Bathroom rehabs are one of my favorite parts of remodeling a home. When I walk into the bathroom in a distressed property, I never know what level of destruction I’m going to find. I’ve seen mold, tubs that were completely demolished, toilets in disrepair, and everything else you can imagine. However, the transformation I am able to make in a bathroom is one of the most rewarding parts of my job, and I always look forward to it.
Before I begin remodeling a bathroom, I take several things into consideration. This allows me to make the necessary renovations to increase the market value of the home without over-rehabbing or making mistakes that will prevent the house from selling.
WHAT’S YOUR BATHROOM BUDGET?
First of all, what is your budget for all of the home’s renovations? Is their major structural work that must happen before you consider remodeling anything else? Once you are aware of your budget for the entire project, and the necessary renovations you need to work on, then you can decide how much of your budget you can devote to the bathroom(s).
CAN YOU SALVAGE ANYTHING?
Get an idea of what you are working with before you start on the demolition. In many cases, you will have to gut the bathroom and start fresh, but someimtes you’ll find that the tile is in good condition or the mirror can be reused (or saved for another remodeling project).
Reusing materials that are still in good shape, is a great way to save money. Saving this money will allow you to splurge a little bit on details that can attract buyers, such as a claw-foot tub or a double-sink vanity. Don’t try to reuse anything that’s questionable, though. You certainly don’t want the bathroom to look like you skimped on renovations. This will make your buyers wonder if you cut corners somewhere else too.
WHAT KIND OF PLUMBING WORK DO YOU NEED?
Review the bathroom(s) with your contractor or project manager, and decide what kind of plumbing work you’ll need to have done to create the bathroom you have in mind. If you are planning on ripping out the floor and the walls are damaged, you will have to redo them anyways. If this is the case, you may as well look at any changes you need to make to the room’s plumbing. However, if the walls are in good shape and you’re not planning on redoing them, you may want to discuss other options to work with the current plumbing.
HOW MUCH SPACE DO YOU HAVE?
Before you begin installing a new tub, shower stall, and a large counter top for your vanity, I’d recommend that you make a few measurements to see how much space you have to work with. This is especially important in a master bath, as you’ll want to have a wide enough aisle between the vanity and tub for someone to easily walk behind the person brushing their teeth. If the space is cramped, this can be a turn-off for potential buyers.
Meet with your contractor or project manager to discuss your vision for the bathroom, and then listen to their advice. You don’t have to follow exactly what they say, but they may help you avoid issues that can crop up with cramped quarters or using old materials. Keep these things in mind so that you can rehab your bathrooms in style, and avoid extra costs or problems that will deter your buyers.