Kitchens and bathrooms have a cult following. You can spend $24,000 on a good cedar fence, and no one will notice. But spend $24,000 on your kitchen or bath and everyone compliments you. These areas are important for a reason. Kitchens are about sustenance, about socializing with family and friends. Bathrooms are about taking care of our bodies. Kitchens and baths matter.
Between the two, which one should you remodel first? Often, a sale is looming, and you need to decide which will have the biggest impact on resale value. Alternatively, if you have an unexpected windfall or tax refund burning a hole in your pocket, you will want to know where to spend that money first.
For many of us, the opportunity to remodel a kitchen and a bath at the same time would be an ideal scenario. Unfortunately, many of us often find ourselves with time restrictions and budget constraints that make renovating both rooms concurrently nearly impossible to do. If you were faced with having to choose one room to remodel over the other, which would you pick first? The Kitchen or the Bath? Not sure? Consider the following to help you decide:
At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of bathroom renovation Melbourne.
Where or what is my house lacking?
First, there is no right or wrong answer. A great way to decide which room to remodel first is to assess what your home is lacking. What is the home missing? What’s not working in the home? By putting a priority on necessities versus desires, you can trim down your big to-do list and start with the room that has the biggest “deficiency.” If you love to entertain but have a small, closed-off kitchen area, you may choose to prioritize kitchen updates that allow you to shine as the best host in town—in this case, removing a kitchen wall to make it more open concept would be at the top of your list.
Where do I spend the most time?
All considerations being equal, it makes sense to spend your dollars based on where you spend your time. If you’re single or married with no kids, and your idea of a relaxing evening is ordering out and soaking in a bubble bath, a bathroom remodels may be the ideal renovation for you. However, if you love cooking and thrive on making gourmet meals for your family, then initially focus on the kitchen.
What do I need right away?
A bathroom may be a priority project for you because of necessity. If you are older and disabled, you may require added upgrades in order to make the room functional. For instance, if there is a shower/tub combo, you may require a walk-in shower that accommodates a wheelchair. Or grab bars may be necessary inside/outside the shower for help with balance.
While it may seem obvious, basic functionality should always be your priority while remodelling in Maryland. If you find your kitchen is cramped, that you never have enough counter space, or that you’re tired of accidentally slamming drawers with worn down drawer slides, your kitchen renovation should take precedence over your bathroom renovation. If, on the other hand, internal bathroom plumbing systems are perpetually breaking down, focus your time and money on a bathroom renovation.
One important point to make: just because a bathroom is usually smaller than a kitchen, doesn’t mean that the renovation will be any less involved. In addition to having cabinet/countertop, tiling, flooring and cabinets in common with kitchen, you’re also dealing with toilets, tubs, shower, shower door, mirrors, etc. So, in terms of remodelling, a bathroom can be just as elaborate as a kitchen.
What is my budget?
Another determining factor in considering whether to do a kitchen remodel or a bathroom remodel first is your planned level of investment. Working with a trusted design-build company to better align your remodelling goals with your budget can help determine which project should be tackled first.
When undertaking a project in the home, it is wise to ensure the updates will add to the home’s resale value. There are calculations that measure how much return on your certain investment updates will provide. When it comes to whether the bathroom or kitchen will max out that projection, experts generally regard kitchen remodels over bathrooms as more effective for home resale in terms of aesthetics and the fact that the kitchen is a more highly-trafficked area. Also, keep in mind that the kitchen is the room that most people see first when shopping for a new home.
While there are many variables that come into play, the facts lean towards prioritizing your kitchen renovation before a bathroom. However, each home and each family are unique. The great thing about home improvement projects is that they do not usually have to be done at once. By addressing any major issues first and then tackling the rooms one by one, you will get those renovations done in a very efficient way. Or it could turn out that doing both the kitchen and bathroom renovations simultaneously could afford economies of scale.
