Giving an old, tired bathroom a makeover is one of the best things you can do to increase your home’s resale value. While bathrooms are frequently the smallest rooms in your home, they’re often the most used and valued spaces, and are among the smartest remodeling investments in terms of return of investment. Beyond the practical, day-to-day routines, for many people bathrooms are a sanctuary – a place to escape the stresses of daily life, even if only for a few moments at a time.
However, since most homeowners are working with small spaces and because there is a fair amount of water involved (sink, toilet, shower and bathtub), there’s a lot of potential for a bathroom remodel to go horribly wrong so having a professional service is advised. Here are 10 tips from Handyman Matters on how to create the bathroom of your dreams:
- Get ideas. Start with a visit to a premium tile or cabinet store that offers bathroom displays. These can give you an idea of the types of designs, tiling, and fixtures available for your remodel. Another good plan is to visit model homes to see the latest in bathroom design from today’s homebuilders.
- Have a plan. Whether your bathroom remodel involves some light fix-me-ups or is a down-to-the-studs project, it’s important to consolidate your ideas and create a remodeling plan and a budget. If you’re going to remodel it yourself, don’t be afraid to get help and seek out information on the latest in remodeling standards.
- Bring it up to code. Check your town or city’s website to review or download building code requirements related to bathrooms – in particular codes related to plumbing, electrical and windows. Remember, building codes mean meeting the minimally allowed standards required by your city or state. It may not matter now, but it can be a big deal when you try to sell your home. Spending the extra dollars to bring your bathroom up to at least code, especially in the areas of electrical and plumbing, versus doing simply cosmetic changes, will bring peace of mind, enhance resale value, and avoid problems down the line. Handyman Matters professionals can help make sure your bathroom is following the city standards – one more reason to use a professional for all of your remodeling needs.
- Include popular features. Including popular features in your bathroom remodeling project will help at resale time, and make your bathroom feel more contemporary. Second sinks, decorative glass and stone tile and accents, replacing tubs with showers, more storage space, better lighting, extra-wide wall tiles, and heated floors are among the most popular features in today’s new home construction and upscale remodeling projects.
- Make it easy to clean. No one likes cleaning a bathroom, so why complicate matters by making it difficult? For example, avoid vanities with space underneath the cabinet that attracts dust. Don’t place vanities, toilets and other items too close together to create tight spaces that are difficult to clean. Use large wall tiles to eliminate grout lines. Invest in shower doors that keep water in a shower or tub and don’t show soap build-up. Consider adding storage to free up valuable counter-top space.
- Keep it elegant. Your bathroom is not the place to express your secret passion for Star Wars with movie-themed wallpaper. Focus on using materials and fixtures that exude quality, offer an intimate, contemporary feel, and are timeless. To create an elegant look, consider downscaling a crowded full bath to a comfortable half-bath; mix tile textures, sizes, colors, types (natural stone, ceramic, porcelain, glass) and embrace neutral colors and whites.
- Water is the enemy. Water and moisture are the greatest enemies of a bathroom. Make sure to adequately ventilate your bathroom to vent steam and humidity generated from showers. Add a window, if possible, and replace an old fan with a more powerful, quieter version. Replace traditional sheetrock with water-proof cement board and use tile and stone materials to further reduce the risk of water damaging wood.
- Create ample light. Out of all of the rooms in our homes, it’s in the bathroom where we take care of our grooming needs as well as life’s little medical emergencies. When remodeling, pay close attention to the lighting of your bathroom and if necessary, add more lighting options, especially around the vanity to reduce shadows and glaring.
- Make it safer. Slick surfaces in a bathroom pose a serious risk for falls. Shower stalls and bathtubs should be outfitted with slip-resistant finishes on floors, rubber mats, and grab bars. Consider rounded counter-top finishes versus corners with sharp edges. And keep electrical outlets away from water, such as bathtubs.
- Make it greener. Green is in and is here to stay. When remodeling your bathroom, consider using fixtures that save water, replace old windows with new energy efficient windows, and consider counter tops and flooring made from recycled materials, such as recycled glass mosaic tile. Natural stone products act as insulators — keeping cool in and hot out during the summer, and keeping your bathroom warmer longer during the winter.
The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the house. Easy updates will make sure it’s more enjoyable for both you and your guests. These projects do not need to be completed all at once; in fact if you take it slow and upgrade little by little the room will come together exactly how you want it. The great thing about Handyman Matters is that there is no job too small or too big for our craftsmen. Don’t hesitate to call the professionals today, click here to find a location near you!