You got an amazing deal on your home, in part because the master bathroom was kind of really outdated. The wallpaper says it all — and that pink bathroom, oh boy. You are so ready to do something about the Pepto Bismol nightmare attached to a bedroom, but you also want to be certain that you’re doing this remodel right, otherwise you may be doomed to repeat it.
Bathroom Remodels Can Be Good Investments
When it comes to remodeling jobs, there’s the rare exception that will return the whole cost of the improvement when you go to sell your home or have it appraised for a home equity loan.
Although they don’t typically have above-cost ROIs, Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Price vs. Value survey found that midrange bathroom remodels returned 70.1 percent of their cost for home sellers and universal design bathrooms returned 70.6 percent. Neither figure isn’t too shabby, especially once you consider that adding an entire midrange master package only returned 56.6 percent!
However, even Remodeling Magazine is quick to point out that these gains only apply to well-executed bathrooms, and there’s no shortage of bathroom remodels that have gone horribly wrong. Before you even start to put a dollar figure in your own remodel, take some time to jump on Houzz, Zillow or Realtor.com and search up houses like yours. Watch what their master baths look like, how folks updated them, what seems to be functioning and what is a real mess. The research on this project is going to take some time, but it’s necessary for the best results possible.
Some Practical Questions to Ask Yourself
Sometimes the idea of renovating your own home can sort of supercharge a fantasy where gravity doesn’t pull down the roof if you take out a lot of structural walls, anything can be made to fit anywhere and cost is absolutely not an issue.
This is a great time to develop a list of things you really, really want. But before you so much as look at your credit card touch your savings account, let that early excitement fade. You have to approach a bathroom remodel with a flat head or you may wind up spending a fortune to gain very little.
Using a clear head, consider these items before starting a master bathroom remodel:
How does the existing setup work for me?
Hey, you may not love that pink bathtub, but it does seem like it’s sort of perfectly placed. The vanity, however, seems like it was just kind of lost place randomly. It is bizarre and you sort of really hate it. Make notes on how the current configuration works or doesn’t so you can work on arranging the new parts correctly.
What are my goals for this bathroom?
This may seem a little bit of an odd question, but if you think about it, you use this bathroom differently than its last owners utilize it, more likely than not. Maybe you want more sticks or more wall space. Possibly, you are tired of the wallpaper and how hard the vinyl floor is to maintain clean. Figure out the why of your remodel long before you reduce the first check.
Should I be using Universal Design principles?
Universal Design is one of those things that you’ve probably never heard of, but you’re still sort of thinking about anyway. Basically, Universal Design revolves around making spaces such as bathrooms easier to access by everyone.
That means individuals with disabilities, the elderly, anyone that may normally be excluded. For you, this is going to be about both resell, if that’s at the future, and aging in place. While you’re young and able, convert as much of your home to a Universal Design if you don’t plan to move again — you will thank yourself later.
How long will it take?
Any sort of remodeling project can take a lengthy time to complete, especially if you’re doing the majority of the work yourself. This isn’t very likely to be a weekend job and everything will be gross, wet and awful for a while — possibly months or years, based on your budget and motivation level.
If you are hiring the job out, the contractor can give you a far better idea of their schedule, but since they’re highly motivated to get a check from you, even a massive remodel that entails knocking out walls shouldn’t take more than a couple of months.
What’s it going to cost?
There are so many ways to remodel a bathroom that it is as difficult to estimate prices in general as it is the timeframe it takes to spend that money. But, there are a few surveys that can help give us a glance at something like an answer. Remodel Magazine says that a mid-range bathroom remodel will run about $19k and an upscale remodel over $61k.
That having been said, there are a lot of factors that can change that price dramatically. Evidently, the size of the bathroom today and the size it is going to be when you are done are both huge variables. Another is whether or not you’re moving plumbing.
Believe it or not, if you can work with plumbing where it sits, you are likely to save a lot of money. Sometimes all you need to do is twist a fixture around a little to make it function better at the space.
If you’ve never remodeled a bathroom before, it might not be the best idea to start by yourself in your own. At least, find a friend or family member that has a lot of DIY expertise before you dive right into a project of this scale on your own.