Bathrooms are very important to homebuyers. And for good reason. The bathroom is, in most homes, the most trafficked room of all, even it is not always the most glamorous.
It’s for this reason that a Waterloo Region homeowner may be advised to remodel their bathroom prior to putting the home on the market, as a bathroom really can make or break a sale.
Not all bathroom remodels cost a fortune and if a bathroom is in less than great shape making it over can offer great ROI at sale time. That is only true, however, if the project is undertaken in the right way.
Does Your Bathroom Really Need a Makeover?
Before we get into the don't's of remodeling or refreshing a bathroom in a home that's about to hit the market, it's important to note that before you do anything else, you should determine whether or not you really need to make that many changes.
If your bathroom hasn’t been updated at all since 1978, it may be time to replace everything, from the pea-green countertops to the dingy bathtub. However, if the bathroom was given a facelift in the last 15 years or so, you may be able to get away with just a few cosmetic improvements, rather than a major renovation.
One of the best people to ask for an opinion is your local real estate agent. They, usually more than even design pros, know exactly what home buyers in your area are looking for RIGHT NOW. If certain things about bathrooms are proving popular, or appearing on a lot of buyer's want lists, and yours lacks them, or features something buyers seem to really dislike, it may indeed offer great ROI to make some sensible changes.
What NOT to Do When Remodeling a Bathroom
If you decide that your bathroom does need some work before it makes its debut on the Waterloo Region market, here are five very common mistakes homeowners make when renovating a bathroom that should be avoided:
Getting the Spacing Wrong
A lack of spacial awareness when remodeling a bathroom can lead to problems down the road. Just because something technically fits does not mean it will actually be functional.
For example, if you choose to add doors to a shower that was previously open, it can make a big positive impact in terms of aesthetic appeal and practicality when the shower is in use. However, if there is no space for the doors to open properly, all of that is lost.
That is just one example of the important special considerations that need to go into bathroom design, though. Others include providing enough space to comfortably get on and off the toilet, open cabinet doors, ensuring outlets are easily accessible from the bathroom counter and that little details, like ensuring that the toilet paper is within a child’s arm’s reach of the toilet, are taken care of as well.
Opting for Cheap Materials
Because the fixtures and fittings in the bathroom are exposed to greater moisture than any others in a home, and tend to be exposed to harsher cleaners as well, they need to be as durable as possible. Opting for cheaper materials may save money in the short term, but substandard materials are likely to deteriorate much faster.
While this may not really matter to a home seller (they are leaving anyway) savvy homebuyers will notice cheap or shoddy fixtures and, as few homeowners want to begin their lives in their new home dealing with remodels and renovations, such things are likely to put them off.
Ignoring Storage Space
No one has ever, to our knowledge, ever complained about having too much storage space in their bathroom. But they certainly get upset and frustrated when there is not enough.
Keep this in mind when redoing your bathroom and add extra storage wherever you can, as it really will add to the sales potential of your home. Floating shelves on the walls, a bathroom cabinet organizer, extra storage built into the bathroom/shower area are all relatively inexpensive tweaks, but they will very likely pay for themselves when selling your home.
Overlooking the Importance of Great Ventilation
Ventilation isn’t a glamorous part of a bathroom renovation, but it is essential. Failing to work in enough ventilation can lead to mould, mildew and other costly problems in the future. And potential home buyers will be well aware of that.
Ideally, bathroom ventilation should come from a mix of natural and artificial sources. A nice big window can go a long way, but it won’t be very helpful during cold winter months, when a homeowner can’t open it for fear of freezing! Make sure to install a quality ventilation fan that can handle the size of the bathroom.
Leaving the Lighting Until Last
Many people think of lighting as a finishing touch to a remodeling or renovation project of any kind. However, while lighting is often installed later in the process, you should plan your lighting fixtures at the beginning of the renovation.
Bathrooms are often where people get ready for the day, which is why lighting is essential. Recessed lighting can create shadows on your face in the mirror, and the last thing you want when trying to sell a bathroom is unflattering lighting.
When drawing up your plans, consider what type of lighting will best accommodate your space and room design. Making adjustments in the planning stages will be much easier than making them at the end of a project.