What are your bathroom’s best features? Or perhaps a better question is, what features do you imagine your dream bathroom will have?
A bathroom renovation is one of the most sought-after home projects we see in Northern Virginia. Second only to kitchen renovations, a bathroom remodel significantly increases the marketability and monetary value of your home, and it can also make your daily living experience more enjoyable.
Beyond The Basics
Every bathroom has the same basic building blocks. At the very least, it has a toilet, a sink, a shower or a tub (maybe both), and a bit of storage. But why settle for basic when you can have a bathroom that’s designed just for you?
Getting the perfect space is all about knowing what you want and what you need. Obviously, you need the four elements listed above. But what do you want? Is it a luxurious steam shower? Perhaps it’s a massive claw-foot tub, a heated floor, or a Jack and Jill vanity.
Before we start planning, we need to understand your priorities. What sort of lifestyle do you lead? What makes your house a home? What are your style preferences, and what will make your new bathroom the perfect space for you?
Consider where you are willing to compromise as well as where you won’t. If you have high expectations for certain elements, you may have to make trade-offs, depending on your budget.
Of course, making trade-offs doesn’t mean you have to settle. You should never have to make do with something you don’t actually like. When you need to meet your budget, making trade-offs may simply mean allocating funds a little differently. You’ll still get the highest-quality products and features that are most important to you.
Still unsure about how to identify your top priorities? We suggest creating a simple decision-making matrix. First, list all the elements that you want in your bathroom renovation. It can be aspirational! The important thing is to nail down what you want, and then we’ll see if it’s feasible.
Weighing the Scales
Once you have your list of features, use a point system to assign weight to each item. We suggest using a three-point system:
- Absolute must-have, can’t live without it: 3 points
- Want to have, within reason: 2 points
- Nice to have, but not necessary: 1 point
Go down the list and give each item a number. This will help you rank your choices in order of priority, with three-point features at the top, and one-pointers at the bottom. This approach is especially handy if you and your partner are making the decisions together and struggling to agree on what the renovation should look like.
Once you’ve established your list of wants and needs, it’s time to assess what you’re willing to spend. Your design-build team can help with this process, as they’ll have extensive knowledge of comparable products on the market that will allow you to get a similar look at a more affordable price.
The Matrix in Action
Let’s look at one specific example using the priority matrix.
Take one three-point item: flooring material. It’s clearly an essential, but what’s still undecided is how much you’re willing to spend to get what you want. For your flooring selections, you are choosing between porcelain, ceramic, and vinyl.
Before you make your selection, consider these points, and decide where your priority lies:
- Best quality. You’re willing to spend however much it takes to get what you want, no matter how expensive it is.
- Best value. You’re willing to pay an amount that gets you the right balance of quality, functionality, and price.
- Best price. You want to spend the smallest amount of money possible, regardless of the trade-offs in quality or durability.
Use your bottom-line budget to create hypothetical scenarios and work backward to determine what you can afford in each category. Keep in mind that there are some areas where you are willing to spend more to get what you want. In this case, porcelain may be the best quality, ceramic the best value, and vinyl the best price.
Ultimately, this decision isn’t just about the money you spend now. It’s also about making choices that will best suit your lifestyle and will deliver value when it comes time to sell.