Bathrooms, much like kitchens, tend to have a disproportionately large influence on how a potential buyer perceives a property. Kim Hogben, Franchisee at Leapfrog Durban Central, shares that they often see buyers put off a property entirely just because of the state of the bathroom.
“For many of us the bathroom is something of a sanctuary, the place where we start and end the day, and because they are high-volume spaces they suffer under wear and tear, more than say a bedroom or lounge,” Hogben explains.
A modern well-designed bathroom is a great asset to the property and certainly a feature that will appeal to buyers when you sell, but bathroom renovations tend to also be among the most costly. A full-on bathroom renovation requires the skills of, among others, plumbers, electricians, builders and joiners, and the various fittings and finishes also add up. This is always a great option, because the end result will be a brand-new bathroom but for those on a tight budget there are a number of clever and creative approaches that can take this space from bland to blissful.
Bathroom balance sheet
The question around how “big” to go with a bathroom renovation is entirely up to the needs, preferences and budget of the property owner (or renovator). “From a property value point of view it is almost always worth spending money on a bathroom renovation, but it is also always advisable to chat to a property professional in your area if you’re looking for advice on the extent of the renovations. They will also know what appeals most to the typical at the moment,” Hogben says.
But since very few people have an unlimited budget for renovations, a good place to start is to determine your exact budget and work backwards from there.
Before you throw out the baby with the bathwater
“‘Start where you are’ is a good approach to a renovation because often a few minor updates and interventions can be all the change you need to make the space new and modern again,” Hogben believes.
These days everything from cabinetry to bathtubs can be refreshed with a coat of paint, while updating fixtures like taps and towel rails are a fairly inexpensive way to bring much-needed newness to an outdated space.
What’s even better is that there is no need to buy everything brand new. “Savvy (amateur) renovators know that upcycling, reusing and repurposing is the way to go. And it’s both cost-effective and kind to the planet,” Hogben says and suggests trying to buy second-hand via the likes of Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.
It also helps to think outside the proverbial box to how elements from another part of the property can be repurposed for use in the bathroom. “Could crates that once housed toys or hobbies be painted and stacked to become storage space for towels, or could unused garage shelves be transformed into chic floating shelves to hold an indoor plant and scented candle in the bathroom?” Hogben asks.
Any renovation should also be viewed as an opportunity to bring more environmentally conscious elements into a space. In the bathroom features like low-flow toilets, sinks and shower heads can go a long way towards saving water.
“These are relatively small and cost-effective interventions that make a big difference to water consumption in the long run and a great first step to turning your property into a more eco-conscious one,” Hogben shares.
No room is complete without accessories and this is certainly also true of the bathroom. Beyond new sanitaryware, cabinets or flooring, make sure to also add personal or playful to the bathroom. “The sky’s the limit really as there are some many great ideas online for how to make a bathroom go bang – a bold colour on the wall behind the toilet, a mural on the ceiling, a hanging garden in front of the window, anything goes!,” Hogben says.
Submitted by Leapfrog Property Group