Bathroom or Kitchen? Prioritizing Remodels
Whether you want to upgrade the home you’re in or are planning to sell and want to get the most bang for your buck, remodeling is a great and exciting way to go. Since most living rooms and bedrooms tend to be relatively simple and easily spruced up with some paint and decorations, kitchens and bathrooms are the main focus of remodeling projects.
Are you planning to do only one or the other, or do you want to do both of them? Either way, you have to decide which you want to remodel first. It is possible to remodel both at the same time, but not recommended unless you have an extra kitchen and bathroom or another place to stay during the projects.
So, how do you decide which room to remodel first? Here are some factors to take into consideration.
Cost. The cost of a remodel is a huge factor for most homeowners. When buying a house, it’s easy to see the potential, but after moving in and better understanding how much effort and money it would take to make that potential a reality, it’s no wonder that many homeowners say, “We intended to do [any given project], but…”.
Project speed. Kitchen remodels can take a very long time. With the right company and depending on the scope of the project, a bathroom remodel can be completed in just a few days. If you’re deciding which to do based on which project will take less time, your best bet is to go with the bathroom. According to Tom Silva from This Old House, kitchen remodels will take a minimum of one month.
Complexity of the project. Remodeling projects can vary greatly, not just by room but based on what you want to actually do. If you’re just planning to paint and install some new cabinetry, it likely won’t be too complex. If you want to move plumbing around, though, and rearrange where everything sits as well as install new flooring and maybe expand the room or knock down a wall, things get more complicated.
Pay off. Even if you’re not planning to sell, knowing what kind of return you’ll get on your remodeling investment is important and can help you decide which project you’ll do or which project you’ll do first.
The national average cost of remodeling a bathroom is between $5,000 and $14,000. The national average cost of remodeling a kitchen, on the other hand, is between $12,000 and $34,000. The cost of remodeling a bathroom is roughly half the cost of remodeling a kitchen. The price, of course, can vary depending on how much of the remodel you choose to do yourself (if you have the time and know-how) and what kind of materials you want to use, but if money is an issue, then remodeling the bathroom is the better option.
The more complex and intricate your project is, you’ll likely need to get permits and work with the city to make sure you’re in compliance with ordinances and regulations. Although bathrooms can get complex too, it’s typically kitchens that need the major rearrangements – it may be better to start with the less complex project, giving yourself more time to plan for the more major one.
Both kitchen and bathroom remodels are a great way to increase the value of your home. According to an HGTV article, a Baltimore bathroom remodel in 2004, costing $9,400, recouped 182% of the homeowner’s cost when the house resold. In San Diego, a minor kitchen remodel costing $15,273 returned 100% of the homeowner’s investment. Both bring a lot of value, but depending on your location and market, you may get more bang for your buck by remodeling the bathroom.
It’s likely that no matter which room you choose to do (or which you choose to do first) you’ll receive a return on your investment or be happy with the newly updated space you have. It’s important to consider, though, which one would be better in the long run.