Upgrading your bathroom or kitchen is one of the most effective ways to add value to your home.  Kitchen and bath remodels recoup up to 85% of the initial cost, and many times homeowners can make a noticeable impact simply by upgrading the fixtures in the room.  For the budget conscious family, changing out the plumbing fixtures in your home may be the best way to go.  

Upgrading old fixtures in your home with more modern faucets, handles, showerheads and even toilets and bathtubs can make a room more inviting for you and your family.  New plumbing fixtures are often much more efficient than their older versions and they often add value to your home.  You may even save money on your utilities as you go ‘green’.  Consider the following upgrades as you look around the bathrooms and the kitchen in your home:

• Replace old faucets for a quick and cost effective way to make a big impact on the look and feel of your kitchen or bath.  Consider adding low-flow aerators to the fixture for a simple way to go ‘green’ in your home.  An aerator is a small device that attaches to the head of your faucet that adjusts the flow of your water without affecting the pressure.

• Install low flow showerheads achieve an upgraded look in your bath, save money on your utilities and reduce the amount of water you consume all with a single update.  Low-flow showerheads function much like an aerator and allow you to adjust the rate of water flow in your shower without sacrificing water pressure.

• Install an energy efficient toilet to have an even greater impact on your utility bills and water consumption.  A toilet that is 20 years old uses about 5 gallons to flush while a toilet that is less than seven years old uses less than 3.5.  A brand new model will often use only 1.5, and will potentially save you a lot of money.  Shane Judd, a product manager at Kohler Co. notes, “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.” 

• Upgrade the plumbing fixtures in your kitchen and bath to quickly impact the aesthetic value of your home.  A good rule to follow is to switch from standard grade fixtures, such as those with a chrome finish, to those with higher end finishes and materials. Brushed nickel, antique copper and brass fixtures are popular higher end finishes and are relatively inexpensive as upgrades.  When upgrading a kitchen sink, be sure to choose plumbing fixture collections to coordinate your faucet with your control and sprayer.  The same rule applies in your bath, create a unified look by matching the bathtub and shower fixtures to the ones on your sink.

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.