Angie's List: 2011 is the year of bathroom remodeling

Kitchen remodeling is still the top home improvement project. But one publication says 2011 is the year of bathroom remodeling.

For one, it is a lot cheaper to redo a bathroom than a kitchen. It is also great way to add value to your home without spending a ton of money.

However, f you are planning to move soon, remodeling your bathroom may not be a smart investment.

“Bathrooms are a great investment in your home if you are planning on living in your house for a few years,” Angie Hicks said. “You can usually get about an 80 percent return on your investment, but it comes down to doing quality work."

According to repairhome.com, bathroom remodels typically run between $5,000 and $30,000.

$8,000 is considered a reasonable price to remodel a full size bathroom.

"You want a bathroom that's going to look good ten years down the road. Invest in quality. Don't skimp on your fixtures, for example, because this is a highly utilized area and you want things that are going to hold up. If you are trying to do your bathroom on a budget, consider just choosing a couple of elements of the bathroom to remodel. Maybe you keep the floor, but change out the sink in order to meet your budget,” Angie said.

In older homes, you may end up spending a little more because of the age of the pipes and electrical work.

"Especially in older homes they should always replace any plumbing that's exposed during the progress and also upgrade the electrical and the ventilation,” Gene Snodgrass, a remodeling contractor, said.

While you may be tempted to do the work yourself to save money, bathroom remodeling can be tricky and time consuming.

"When you're thinking about a bathroom remodel and talking to contractors you want to find someone who is going to stay within your budget. I think a lot of us are very conscious about how much we are going to spend so you want someone who is not going to end up exceeding your budget or stretching your budget. Also, because it's a bathroom we are talking about a lot of electrical and plumbing work. Be sure that the contractors or the subcontractors doing that type of work are properly licensed,” Angie said.

You should never hire on price alone, and you should have at least three apples-to-apples bids to compare before you hire. If one of them is extremely higher or lower than the others, you have to question why that is.


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