Your guide to kitchen and bathroom remodeling
Here’s what you need know!
The hardest part of any journey is getting started. Many homeowners want to remodel their kitchen or bathroom, but just never get around to it. They don’t know how much to budget, who to talk to, or—most importantly—if completing such a remodel is even worth it.
This article will answer all three of these questions. In doing so, we’ll walk you through the best ways you can maximize the return-on-investment (ROI) of your kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. We’ll also discuss why it’s important to bring the right professionals in to work on your project, and how to go about finding them.
In the world of home remodeling, kitchen remodels are still king. American homeowners love upgraded kitchens. In fact, many homebuyers now have come to expect and demand them when shopping for homes. If it has been decades since your kitchen was last upgraded, it’s time to bring it into the present. Due to their universal popularity and high demand, kitchen remodels net U.S. homeowners an average ROI of 80%.
Let’s maximize your return and beat that average. Here’s what to focus on:
New countertops and cabinets
Countertops and cabinets are the two most important elements of any successful kitchen remodel. They are, to speak plainly, what makes a kitchen remodel a kitchen remodel in the eyes of many realtors and buyers. Invest in new stone (quartz or granite) countertops and real-wood cabinets. They won’t come cheap (approximately 50% of your overall kitchen remodeling budget will be spent here!) but the results are worth it. If you want to save money without sacrificing quality, talk to your remodeling contractor and see if there are any special deals they can find you.
Low-cost, high-impact upgrades
With a majority of your remodeling budget going toward your new cabinets and countertops, you need to stretch your remaining dollars as far as they’ll go. Throughout the kitchen, there are places where you can make impactful changes without spending a ton of cash. This includes selecting handles and fixtures, adding new lighting, repainting the walls, and installing a backsplash that matches your new kitchen.
So far, we’ve reviewed aesthetic changes to the kitchen. However, a kitchen remodel isn’t just about what a kitchen looks like—it also includes how it functions. Adding a whole-home water filtration system, for instance, can ensure that all the water from the sink or fridge tastes great. Talk to a local plumber in your area about your options and what might work best in your home and within your budget.
See the full impact of a kitchen remodel!
In the video below, this homeowner transforms their 80s-style kitchen into a modern space. See how they did it!
Does your home’s master bathroom look like it was last updated in 1977? If so, it’s time for a design refresh. The master bathroom is one of the best candidates for a remodel: on average, this project leads to a 70% ROI for homeowners. To beat that average and get an even better ROI, you need to focus on three things:
Upgrades, but not structural changes
As with any other room of your home, remodeling costs tend to escalate whenever walls need to be moved or the layout gets changed. After all, in a bathroom, that may necessitate moving electrical wiring and plumbing, which means calling in a professional. Before you plan on adding that extra 20 square feet of space to your master bathroom, ask yourself: is this really worth it? In most cases, the answer is no.
Practicality, not luxury
If you’re planning on owning your home for the next 20-30 years and you’re just looking to make changes you’ll enjoy, then a jacuzzi tub might be a good purchase. If, however, you’re concerned about the long-term value of your property, skip it and put the money into improving the shower instead. A greater percentage of buyers are going to appreciate and use a modern shower over a luxurious tub.
As is the case in the kitchen, you don’t want to try cutting corners by buying bargain bin materials for your shower, bathroom vanity, floors, and more. Low-quality, poorly crafted materials and components never last, and can end up leading to a lot of rework—and added costs—later.
Bring in the right professionals
Even if you’re relatively handy and have some remodeling experience, you’re not going to be able to complete every part of your remodel by yourself. It just makes sense to bring in experienced professionals to help with certain parts of the project, either due to the high risk involved (electrical installation), their complexity (plumbing installation), or the tediousness of installation (laying tile).
Depending on the scope of your project and what’s involved, you may need to hire:
Look for licensed plumbers who have experience with kitchen and bathroom remodels or—even better—the specific job you’re looking to have them complete. If you need a shower sloped, you want a seasoned professional who has done it dozens of times before.
As with plumbers, you only want to hire licensed and trained electricians. Always ask about their insurance coverage. Electrical work can be dangerous and risky: you want to make sure you and your home are covered if a mistake gets made!
Look at online reviews and get references prior to hiring anyone to work on your kitchen or bathroom project. An experienced remodeling contractor should have years of projects and happy customers to share with you. If they don’t, or are wary about sharing their past projects, be careful.
Outside of looking at online reviews and ratings, you should also talk to your family, friends, and neighbors and ask them for their recommendations. Most high-quality local contractors and companies get their business from in-person referrals, and it’s a great way to ensure you’re hiring someone who has done great work in the past.
Get your project off to a great start
A full-scale kitchen or bathroom remodel might seem overwhelming complex at the beginning, but the hardest part is just taking the plunge and getting started. So many homeowners put off their kitchen or bathroom remodels for years, thinking that they’ll do it “eventually.” Make your “eventually” today. Talk to a remodeling contractor in your area to get a scope of work and some estimates.
Want to learn more about kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and how to complete either project successfully? Take a look at our new infographic!