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Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling: Which Should Come First?

By Bryan Slowick | Feb 08, 2017

Kitchens and bathrooms often take a place of primary priority during home remodeling since they both routinely offer high returns on investments. But if you have limited time or resources, which should you remodel first? Here are some considerations that will help you form a gameplan.

Which Needs it the Most?

While it may seem obvious, basic functionality should always be your priority. If you find your kitchen is cramped, that you never have enough counter space, or that you’re tired of accidentally slamming drawers with worn down drawer slides, your kitchen should take precedence. If, on the other hand, internal bathroom plumbing systems are perpetually breaking down, focus your time and money on a bathroom renovation.

Where Do I Spend More Time?

All considerations being equal, spend your dollars based on where you spend your time. Although the bathroom is an area of daily use, it is also an area of temporary use. Your kitchen, on the other hand, is often the locus of family life as well as guest entertainment.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for your family or friends, you won’t want to find yourself having to limit kitchen use to a single chef because of a poorly laid out floor plan or too small of a space. Since the kitchen is a much more highly-utilized, not to mention much more visible, place in your home, your kitchen remodel is the clear winner in terms of time.

What is My Budget?

Another determining factor in considering whether to renovate your kitchen or your bathroom first is what your bank account is able to support. The cost of remodeling a kitchen in the North Shore Chicago area in 2017 is between $25,126 for a minor, midrange kitchen upgrade to $138,922 for an upscale, major remodel. Bathroom remodeling costs in the area, on the other hand, range from $23,458 on a midrange bathroom remodel to $38,235 for an upscale bathroom remodel. Working with a trusted design build company to better align your remodeling goals with your budget can help determine which project should be tackled first.

Which Offers a Higher Return on Investment?

Keep in mind that cost is relative to value. So while you may spend less on a bathroom remodel, you’re also likely to recoup a much smaller return on it than you will on a kitchen remodel. Experts generally regard kitchen remodels as more effective for home resale than bathroom remodels since they greatly up the ambiance and are the more highly trafficked area. Consumer Reports cites light kitchen remodels as returning a 3 to 7 percent interest, whereas light bathroom remodels return 2 to 3 percent interest.

Closing Thoughts

While there are a lot factors that come into play, the facts lean towards prioritizing your kitchen first. However, each home and each family is unique. As you look at your priorities, consider working with a professional design build company to help sort through your specific situation. Sometimes bringing in a 3rd party with a high level of expertise can help in the decision making process.

Kitchen Remodeling Design Guide

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