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Kitchen or Bathroom Remodel: Which Room Should You Renovate First?

Both your kitchen and a bathroom need an upgrade, but you can only remodel one. How do you choose? Here we break down 3 key factors you should consider before deciding between a kitchen or bathroom remodel.

Kitchen and bathrooms are the most common remodels we do here at Lamont Bros. And for good reason, both have high returns on investment on average. Here in the Portland area, these remodels can result in roughly a 70-80% return right away. But how do you choose which to do first if both your kitchen and a bathroom in your home need an upgrade? Here are some important factors to help you decide.

Factor 1: Cost

Typically, the cost to remodel a bathroom will be significantly less than that of a kitchen if the square footage of each space is roughly the same and if the quality of the fixtures and finishes are also on par. That holds true whether you’re planning a lower budget remodel, or one that’s on the higher end of the cost scale.

Another cost-related factor these days is interest rates. Currently, they’re very low, meaning lenders are generally making more funds available for remodels. So you might decide that now is the right time to do the kitchen, and then come back and do the bathroom at a later date.

Kitchen or Bathroom Remodel: New large kitchen

If you’ve got a lower amount of money to work, tackling the bathroom first may make more sense.

Factor 2: Resale Value

Another key consideration when deciding between a kitchen or bathroom remodel is: which will result in the best return on investment? More often than not, a kitchen remodel will yield a greater immediate return. Most kitchen remodels often result in a 60%-80% return on investment right after the project is completed.

The more complex the remodel, the less recouped costs you’ll see. That’s usually because more complicated remodels may involve removing walls, or relocating plumbing, or other things that can drive up costs. While they can make significant improvements to the livability in your new space, that may not translate to a financial return on paper right away.

For major remodels, both kitchen and bathrooms return about 60% of your return immediately. With lighter remodels, kitchens can feature a return closer to 80%; bathrooms somewhere around 70% on average.

So, both spaces are comparable in terms of recouped cost, but if you’re most concerned about immediate resale value and what will make a greater impact to potential buyers, the kitchen remodel is often times the better option.

Factor 3: Convenience

Another factor to consider when deciding between a kitchen or bathroom remodel is convenience. Any remodel is likely going to be disruptive to your life. Our crews will be essentially taking over part of your home for a few weeks or months, so you’ll need to consider which space you feel more comfortable doing without for a while.

If you only have one bathroom for example, you may opt for doing the kitchen first. We’ve done several bath remodels for clients who only have a single bathroom, and in most cases we can reset the toilet each day so that’s operable, and there are ways to set up portable showers, but throughout most of the day, that space will be out of commission. So, this should factor in to your decision. On the other hand, if you have several bathrooms, remodeling one of them will likely not be too much of an inconvenience.

temporary kitchen remodel

When it comes to the kitchen, that will generally be an inconvenient remodel no matter what. So, you’ll want to think about when is the best time of year to do it. If you have a basement or other indoor area where you can set up an adequate temporary kitchen, the time of year can be flexible. If you have a covered patio or barbecue area, you may opt for a summer remodel so you can do most of your cooking outdoors.

Wrap up

These are 3 of the key factors to consider when deciding whether to do a kitchen or bathroom remodel first. One additional consideration is timeline. More complex kitchen remodels can take longer than a simple bathroom renovation. So, if you’re looking for a project with a shorter timeline, you may opt for something more straightforward without major plumbing relocations or significant floor plan adjustments.

Are you planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel and aren’t sure where to start? We’re happy to discuss your project. Simply schedule a conversation with us!

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