Bathroom Remodeling: Tips for Getting a Good Payback

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements, Repair your home's value
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We’ve all heard that bathroom remodeling provides a good return on investment, but how far can you go in today’s market? Do you gut the whole room or just change out the fixtures? Some of it depends on your local market, but you want to look for changes that boost the visual appeal without taking too much of the contractor’s time.

If you’re watching your remodeling dollars carefully, here’s how to get the most for your money:

  • Pick one or two major design elements to remodel. The bathroom vanity is perhaps the easiest and often provides a big bang for the buck. A furniture styled bathroom vanity in cherry or walnut can make the room pop, particularly with the right wall tile. If you like contemporary, try a crisp white laminate with a stainless steel top. Add an artsy sink and faucet and you’re done. Next, try new tile in the shower or around the tub.
  • Don’t move the plumbing unless your bathroom remodeling layout absolutely demands it! In a nutshell, you spend a bigger portion of your budget on the contractor’s time to reroute things instead of going with the fancy finishes.
  • Pick the right contractor, even if it means waiting a little while to start the project. Look for a contractor with bathroom remodeling experience who also knows how to be lean with a budget. Be realistic about your remodeling budget and ask to be kept in the loop on any surprises that could throw it off.
  • Fine tune your remodeling budget before the contractor starts and understand where the money is going. That way you can switch gears–and your budget dollars–more easily if surprises come up. Try this handy calculator from HGTV. Punch in your zip code and details of your project and you get an estimate on cost. (It takes a few minutes, so be patient).

Using these hints and a little planning can make the most of your remodeling plans and dollars.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Bathroom Remodeling: Tips for Getting a Good Payback”

  2. Jun 25, 2010

    Those are four wonderful tips. I would also suggest small upgrades can go a long way during a bathroom remodel. Refinishing the vanity, changing hardware, adding new light fixtures, or even a fresh coat of paint can refresh the entire room. If you’re looking for long term savings, try installing energy-saving lights and low-water toilets and shower heads.

  3. Aug 10, 2010

    Using items such as a one piece shower unit instead of completely re-tiling the shower can also help keep the overall costs down and help you to add a complete overhaul to your shower.

  4. Aug 18, 2010

    Great article. It’s always best to concentrate on major areas as the “smaller stuff” seems to work itself out during this process.

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