Keep in mind that cost is relative to value. So while you may spend less on a bathroom remodel, you’re also likely to recoup a much smaller return on it than you will on a kitchen remodel. Experts generally regard kitchen remodels as more effective for home resale than bathroom remodels since they greatly up the ambience and are the more highly trafficked area. Consumer Reports cites light kitchen remodels as returning a 3 to 7 per cent interest, whereas light bathroom remodels return 2 to 3 per cent interest.
Choosing Between a Kitchen or Bathroom Remodel
Trust your gut
When comparing a bathroom or a kitchen renovation, it can be very easy to look at the scope of the project and go with the lesser of the two first. Before you go ahead and use that methodology, ask yourself where you spend most of your time? The answer for most people is the living room or the kitchen. If you are someone who loves to whip up a meal for the family or friends and enjoys experimenting with new treats, then you will probably want to start with the kitchen. Basing your decision on what you will see more of every day is a great way to choose.
When it comes to any project, one of the most important factors will always be the budget. When choosing between the kitchen or the bathroom, there is a clear winner here. A kitchen renovation, done properly, will include appliance costs as well as the component of putting a kitchen together. A bathroom usually has fixtures that can remain and already has the infrastructure to start. If you are particularly concerned about value for money or your renovation budget bottom-line, then the bathroom is probably the best place to start your makeover with your learnings later applied to your kitchen renovation.
Return on investment
Whether you are starting to renovate because you need to update to a more modern style, or you are looking to add value for resale, most people want to see some form of return. Depending on your goals, you can choose either option. If you are looking for a stylish upgrade, then perhaps the bathroom is a great place to start. If you are looking to add to your resale value, then the kitchen will provide more bang for your buck. Kitchen renovations often require new appliances, benchtops and even flooring. So don’t take on this project unless you plan to see the return in years spent there or with a significant bump to your asking price. All of these elements are far more likely to add to your resale value.
One of the more straightforward ways to choose which room to start your renovation with is by deciding which room you can afford to go without for a while. Losing your kitchen for a few months may be bearable if you have a list of restaurants to try. Although if you only have one bathroom that might be a different story altogether. There are probably only so many times you can ask your neighbour for a shower in their bathroom, and it’s best you don’t find out what that number is. Planning a workaround for the disruptions that construction will cause is a great way to decide where to start and when to start.
On a national average,* minor mid-range kitchen remodels run about $19,000, and major remodels go for $57,000. Using the same set of data, minor mid-range bathroom remodels cost about $17,000. Major bathroom additions—this means adding 48 sq. feet of all-new space—cost about $40,000.
This is a close call since eating and bathing (plus all those other unmentionable bathroom-related activities) are equally important. If you had to do without one of these rooms for one month, you could live without the kitchen. You do have alternatives, such as restaurants, fast-food, delivery, or microwave, and hot plate. However, when the bathroom is gone, there are no alternatives. Even if the work contract called for a portable toilet—not likely in a mid-range kitchen or bath remodel—you would still need to find a way to bathe.
At a minimum, count on about 18 days for a mid-range bathroom remodel. For kitchens, Tom Silva of This Old House estimates that the “best-case scenario” is one month, with a more realistic time frame being 2 to 6 months.
Looking for bathroom renovation? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Best For Resale
The kitchen is the “heart of the home,” and it is also the heart of the home sale. It is no mistake that, after the exterior, the next picture on real estate websites is often the kitchen. Also, the kitchen is usually where the Realtor sets up camp during open houses. This means that the kitchen becomes the locus, the visual focal point, for buyers.
A Solid Gold Investment
Although kitchens typically cost more to remodel than bathrooms, they tend to yield a better return on investment – ending up paying for themselves over the long run. If you plan your home improvement project well and spend wisely – i.e., re-painting, upgrading to new appliances, refinishing surfaces, replacing hardware, updating lighting and adding a fresh design – you’ll get the most for your money while likely adding the optimal resale value to your home.
The “Love” Factor
What if you love your home and don’t have any plans to sell in the foreseeable future? If you ask yourself where in your house you and your family spend the majority of the time and which brings you the most pleasure, what would you say? For many of us, the answer is the kitchen/family area. If that’s true for you as well, the solution is clear: Renovate your kitchen.
