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Bathroom Renovation-The Second Most Valuable Area

Most people today love bathrooms. Just check out the models at any new home tract. You'll see spacious baths, especially off the master bedroom. Indeed, the bathrooms of today often are bigger than the bedrooms of yesterday!

After a kitchen, the next best place to spend money on a renovation usually is the bathroom. If your home comes with a dingy little bathroom and you're able to expand its size (as well as put in new fixtures), you might actually get more than dollar-for-dollar on your costs. Of course, it depends on how you're able to expand it. Adding onto your house is very expensive and seldom, if ever, can you get all your costs back. On the other hand, if you're clever and expand the bathrooms by cannibalizing a part of another bedroom or closet or other storage space, it's a different story. Assuming no severe structural changes are necessary, expanding into other areas can be relatively inexpensive and can sometimes yield fabulous results.

Master Bathroom Do Over
Here's what you'll want to consider doing to a master bathroom:
- Expand the size.
- Put in double sinks.
- Put the toilet in a separate enclosed area.
- Have separate tub and shower.
- Add new lighting.
- Install new cabinets and tops.
- Use all new plumbing fixtures.
- As an added bonus, you might also want to expand the closet space in the master bedroom.

If you must hire all the work done the cost of expanding and fixing up a modern bathroom can easily be as much as renovating a kitchen. Usually prices, however, are a bit more moderate. Before rushing out to spend $30,000 on your bathroom, however, be sure to reconsider the guidelines we've suggested. Take into consideration the value of your house, its age, the real estate market, and of course what's normally been done in your neighborhood.

It's very hard to justify spending more than about 5 percent of your home's value on the bathroom. For a $500,000 house that's $25,000. On a $200,000 house, however, that's only $10,000. The less you spend, but the better it looks, the more you will have increased your equity in your home.

Of course if you can do all or part of it as a DIY project you can greatly lower the total completed cost. Even when you are buying the top end fixtures and materials the labor is always at least 50% of the total cost. With tile and plumbers the labor cost can greatly exceed the material cost.

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