Your bathroom will be one of the most complicated and expensive spaces in your home to remodel. A typical remodel job will cost you between $10,000 and $16,000, most of which will go towards your home’s plumbing. Even the most basic bathroom renovations will involve making sure that your plumbing is in good condition and that it can be safely attached to the new fixtures that you will have installed. More extensive remodels will require you to have your entire bathroom gutted and your plumbing completely redone, a process that could increase your overall budget by thousands of dollars.
If you’re looking to refinance or sell your home, you’re probably wondering what the most valuable parts of your home may be. While every home is different and has its own special elements, usually the most valuable parts are the bathrooms and the kitchen. A renovation of either of these spaces can add thousands of dollars to your home’s value, but why is this the case? Is it that there are just too many elements that need to be built directly into the floors and walls, or is it that they require the work of highly trained experts? Both of these aspects play a role in the value of a kitchen or bathroom, but there is a little more to it than that.
Cleaning your toilet is obviously a messy job, but it can get even worse if you decide to use a chemical cleaner that may be unsafe. A cleaner made from caustic chemicals will certainly get your toilet sparkling clean and free of any clogs, but you’re much better off with one of these three safe cleaners instead.
1. White Vinegar
White vinegar makes for a great disinfectant that can get just about any toilet clean, and it is perfectly safe. It is only mildly acidic, but it’s enough for most purposes. It does have a strong smell, so you will need to dilute it with some water before you use it as a cleaner.
A bathroom remodel will usually cost you between $10,000 and $16,000, but where does most of that money go? Some of that will go towards the space itself, with larger bathrooms being more costly to renovate, but even a smaller bathroom can break the bank if you’re not ready for it.
The biggest reason why renovating a bathroom is so expensive is due to the plumbing itself. Not only do you need to install the right bathroom fixtures such as the sink, bathtub, and toilet, you need to make sure that all the plumbing is connected and in good condition. If the plumbing isn’t connected properly, it could lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills as you have your “new” bathroom effectively gutted and remodeled yet again.
Even though your home’s pipes are built to last for years, they won’t last forever. If you live in an older home, your plumbing might be wearing down and are more prone to leaks. Some may have mineral deposits that slow the flow of water through them, and some have been known to leach potentially hazardous materials into water. If this is the case, you may need to replace some or all of the plumbing in a process called repiping your home.
Repiping your home is a large and complicated process that is always best left to professionals, even when only some of your pipes need to be replaced. Fortunately, many plumbing professionals are able to repipe a home these days without tearing apart most of its drywall and floorboards. A team of repiping contractors will make exact surgical cuts into the walls and floors that need to be removed, and the old pipes will be replaced with new ones made primarily from copper, cast iron, and plastic. Of course, the contractors will take precautions to prevent the pipes from leaking and damaging the rest of the home as they are being replaced. Overall, a repiping job takes between three and five days to complete and costs between $4,000 and $10,000 depending on the type of pipes that are installed and how much of your plumbing needs to be replaced.
Your heating and cooling system uses 15,000 watts of energy every hour and accounts for up to 50 percent of your whole-home energy costs. While most people cannot go without heat or air conditioning in their homes, there are some surprisingly simple things that you can do to save money on your heating and cooling bills. Here are a few that you can start doing right now.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Constantly changing the temperature on your home’s thermostat will just use more energy, but you can get around this by buying a programmable thermostat. This will automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on settings that you program yourself. You can program your thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature when people are home and awake, and lower the temperature when your house is empty or when people are asleep. As long as you keep these temperatures reasonable (between 62 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit), you should notice your energy bills become more manageable.
Bathroom remodels are expensive, so it makes sense that you would want to find ways to save money whenever you can. This might mean getting a cheaper bathtub to save money on what will probably the most expensive element in your new bathroom, but you still need to know what you’re getting. With that being said, here are some of the differences between a cheap bathtub and something more expensive.
The biggest factor when it comes to the price of a bathtub is the material that it’s made from. The cheapest tubs are made from fiberglass and cost between $300 and $500. It’s definitely a great option if you’re on a tight budget, and the material is light enough that you can probably install the tub by yourself. Unfortunately, fiberglass tubs are also far less durable than more expensive tubs and are susceptible to scratches and dents. Its color will also fade over time, especially if you’re really diligent about keeping it clean.
Using the shower safely as a senior citizen can be difficult, but there are things that you can install in your bathroom that make it safer. Most of them do require an extensive bathroom remodel, but they will be well worth your time and money if they allow you to retain at least some of your independence and shower safely. Let’s take a look at some of the more common shower amenities for seniors.
Twisting a knob to turn on a shower is hard for elderly people with limited mobility in their hands and wrists, so installing lever faucets can make things much easier. These of course don’t have to be just installed in a shower; a bathroom sink can be outfitted with them as well. There are even models that can be operated with your feet if bending down becomes too difficult.
A Sprayer Attachment
Being able to detach your shower head and hold it in your hand can make bathing much easier. You don’t have to move your body much at all when you shower, and you can even wash yourself while sitting in a shower chair, which is something else that many people with limited mobility like to use when they bathe.
For years, home plumbing mostly consisted of copper pipes, but that has been changing quickly. Many plumbers and home builders have switched to using cross-linked polyethylene, or PEX, in their plumbing. PEX pipes are less expensive and longer-lasting than copper pipes, which is why they are used in 60 percent of new construction projects. However, the jury is still out on how safe these plastic pipes really are.
While PEX pipes and other forms of plastic plumbing do seem to be relatively safe at a glance, recent studies have suggested that there is a possibility of these pipes leaching chemicals into drinking water. One study published in Journal – American Water Works Association states that PEX pipes release “…more organic carbon as well as volatile and semi-volatile compounds” into water that passes through them. There did appear to be fewer of these contaminants in water after 30 days, but these findings were alarming to say the least. Many researchers have reported that there is a slight odor and distinct flavor of water that passes through these plastic pipes, which might suggest that this kind of plumbing may not be entirely safe.
Whether you’re planning to sell your home or you just want to improve an outdated decor, you need to be aware of how much a renovation project will affect your home’s value. This is especially true if you are planning to add a new bathroom or renovate your kitchen. Both of these spaces will require you to redo plumbing fixtures, replace cabinetry, or update the wiring in your home. This can be an expensive project, but it will be worth it in the end if you’re smart about your renovations.
Adding Value with a New Kitchen
Generally speaking, a new kitchen will always be a good investment if you’re looking to add value to your home. You can expect to get about 80 to 90 percent of your renovation’s value back, meaning a $30,000 kitchen renovation project could add up to $27,000 to your home’s value. Of course, this number will change depending on whether you put more or less money into your project. Simply repainting your kitchen or installing new cabinets probably won’t add a lot of value to your home, but redoing everything in your kitchen down to the sink and the floors will have a bigger impact providing you can afford to pay the price tag.