Room Addition: Many homeowners now staying put and remodeling
If so, you're part of the re-energized remodeling market. For the first time since 2006, home-improvement spending is up, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
The surge is being aided by lower materials costs. And with more custom builders swapping out their blueprints for hammers to get in on the remodeling boom, labor costs have fallen in many areas as well.
In short, this is a great time to remodel, and if a new bathroom is on your wish list, you're not alone. A recent survey conducted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) showed that 28 percent of responding architects are seeing greater interest in kitchen and bath remodels.
Most homeowners aren't going for dazzle, however. AIA reports that typical bath projects today reflect practicality and a desire to control utility costs. Although people tend to add or improve bathrooms with comfort and convenience in mind, these projects are also smart values.
According to Remodeling Magazine, creating a new bathroom is one of the most solid investments you can make in your home. The magazine's 2009-2010 "Cost vs. Value" report estimates that a midrange home bathroom remodel will recoup 71 percent of its cost, while a bathroom addition recoups nearly 60 percent.
Up flush toilets: Low-cost installation, great results
With big value like that, adding a new bathroom remains very popular with homeowners. But you may be wondering how you can get the most for your investment, since creating below-floor drainage for new plumbing fixtures is messy, costly and time-consuming.
One savvy idea is to choose a Saniflo up flush toilet for your new bath project. Because this type of technology - macerating plumbing - doesn't require digging, a completely new, full bathroom can be installed quickly and for a lot less time and money than conventional plumbing. What's more, an "up toilet" can go anywhere in your home. Even in the basement.
With up flush technology, there is no need for digging up cement floors. The unique technology pumps waste and water upward, through small-diameter piping, directly into your sewer or septic tank. And unlike sewage ejection systems, up flush toilet waste is removed with every flush, so there is no need for undesirable waste storage.
For smaller homes, nothing could be easier than adding a bathroom with an up flush toilet. These systems can be installed in any room and are ideal for small spaces. An unused closet or the area underneath a stairway can easily be converted to a bathroom.
Here are some ways you can save even more:
Federal tax credits: Energy-efficiency improvements to existing homes can net you big tax credits. Visit www.EnergyStar.gov to see if your project qualifies. Examples include HVAC improvements, insulation, storm windows and certain water heaters.
Save water: According to the AIA survey, water-saving toilets are one of the five most popular bathroom products. The Sanicompact is a low-flow, up flush toilet that uses only 1.3 gallons per flush.
Use LED lighting: Long-lasting light-emitting diode lighting can use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights. Choose a product that is Energy Star qualified.
Go door-less: A walk-in shower saves space and requires less cleaning. Depending on your design, you may even save money with this option.
Learn more about low-cost, above-floor bath.
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