Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

June 10, 2008

Bathe in a new light

Filed under: General — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:33 am

Whether you are selling your home or staying put, a stylish loo is always welcome. So go on, make over your bathroom

ADMIT it: You’re thinking about a facelift.

You’ve noticed the little lines forming here, darkened areas emerging there. Features once fresh and sparkling are looking worn and dull. When you switch on the light, it’s all too clear that things are slipping over the hill.

No need to feel embarrassed. There’s nothing wrong with wishing for a mini makeover – especially when you’re talking about your bathroom.

CHANGE FROM THE TOP: Skylights are a popular feature in bathroom upgrading, among others such as spa-like showers as well as rain-head or body-spray shower nozzles. — ST FILE PHOTOS

It is a maxim among real estate agents that, when it comes to home improvements, work done to bathrooms and kitchens are likely to bring the best return on investment.

‘People typically assign value to a property based on what the bathrooms and kitchen look like,’ says Ms Donna Evers of Washington realty company Evers.

A dreary, outdated bathroom can be a deal-breaker. But bathroom renovations get costly fast.

In the south Atlantic region of the United States, for example, the average price of remodelling a mid-range bathroom last year was US$14,445 (S$19,870), according to Remodeling magazine. But a few nips and tucks costing far less can go a long way to refreshing a bath.

Los Angeles designer Lytel Young, host of HGTV’s Save My Bath, says there are three important things in a bathroom: ‘Clean, simple and orderly. That’s the key for every budget, whether it’s US$500 or US$40,000.’

A fresh coat of paint and new lighting are easy improvements that have an immediate impact, he says, and a combination of natural and artificial light is optimal. But for bathrooms without windows, sconces on both sides of a mirror plus an overhead fixture on a dimmer will do the job.

Evers’ recipe for a quick fix: Re-caulk around the tub and shower. Replace dated, inadequate light fixtures. Rip out the old-fashioned medicine cabinet and replace it with a mirror as large as you can make it.

If you’re not going to do a full remodel, be careful about what you choose and how much you spend, cautions Mr Herbert Stanwood, senior project designer in the kitchen and bath division at Case Design in Bethesda.

Remember that while you keep an old tub or tiles because they are still in good shape, these can appear tired next to a new vanity, countertop, mirror and lights.

If you’re concerned about payback, be conservative in your choices.

Resist the urge to express your love for unusual hues such as turquoise through bathroom tiles. Stick with a neutral base and introduce colour through towels and accessories that can be easily and inexpensively replaced.

Popular choices for today’s remodels include frameless glass shower doors, stone countertops and vanities that are kitchen-cabinet height, and water-saving dual-flushing toilets. And, in a reversal of a trend from 20 years ago, home owners now want smaller tubs and larger showers.

‘People don’t have time to draw a bath, but they still want to indulge themselves,’ Mr Stanwood says. ‘They want luxury. They want a really nice shower.’

Source : Straits Times – 10 May 2008


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