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Whether you're looking to sell or just want to make your dream home a reality, a bathroom makeover is one home improvement project that's very appealing to most homeowners. If you're going to consider renovating your bathroom, here's how to plan ahead and make out even better on the financial side of your project.

What to Consider Before You Begin

Before you break out the sledgehammer, make sure you've thought about the following:

  • Will you hire a contractor or take care of the renovations yourself? Either way, do your homework. Ask for recommendations on a trusted, reputable expert to hire or ask the pros what you need to know before tackling this renovation yourself.
  • What work do you expect to do, and in what order?
  • What fixtures and upgrades do you want with your shower, bathroom, sink, vanity, and toilet? Do these changes account for storage space? In other words, make sure your new bathroom is not only stylish but functional as well.
  • Do you have a plan for updating plumbing? What about wiring?
  • After you do your research, set a budget so you know what to expect when it comes to costs.

You'll also want to plan out a timeline for the project — and be sure to account for the fact that you could hit a few bumps in the road or unexpected setbacks (which could also add to your overall costs). The average bathroom remodel takes one to two months, but you always want to add in buffer room in both your timeline and budget.

Get the Best Bang for Your Buck

If you want to get the most return on your investment as possible, focus on features that future buyers will find most valuable. When you're working with a smaller budget, look to the small touches that make a big impact first. Think about items such as framed mirrors, stain-resistant grout, great lighting, accessories or installations that add space (like shelves, hooks, or nooks for toiletries), and updated hardware throughout the room.

Luxurious additions like radiant flooring or a heated shower mirror can also add serious value. These features may cost more, but they can also add a lot of enjoyment to your own experience while you live in your house — and when you decide to sell, you'll likely impress buyers who are looking for a luxury touch themselves.

Paying for Your Home Improvement Project

Renovating your bathroom is an investment into your home, which means you need to come up with the initial funds to make it happen.

The average bathroom renovation project costs just over $10,000. The most cost-effective way to pay for it is to set a savings goal and save the amount you need before you begin. This allows you to pay in cash, which will save you on financing costs.

While that's a simple approach, it's not always easy. You may not want to pour a large chunk of cash into an illiquid asset (as your home is) all at once. That money becomes locked away as part of the home's value until you sell.

An alternative is to consider a home equity loan, a line of credit, or a home improvement loan. Either way, these options allow you to leverage your cash flow so you don't have to spend months (or even years) saving up cash only to spend it all at once on your project.

This information and recommendations contained herein are compiled from sources deemed reliable, but are not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or are offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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