Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Renovating Your Bathroom
During our incredibly long tenure as accomplished real estate investors, we have successfully completed three bathroom renovations. One of those three was a brand new bathroom that we basically resurrected out of the earth's crust with our bare hands (not a big deal). And oh, by the way, we have two more bathroom renovations well underway at AP worldwide HQ 2.0. That puts our total renovated bathroom count at five, people, which by my standards is more than enough to qualify us as subject matter experts.
It's only right for us to share our wealth of knowledge and experience with our followers. So whether you are the aspiring investor wondering how best to renovate your bathroom, the current homeowner who's bathroom needs updating or just someone who likes reading random real estate blogs, this list is for you...
1. Hire It Out vs. DIY?
This one will be fairly easy to answer for most people, but for some maybe not. If you have absolutely no experience with renovations or any desire to gain some experience, you are likely going to hire the whole project out. However, you will still have to make some critical decisions on how you want your renovated bathroom to look. Obviously the more you hire out, the higher the overall renovation cost. But if you can afford it and don't want to waste any time, then by all means go ahead. My only advice would be to go with someone you know and trust so that there aren't any surprises throughout the process.
Now on the other hand, if you are someone that likes a challenge and doesn't mind putting in some sweat equity then I say go for it. You can learn anything on the internet today... trust me... anything. So with a little motivation and some self-education, you could be lookin like this kid in no time.
2. Do I Need to Change the Layout?
This is a VERY important question to ask, because any change to the existing layout is going to add substantial cost and timing to the overall project. It is fairly straight-forward to replace a tub, toilet and vanity along with replacing tile and painting. But when you start moving things around and knocking down / putting up new walls, things get complicated. Then you need a plumber and electrician. Then you need permits. See where I'm going here? In some cases it makes sense to either free up some floor space or to change a half bath to a full bath, but you have to understand the cost implications in doing so. Make sure to ask the advice and opinions of professionals and always get multiple quotes when possible. You don't want to get burned by extra costs you weren't considering when you started the project (story of our life).
3. How Often Will the Bathroom Get Used?
This is something you might not consider initially, but it is still a legitimate question to ask. If you have a 3bd 1bath 1000 sq ft home then obviously you're gonna want to make that one bathroom POP! It might be worth spending the extra money to really make it nice, considering it's the only bathroom in the entire home. Now if you're renovating a basement bathroom that will only get used by your college dropout son for 2-3 years (or at least until he gets his life together), do you really need to splurge on the $20 per sq ft mosaic shower tile???
You get my point...
4. How Will This Impact Resale Value?
Now here is one I GUARANTEE most people won't consider... but they should. The only time this doesn't matter is if you plan on dying in that home. More likely than not, you plan on moving at some point. The sooner you plan to sell, the more important this question becomes. Upgrading a half bath to a full bath can help increase your home's value. Adding an additional bathroom can also help substantially. But painting your bathroom walls bright green and picking taste-specific design options and fixtures could actually turn some potential buyers off. Rule #1 when it comes to design options (for flippers) is mass appeal. You want to renovate and design to a standard that will help sell the home as quickly as possible.
Great advice as always... That's what we provide here.
Now let me leave you with some visual examples of how NOT to renovate your bathroom