Categories: Bathroom, Bathroom Remodeling, Home Remodeling

Remodel or Renovate? How to Know Which is Right for Your Bathroom Rehab

You have decided that your bathroom needs some attention. It happens, bathrooms see lots of wear and tear due to being a high traffic area and the fact that water usage is constant. Ready for a bathroom rehab? Whether you want to remodel or renovate your bathroom depends on what you want done and/or what needs to be done.

For one, what do you want to accomplish in a bathroom rehab? Clarify your needs before embarking on the project, it will save time and money. Second, can your budget withstand a renovation or a remodel? The two are different, with vastly different price tags. Which can your budget afford?

Next, how much time do you have for the bathroom project? They can get very involved, and leave you without the use of one bathroom for a while. Finally, and most importantly, will you be able to hire a qualified contractor with excellent references and an demonstrable work portfolio? This cannot be over-stressed. The reputable contractor will determine whether the project can even get underway.

Bathrooms rate second only to kitchens for high traffic. Any bathroom rehab budget will take that into consideration. Bathrooms can get beat up quickly over the course of a year or two (especially if you have kids) where other rooms can take up to ten years before they need a face-lift.

Remodel or Renovate? How to Know Which is Right for Your Bathroom Rehab

Remodel and renovate are often used interchangeably when discussing house rehabilitation. They do not, however, mean the same thing.

“Renovate” literally means to refresh or spruce up a room. Generally cosmetic in nature, renovations include painting, finishes, floor re-surfacing, some appliance replacements and window or door replacements. With a bathroom renovation you aren’t altering the room, you are updating and spiffing, making the space new again.

Renovation is often performed when the owner wishes to put the property on the market or is looking for a long term renter. Or maybe they just want a new paint color on the walls. Renovation rarely requires permitting of any kind, significantly less expensive that a full re-model.

Remodels, on the other hand, are a “studs-up” re-configuration of the footprint of a room or an entire home. Walls are moved, additions or wings added, structures shifted. To remodel literally means to “alter the structure of”, the cost of re-modeling often reflects that “ground-floor up” change. You are creating a new space starting with the floors and walls and moving on from there. Remodels involve design, permitting, code analysis and inspections, are more expensive than renovations.

When people remodel, they often plan to stay in the home for a significant amount of time. Remodeling is a way to re-design the house around the owners, personalizing their space.

What Are Your Bathroom Rehab Goals?

Are you interested in spiffing up the bathroom so you can put the house on the market in the near future? Or just have it look nicer? Do you love your home and the neighborhood and want a bathroom rehab to make the house even more enjoyable for you?

If you know what your end goals are in the bathroom rehab project, then you will know whether to remodel or renovate.

What Is Your Budget?

Budget is the other determining factor in choosing to renovate or remodel. A full-on bathroom remodel can cost anywhere from $8,000-$30,000, depending on a number of factors like project complexity and product selection. The legal process of a remodel is also expensive, getting permits and inspections costs money. Plumbing and electricity will be changed and shifted to accommodate the new construction.

A bathroom renovation can cost anywhere between $1,500-$5,000 depending on if your updating everything or just updating a few things like the paint and flooring. The renovation process is a great alternative for those who want a remodel but just can’t afford it. If the budget will not allow a full remodel at this time, go for a nice renovation and save money for the remodel.

Realize the Time Involved in Remodeling or Renovating

Time constraints can be the determining factor in whether you remodel or renovate your bathroom. With a remodel, the bathroom (and surrounding area) can be out of commission for up to two weeks. Not so much of a problem if there are other bathrooms in the house, but it gets old quickly. When you remodel, you will have a crew of work-people tromping in and out of the house for multiple days. Construction can be noisy at times, so be ready.

Renovating can be as quick as a few hours, or a few days. A coat of paint and a new sink are an eight-hour project or so. Whether you are remodeling or renovating, time considerations have to be budgeted.

Ensure That You Are Getting a Quality Contractor With an Excellent Reputation

Take the time to research and compare contractors in your area. Check their references and check the BBB in your region for comments about them. A $15,000 bathroom remodel can turn into a #40,000 nightmare if you haven’t used the right contractor.

You get what you pay for. Don’t be tempted by a quick low offer, take your time and get several offers. Simply knowing a guy who knows a guy who used to be a carpenter will not be the right approach for your bathroom rehab. A lot of factors go in to deciding on a bathroom remodel or renovation. Don’t rush this decision.

Your bathroom remodeling project will not only transform and enhance the private spaces in your home by improving functionality and aesthetics, but it will also add to the overall value of your home. Bathroom remodels are second only to kitchen remodels in return on investment for renovation dollars spent when it comes to improving resale price and increasing homeowner satisfaction.

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