The bathroom may not be the most visible room in the house, but it can certainly add the most value. Refinishing a bathroom can be as expensive or as budget friendly as the homeowner wants. In the end, you can have a tranquil, aesthetically pleasing retreat that can add some serious value to the home.
Ventilate!Experts cannot emphasize enough how important this is in a bathroom. With steamy showers sometimes happening multiple times per day, not having proper ventilation can lead to some serious mold problems. Installing a vent fan that is of proper size for the square footage of the bathroom will ensure that any remodeling work won't be ruined by mold and mildew. The general rule of thumb is one CFM per square footage for bathrooms that are 100 square feet or smaller.
Small Fixes Give the Greatest Financial ReturnDo not underestimate the power of aesthetic fixes; sometimes it's the smaller, inexpensive projects that yield the greatest return. Installing new faucet handles, shower heads, and cabinet hardware is affordable and easily done over the weekend. Just make sure to choose the same finish so the room maintains a cohesive, polished look.
Refinish vs ReplaceThe biggest costs come from two places: moving plumbing and replacing major items instead of refinishing them. A bathtub that is a little rough around the edges can sometimes be refinished and look brand new, but sometimes older tiling and grout around the tub can leak, leading to mold issues. Assess the function: if it's no longer functioning as it should, decide if it's beyond help or if a little TLC can save it. If the tile around the tub is beyond repair, it can be replaced with a liner quite easily and with relative low cost.
LightingDim lighting can make even the most luxurious bathroom seem unattractive. Functional lighting is important, too. If the house ever goes up for sale, a potential buyer will notice if there is no lighting above the mirror, making it difficult to apply makeup or shave. Sconce lighting at eye level removes annoying shadows while bright lights can make a tiny bathroom seem roomier.
Know When to Call the ExpertsHomeowners embarking on DIY projects need to be completely honest about their skills. Can you feasibly re-tile a bathroom or install a toilet? If the skill level isn't there, it's possible you can cause some pretty expensive damage. If the project requires the skill of a professional, abandon pride and seek the help of a professional. In the long run, it could save big bucks.
Remodeling a bathroom shouldn't be scary. Proper homework, good materials, and even the help of a more experienced friend or family member can make all the difference.
Image by Cathy T and licensed through Creative Commons.