Simple changes in your home can have an amazing impact on the look and value without putting a serious dent in your wallet.  Updating the most important rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, and doing so on a budget, is the most effective way to add value to your home.  According to 2008 National Statistics, bathroom and kitchen remodels recoup around 84-85% of the cost invested in upgrades. 

Replacing old fixtures with modern faucets, showers and tubs, sinks and toilets can make the room look more inviting for you and your family. 
In addition, new plumbing fixtures not only increase your enjoyment and home value, but can also potentially save you money and make your home more “green”. 

  • Replacing faucets is a small project that has a big impact on updating a bathroom or kitchen, but doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  While upgrading your faucets, consider adding low-flow aerators to the fixture.  This is an easy way to “green” your home.  These small devices attach directly onto the head of the fixture and allow you to adjust the flow of water from the faucet, without affecting water pressure.
  • Low-flow showerheads provide an upgraded look to your shower and reduce water usage, saving you money on your monthly utilities.  These showerheads are similar to aerators; you can modify the rate of water flow without sacrificing water pressure. 
  • Installing new, energy-efficient toilets can update and beautify a bathroom.  New, water–saving toilets use significantly less water than older models.  A 20-year old toilet uses five gallons of water per flush, a five-to-seven year old toilet uses about 3.5 gallons of water, and most new models require only 1.5 gallons of water.   Shane Judd, a product manager at Kohler Co. states, “People don’t think about how much water they flush in their toilet.  When you tell somebody that 25% of the water that’s consumed for indoor use is flushed down the toilet, they start to connect the dots.”  With this upgrade you’ll be saving water and money.
  • Upgrade plumbing fixtures in kitchen and bathrooms. If your plumbing fixtures are more than 10 years old, consider upgrading them. If you have standard grade fixtures, such as chrome finish, opt for higher end finishes and materials. Brushed nickel, antique copper and brass fixtures are relatively inexpensive to replace.  At kitchen sinks choose plumbing fixture collections that offer matching faucet, control, and sink sprayer.  Similarly in bathrooms, choose bathtub/shower/and sink controls that coordinate for a unified look throughout your home.  These small touches can give your home a whole new look!
  • Bathroom Remodel.  One of the top renovations for home resale is bathrooms. Keep the colors neutral for long-term style and redo only what your budget allows. Change out cabinets for pedestals if you need to make your room look larger. Repaint or stain cabinetry and change out the hardware. Consult with your plumber to help find new plumbing fixtures, sinks, toilets, etc. in your budget. Learn to do tile installation yourself with free classes at your local home center. Each change you make will bring you closer to a new bath.

Enjoy your upgrades while increasing your investment for the future!

Sources:  www.kohler.com
                “Update Plumbing Fixtures and Add Value to Your Client’s Home,” by Elizabeth Cotner, Plumbing How To Article, February 2010
                “Flush with ideas, Water-saving products also help Kohler grow,” by Thomas Content of the Journal Sentinel, April 17, 2010.
                “Top Ten Budget Renovations – Adding Value to Your Home,” March 15, 2009, Articlebase.com.