies show that the state of the bathrooms and kitchen is the biggest factor that makes a home buyer choose a house (or choose to not purchase a house).
When your bathroom needs bathtub repair, has cracked or missing tile, and outdated fixtures, you’re only going to get interest from buyers who want to pay you bottom dollar for it. Even if you aren’t trying to sell your home, the enjoyment you get from being at home is starkly diminished. Investing a little bit of money in a bathtub install, refreshing the tile, and perhaps new hardware for the cabinets can really breath new life into your whole home. Here are a few tips for getting the most bang for your buck from your bathroom refresh:
Four Tips for Updating a Bathroom
- Do Things in the Right Order
Updating a bathroom is not like ordering sushi. When you place a sushi order, there’s no rhyme or reason to the order in which you should eat your rolls. It will all end up in the same place and taste just as good, no matter what order you do it in. On the other hand, the order you do each step in your bathroom update has a serious impact on the outcome. For instance, if you install your tile on the floor and walls before you do your bathtub install, the new tile will be likely be damaged during the bathtub install. Not to mention, if the bathtub install involves a tub that is a different size, you’ll have a different area to tile. Before even beginning your bathroom rehab, take a moment to create a step-by-step road-map for your project. Many times, bathroom contractors recommend the following steps for renovating a bathroom:
- Demolition – Remove the old bathtub, flooring, wall tile, sink, toilet, and any other fixtures you’re going to be changing out.
- Layout – If you’re installing a closet or changing the location of the tub or sink, this would be the time to do it.
- Floors – While the room is empty, install the new tile floors.
- Replace fixtures – Your new toilet, tub, and vanity go in now.
- Walls – Tape and texture the walls that need it. Install a tile backslash and shower walls.
- Paint and Finish – All the final touches go in at this point.
- Measure Twice, Cut Once
One of the most common mistakes that we find when a client’s bathrooms reno goes belly-up is mis-measuring. The sink that was ordered was too large for the space that was left for it. The bathtub drain doesn’t line up with the pipes. The tile lands unevenly because the the room wasn’t measured correctly from the beginning. Save yourself the trouble of this nightmare and measure, and then measure again, and then check your measurements again.
- Stay On Top of Your Budget
Home renovation projects almost always go over budget. There are several hundred little line items that add up. If you spend just a little more than planned on grout, and drawer knobs, and the faucet, and the tile, and an upgraded toilet, suddenly, you run out of money before the project is done. If you don’t want to end up with a bathroom that doesn’t have a sink, make a budget beforehand, and stick to it. You’re bound to spend more than you anticipate on a few things, but if you’re tracking your budget, you can reassess and decide a different area to make up for the cost.
We also recommend that you add in about 20% contingency to buffer those extra costs, so you have a little room to breath during your bathroom renovation.
- Do It Right
Help us help you: Don’t cut corners while renovating your bathroom. It will always come back to bite you. Spend the money on water-proof backer for the shower instead of sheet rock. Seal your grout, the seams around the fixtures, and the corners of walls so that water can’t create a problem with mold. Use the proper hardware for the plumbing. If you do it right, a good bathroom remodel will last a lifetime.