How to add value to your home with bathroom improvements
Wednesday, 3rd September 2014, Lucy Mccoy
Next to the kitchen, the bathroom is considered one of the most important rooms in the house. A bathroom isn't simply a necessity, it's the place you often go to relax after a hard day, the room you doll yourself up in before a night out and even the location of romantic evenings in the bath with your partner.
As bathrooms are so important it's vital that, when you come to sell your home, yours looks good. After all, a really fantastic bathroom can be the one feature that stays in the forefront of your potential buyer's mind, long after the house viewing has ended. There are a number of things you can do to improve your bathroom in order to add value to your home. Here are some suggestions.
Add an en suite
It may seem like a daunting task, but if you have the space an en suite can add real value to your home. In fact, research from Gocompare shows that an en suite bathroom is the second most-wanted feature from home-buyers. Having a bathroom attached to the bedroom is not only convenient; it can give a couple a bit of personal space. The kids and house guests can use the standard bathroom, whereas you and your partner can have your own, complete with separate sinks and a two-headed shower. What could be more luxurious than that?
However, if you haven't got enough room near the master bedroom for an en suite, but do have space elsewhere in the home, you should still consider adding an extra bathroom, especially if you have a large house. According to Nationwide, an additional bathroom could add five per cent, or £13,000, to your home's value. It may take a bit more effort than simply updating your existing bathroom, but it could pay off in the long run.
Add some luxury features
A bathroom should be luxurious, so don't skip on the eye-catching features if you want to attract potential buyers. Underfloor heating, power showers, whirlpool baths and heated towel racks are all things people would love to have in their bathroom. Just putting in one of these features could persuade someone to put a higher offer in than they were first willing to.
One of the areas that definitely needs a luxury touch is the sink. Add a large, deep basin and change your old countertop. A granite or marble surface makes a terrific bathroom feature and is sure to draw the eye of viewers. Just ensure you keep it clean and free of toothpaste before anyone comes round.
Out with the old...
Go back a few decades and green and brown bathrooms were all the rage. Now, most of us prefer standard white fixtures, so when it comes to updating things, you need to keep things neutral. This, of course, doesn't mean the whole bathroom has to be white, as that might come across as too boring and not at all luxurious. When giving the bathroom walls a new lick of paint, choose soft, light colours, such as yellow or blue. Anything too dark will make the room feel cramped and strong colours might put buyers off.
You should also consider replacing the taps and shower head, as these have probably become fairly worn over the years. A new mirror wouldn't go amiss either, and the bigger, the better. If your shower or bath still has one of those ghastly curtains, chuck it and replace it with a glass or plastic screen. Consider re-grouting your bathroom tiles too and replace any tiles that have chipped or cracked. Depending on how outdated they are you might want to get all-new tiles. These may only be small changes, but they can make a huge difference to the overall look of the bathroom.
What does your buyer want?
Before making any changes to your bathroom, you need to know what target audience your home is likely to attract. For example, if you live in a little two-bed flat, your potential buyers are likely to be mostly made up of young couples and therefore you might decide it's better to replace your bath with a spacious shower. If, however, you own a fairly large home in an area with good schools, it's quite likely that families will be looking around your property and so you'll need to make sure there's at least one child-friendly bath in the house.
You also need to consider what's currently popular. Are wet-rooms still in fashion, or is having underfloor heating more important? You need to know the answers to these questions before making any changes. Research from Gocompare in 2014 revealed that buyers now prefer showers over baths, as 61 per cent consider showers to be a home essential, whereas only 53 per cent said the same thing about baths.
Fix anything that doesn't work
Buyers can be put off by the tiniest thing, such as a broken light or dripping tap, as it insinuates that the home has not been well looked after. It's so easy to replace a light bulb and fix a leak, so there's no excuse not to do it. Ensure your extractor fan still works and is free of dust - it's vital for keeping your bathroom mould-free. If you're lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom, make sure it opens properly, its seal is well intact and the blind is free from mould and dirt. You can't get clean in a room that comes across as dirty, after all.
With a little hard work it's not difficult to revitalise your bathroom; just remember not to get carried away and spend too much, especially if you're not planning on living in your home for much longer. A luxurious worktop, new shower head and fresh coat of paint on the walls can go a long way to wooing a potential buyer, so if you want to try to get more for your property, start updating today.