I'm not old enough to have referred to the "loo" as a water closet or "WC." And I'm not British enough to call it a loo! I'm guessing it was a "potty" when we were kids, but I'll have to check in with mom on that one.
All that aside, the bathroom is one of those odd rooms where we don't really talk much about it, but as a buyer, it tends to be an important piece of the puzzle.
Yes, location, storage, closets, garage, kitchen and bedrooms are all (perhaps?) higher on the list. But if all of those are suitable and the bathroom is tiny, wildly outdated or (gasp!) carpeted, it can really make a terrible (decision changing) impression.
As with most of my ramblings about home improvements, this one benefits you as both the seller and the homeowner. Making these updates to your WC can provide increased enjoyment while you own the home and will make a much better impression (the positive kind) to those potential buyers. And many of these are not bank-breakers.
The goal (almost always) is to provide some recommendations that you can either do yourself in a weekend or have done for you at a reasonable price. Let's get started.
More is better (usually). Nobody is suggesting you need to make your bathroom bigger. We're staying in budget, remember? But instead of crowding around a single sink at bedtime, why not double it up. Adding dual sinks is a great solution for some. It allows both of you to "claim" that coveted real estate around each of your respective sinks and brush your teeth without spitting toothpaste on each other.
I have been spoiled (for a long time now that I think about it) with having my own bathroom. If this is in budget for you, do it. But if not, at least carving out your own sink space will be well worth the investment.
While we're focused on the sink(s), consider painting (or replacing) the vanity. The paint path is one we have mentioned before as a way to update your kitchen on a budget. The bathroom is a fraction of the work and will have as big an impact as the kitchen.
If you are considering replacing the sink and fixtures, it might be time to scrap the whole thing and start new. This also affords you a chance to double-up your sinks and even let this project creep a bit further. Let me explain.
While considering a vanity replacement (I mostly wanted to get the counter height up to 21st century standards) it quickly became obvious that swapping out this central component of the bathroom was going to have far reaching consequences.
The vanity was not standard sized, so any replacement would require flooring work or a custom built vanity. Not cool and not what we had planned. Raising the counter height — which I cannot recommend strongly enough — meant the huge mirror above the existing vanity would be too big for the newly shortened wall space available. Lastly, by adding a second sink, the tile work to the left of the existing vanity would need to be removed or manipulated to allow it to fit.
The main lesson above is the bathroom can be a fun room to mess with and update. Just think past the feature you are focused on and calculate how it will impact the rest of the room.
"Bathrooms are one of my favorite rooms to update because the budget remains manageable but the impact is huge," Badger Realty agent David Cianciolo said. "Small adjustments in paint, fixtures or lighting will all make a big difference."
One of the more hassle-free updates you can make to your bathroom is updating the fixtures. This will have virtually no impact on any other section of the room, but can still make a big impact.
Outdated fixtures scream "old house" to potential buyers and it can both turn them off and encourage them to peek further into the depths of your home and its age.
Updating your fixtures is something just about anyone can tackle. It is well within even the most modest budget. And promises to give you a feeling of satisfaction and pride every time you wash your hands.
As we mentioned before, updating the vanity can cause reverberations throughout the rest of the bathroom. One of those areas is the flooring. If your bathroom is carpeted, please stop reading. Drive to your nearest home improvement store and purchase some sort of tile or linoleum and get to work.
There is simply no excuse for carpet in the bathroom. If you simply want to update your flooring (and you're still here reading) consider tile or something a little more fancy than you would install in a larger room like the kitchen or mud room. The cost for this little area is much more manageable and the installation itself (aside from all the cutting) will be less work overall.
Lastly, for today, is storage. I understand you are limited by the actual structure of your bathroom, but this is a great time to get creative. If you have a mirror (mounted flush to the wall) that opens up to expose a medicine cabinet, you can duplicate that same feature between any two studs throughout the bathroom.
Don't poo poo (couldn't resist) the idea of adding a small cabinet or standing shelves. Bathrooms are notorious for limited space and limited storage. Anything you can do in here to provide space for toilet paper, towels, cleaning supplies, hair care products and various other items will serve you well.
If you're itching for a home improvement project and your budget and time are limited, consider attacking your bathroom. It is a room we all visit multiple times a day and one that requires small updates to make a big difference.
Start poking around the interwebs for some ideas and then head to your nearest home improvement store. And say hi to the folks in the tile section who are replacing the carpet in their bathroom. They are taking a big step today.