Let’s answer the question first. Can a bathtub increase income home value? The most accurate answer is yes, it can—but it depends on the circumstances.
Real estate experts have long realized that most prospective home buyers want at least one bathtub in the home. This is especially true for families with small kids. The bathtub is just too useful. So, if you’re adding a bathtub to the bathroom because the house doesn’t have a bathtub yet, then you’re making the home look more attractive—and therefore more valuable.
But you have to keep in the principle of diminishing returns. One bathtub may be great. But 5 bathtubs in the home may not be all that great. Just because you spend more money on remodeling doesn’t mean you get the same level of returns.
The Overall Popularity of Bathroom Remodels and Renovations
Remodeling the bathroom has always been among the more popular home projects for homeowners through the years. That has been even truer these days in the Covid era.
American households actually spent 50% more on home projects in 2020, compared to how much they spent in 2019. That was undoubtedly due to the forced lockdowns. People spent a lot more time at home, and it’s natural for them to think about ways of making their house feel more comfortable. That’s why average Americans spent $13,000 on home projects in 2020.
About ⅓ of these home projects went towards maintenance or emergency fixes. Fully ⅔ of the projects were about renovations. About 30% of these renovations focused on upgrading the bathroom, making the bathroom remodel the 2nd most popular home project in 2020.
In case you were wondering, simply repainting the walls was the top project. That’s hard to beat—it’s comparatively cheap, and it adds a lot more to the home value compared to the cost involved.
Costs of Bathroom Remodeling
Even before the forced lockdowns, people have always thought about renovating their bathrooms to make the home look more opulent and more comfortable as well.
After all, we visit the bathroom several times each day. In several cases, we spend quite a bit of time in it, such as when we’re taking a shower or a relaxing bath, or sitting on the toilet.
So, how much will the bathroom remodel cost? Again, it depends on how much you want done and the quality of the work.
Most people only do low-range changes. That’s why the US average cost for bathroom remodels is about $9,000. Just keep in mind, however, that the real cost can vary widely.
A mid-range bathroom remodel, however, can average at about $21,000. For upscale bathroom remodeling, you better have some serious money saved up—the average cost is about $67,000.
Specific Upgrade Costs
It really depends on what changes you’re getting for the bathroom:
It’s true that some types of high-tech features can really add to the home value, and touchless faucets are excellent examples of this. It’s been known that germs can spread when you touch something that an infected person has touched before you. And the bathroom is perhaps the area in the home with the most germs, for obvious reasons.
Because of Covid, today more people are conscious about the importance of proper hand-washing. What’s more, they also recognize the risk of touching various surfaces, such as faucet knobs.
These touchless faucets can cost anywhere from $125 to $500, but they’re really worth the money in terms of reducing the risk of spreading the germs. These faucets are also more water and energy-efficient than regular faucets, so you can recoup the cost with reduced utility bills. Plus, prospective buyers will also recognize the value of these touchless faucets.
Increasing the Shower Size
This is also popular, as is replacing a bathtub with a standing shower (as long as you have one bathroom with a bathtub, that is). The price range varies widely, from $250 all the way up to $9,000.
These can include:
- Changing the bathroom cabinets
- Enhancing the light fixtures
- Replacing the wall textures
All of these upgrades can cost ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Bathroom Remodel ROI
True, renovating an outdated (or even a dilapidated) bathroom can add a lot more value to the home. Just keep in mind that the added value will depend on what kind of upgrade you had done. In general, however, it’s normal to get maybe a 10% increase in the value of the home.
Do remember that you most likely won’t recoup your total expenses when it’s time for you to sell the house. That’s not likely to happen, especially with more expensive projects.
For example, what if you do a full mid-range bathroom renovation? That will cost an average of about $21,000. But that will only add an average of $14,000 to the total value of the home. You’re getting only 67% of your money back. Basically, you’ve paid $7,000 to enjoy that enhanced bathroom.
It’s even worse with a full upscale bathroom remodel. That can cost you an average of $67,000. But you only get an additional $38,000 to the new value of the house. You’re getting only 57% of your money back.
But ROI and value aren’t the only factors at work here. You still have to live in your home, and it’s best if you enjoy spending time where you actually live. If the new upgrades make you feel a lot better and more comfortable, then the upgrades may well be worth the cost.
Top Recommended Bathroom Fix
You should, of course, change the bathroom in a way that you’d enjoy. But if you’re looking to sell the house in the near future, you might want to add a bit more color to the bathroom. This won’t cost a lot of money, and at the same time it can enhance the value of the home in surprising ways.
Real estate experts realized this when they noted in 2017 that somehow, homes with blue bathrooms sold an average of $5,400 more than the price they were expecting!
General Principles of Home Renovations for Greater Value
If you’re looking to renovate your home, then stick to these top 5 principles”
1. Make the Home Look Better
This starts with how the house looks from the street. This is known as the home’s curb appeal, and it’s your way of making a good first impression on prospective buyers.
The house should look good enough on the outside for people to want to go inside. That means fixing the house exteriors. Also, keep the yard well-maintained.
Once people are inside, they tend to focus on the kitchen and bathroom. The overall value of the home tends to go down if these two sections are outdated.
2. Repair What Needs to be Fixed
People worry about high maintenance costs. This is why upgrades such as installing a swimming pool or extensive landscaping. These will cost a lot to maintain.
That’s also why you should repair major home components before you put up the house for sale. Fix the roof, the water heater, and the furnace. If they’re damaged, then prospective buyers will worry about expensive repairs in the future, thereby lowering the value of the home.
You can also replace wood siding (which require more maintenance) with vinyl siding. It may also be better to replace easily-stained carpets with hardwood flooring.
3. Greater Efficiency
Go with upgrades that can lower utility bills. When your home has features that are water and energy-efficient, people tend to be more impressed. You can add the following enhancements:
- Efficient appliances
- Enhanced attic insulation
- Double-paned windows
4. Make the Home Bigger
Obviously, square footage will influence the home value. Adding a room (especially a 3rd bedroom) can significantly add more value to the house. That 3rd bedroom addition can boost prices by an average of $20,000.
5. Smart Tech
Put in smart devices, if you can. These things may not add a lot of value, but it sure boosts the appeal of the home. Also, plenty of techies like them.
Check our latest guide about: How To Stop Bathtub Overflow Drain? Here are the Facts!
Also, read the related guide: How to Support a Fiberglass Bathtub?: Dos and Don’ts.
If you’re doing any type of home renovation, you have to balance several factors: the cost of the upgrades, the long-term value of the home, and the personal benefits you enjoy.
With these factors in mind, it’s easy enough to understand why bathroom renovations are so popular, with or without a pandemic going on. Bathroom remodels aren’t really cheap, but they’re not as costly as renovating the kitchen. Kitchen remodel costs generally range from $5,000 all the way up to $45,000.
The type of bathroom upgrade you do can boost the value of the home, and it can also increase your comfort and enjoyment. With the right bathroom upgrade, everyone wins.