Considering a Bathroom Remodel? Here’s What You Need to Know.

Did you know homeowners in the United States spend more than $400 million dollars a year remodeling their homes? And with a growing interest in taking those renovations beyond just cosmetic updates and focusing on energy-efficient products, healthy homes, and “smart home” technologies, more and more homeowners are making the decision to stay in their homes and renovating vs. buying new. This, combined with the aging Baby Boomer population—who often have the resources to afford major renovations—increased spending on home improvements and repairs is on the rise. As home values increase, growing home equity provides owners both the incentive and the means to finance home renovation projects. 

All this information shows that the remodeling industry will retain a critical role in helping the nation meet its housing needs in the coming years. This is bolstered by the statistics that show DIY projects are steadily declining. Among owners reporting improvements, the share of spending on DIY projects fell steadily from 25 percent in 1997 to 22 percent in 2007 to just 18 percent in 2017. Again, the aging of the US population explains at least part of this long-term decline, given that older owners are much less likely than younger owners to be do-it-yourselfers.  

How Much Does Remodeling Your Bathroom Really Cost?

Looking specifically at bathroom remodels, in 1995 U.S. homeowners spend about $7 billion dollars on bathroom remodels, which was about 5% of the total expenditure of all renovation projects. In 2017, that number more than doubled with homeowners spending $18 billion on bathroom updates. 

Last year, homeowners paid $7,000 on average and $16,000 on the high end to remodel their bathroom according to the 2018 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. Some 2019 reports say that average currently is closer to $10,000 for a minor bathroom remodel, while a major bathroom remodel can cost more than $25,000. While the expenditure can be a big one, a bathroom remodel can increase your home’s value by more than 60 percent, and according to the 2019 Cost vs. Value report, and that percentage is on the rise. 

How To Pay For It

How you finance your bathroom renovation project is just as important as choosing bathroom cabinets, countertops, and flooring. So while cash is always the best option, there are a few “better than most” financing options you can use if your savings doesn’t quite cover the cost of your dream bathroom remodel. While cash is always the best way to go, if you are a little short, but have more than 25% or more home equity, consider borrowing off your home with a Home Equity Line of Credit or a Home Equity Loan. You can also look at a zero percent credit card which also gives you the option to only draw against what you need, or take out a personal loan to finance your home renovation project. 

Design, Planning & Timelines

Now that you have decided to commit to a bathroom remodel project, where do you start? So many things to consider such as the right professional, design options that reflect current 2019 bathroom design trendsbut are also timelessmanaging your budget, and the timeline.

It’s important to understand the timeline and then plan for how your bathroom remodel will fit in with your life. These are not always simple projects, especially if plumbing is involved or a bathtub is being removed for example. Plan potentially for 4-6 weeks for a smaller bathroom and 9-12 weeks for a larger project. The reality is planning is everything! It will prevent you from discovering something about your bathroom after the project has begun, documents exact specs and measurements, outlines anticipated costs, confirms materials, and manages timeline expectations. 

When it comes to the planning and design phases, be sure to create a bathroom workbook of ideas that includes must-haves and things you’d like to avoid. You may also want to consider incorporating some sustainable items into your bathroom remodel, so add those items to your workbook as well. With design, be sure to evaluate the overall style of your home. Will a modern design in the bath work when the rest of your home is more traditional? Possibly, just be sure to understand how to combine the two styles. A workbook is a tool you can use to help your professional understand exactly your vision for the project, and keep things on time and on budget. It’s also the perfect place to track all your design choices, from bathroom flooring, to bathroom cabinets and vanities, paint, and tile selections. Remember to consider that your bathroom takes a beating on a regular basis. Heavy moisture, foot traffic, dirt and mess, are all constants in this room, so you’ll want to make sure you choose materials designed specifically for the bathroom.