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Bathroom Resources

5 Tips for Negotiating Cost with Your Bathroom Remodeler

When you’re thinking about selling your home, there will be a few places that realtors will always look to as ways to boost the potential price. One of those is the bathroom. This makes perfect sense, as it is one of the rooms that you not only use for utility —for showers and perhaps even laundry— but for a sense of relaxation and relief from the day as well.

How much money you have to spend on a bathroom remodel can help you decide whether you need a small job that will take only a few days, or a large one that will wind up transforming the whole room to create something new and more appealing to potential buyers. Finding the right contractor who can work with your budget to create something beautiful is the key to getting that great offer.

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Bathroom Remodel: What It Can Do for Your Home

While a bathroom remodel might not be at the top of your list when thinking about ways to increase the resale value of your home, many realtors will be quick to point out that this very important room is a strong selling point.

However, the housing market is rather volatile during these trying times, with prices skyrocketing in some areas and tanking in others. In 2018, the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report found 26 percent of homeowners chose to make changes to their bathroom before selling their home; Zillow also found that for minor changes in a bathroom, you can expect $1.71 back on every dollar of investment.

But when it comes to larger projects, the return on investment depends greatly upon where you’re located. For instance, Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2020 found that midrange bathroom remodels gave the best return on investment, especially in the South Atlantic and Pacific states. Universal bathroom design changes can lead to a big boost as well, with good numbers across the board that increase in New England and Pacific States.

Regardless of where you live, your contractor should have an excellent idea of the trends in the area, including what sells best and what doesn’t. They should also be able to work within your budget to create the best possible return on investment for your home. Sit down with your contractor for a heart-to-heart on what changes or additions should be made in order to reach the final goal without breaking the bank.

Your Bathroom Contractor Should Provide a Strong Assessment

You have a vision in mind. But your bathroom remodeling contractor is the one who can tell you whether that vision will work, how much it’s going to cost, what your options are, and why you might choose to ditch one of your ideas for something entirely different.

Expect your contractor to come to the scene with a firm idea of how to implement key elements and transform the bathroom into something closer to your vision. But also expect the contractor to be realistic about resale value. Is it really going to boost your resale value to spend exorbitant amounts on high-end tile, or are you better served with installing heated flooring for the same price?

Your contractor should talk about all these options with you before they give you a final quote. In fact, they might provide more than one quote— one for going with the high-end options, and one with the more budget-friendly choices. Do your own research, and then check what you find against what your contractor recommends.

Get Clarity on the Warranty. Is it Part of the Price?

A bathroom remodel can have many parts in play, and each of those parts might have a different warranty. Those warranties should be made clear in the quote. Keep in mind that most of those warranties are offered by the manufacturer of the product and protect you from faults in production; this is something that the contractor can be sure you get, but can’t help you with if the need arises down the road.

However, there should also be a warranty on the contractor’s work. Ask what the warranty costs, what it covers, what exclusions apply, and how long it lasts. You can also use the warranty as a bargaining chip when it comes to the final cost of your project. Discuss the warranty and ask questions that will give you more insight, such as why it is so short (or so long), what happens when you sell the house (is the warranty transferable?) and what the steps are to take advantage of the warranty if problems arise.

Reputation is Everything: Does Your Bathroom Contractor Pass Muster?

Anyone you hire to work on your home should have a sterling reputation. You might choose someone who has been in business for decades and has plenty of good reviews to prove it, or you might choose to take a chance on a younger company for a reduced price and longer warranty. Either way, it’s important to check out the contractor in as many ways as you can, including online reviews, the list of references from the contractor, a look at their previous work, and of course, the power of word of mouth.

Modernize can help you get to know local and trusted contractors. The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your bathroom remodeling project is in excellent hands. You can access the interactive checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal or by downloading it here.

Bathroom Contractors Get Second Opinions. You Should, Too.

Bathroom remodels involve many small details that can add up to big expenses. It’s important to understand everything from the materials used to the fine print of your contract. Your contractor knows what they’re doing, but no matter how much research you do on your own, you might feel as though you’re flying blind. That’s why it’s so important to talk to friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family members about their experiences, not just with a particular company or contractor, but with the process of a bathroom remodel itself.

However, even that might not be enough. Homeowners who responded to our surveys and interviews have told us they still needed information and understanding on the deeper, more complex elements of their project – and those homeowners found the professional support they needed with Modernize.

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