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Budget-Wise Bath Remodel

When considering a bath remodel, one of the first items to consider is what you can afford. Think through your budgeting options carefully and decide whether it will come from savings or you will secure a loan. Consider whether a low interest loan is more in your financial interest than using your savings. It is always easier to take from savings than to replace.

A home equity loan may be a good option. Check with your tax preparer to assure you it is tax deductible. The possible benefits of low interest and tax savings may outweigh using savings.
Once you've decided what you can afford, and how you will finance your bath remodel be sure your remodeling budget includes an extra ten percent to cover the unknown factors which usually pop up during a bath remodel. Any money that is unused at the end, can either be used for little extra luxuries or be added to repay the loan or replenish your savings.

Review your reasons for a remodel

A bath remodel simply to make your bathing area more functional and pleasing for your family is an option if you are staying in your home long term, seven years or more. If you may be moving within five years either to upgrade or for other reasons, then budget-wise remodeling with investment in mind should definitely be your goal.

If you are upgrading a bath simply to make it more attractive to perspective buyers, do not overdo it. Make only changes that are necessary and budget-wise. Consider the value of neighboring homes. Investing too much in a remodel, and elevating the sales price too much above other homes in your neighborhood is not a good investment

Any well done bath remodel will increase the value and selling appeal of your home, but from a true investment standpoint it should be looked at differently. If resale value is the main reason for a bathroom remodel, each addition and change should be considered for universal appeal. For instance, in a main bath, while a shower only may work for your needs, a family with small children will likely need a bathtub. By eliminating a tub, you will narrow the market your home will attract as potential buyers.

This is true of surface choices and fixture colors as well. It is better to stay with neutrals.

Make a list of the items you want to replace or add in your remodeled bath, and do extensive comparison shopping for quality and pricing. Keep notes together in a folder of items viewed, their specifications, the price and where you found them until you are ready to decide and make purchases.
Decide how much of the work you can do yourself, and what you will need a professional to do either because you lack the time or skill. In terms of skill, it is often less expensive to hire out such things as electrical or plumbing, than bear the cost of mistakes if it is above your skill level. Be honest with yourself in assessing your skills.

Also be honest about the time it will take. A do-it-yourself project will take more time than if professionals did the job. The payoff is in the savings and satisfaction when your project is finished.

Once you are ready, list the items and supplies you will purchase, and check against your budget. Remember there are always things like hardware, screws, plumbing fittings, paint, grout etc. These smaller expenses add up. Keep all receipts in your folder, along with a sheet where you can tally as you go to make sure you are staying within budget. There may come a time when you will need to make some concessions to stay on track.

Good planning of each step in your bath remodel is essential. You need to plan, financing, how much you will spend, and what you will spend it on, what professional labor will cost. You also need to walk through the remodel mentally step by step to avoid mistakes that require backtracking or doing things over. Good planning is the best budget tip I can offer.


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