Bathroom Renovation

June 6, 2012: Bathing Beauties

This one is personal. As a homeowner, I can speak to the need and desire to remodel my bathroom. And despite the hours I’ve logged watching the HGTV and DIY networks on TV, I’m incapable of doing it myself.

Apparently I’m not alone. USA Today reports that a recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders shows bath projects are up 17 percent in the last two years-and have become “the most common remodeling job.” Adding to that, according to a survey by Better Homes and Gardens magazine, 31 percent of Americans want to remodel their bathrooms, compared to 25 percent who want kitchen remodels.

All this is good news for contractors, remodelers, designers and owners of hardware or building stores. It also means increased sales for people selling products both decorative and practical, such as towels, candles and fancy soaps.

Bathroom remodels are not what they used to be only a few years back. One remodeler told USA Today they’re taking out whirlpool tubs and installing “large showers with a bench, a ceiling-mounted rain showerhead and a hand-held shower.” (That all sounds so appealing to me.) Also high on homeowners’ wish lists are bathroom skylights.

Another trade association, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, surveyed homeowners who say they’re remodeling so they can stay in their homes longer, since it’s harder to move due to their lowered property values.

A survey from the American Institute of Architects reports consumers are worried about the high cost of utilities, so they’re looking for LED lighting and water-saving toilets. (Some states have limited the water flow permitted from toilets and showerheads.)

And the opportunity doesn’t end there. A separate article in USA Today dubbed bathrooms “ibathrooms”┬ásince homeowners are going hi-tech. The article says they’re asking for “steam showers with built-in speakers, medicine cabinets with integrated TVs, and toilets with MP3/phone docking stations.”