Kitchen Versus Bathroom: Which Should You Remodel First?

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If you’re on a tight budget, there’s a good chance you’ve lost a few nights’ sleep wondering which room you should renovate first: the kitchen or the bathroom? Spending a few thousand pounds on a new garden fence, and it’s unlikely that you’ll get many compliments. Spend a few thousand on a kitchen or bathroom, and everybody will notice.

The kitchen and bathroom are important parts of the house. Both serve almost primal human functions: one is about eating, the other is about taking care of the body - you can’t get much more basic than that. Because, of this, it’s often difficult to know which of the two should be prioritised.

Try to ask yourself the following questions when making a decision.

Question #1: Which Is Cheaper?

According to the data, updating the bathroom is cheaper than updating the kitchen. About Home says that a minor mid-range kitchen upgrade will set you back approximately £16,000 and a major remodel around £45,000. Minor bathroom upgrades, however, cost around £14,500 and major upgrades approximately £33,000. Financing information is available from sites like swiftmoney.com.

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Question #2: Which Causes Less Disruption

Of course, it’s not the just raw cost of updating the kitchen or the bathroom that needs to be considered. It’s also the amount of disruption that updating the most important rooms in your house entails.

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According to experts, updating the kitchen is less disruptive, but barely. Bathrooms are essential for bathing and other unmentionable activities, meaning that when they are out of action, you can end up with serious problems. The food that you would have prepared in your kitchen, however, can be replaced by food bought from takeaways, meaning that at least when the kitchen is out of action, you still have options. When the bathroom is being swapped out, you’re stuck. Portaloo, anyone?

Question #3: Which Adds Most To Resale Value?

The kitchen is often called the “heart of the home,” and for a good reason. Often the first image of a home on estate agent websites, after a photograph of the exterior, is the kitchen. People want to know whether they are going to be able to cook and eat breakfast in a pleasant environment. Often the kitchen is the visual focal point for buyers.
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Consumer Reports recently gathered information from estate agents, asking them how important they felt that the kitchen was. 52 percent of them said that the kitchen was the single most important room in influencing house sales. That compares to 42 percent who stated that the bathroom was the most important.

Question #4: Which Is Fastest?
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Since both the kitchen and the bathroom are essential rooms, how quickly each can be remodelled is another important consideration. Bathrooms typically take around 18 days at a minimum, according to homerenovations.about.com to remodel. By comparison, kitchens take a minimum of a month under the best case scenario, according to This Old House. Often they can take a lot longer than this: 2 to 6 months according to The Old House estimates.

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