The bathroom is one of the most profitable rooms to renovate. However, it can be a huge undertaking, costing unprepared investors thousands of dollars. With potential returns of $4 for every $1 spent, to make the most of this room it’s crucial not to overcapitalise.
Why the bathroom?
Second to the kitchen, the bathroom is the most profitable room to renovate in a property, and therefore should be on every investor’s list.
With potential returns of $4 for every $1 spent, to make the most of this room it’s crucial not to overcapitalise.
Yet, as one of the most expensive renovation projects of a property, those on a budget need to spend strategically to see the return.
While anything beyond a simple cosmetic renovation – which covers painting tiles, replacing the vanity and lighting, as well as new fittings – will cost a sum, budgeting carefully and making astute choices can still bring in a substantial profit.
Of a property’s total renovation budget, a decent portion needs to be dedicated to the bathroom alone.
As a guide allowing 10 to 20 per cent of the total renovation budget to the bathroom renovation would be a good starting point.
For example you can complete a minor bathroom renovation including retiling, new shower screen, new vanity and a new toilet for around $3,000.
If it requires new flooring, tiles, a new bath or shower, then this could stretch up to $8,000, and so, where possible, investors will want to look into options that avoid replacing everything.
Examining the costs involved
To keep costs down and to pull the most from a renovation project, investors need to be looking carefully at their expenditure and expected return. This means having a specific budget.
A bathroom renovation, while it may be a third of the size of a kitchen, may cost the same as a kitchen. For this reason, it is doubly important to watch your outgoings.
When it comes to bathrooms, a good rule of thumb is 1.5 per cent of the property value. Generally, of this figure, 50 per cent is labour and 50 per cent is materials.
Unfortunately, there is little scope for DIY in a bathroom renovation but there are savings to be had. Some ways you can save money include the selection of materials and products, as well as strategic planning for the bathroom fit-out.
Keeping the items and fixtures in place may actually be the most effective option. For instance it may simply be a case of changing tap fittings and handles. You always want to be thinking about the result and whether you have added the wow value or not.
Doing it yourself
While the majority of bathroom labour is best done by a professional, many renovators do consider getting their hands dirty with a spot of tiling.
This can serve to reduce labour costs, but investors need to be honest with themselves about their abilities. If you don’t do a good job, you may actually reduce the value of the renovation.
The other factor to take into account is timing. A professional can usually complete an entire bathroom renovation within seven days. If you are learning as you go it may take much longer and this can affect the bottom line far more than many calculate.
What should you focus on?
Some items immediately curry favour with prospective tenants and buyers, helping to bring in more rent and profit.
One addition that generally adds value, provided the demographics are family orientated, is a bath.
Moreover, shiny surfaces have a higher perceived value than matt or satin surfaces, so you always want to make sure your wall tiles are shiny.
Water-efficient shower heads are also an absolute must, whether for a home or rental property.
Overall it is important to remain emotionally unattached if you are renovating a rental property. Too much time on minor details is a sure-fire way to overcapitalize.