When it comes to the home remodeling projects that give the most bang for their buck, two rooms always come up first in conversation: Kitchens and bathrooms. But what if you only have the budget for one project right now, and you want to move on it right away? If you’re undergoing a bit of home remodeling in austin tx, you have a tough choice to make. Do you start your renovation project by ripping up your bathroom and replacing it with a state-of-the-art powder room, or by giving your kitchen an elegant refurbishing? While both projects tend to be expensive, they’re also great for homeowners who are looking to sell and get a great return on their investment. So the only question left is, where to start? Don’t worry: If you’re a homeowner who’s raring to go on a new home improvement project, here are some things to think about before you begin.
Bathrooms are Less Expensive
While both kitchens and bathrooms offer a substantial boost in terms of ROI and visuals, bathrooms tend to be just that much less expensive than kitchens. Not by a lot, but by enough of a margin to make them a slightly speedier job (and cheaper job) to undertake. While most kitchen remodeling jobs run from about $19,000 to $57,000, most bathrooms of equal size cost about $17,000 to $40,000, making them a significantly cheaper investment on the larger scale. Even if you’re just looking at that $2,000 difference on the lower end, it can be enough of an incentive to get you to invest in a bathroom before opting for the larger project of a kitchen remodel. With this in mind, however, it’s important to consider what you’re going to do for an alternative while your bathroom is undergoing major surgery. If you have another bathroom in the house and you’re living with a bunch of people, it’s going to make for a tight squeeze and rearranged schedules. On the other hand, if you only have one bathroom in the house, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a hotel or stay with friends while your bathroom is being redone. The cost of a hotel room could end up canceling out that $2,000 you saved earlier, so use your best judgment.
Kitchens Offer a Better ROI
When prospective buyers come to look at a house, they’re most likely to be impressed by a new kitchen and bathroom. New kitchens, however, are the thing to boost the resale price of your home considerably. Not only are kitchens often viewed as the center of the home, they’re the place where real estate agents will settle when they’re hosting an open house or trying to get people interested. The more beautiful the kitchen, the more negotiating power you’re likely to have. Most real estate professionals agree that kitchens are usually the selling point when it comes to making a good sale. While a newly redone bathroom is impressive, it’s not quite as crucial to the look and feel of a home as a newly decked-out kitchen where families can hang out and spend time together. That said, 42% of real estate pros believe that bathrooms are just as important to a sale, if not more important, than kitchens.
Bathrooms May Offer Complications
If you’re just looking at a new toilet, a few new fixtures, and brand new flooring and walls, your bathroom project could be ready in as few as 14 days. However, if you’re trying to change a bunch of things around, like turning your bathtub into a shower or moving your toilet to a different area of the room, you might be looking at extensive, and complicated, plumbing work. Because this stuff is less easy to predict, it might be harder to pin down an estimate as to when your bathroom will be in working order again, especially since plumbers need to take a look at your home’s inside to see what’s up. Spending two weeks without a bathroom is difficult enough: If the project runs into overtime, it could create a stressful situation.
Preference is Key
Most importantly, you need to work on what you care about the most. Whether you’re planning on selling or staying put, you should choose the project that you’re the most passionate about rather than being led solely by market trends. If you love the idea of a brand new kitchen, that’s what you should invest in. If you’re dying for a beautiful new bathroom, that should be your priority. If you and the other members of your family can’t agree, put it to a vote. Whatever you do, don’t spend your money on a project that you’re not absolutely, 100% passionate about.