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What First Time Homeowners Must Know About Their Bathrooms

Bathroom, Plumbing
By on Apr 8, 2018
What First Time Homeowners Must Know About Their Bathrooms

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If you’re a first-time homeowner, you’re probably learning that you have more questions than answers when it comes to your house. Whether it’s new, unexpected problems or a room you’re getting ready to upgrade, where do you even begin?

Bathrooms are an essential part of the home and are often what stumps first-time homeowners. They have elements, such as plumbing and electrical, that do require some expertise to upgrade. If you’re a first-time homeowner, here’s what you must know about your bathroom.

From installing a new bathroom fan to upgrading a toilet, first-time homeowners will need the help of a pro. Contact a bathroom remodeling contractor for quotes from pros in your area, for free.

Remodel Your Bathroom First

1. Remodel Your Bathroom

As you may learn, having a home is a big expense, especially if you recently purchased your house. While some bathrooms need just a little bit of work, older homes might need a complete remodel. The best advice for a first-time homeowner is to remodel your bathroom as soon as you can afford it.

“The biggest mistake I see is honestly new homeowners buying their home, waiting until they’re ready to sell, and then deciding to remodel their bathroom,” Emily Hoefler said, kitchen and bath specialist at Renovations Group Inc. “When a homeowner remodels right before they sell, it’s harder to recoup that investment, and they don’t even to get to enjoy it in the meantime. My biggest suggestion is for new homeowners to do any remodeling projects they’re planning to do as early on in the process as they can”

If you’re planning for a bathroom remodel, big or small, you’ll want to have a budget, so you can start saving. The average cost to remodel a bathroom is $8,820, with most homeowners spending between $6,569 and $9,872. There are many factors that can change your total cost such as the size of the room and what type of upgrades you’re planning on doing. Keep that in mind as you budget for this big project.

Choose Energy Efficiency

2. Choose Energy Efficiency

A must-have when it comes to bathroom remodeling is energy efficiency. A lot of older homes have products that waste more water and energy than homeowners need. This can include:

  • Toilets
  • Faucets
  • Showerheads
  • Lighting

Even if you don’t have enough money saved for a complete overhaul, replacing these older items can make a difference in your bathroom and in your utility bills. Start with these items as a budget-friendly way to upgrade your bathroom. Keep in mind, you’ll want a pro who can help with plumbing and electrical issues.

“When remodeling an older house, there are several plumbing items that might need to be brought up to code in order to replace those plumbing fixtures,” Hoefler said. “Working with a professional can help you identify those items and come up with a budget to address them.”

Bathtub Refinishing or Bathtub Replacement

3. Bathtub Refinishing Vs Replacement

If you just moved into an older home, you may have noticed that the bathtub looks a bit dated. Before jumping to a complete replacement, consider refinishing your bathtub, which is generally more cost-effective. Here’s a great way to decide what’s right for you:

  • Replace: The tub has significant damage or is in a hue that’s no longer popular such as pink or green.
  • Refinish: The tub is worn but in good condition and in a timeless color, such as white.

The average cost to refinish a bathtub is $436, while the average cost to install a bathtub is $2,826. Depending on what your bathroom needs, refinishing your bathtub could be the better investment.

You may also be able to touch up the caulk to freshen up the look of your bath and shower. This is an easy DIY project that should take you at most a weekend to complete. To see how you can do this, read How To Re-Caulk A Bathtub.

Fight Mold And Mildew

4. Fight Mold & Mildew

A bathroom tends to contain the most moisture out of any room in the home. So it’s in your best interest to start fighting it the second you move in. Make sure to give the bathroom a good scrub to start fresh. This includes wiping down the walls and tile, getting into all the small cracks where needed. If your bathroom doesn’t have a fan, it will be one of the first investments you want to make. Depending on the type of fan you choose, the average cost of a bathroom fan is between $15 and $550.

Incorporate Your Style

5. Incorporate Your Style

Having your first home is an exciting time because you're finally able to decorate to your tastes. While you should keep functionality and resale value in mind, always remember to make upgrades and décor changes that you can enjoy.

“I see so many first-time homeowners who are so focused on remodeling their first house to be able to sell in five to ten years,” Hoefler said. “As much as you want to make your house appealing to the next buyers, don’t you also want to make your house appealing to you? You’re the one living there and your home should be about you.”

Thankfully, you have a world of bathroom inspiration at your fingertips to find ideas that you’ll love. Check out the ImproveNet Pinterest page to see a few neat things you can try in your new bathroom.

6. Invest In The Right Places

When the time comes to sell your home, you do want a bathroom that will attract buyers. While you should be remodeling for the bathroom you want, also make sure you’re investing your budget into the right features and the job is done right.

“Don’t cut corners on your bathroom remodel,” Hoefler said. “My best advice would be to start with a realistic budget, even if it means waiting a year or so to do the remodel. It’s common to spend as much on the house as you can afford, leaving little leftover for your remodeling plans. It might seem tempting to put in a fiberglass surround and laminate countertops today to fix up the bathroom that you plan to remodel, but budgeting to get a bathroom you’ll be happy with for years will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.”


Having a home for the first time is exciting, but can be daunting as you begin to make changes. Do plenty of research and be sure to budget to make the right changes for you home.

Looking for more inspiration to upgrade your new bathroom? Read Luxury Master Bathroom Remodeling Ideas.

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