Opinion

Is That Bathroom Remodel Worth It?

We all want to customize our homes to suit our tastes, be it with curtains, paint color or wallpaper. But when that extends beyond décor into remodeling, it can become expensive. Bathroom renovations are the most common and, along with kitchens, among the priciest projects to take on.

Is it worth the money? A study by House Method, a website that provides guides and information for homeowners, examined the value of bathroom remodels to help answer the question. To put it simply: For a gut bathroom renovation, the answer is usually yes.

In 2022, the study reports, theaverage full bathroom remodel costs $26,574, for which homeowners can expect a return on investment upon resale of roughly 60 percent — about $15,944. In all 50 states, an average bathroom makeover increased a home’s resale value by more than enough to pay for the renovation.

Many factors contribute to the expected return on investment. The scope of the renovation is one: If you spend $2,000 to lay down new tile, your return may be only hundreds of dollars, while a full remodel will cost much more but put more money in your pocket when you sell.

So it may make sense to do more than less, especially if your bathroom is old. You could replace just the faucets, but it won’t add value if your mint green 1940s porcelain tiles make potential buyers want to rip the room down to the studs. (Of course, if you just moved in and completed a stylish renovation, your efforts may not increase your rate of return if you sell 30 years down the line.)

Then again, it’s not as simple as spending as much as you can afford. The other major contributor to return on investment, the study found, was geography. Costs vary from place to place, so you could spend a lot more for the same result depending on where you live, lowering your return.

This week’s chart shows the states with the highest and lowest returns on investment based on the average cost of a full bathroom renovation and home values in 2022, according to House Method.

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