Cost vs Value: Should you renovate your bathroom this year?

The 2020 Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling Magazine is out and the numbers are in for bathroom remodels—an upscale bathroom renovation in Boston could offer a return on investment of as much as 67%. This number, which compares the cost of the renovation with the value it adds to the resale of your home, is often what keeps homeowners up at night. Will it be worth it? Is our money spent better elsewhere? Should we do it now or wait?

The “should we or shouldn’t we” question is one we get a lot at JM Construction, and the answer is less about recouping the 67 cents per dollar of construction cost than you might think. While Remodeling Magazine‘s annual Cost vs Value Report is a great way to decide which improvements are worth the investment, it’s only a starting point. It doesn’t take into consideration how long you intend to live in your home, what repairs are necessary to avoid future headaches, or how much better your life could be if you could take a long soak in a big freestanding tub whenever you feel like it.

If you’re considering remodeling a bathroom in your home, ask yourself these four questions.

Is the bathroom in good “health”?

Bathrooms are notorious for moisture damage, leaks, and squeaks, especially on upper floors. If plumbing repairs are on the menu, a bathroom remodel could save you some headaches in the long run. Instead of working around old vanities and replacing hard-to-find shower tile, you could demo the bathroom, start from scratch, and get the bathroom you always wanted—while fixing the internal strife at the same time.

Is it in your budget?

According to the Cost Vs. Value Report, upscale bathroom remodels in Boston cost $82,000 on average. While you may recoup as much as $42,000 upon resale, the amount of your return will depend on what you spend your money on and when (or if) you intend to sell. Don’t overestimate your good taste—or underestimate how much the investment can increase how much you value a beautiful bathroom.

What is your current bathroom missing?

Outside of tacky aesthetics, outdated bathrooms typically feature smaller toilets, inadequate storage, dim lighting, and cramped spaces. Some of these things are easy to solve—replacing the toilet and changing out light fixtures is a great start—but some may require opening up walls, switching out vanities, and more. To get to your biggest beef with your current bath, finish this question with your wishlist: “Wouldn’t it be great if this bathroom had…?” And then start peeling back what’s possible, affordable, and totally worth it.

How long will you be able to enjoy it?

Remember, “value” can be a pretty relative term. Too many people wait to remodel their bathrooms until right before they put their homes on the market. Why not remodel now and actually enjoy it for a bit before someone else gets all the good stuff?

That way you can recoup the financial value and the personal one when it comes time to sell.

Is this the year your bathroom or your kitchen gets a facelift? Request a project consult to get the conversation started.© 2020 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

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