One of the key barriers to bathroom remodeling isn’t just the ability to be to “afford” a renovation project. Even if they do have these kinds of funds, most homeowners don’t have 10, 20, 40 thousand dollars lying around in a readily accessible account. A lot of people, even those with the means for an upscale project, end up financing their remodel. Much like getting a home mortgage and buying a home, you’ll need to convince a bathroom remodeling company that you have reliable and timely financing.
To this end, there are numerous ways to finance this kind of project. Many major remodeling companies maintain their own sources of consumer credit for prospective customers. One of the best ways to finance a bathroom remodel is with a home equity line of credit (HELOC). This type of loan can be complicated and time-consuming to get. That’s why most home improvement pros will tell you to do this beforehand—again, this isn’t unlike getting preapproved for a home loan. Just because you can’t get—or don’t have—a HELOC, this doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
In fact, because this is becoming such a common occurrence, some banking institutions are stepping up to fill this credit gap. Most notably, Goldman Sachs which typically avoids consumer lending programs has recently initiated exactly this type of program, according to CBS News. With interest rates that are slightly higher than HELOC loans but lower than credit cards and other unsecured credit programs, this may be the best available solution.
One of the reasons why timely financing may become increasingly important is the shortage of qualified home improvement contractors—an issue that’s only going to get worse over the next few years as home builders increase their staff and snatch up much of the skilled workers in the home construction industry. If you have a highly respected bathroom remodeler who’s quoting you a fair price, you may not want to slip off the contractor’s schedule because of a financing problem. Indeed, this seems to be the exact angle that Goldman Sachs is taking in marketing this credit program for bathroom remodels and other home improvement projects.
If you answer is NO, then you might want to consider a larger bathroom remodel. Older bathrooms were designed with economy in mind, and were rarely designed to accommodate larger storage needs. That’s not the case anymore. The average American keeps everything from beauty products, to pharmaceuticals, to cleaning products and extra towels in their bathroom, and that doesn’t even account for a good magazine or two. If you’re constantly cursing the lack of space in your bathroom, think about what these simple additions to your bathroom remodel can do in terms of increasing your storage options:
- Vanities with Cabinets, Drawers, and Additional Shelving
- Recessed Medicine Cabinets
- Built in Cabinets
- Tiered Towel Racks and Additional Hooks
- Sink Skirts
- Built in Shelving
- Door Racks
If the answer is yes, you might want to think of it as an opportunity for a larger bathroom remodel. Failing tile grout doesn’t just look bad, it often leads to larger problems, like mildew and mold, loose tiles, and more serious water damage if water gets behind surface materials and compromises structural elements of your bathroom. The same goes for areas where old caulk is giving way (though this is an easier fix). It is true that you can remove old grout and re-grout old tile if you choose to, but it is laborious work, and many homeowners see it as an opportunity to embrace a larger remodel given the amount of work that it entails. If you’re going to get your hands dirty (or pay somebody to do it for you), why not replace that old, boring, subway tile with a new design, and upgrade your outdated bathroom fixtures at the same time?
If the answer to this question is yes, then you might want to think about a new bathroom remodel (or at least replacing your shower/tub fixture). The truth is, the days of having to leap out of the way of hot and cold streams of water is a thing of the past where modern bathroom fixtures are concerned. New shower fixtures and faucets have systems built in to prevent these kind of temperature imbalances, enabling everybody in your home can take care of business without ruining each other’s day. Here are a few other signs that you might be ready for an upgrade when it comes to your basic bathroom fixtures:
- Your tub or sink plugs are missing or no longer seal
- You have separate hot and cold knobs on your bathtub or shower fixture
- Your tub faucet leaks when you shower
- Your sink faucet is missing the pull valve
- Your sink and/or tub doesn’t have a safety drain
If you answered yes to this question, you should be thinking minor repairs, if not a full-scale remodel. Why? Household leaks account for nearly 1 trillion gallons of wasted water in the United States every year, and even a small household leak can waste more than 90 gallons of water in a single day. If that doesn’t get your attention, then maybe this will: fixing a leaky faucet can decrease your water by bill by as much as 10% annually. Leaks can be caused by a number of issues, including worn toilet flappers, worn faucet valves, and blown washers, to name a few. Not only will a remodel eliminate those costly leaks, but technology has come a long way since those old fixtures and appliances were installed in your home decades ago. Here’s a few energy saving products that you’ll want to consider if your leaky faucets have you leaning towards a larger bathroom makeover:
- Low Flush Toilets
- Dual Flush Toilets
- Low Flow Shower Heads
- Water Saving Faucets
- Shower Thermostats
- Steam Showers
If the answer this question is YES, then you should be thinking bathroom remodel ASAP. There are a host of reasons that signs of mold, mildew, and water damage might be showing in your bathroom, and none of them are good. They include . . .
- Poor ventilation
- Leaking tubs, toilets, showers, and faucets
- Failing caulk, grout, and other waterproofing measures
- Hidden plumbing failures
While signs of mold, mildew, and water damage are certainly an eyesore, the underlying causes behind them can lead to much bigger problems for homeowners. Visible signs of mold and mildew are often just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true extent of the problem, and serious mold and mildew buildup can lead to a number of health issues, including respiratory distress, chronic irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, and even more serious immune system disorders. Beyond that, ignoring signs of water damage can lead to serious structural issues in your bathroom if the underlying source of the water isn’t identified and addressed.