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How Much Does a Bathroom Renovation Increase Home Value?

Any time a homeowner is considering a home renovation, it’s generally for either one or both of the standard reasons: they want to enjoy their space more, and they want to add on more value to their property. But not all renovations add value equally, and in fact, some add a lot less than you might think. How about a bathroom renovation then—it is going to increase the value of your home, or is it purely for aesthetics?

A bathroom renovation is the most popular of all home improvements, according to the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) 2019 Remodeling Impact Report. And based off of data from Remodeling magazine’s most recent Cost vs. Value report, returns on both midrange and upscale bathroom renovations are, for the most part, going up. That’s good news if you’re considering undertaking a bathroom remodel, particularly if you think that you might want to sell your home soon.

Before you pick up the hammer though (or pick up the phone to call a handyman), here’s what you need to know about how much a bathroom renovation actually increases home value, as well as how you can maximize your profits on a bathroom remodel.

Does a Bathroom Renovation Increase Home Value?

It sure does! On average, homeowners spend just over $20,000 on a midrange bathroom renovation project, and nearly $65,000 on an upscale bathroom renovation project. At resale, midrange renovations recoup 67.2% of their costs, while upscale renovations recoup 60.2%.

So what does this look like in dollars? Here’s how Remodeling breaks it down.

Midrange bathroom renovation

Cost: $20,420
Resale value: $13,717

Upscale bathroom renovation

Cost: $64,743
Resale value: $38,952

Data was not provided for low-scale bathroom renovations.

It’s always smart to be realistic when it comes to recouping the cost of any home improvements that you plan on making, especially since you are very rarely (if ever) going to get a complete 100% return. Improvements that tend to have the highest returns are those that cost less at the outset, such as upscale garage door replacements (cost: $3,611; recouped cost: 97.5%) and manufactured stone veneers (cost: $8,907; recouped cost: 94.9%).

What About the Joy Score?

We often think about value in terms of dollars and cents, but you can’t discount the joy score, which is the innate satisfaction or enjoyment that a homeowner gets out of having a more aesthetically pleasing, more functional space. And on a scale of one to ten, NAR reports that the joy score of a bathroom renovation is 9.6, both for the homeowners who hire a professional to do their remodel and for those who undertake the project on their own.

What this tells us is that there is more to be gained from a bathroom renovation than just an increase in a home’s price. If you’re thinking of taking the leap, it can help to know that for most home renovators a bathroom upgrade is far from regrettable.

5 High Value Bathroom Renovation Ideas

Homeowners who are looking to renovate their bathroom on a budget or who only want to tackle a couple of upgrades in the space should set their sights on the types of renovations that pull in the highest returns. This allows you to allocate your funds to the areas that will pack the biggest punch, and also helps you prioritize your project tasks.

Here are the 5 bathroom renovation projects that stretch your dollar the furthest, both on their own and in conjunction with each other.

  1. New plumbing fixtures

    Just as old fixtures can instantly date a room, new fixtures can make an entire space look more modern and inviting. This is good news for home renovators, since swapping out things like faucets and shower heads don’t have to be super expensive at the outset.

    If upgrading the plumbing fixtures is the only change that you’re intending to make to the space, be sure that you pick fixtures that complement (rather than clash with) the rest of the bathroom. Even if you go a more modern route you’ll still want to match the rest of the colors in the room and the general style.

  2. Vanity upgrades

    If you’ve got a bit more to spend, consider upgrading the entire vanity, which includes not just faucets but also cabinetry and sinks. You can buy vanity kits that have all of the elements you need for one price, or you can put together the perfect vanity yourself. Make sure to choose materials that will have more appeal with buyers. For example, marble and granite are usually top picks for counter tops, while tile and laminate can look a bit too retro.

  3. Fresh coat of paint

    Something as simple as a new coat of paint can make a big impact on the general look of a bathroom. This goes double if the room shows any sign of mildew or other types of water damage (though if this is the case, you’ll want to address the actual problem too, and not just hide it behind some primer).

    Painting is a good renovation project to DIY, particularly in the bathroom, which is usually a small space. Use painter’s tape to streamline the look, and choose a neutral color that will have more widespread appeal.

  4. Flooring

    If you’re looking for a dramatic change, then upgrading the flooring in your bathroom is a good way to go. The average cost per square foot of bathroom flooring is about $2.50 on the low end and $4.00 on the high end plus labor costs (assuming you don’t install the flooring yourself). If you really want to take the floors to the next level, you could install radiant heat mats under the tile, which warm the floors for a cozy feel post shower or bath. On average, that costs an extra $5.00 to $8.00 per square foot. New bathroom floors—even when taken further with radiant heat—are one of the less expensive renovations you can do, but can also completely change the look, feel, and utility of the space.

  5. Energy efficient updates

    Adding more energy efficiency into your home isn’t just good for the environment—it’s good for your home’s resale value, too. Your shower, sink, and toilet can all be optimized for low flow, which means less water usage and more savings on your water bill. It’s a strong pull for buyers too, so when you’re making changes to fixtures in your bathroom go for the picks that promise to use energy.

Is a Bathroom Renovation Worth It?

It’s up to each homeowner to decide if a bathroom renovation is worth the expense. Overall though, you can expect to get a good return on the money that you spend, plus a high joy score out of the project. If having a bathroom that you enjoy being in matters to you, then go for it. It’s just icing on the cake that you’ll get to recoup a lot of the associated costs as well.

As for finding a professional to do the job, use our tips on how to find a handyman, plumber, or other service provider so that you can be sure to select the right person for the job. Do plenty of research before selecting someone, since going the cheap route or working with someone who isn’t completely familiar with what they’re doing will almost certainly end up costing you more in the long run.


Published Thursday, March 19, 2020 8:06 PM by CENTURY 21 Gold Real Estate

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