Whether you’re trying to up your home’s resale value or just want to upgrade for your own enjoyment, it can be hard to decide which room to renovate. The kitchen? The living room? Or maybe … the bathroom? It might sound silly, but according to our recent survey, the master bathroom is one of people’s favorite rooms in their home.
And why shouldn’t it be? It’s your sanctuary. Your home away from home. It’s one of America’s favorite rooms in the house. See how it measures up against other rooms:
The bathroom also happens to be one of the rooms homeowners say needs renovating the most.
So, is it time to update your throne to something a bit more royal? And is it really worth the time and money?
Shower in the savings
A bathroom remodel is the most popular interior renovation project for homeowners, with a fairly even split between those hiring a professional and those going the D.I.Y. route. But before you consider remodeling, you’ll want to get a good feel for how much money you’ll be needing to bank.
The average bathroom model costs around $11,000 to $12,000. Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes though, and so do renovations. You could spend as little as $2,500 for a smaller project or more than $35,000 for a larger one.
Start by budgeting how much you want to spend on your renovation project. This calculator can help you determine how much you need to save. Depending on how extensive your renovation is and how much you can set aside each month, it could take a while to save what you need, so consider opening an Online Savings Account with us. Your savings will earn a competitive interest rate and remain liquid, so you can withdraw from it when you need to.
Don’t forget to leave yourself some wiggle room in your budget, too. Unforeseen expenses often come up when you’re renovating, and your initial estimate isn’t always the same as the final bill.
Finding the right contractor
If you’re hiring a contractor, make sure to vet them thoroughly. It’s always a good idea to research their past work, check references, and figure out if they’re local, licensed, and insured.
You should interview a few candidates, but don’t automatically accept the one that gives you the lowest estimate. A cheaper price could mean lower quality workmanship or materials.
And don’t be surprised if you’re asked to make a down payment. Most trusted contractors will ask for one that’s a small percentage of the total projected cost, but take note: a request for an upfront payment of more than half the cost of the project could be a red flag.
Can I get a little privacy?
When talking to your contractors, figure out how long the project will take, especially if you live in a one-bathroom home or get stressed out by tradesmen in your space. (No one wants a plumber walking in on them while they’re in the shower.)
For a smaller-scale bathroom makeover, the project could only take a week or two. But that’s more like a bathroom refresher — replacing tile, painting walls, installing new fixtures. For a full-scale renovation, expect about seven to 10 weeks for construction alone, not including the planning and final touches.
If your project requires some extensive work — like putting on an addition or turning your half-bath into a full bathroom — then it could take even longer. After all, those building permits and approvals are never issued overnight.
Flushing money away?
If you’re renovating your bathroom just to turn around and sell your home, chances are you won’t make all your money back in the sale price. But that can also vary greatly by your market.
For example, a midrange bathroom renovation in Columbia, S.C., recoups almost 105% of its cost (~$18,500 cost, ~$19,400 added resale value). But down the street in Charleston, the average amount recouped was just around 69% (~$19,600 job cost, $13,500 added resale value) — slightly above the national average.
Still, a renovated bathroom can help sell a home, especially if you have a particularly hard sell that could have potential buyers running out the door.
Just freshening up
Even small upgrades can go a long way. If you’re not looking to go all-in on a renovation, consider replacing the flooring, updating fixtures, going eco-friendly, or installing a new toilet or shower head.
It will help if you’re quite handy, too. A new toilet can be purchased for as low as $100 and a new shower/tub combo for $400, but installation costs can be more than the price of the products themselves. If you’re able to install them yourself, you could keep your outlay to less than four figures.
And don’t think that a small upgrade isn’t worth it — minor changes, like new wall sconces (that look high-end without the high-end price tag) or updated hardware in the latest style, can have a positive influence on buyers.
In all, the right bathroom renovation can be a worthwhile investment. If you’re selling, it potentially could be the difference between your house sitting on the market for months or finding a buyer the first day. And if you’re not? Well, your alone time just got way more luxe.
Start saving for your bathroom remodel.