Harcourts Canterbury

The Canterbury
Home Team Advantage

Is your bathroom renovation worth it?

Your guide to a quick cost benefit analysis.

The bathroom is one space in your home that will directly effect the saleability of your listing. The same can be said for your kitchen and laundry. But before you rip the room back to its studs, it pays to conduct a simple cost benefit analysis... and to explore a few quick wins that can get you real bang for buck in the bathroom.

Your current value vs what you want to spend

First, you need to know the current valuation for your home. Your home’s CV can be found on the Canterbury City Council’s site with your rates information. CV stands for Capital Value, and this is the amount appraised or assessed by Quotable Value NZ on behalf of the relevant local territorial bodies, or councils.

The rule of thumb for home renovations is that you don’t want to spend more than 10% of your home’s value on all of your renovations. For example, if your home is worth $500,000, then spending more than $50,000 on upgrades could be overcapitalising unless the property is in much need of improvements.

Another way of looking at this is per square metre

According to tradeguys.co.nz: “

If you want a very vague idea of cost to renovate per square meter, try these figures as a guide, however please note that the figures can vary.
As a starting point,
$1800 m2 is very cheap renovation cost,
$2-2500 m2 is the average spend
Anything over $3000 m2 is a high quality renovation.”

Know your target market

Next, know your home’s target audience and their bathroom needs - for example if you are targeting first home buyers with a new baby, they may need a bath. Bigger families will often look for an ensuite for Mum and Dad, a family bathroom (full bath) and a half bathroom (powder room) for guests. If you’re not sure about your home’s value or who you are selling to, get expert advice, so you know what buyers typically look for in this space, and also what sort of buyer demographics are looking in your area.

Quick wins

Look for cost effective upgrade options. For example, replacing hardware to refresh the look may be enough - swapping out fixtures can modernise the space, and get you great Return On Investment. Try to keep fixtures in the same area, as soon as you start to move them, large plumbing bills will be added to your bottom line.

Keep it timeless

Always choose timeless colours. Remember you aren’t renovating for you, but rather for potential buyers who are imagining themselves bringing their own character to this space.

Don’t forget to ventilate!

A bathroom is damp and steamy by nature, so install adequate ventilation systems (such as an extractor fan) to keep moisture to a minimum. Potential buyers will be looking for this!


A fast, effective refresh in the bathroom can involve simply switching out towels, swapping out an old shower curtain, and including an eye-catching ornamental piece such as a vase. The way necessities are arranged can make a difference. Roll towels and place them in neat rows on an open shelf. Keep clutter off the vanity surfaces.

Check your timing

And finally, think about the time it will take to complete your upgrades. Will it be the best time of year to list your home when you finish your renovations?

For more insight about getting your home ready for sale and getting the very best Return On Your Investment talk to your agent, they know what Canterbury buyers are looking for in your area.

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