Selling Bathroom Remodels? Talk to Homeowners About These 3 Important Aspects
Bathroom renovations make homes more modern, but the return on this investment is lower compared to other home remodeling projects. The average amount recouped from a mid-range bathroom project (those costing around $16,000) upon selling is 70 percent of total costs, according to Remodeling magazine. Kitchen remodeling projects recoup about 80 percent of costs, as do siding and windows replacements.
Contractors can do themselves and their clients a favor by helping them decide on the particulars of their projects to maximize ROI and aesthetic value. Homeowners are more likely to close deals with contractors looking out for their best interests versus one simply looking to make a profit.
The Money Conversation
Most homeowners already have a budget in mind for their bathroom renovation. This is where a contractor's expertise can win the trust of prospective clients.
The National Kitchen and Bathroom Association recommends bathroom renovations cost between 5 and 10 percent of the home's total value. The bill not only includes materials and labor, but back-end expenses like supplies, legal services and secretaries. Thus, homeowners should feel comfortable and confident paying $25,000 for a bathroom remodel in a $250,000 home.
If another contractor is offering to do the same job for far less, emphasize to the prospective clients that they will ultimately get what they pay for. When contractors lower final costs simply to close deals, they are cutting costs elsewhere to make up the difference. Always provide detailed, itemized estimates, so prospects can compare your market-value offer to bargain-basement options.
Some ambitious homeowners may envision moving the toilet where the tub once was and adding a second sink for a his-and-hers effect. But unless they have an unlimited budget, it's not a good idea.
Janice Costa of Kitchen & Bath Design News told HGTV that the quickest way to make final costs skyrocket is relocating the plumbing. A new sink in a different location means a new hot water pipe must be added. A new toilet waste pipe can add upward of $1,500 or more to the final bill. Moving the vent stack—which regulates air pressure in the drainage system for multiple-story homes—could add up to $10,000 to the final bill. Keep the existing plumbing to keep costs down.
Since most bathroom remodeling projects require ripping into the floor, new tile is inevitably going to be part of the job. Safety-conscious homeowners—particularly those with elderly family members—will want flooring that looks good and mitigates injury risk.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 85,000 bathroom slips and falls resulting in hospitalization every year. Tiles with textured surfaces and matte finishes are best to prevent these types of injuries. Smaller tiles with more grout lines are also recommended.
A common theme for master bathrooms these days is removing the tub altogether in favor of a spa. Of course, there are caveats when it comes to installing an indoor hot tub—for starters, they are large and difficult to get indoors, and many must be installed on a ground floor due to their weight. In addition, there could be problems with humidity levels when the spa cover is removed and floor damage if the unit leaks, according to Hot Tub Works.
When choosing faucets and fixtures, the quality comes down to the material they're made of. Brass is the most expensive but also the most durable, particularly in homes with hard water. Zinc-alloy faucets will corrode eventually and need replacing. Chrome-plated faucets are durable but require a lot of maintenance to maintain their shine. Avoid faucets with plastic cores altogether.
Homeowners know contractors need to make a profit. But the more information you give them upfront, the more they'll entrust you to do the job.
Guest Blogger: Brian Wilkins is an Arizona State University journalism grad who has worked as a radio broadcaster and banking industry professional. He is an independent journalist, blogger and small business owner who loves life. He lives off-the-grid and has not owned a TV in more than six years.