But what if you’re one of those people who:
Thinks it’s heavenly to take luxurious soaks in a big bubble bath.
- Your idea of cooking is popping a frozen pizza into the microwave.
- The oven doubles as extra storage.
In this case, perhaps renovating your bath is the right way to go.
Keep a High Profile
In addition to thinking about how much time you spent in an area of the house, you also need to take into consideration what guests see upon entering your home. The room most people see first is the kitchen. Bathroom doors can always be shut, but kitchens are right out there in plain sight. Plus, most potential home buyers are very interested in the kitchen’s appearance when purchasing a property.
Keeping It Simple and Easy
Any renovation or remodel – no matter how big or small – brings a certain amount of disruption to your life. How much inconvenience are you willing to tolerate to achieve the beautiful results you want? Have you thought about which room you’d have the most trouble giving up for an extended period? Of course, you can easily set up a makeshift kitchen (hot plate/microwave/portable fridge) in your family or dining room. Still, if you only have one bathroom in your home, you’ll need to arrange another place to stay while the work is being completed.
If you don’t normally feel comfortable with that much chaos and life interruption, perhaps refacing is an excellent option for you. The advantages to kitchen/bath refacing include:
- Generally a 3-5 day turn-around on kitchen cabinets. Slightly less for bath cabinets
- Work coordinated by a single source – no need to hire multiple subcontractors
- Variety of design options available
- It’s green – fewer materials and minimal waste
- Option to keep or replace countertops or vanity tops
- Affordable and highly cost-effective
You spend more time in the bathroom than you think.
Nearly 66% of respondents to a 2016 survey reported spending 30-60 minutes per day in the bathroom. Whether it’s our phones or the lack of other private, four-walled rooms that have us holed up behind our bathroom doors is a matter of debate. What is clear is that the modern bathroom serves more functions than its name might suggest, and even a small bathroom makeover can have a significant impact on a home’s inhabitants.
Your new bathroom may cost less than a new kitchen.
While small price tags are never a guarantee with small space renovations, there are significant differences between kitchens and bathrooms that may reduce renovation costs. Most new homes have multiple bathrooms; while it might be a minor inconvenience to do without one of them, it can be a gift to your budget. Instead of hiring contractors, DIY-savvy homeowners can stretch their bathroom makeover over as many evenings and weekends as needed to complete the job without labour costs.
Small bathroom renovations could help sell your home.
You may hear that kitchen renovation is the key to selling your home, but that’s not always the case. What sells in Fresno may not sell in Flagstaff, and you might find that extra storage, and a shower renovation in the master bathroom is the key to selling in your local market. By taking the time to talk to local experts and your real estate agent before you list your home, you can make the upgrades that matter and ignore those that don’t.
The kitchen has greater visibility than your bathrooms.
With the popularity of open floor plans, the modern kitchen is a highly visible and communal part of our homes. Unless you have a unique floorplan indeed, you can expect visitors to see and spend time in your kitchen than your bathroom. With such an outsized influence on your home’s appearance, renovating your kitchen can also enhance the character of all its adjoining rooms.
Check out our range of Melbourne bathroom renovation here.
The kitchen is the heart of the home.
When your kitchen makes it difficult or unpleasant to prepare meals, you could say that your home is lacking a healthy heart. If you can’t comfortably and efficiently prepare meals, you’re more likely to skip the family table, trading it instead for a noisy restaurant or unhealthy fast food. Food storage and preparation are a kitchen’s primary purpose—if your kitchen design impedes that purpose, renovating it should be a top priority.
Renovating your home is a rewarding and interesting project to undertake. Bathrooms and kitchens are the go-to as they are two hotspots that most potential buyers or guests will see. Deciding where to start between the two can be tough. If you’re undecided, then take all these considerations into account and begin your process of elimination.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which remodelled room would best benefit you and your family. In the end, either renovation will greatly add to the value of your home. A good option is to bring in a 3rd party design-build company like Mosby with a high level of expertise that can help you create a master plan for all the projects you’re considering. This would prevent you from doing one remodelling project and only to realize you should have proceeded in a different way to accomplish your second project.