Friday, October 8, 2010

Does your bathroom need an overhaul?

Bathroom Before and After Photograph
Photograph by Dawn Gagnon

Does your bathroom need an overhaul?
Next to kitchen remodels the other most important selling feature in your home are bathrooms. As society in general becomes more decor savvy, real estate savvy and with more sophisticated tastes, it is really important to have your bathroom look its best.

What to budget?
Bathroom remodels can range anywhere from $2500 to $25,000.00 and higher. If you have a small budget, narrow down your upgrades to simply replacing dated items that are highly visible or in the worst shape. If you can do the work yourself, you are certainly going save a great deal of money. For budget savvy solutions, you might want to consider addressing what the chief problem is and formulating a budget that will allow for you to  make one splurge on one chief area and make only cosmetic changes to freshen the whole room up. If your bathtub needs replacing, that could be the splurge and then simply add nice fresh touches like new sink fixtures, fresh new towels, and a trendy new shower curtain. You can always make more improvements later on. By addressing the chief problem first with a small budget you are playing it smart.

Updated Bathroom
Photograph by Dawn Gagnon

What improvements are the right ones?
Once your budget amount has been assessed, another area to give thought to is what would a buyer expect to find in a home that is in your homes price range? If your home is in an area where the average home sells for $500,000.00 or better, the bathroom upgrades would need to reflect that. However, for homes $200,000.00 and less, your bathroom upgrades can be modest and still yield good results if you sell. The most important factor to remember is what would be expected for your homes price. This means simply, do not over improve for the area. This doesn't mean you can't have the bathroom of your dreams, it simply means don't do it if you are looking for a maximum return on your investment. What can a $2500.00 budget get you? Well, depending on how much of the work you can do yourself quite a lot. A good reference to use it to think about what is being put in new construction. Builder grade materials are improving so don't turn your nose up at it,instead take note of what features new home baths have.  The bathrooms are being built larger, and including double vanities, tiled flooring, and large jetted tubs are in many. 

Bathroom Remodel
Photograph by Dawn Gagnon

High end looks on a small budget
Sometimes the best looking improvement you make are the most inexpensive ones. Things you can do to give a high end look to a bathroom would be to include wanes coting, crown molding, and made-to-like-stone floor tiles. Never replace cheap with cheap, but you should always replace old and dated with new and improved. Textured and paintible wallpapers are now making a comeback into design, and for old walls that need a little extra dressing up, this is an inexpensive instant improvement. There are beautiful accessories that can be found in inexpensive stores as well. Add touches of elegance with lighting, and wall decor.

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