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Bathroom Remodeling Rethought: House Value vs. Happiness

Although the bathroom is probably one of the most “private” rooms of your home, it’s also one of the most used. It's the one which, despite its private function, generally needs to be open and available to guests. While a beautiful bathroom can help you to feel comfortable - and even proud - allowing people into your home, it can also make your own “wash time” more enjoyable and relaxing. This lets the bathroom add value to your own quality of life - not to mention your house price! 

Love it! vs Worth it?

Not all bathroom revamps are created equal. Personal taste doesn’t always translate to market value . You need to be clear with yourself about what your bathroom remodeling project is aimed at achieving. A research collaboration between the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry recently revealed that while an upscale bathroom renovation will cost, on average, $26,000, only 58 percent of that will be recovered in the value of the home. As a counter to the financial aspect of things, the personal enjoyment derived from this revived space was reflected in a ‘joy score’ of 9.3.

Keep it Simple 

If increased market value is part or all of your aim, then it’s worth remembering this general rule: the simpler and more budget-friendly the project is, the bigger its return. So skip the upscale remodel and opt for something more mid-range which, industry experts say, can see a return of around $1.70 for every $1 spent. Tiles, toilets, baths, vanities and sinks don’t necessarily need to be handcrafted from Italian marble. They need to be attractively clean, functional and uncracked. Costs soar when pipes are rerouted and plumbing is overhauled, so retain the basic layout of the bathroom and focus on the fittings. 

Go Green 

Savvy buyers will often have an eye on ongoing costs. This is because some of the most profitable bathroom improvements are as much to do with energy consumption as they are to do with aesthetic. Imagine toilets that flush properly, natural lighting and radiant warmth that doesn’t escape the room. Electric underfloor heating doesn’t impact on space and is easy to install. It’s also energy efficient. Meanwhile, heated towel rails combine both form and function. Installing a new window that lets in natural light and reduces air leakage can save on both heating and lighting costs. It's easy to add some new light fittings with energy efficient bulbs for darker days and evenings.

Hit the Tiles

White subway tiles look perennially stylish and have the added benefit of increasing the illusion of space. Choose a gray coloured grout for contrast and additional interest. This will also minimise that ‘grubby’ look that tends to affect white grout in damp areas. Patterned or textured tiles may add “wow” factor but also tend to be more expensive. These exotic tiles are perhaps not to everyone’s taste as well. If value increases are on your bathroom remodeling agenda, limit yourself to one or two defined areas. Just do a feature backsplash or shower wall, for example.